The idea of having a unique piece of fashion or jewelry customized for you is irresistible. When it comes to having jewellery designed, here’s what you need to keep in mind.
There is something special about knowing a piece was created just for you, a piece that’s deeply meaningful and which shares your personal story. And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with buying jewellery off-the-peg, going down the bespoke route can be incredibly rewarding. While in India, creating customs—both for clothing and jewellery—has long been the norm, this guide will help you create the piece of your dreams.
Going fully bespoke isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s one thing to love a designer’s ready collection and make modifications to an existing piece, but going totally bespoke requires imagination, faith, and a whole lot of trust between you and the designer. If you have a hard time envisioning what something is going to look like, you might be better off personalising to a lesser degree—think tweaking metal and gemstone colours, or even simply the proportions of an existing piece.
This is probably one of the most exciting and critical parts of the process because it reveals so much about you and your needs. This step will help you rule out a lot of what isn’t right for you. Are you looking for something more contemporary or traditional? What metal colour do you prefer? Is your style more statement or subtle? Does your lifestyle call for more everyday pieces or are you looking for occasion pieces? Does the designer or brand you work with need to adhere to certain sustainability standards?
Having a ballpark budget on what you’re comfortable spending helps to narrow down the options that are out there. With that being said, if you find a designer you really love, it may be worth considering upping the budget. You’d rather spend more on something you’ll love than spend less on a piece that will end up sitting in your jewelry box.
Look to Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration. So many of us aren’t even aware of all the options that exist. You might even find yourself discovering a designer you could potentially work with. But more importantly, the longer you give yourself to gather images and inspiration the more you’ll see a common thread come through on what you’re drawn to.
Once you’ve drawn conclusions on what you think you may like, it’s time to test those theories. You may have been really drawn to yellow gold, only to find out rose gold suits your skin tone better, or find out that pear-shaped stones suit your hand better than emerald cuts.
You’ll want to choose a designer you trust, so ask family and friends for their recommendations and look for client testimonials on designers you are interested in. But more importantly, choose a designer whose signature style you already love. Ask designers about their design process. Some designers charge design fees in case you decide to go in another direction. For some clients, having a CAD design or a printed wax piece to get a better idea of the final product is a must. The more you know, the more comfortable and confident you’ll be when making your final selection.
Some designers can turn pieces around really quickly, others can take six to ten weeks, and some will take up to six months. Designers set these timelines because they want to provide you with the best quality product they can possibly produce. Hastily choosing a designer based on a timeline could lead to working with someone where the synergy might not necessarily be right. Moral of the story? Haste makes waste and no one wants to end up with buyer’s remorse.
If you’re really sold on the idea of going bespoke, but need some unbiased help to guide you through the process, work with a jewellery consultant. They can take a lot of stress and anxiety out of the process and cut through the noise that exists within the market.
Designers are creatives and they have a plethora of ideas. Being honest helps designers understand what you’re looking for and better cater to your needs. The process is supposed to involve some back and forth, so don’t be afraid to voice your true feelings.
You’ll never know 100 per cent what your final product will look like until it’s actually done. But by this stage, you should be prepared to trust and take a leap of faith. What’s more, your leap shouldn’t feel so much like a leap anymore, but a very confident step in the right direction.