Artistic Integrity

Forum: Jewelry Making

How far are you willing to go to make a sale? I’m sure all of us get asked a lot to customize pieces. Have you ever had someone ask you to take apart a piece you already made and redesign it? Then ask you to change it again? Do you ever feel like you’re compromising your integrity as a designer just to make a sale when people keep asking you to change stuff? I’m dealing with a picky customer who keeps changing her mind, and my first thought was ‘if you don’t like what I have for sale, why not go find someone that makes what you’re looking for’. We put so much of ourselves into our creations…at what point do you become more of a salesperson than a designer, or vice versa? Just curious if anyone else here wrestles with this…

Tags: custom order difficult customers


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4 Replies

Terrie ...

For my own personal wear, I make what I want, of course. For a customer, I would be willing to make a custom design, even if it was not my taste. But the bigger question lies herein: are you incorporating all these multiple changes into your overall cost? These changes take time, to re-do and tear out, and so forth. Are you losing money, in the long run, by trying to accommodate someone who you will never make happy?
I remember, specifically, that Becca Ross had a situation very much the same. She might have some real insight into this situation. If I remember, it was not a pretty outcome.

Cheryl Lojewski ...

I have to say I’ve never had that happen. I would be willing to change clasps, but not the whole piece. At that point, I would tell them I can try to get new supplies and make a new one the way they wanted it, but the cost may change. My guess is they will never be happy. I find it hard to give a firm price without knowing what the beads will cost at the time. And then like Terrie said, every time you make a change, tear out, re-do…that eats into your cost. I wish you luck with your customer!

Cindy A. ...

Thanks ladies. I was just curious if anyone else gets frustrated when someone wants to change your stuff. I don’t mind doing commissioned/custom pieces, but it’s having something I already made get picked apart, it’s like what I made wasn’t good enough, you know what I mean?

Becca Ross ...

I have actually used that line on someone. I do try and be accommodating, but nowadays I will only change it a little bit. I once remade a bracelet 3 times to try and satisfy a customer. Never again. This is totally why I have a non-refundable clause in my custom orders. 1/4 of the total is non-refundable for those times when people decide they don’t like the finished product, so I still get paid for my time and effort. It’s 100% on completely custom things that I couldn’t resell if they decided they didn’t want it.