Everyone`s tastes are different

July 21st 2011

It would be a very boring world if we all liked the same things. Designing a custom piece of jewellery is all about ensuring that I know my customers tastes and that the piece of jewellery I am making for them is exactly what they want.

I offer suggestions and advice along the way but it has nothing to do with my own personal taste in jewellery, it is all about theirs. The design can be simple or complicated, modern or old, heavy or light..... just so long as the customer loves it.

What can happen when the jeweller does not listen

The ring she disliked but loved

The ring she disliked but loved

A new customer recently told me of several rings she had remade into a single one by another jeweller quite a few years ago. These rings had great sentimental value to her and she very much looked forward to wearing her new ring. After an initial consultation with the jeweller to discuss what she had in mind she thought she would next hear from him with some options.

However the next time she heard from that jeweller he informed her that the ring was finished. She hated the design of that ring from first sight but because of the great sentimental value of the rings it was made from she has been wearing it for years.

The jeweller may have been a wonderful tradesman but the system he used for creating that design was flawed. It resulted in an unhappy customer.

Digital design - the start of my process

As I said at the start of this post, to be able to create a custom piece of jewellery that my customer will love I have to know their tastes in jewellery. During the design process dislikes are as helpful as likes in achieving this. It is very rare for a customer to come to me knowing exactly what they want or for me to create that perfect design on a first attempt.

Digital mockup of her design.

Digital mockup of her design.

So now this ring of great sentimental value has been brought to me to be remade into something she actually likes to look at. We started the design process by going through photos of ring designs, noting features that she likes and dislikes. My customer was also then able to do sketch of a design she had in mind. Taking into account the gold and diamonds from the existing ring we had to use I could now take the comments and sketch of my customer to start creating the design.

Frustrated customer for the wrong reason

During this process I noticed my customer becoming agitated and I asked her what was wrong. She informed me that she was frustrated that she could not decide on the new design quicker and was unable to better communicate what she had in mind.

After reassuring her that this was normal we continued and after six  (yes Cookie you still have the record for drafts and Oscar you were no where near the record :)  versions of the original graphic she decided on this design.

Knowing what you want when you see it

Seeing the digital version of the design before it is made allows my customers to know clearly what they are having made and for me to know exactly what I need to produce. It is more important than the actual making of the piece of jewellery.

It does not matter how well you make a piece of jewellery if it is not what the customer wants and expects. And with that in mind I would like to share with you a comment this customer emailed me once she had decided on the design:

"I know this isn't what I said I wanted in the first place but then what would I know!"

It does not matter what other people like

The finished ring

The finished ring

From here things moved very quickly and less than a week later she had her new ring and she was thrilled.

This ring design reminds me of one I made years ago for my late Mother that she loved and my sister now wears. What you or I think of this rings design matters not one iota, it is all about the fact that the customer loves it :)