A friend of mine, David Geller, is a consultant to the jewelry trade. Here is an excerpt from a letter than he sent out this morning that I think is very appropriate to share with you.
Why? Because it reflects the thinking of so many in my trade and David points out where it conflicts with your wishes as consumers.Why you shouldn't hate Custom Work
There is a website for bench/crafts people that I participate in every week. (neme removed)
Every day their blog has 30-50 posts from members from how to make jewelry, find or make tools and complaints like every other jeweler will do when sitting down with another jewelers friend.
Recently there was a heavy discussion about “I Hate Custom Work”. I thought you might be interested in the post I made there today.
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After reading many of the responses I’ve seen a common theme here. The people who dislike custom have 3 main reasons why they don’t like doing custom work. They may have a single reason why they hate it and some (they may not know it) have more than one.
COMMON THEMES WHY YOU HATE CUSTOM:
1. You don’t have the skills to do custom.
2. You don’t have the patience or selling skills to take in custom work.
3. You under price it and there fore once you know in your mind “OMG! From this minute on I’m now losing money or working for free or working for a really small per hour wage” you then think, "I hate this”.
The only things you can do to alleviate this is:
a. Take classes and learn the areas of custom you need complete your skill set.
b. Hire others who have skills you don’t (I did this as I’m not a good wax carver).
c. Job out the work to others who can do the things you can’t do. There is absolutely no reason to want to say “Oh, we don’t send anything out, it’s all done in house.” That’s silly. The customer has said “I want what I want”. So your job is “Get’r done”.
David goes on to say a lot more that is not relevant to my thoughts here.
As many of you know, my skills are in my head. I rely on other's hands to do the work. That could be why I think David is so brilliant in his suggestion that we hire others to do what we do not like to do, or that we do not do well.
If you are working with a jeweler to have something special done, you may want to have a talk with him/her to determine what their feelings are about custom work. If you find you are working with a jeweler who has the mindset of, "I hate custom work!
" then perhaps you should keep looking.