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Jewelry Design – Custom Vs Production Pieces : Page 2 of 2

Designing Bead Jewelry: One-of-a-kind Vs Production Pieces

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While you may prefer designing bead jewelry as one-of-a-kind items, you can now see why the majority of jewelry designers find that they must produce in quantity — a business must make constant sales in order to survive.

Although many jewelry designers still produce some one-of-a-kind unique jewelry items, they will also design production items and produce in quantity, also known as "bread and butter" items in order to support themselves between their one-of-a-kind sales. It's these "bread and butter" items that make their home jewelry business economically feasible.

Having some one-of-a-kind pieces in your inventory is good. Many collectors purchase only one-of-a-kind work and are prepared to pay for it. Also having a unique one-of-a-kind piece on display in your booth or studio will show what you are capable of doing, and act as a center piece amongst your line of production items. Your one-of-a-kind items can act as a drawing card to bring customers into your booth, thus helping sell your production pieces even if the one-of-a-kind piece itself is not sold.

At first you may feel that production items lose their uniqueness and handcrafted appeal, but remember although they are all made of the same material with the same design, and they essentially all look the same, they are still handmade whether you produce 30 items at a time or one by one, and you probably won't find two exactly the same.

So, although they are called production jewelry, they each still differ in some detail, however slightly, and they each have their own unique characteristics which customers can appreciate — especially if they can purchase them at an affordable price. If your designs are unique, then your production pieces are still considered "unique jewelry."

Producing Limited Numbered Editions

Another alternative to creating one-of-a-kind pieces is to produce limited number editions. Beading design jewelry in limited number editions, is an excellent way to demand a higher price for your work then in producing in large quantities.

People like one-of-a-kind jewelry but many cannot afford the prices charged for them, thus buying limited numbered editions is the next best thing.

In pricing your work for limited numbered editions you would use the same formula as in producing in quantity except that your designing costs are only divided by the limited number of items made with that design.

Each item in your line of limited numbered editions should be numbered and signed. Along with the number you should put the total number that were produced, i.e.: 8/15. This will allow the customer to know exactly how many items with that particular unique design were made. You probably cannot put the number and your signature on the item itself, so be sure to write it on a card attached to the piece with a little explanation about the design or what inspired you to create it.

Whether you are designing unique jewelry as one-of-a-kind or limited editions always be sure to let your customers know. Having this information attached to your jewelry items is a great selling point and can increase your sales substantially.

Many collectors will only purchase unique jewelry designs as one-of-a-kinds or limited editions — if they don't realize that your piece falls in this category then you could possibly lose a sale. So use this information to your advantage and include it with every piece. But be sure that if you say you only produced 15 in that design, then only produce 15. •

© 2008 by Gloria-Jean Browne. All rights reserved.

Gloria-Jean BrowneGloria-Jean Browne's Beading Design Jewelry offers hundreds of ideas and tips to inspire you to design and create unique bead jewelry designs that will give you an edge in the market place. More »