True Custom Jewelry Design

We’ve been hearing a lot of discussion lately, in print and internet media, about Custom Jewelry Design. But not all Custom Design is equal. There are differences between true customization, customized jewelry and companies which claim to offer clients a custom choice but, in reality, no custom work is involved.

There has been a lot of fanfare, within the industry lately, of new entries into the world of custom jewelry offering the ability of web users to create custom designs directly on the internet. Whereas some mass merchandising companies claim this ability for the consumer, the reality is that their marketing concept is nothing more than providing a graphical choice of the customer’s preferences in stones colors and metals. These variables can only be changed on an array of previously designed, stock items. There is no actual customization involved in these web based transactions, despite the manufacturer’s assertions.

Other companies offer fancy, “point of sale” customization software in which the retailer and consumer can tweak the design to their liking. While this looks impressive, the scope of customization is quite limited and basically the choices are constrained to a catalog of pre-designed models. It is an attractive way of taking a picture from a catalog and explaining to the customer how it will look with various stones and possibly a revised shank. These programs, however, are quite expensive, have long learning curves, and limit the overall collective creativity between the retailer and the consumer.

True Custom Jewelry Design starts with a concept, an idea, photo, or even just a wish. With genuine customization, the retailer and client work closely together to express the emotional connection of the design with the recipient. In conjunction with a quality service bureau, the retailer is free to concentrate upon the growing relationship between store and customer rather than overburdening themselves on the design process itself. With true customization, the customer plays a direct role, with the retailer, in ensuring that the ultimate result will represent the culmination of all that they desired in a piece of jewelry. This guarantees the overall satisfaction of the client and leads to all the additional benefits explained in the July newsletter, such as increased customer satisfaction, word of mouth advertising, etc.

Service bureaus, such as Innovative CAD Technologies, are the enablers of the design and manufacturing process that allows the retailer to offer themselves as Custom Design Experts without having to purchase expensive software, go through months and months of training in order to be minimally proficient, and also, have no expenditures on very expensive, high maintenance prototyping and casting equipment. We pride ourselves as purveyors of fine design and of the highest quality models and castings. Our choice of the latest and most advanced prototyping and casting technology reflects our desire to offer the finest results of the CAD/CAM process. But expensive hardware is only part of the story. At Innovative CAD, it is our staff that are rally extraordinary. They are detailed oriented and consistently maintain the machinery to factory standards, accepting nothing less than exceptional results. Where some service bureaus will cut corners in production to save money, at Innovative CAD, we feel strongly that our consistency in ultra fine quality will result in long term, positive relationships with our family of clients.

By treating your service bureau as that part of your team, involved with the processes of 3D design, model making and casting, it will allow you to advertise your “Custom Jewelry Design Center” with great confidence and pride. This will add increased customer interest, greater profits, and high degree of prestige to your business.

Last month, I left off with a statement of a business being “Proactive rather than being Reactive.” Just what did I mean by this? In simple terms, do not to wait until the door swings open at your store and a prospective client walks through. You must go out and actively seek Custom Work within your community. There are many large corporate business that can offer their employees achievement awards, holiday gifts, logo jewelry, etc. There are Fire Departments, EMS stations and Police Departments where custom replicas of personal shields are very popular. There are charitable organizations which need custom pieces as loyalty awards, gifts, contest prizes, etc. These categories of custom jewelry items are practical to create and quite affordable when ordered in quantity production runs. Chances are, however, that these organizations will not walk into your store, so be Proactive and go after them. The time you spend cultivating leads will eventually payoff great dividends as you will not only increase your business in the present, but the quality of your work will also be exposed to many new prospective clients within these various organization and corporate business types.

In next month’s newsletter I will discuss, in greater detail, the win-win situation of working in Custom Jewelry Design and how to get the best results when working with a quality service bureau. The process is quite simple, but a few suggestions can streamline the procedures and make it easier to communicate the client’s preferences.

Also, check out our totally revamped website: We are very proud of the new look and will be periodically updating our site to keep it fresh and informative.

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