How to establish yourself as a wedding jewellery designer
The business of weddings has always been big, but gone are the days of off-the-shelf wedding packages. Instead, today’s happy couple want their special day to reflect them. For many, handmade is the way to go and wedding jewellery is the perfect way to make the day personal. What can be better than commissioning handmade wedding rings for you and your partner? Here we give you a heads-up on establishing yourself as the best wedding jewellery designer in town…
Hammered 9ct Yellow Gold Wedding Ring by Helen Burgess
Design wedding jewellery that is true to you
First things first – get your collection right. Buyers will be looking for something unique that’s going to last a lifetime. Think about whether you want to offer a classic collection using traditional materials such as silver and platinum or whether you would like to go for something completely different. But don’t be tempted to try and fit a round peg into a square hole. If you’re a classic kind of a girl, then that’s the way to go. If the thought of a white wedding fills you with dread, go with your instinct and create something wacky for the alternative bride and groom. The best handmade products have a little of the designer in them.
Create winter wedding jewellery and pieces for other seasons
Winter weddings are fast becoming more popular as our British summer becomes less reliable so, although spring and summer might be your busiest months, think about designing an autumn/winter collection as well. Wedding magazines and blogs are great sources of inspiration for the out-of-season wedding and could just help you gain a decent income throughout those typically quiet months. Search ‘handmade wedding’ in Pinterest and you’ll see hundreds of boards created by pinners planning their perfect wedding. Get in on the action by posting your own products, plus commenting and re-pinning others.
Design pieces for the entire wedding party
Don’t forget the rest of the wedding party when designing your collection. Bridal jewellery is the obvious product line, but what about buttonholes, wedding bands or cufflinks for the groom? There’s no doubt the mother-in-law will be looking for something special to wear with her new frock, and wouldn’t it be lovely for the bridesmaids to have matching bracelets? If you’re keen to establish yourself as a top-notch wedding jewellery designer, it’s crucial your collection is comprehensive.
Market your new jewellery collection at wedding fairs
Once you’ve got your collection, and listed your work online, you’re ready to promote. There are some great wedding fairs around the country that are well worth considering if you want to get yourself seen by the right audience and meet brides-to-be in person. There’s not a city in the UK that doesn’t have its own event: get yourself online and search www.allweddingfayres.co.uk for one near you. Wedding blogs are also a great way to get your collection seen. Say hello, send them killer shots of your collection, suggest a feature idea, a special offer for their readers or a giveaway for a lucky couple.
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Karen Johnson is an experienced jewellery designer, who has sold collections to Paul Smith as well as supplying Liberty for over 10 years. Here she shares her tips for becoming a successful wedding jewellery designer
✓ Communication is vital: listen to the customer not just about the actual jewellery, but about them, so you get a strong sense of who they are and what they like.
✓ Find a way of illustrating your designs clearly, through drawing or CAD. The customer needs to be 100% confident of what the piece is going to look like.
✓ Websites are essential, even better if you can sell from them, because people can buy from you all over the world.
✓ Don’t be afraid to outsource tasks to others. A skilled setter or model maker is a very useful person to know. But make sure to keep improving your own skills as a jeweller too; there is always more to learn.