Friday, November 22, 2013

So...why's it so expensive

This weekend, I have a rare Saturday off.  I don't have a show and it feels kinda nice. =)  I'll be sad when my bank account looks the same on Sunday, as it does today, but I could use some forced rest and frankly, God closed all the doors for shows this weekend - so I'm gonna enjoy it.

Something that's been on my mind, as of late, has been.....pricing.  Some folks look at my pieces and say "WOW! SO cheap!" others say "Yeah, not THAT cute" so I wanted to take a little time and explain "Why so much".

First, some education - when I started making jewelry - one thing I had to learn was the language.  Much like other hobbies, be it a sport or craft, you need to learn the words to make yourself, at least, SOUND like you know what you're talking about.  More importantly, when you don't MAKE something - you don't really care about what's inside - you just see that it's "hot" or it's "not". 

One of the largest reasons my jewelry is priced where it is (and I believe it's priced very competitively AND fairly - I do need to eat, buy medicine and of course, new beads) is because of the materials that I choose to use.  One of the most expensive things being wire.  Now, you may be thinking "Wait...hold up!  I don't have WIRE in my necklace - it's all beaded and pretty...ain't no wire here!" - well - actually - look between the beads...what's holding them in place?  It may be wire, or thread or some other fiber.  If you've purchased from http://CherryOnTopDesign.Co - nearly all of my pieces have wire somewhere in them...either strung on wire or held together by wire.  That wire is VERY important - without it - you have no necklace!

As with many pieces and parts, there are different "grades" of wire...good, better, best.  Personally, I choose to use the "best" wire because not only does it create a stronger piece, but it ensures that one day it's pretty unlikely that  your beads will fall off your neck and fall to the floor like little ping pong balls flittering in every direction known to man.  I like "best" wire because as a consumer, I want to know that YOU (designer or in this case, I) have thought of me (or this case - you the customer) and thought highly enough of me to "use the very best".  The truth is - in every single piece of jewelry I make...I try to think of YOU, what is easy (magnetic clasps on bracelets, toggle clasps on necklaces, ear nuts on earrings)  and what drives me insane as a consumer.  I guess I'm trying to fix the wrongs, as I see it, in the jewelry industry (one piece at a time!).  Er something like that.

SO - next time you're at a craft show and see a piece of jewelry for $5, ask them about their materials...why they chose it...why they choose not to use higher grade materials and let me know what they say. 

Don't get me wrong - $5 jewelry can be good...and trust me....I bought it for YEARS!  I can only imagine how much money I spent on jewelry before making it myself...but remember this...

Life is too short to wear crappy jewelry. =)


  1. I'm just getting into beading and jewelry making but used to work in the 'fashion jewelry' section of a large dept store. I looked at your website - for handmade, OAK jewelry, I think your prices are very reasonable. I've also had a business and heard the same things. I had to keep telling myself I was in business to make a profit, even if a small one, and not to give things away. More people need to realize this. Great post!

  2. I am hoping that more folks realize the value of hand made, where folks do use quality components and create pieces that you can keep for years. I also hope that many more jewelry makers will begin to value what they create and pay themselves for making them as well. I look at the prices of jewelry and always ask myself two questions. First is what are the components made of, and if they are quality, then when I see a low price; I either think that the artist is not paying themselves for time spent or there is some underlying cost cutting that I cannot see. Either way artists need to present the value of their work and the way to do that sometimes, is in pricing.
    I loved your post, it really resonated....
    Sharon Orella