By Tom Weishaar
Editor’s Note: This is the first instalment in a six-part series on creating custom jewellery. Over the course of the year, we’ll share the processes the author’s store went through to develop custom sales. We’ll also show you the methods used to create six custom pieces.
After trying on rings for half an hour, the customer pointed at one more. Placing the ring on her finger, she was convinced of the style and said, “This is the look for me! Only I want it bigger—big enough to be seen from across the room. I want at least five rows of diamonds. And since I was born in January, I want a garnet in the centre.”
How would you describe a custom client? Can we boil him or her down to just a few words and if so, what would they be? Would you say picky, unique, fun, worldly, crazy even? Over the years, I’ve dealt with customers who fit nicely into one or even two of these categories. There have even been a few who exhibited all these traits at the same time! The one common characteristic they all share, however, is they are not random in where they do business.
Custom clients are methodical about choosing the stores they shop at; likewise in picking the bench jewellers who create their jewellery. And most of their research is done through word of mouth. It can take years of hard work to develop a custom jewellery shop and a following of loyal customers. So guard your reputations and always deliver flawless service.