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Competitive edge: The ins and outs of entering design contests

By Llyn L. Strelau

bench-tipsI have participated in design competitions for more than 30 years, and now and again, I am sometimes asked, “Why bother?” Well, my answer is there is great satisfaction to be gained that is balanced by cost of time and materials, which I will discuss.

Like many of my colleagues, my day-to-day business model is one of custom designing for my clients. I truly enjoy working with people, helping them celebrate the many milestones of their lives. Jewellery is all about celebration, be it engagement, marriage, anniversary, graduation, birthday, or marking an achievement. And fortunately for our industry, jewellery is sometimes purchased ‘just because!’

In the meantime, you will probably design and build pieces for stock, all the while thinking about your clients’ preferences, which may create some economic or esthetic restrictions.

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