Buying jewelry online is not anonymous. I know many of my online clients very well! And there’s often a back and forth just like in a brick and mortar -- there has to be! It is a shared process … there is an investment on both sides that can lead to a longstanding relationship and bond.
I hear people say all the time, “I need to see it. I need to touch it.”
I totally get that, but that doesn’t mean you can’t buy jewelry online!
I got to thinking about it this morning when I sent out a bracelet for a customer. She is someone we know in the studio on a first-name basis. She loves bracelets and has her own bracelet design! We started out with a bracelet ordered in the wrong size … but more than that it was hard to put on by herself even in the right size. I totally agreed when I tried myself. It was difficult to put on! I changed up the design and my buyer graciously tolerated my design “mistake” (she got a little gift for her patience.) And In the meantime, I learned that she has arthritis in her thumb so I added an extra bead to help even more and gave her some pointers including the ole paperclip trick. By the time she received the bracelet with the fixes, it was perfect! She wears it all the time! We’ve made several because we invested the time and … she likes my stuff. But it’s even more than that. Throughout these emails and convos, I learned that she has a couple of little kids and is going for her masters! (More power to her!)
Above - The best bracelet hack ever -- a paperclip allows you to put on even the trickiest bracelets!
The truth is … I often think of my online presence as being in my brick and mortar which I love! I enjoy meeting people and talking about the stones and the process. When I get a ping about an item or a customer inquiry -- I am there! Unless I am sleeping! To me, one of the wonderful things about online shopping is that there is a “live” back and forth -- with photos of stones and ideas -- the customer might as well have been in my studio. It’s just a new way of being in the same room … and you can be in two different countries!
Years ago, like many jewelry designers, I would get a wave of disappointment with a ring to resize or a slight change in the chain length. It felt like lost time and extra work. But not anymore! Ordered the ring in the wrong size … let’s get it right! The point is …. don’t be afraid. If you find a jewelry designer online, and you want to try it out, go for it. Check their reviews of course. I’ve even had people pick up the phone and call me before making a purchase to make sure I’m legit. I get it!
But I can honestly say that I know many of my online customers as well as my local ones. I literally still know my first online customer; Mary from Minnesota. We have never met in person but almost -- if it weren’t for a blizzard. We send Christmas cards. I met her when I was selling on Ebay -- way before Etsy! And if Mary asks me if those earrings are too long … I’ll tell her yes. You’re not going to like those! I don’t know a lot, but I do know that Mary from Minnesota likes a max one-inch drop!
Handmade jewelry is not throw-away jewelry. Just the fact that it has an artists’s stamp placed by hand in the back of the silver makes it special. It carries the artist’s energy as well as the energy of the stone and oftentimes the buyer. It’s worth the investment of time and treasure!
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When I unpacked these bead looms I felt a jolt of excitement like I was 10 years old. Looking at the loom and the beads brought me back to my childhood. Seeing them reminded me of the hope there is in beginning a project