I love designing custom pieces, because it’s usually exciting and gratifying for both me and my client. Often, the process leads to a new friendship, a new design that I can add to my collection, or both!
The process starts when someone contacts me about a custom design. It can be a piece of jewelry for a special occasion or something to wear every day. Sometimes I create custom designs using materials that a client already owns—like beads that belonged to a beloved relative. If the customer lives nearby, she usually meets me at my home studio to discuss possibilities and start designing. If not, we work together via e-mail and/or phone, exchanging detailed messages and photographs. If the finished piece isn’t exactly what the customer wants, I work on it until she’s completely satisfied. I’m proud to say my clients are usually pretty happy!
Some of my favorite custom designs have resulted from collaborations with my friends Sara and Florence. You might remember them from our street style photo shoot or my spring 2013 lookbook, for which Sara modeled. I met the sisters at Periwinkle, a boutique that has sold my jewelry for many years and where they both used to work. Since then, we’ve become close friends and partners in jewelry crime! In the photos, you can see the jewelry Florence and I designed for her wedding and rehearsal dinner, as well as this turquoise, mother of pearl, and orange cubic zirconia necklace that Sara and I created for her honeymoon in Hawaii. The latter piece is now a staple in my collection. (Side note: Sara now has a beautiful 11-month-old, and Florence recently gave birth to a baby girl!)
Another favorite custom piece came about when my customer-slash-friend Cynthia needed a pair of earrings to go with a necklace she’d purchased from me. She wanted something understated that would complement but not overwhelm the necklace. The solution was these simple chain earrings. They’ve since become one of my most popular items!
Whether you want something basic to wear every day or a smashingly unique piece for a special event, consider collaborating on a custom design. It’s always so much fun. and you might end up with not only a new piece of jewelry but also a new BF!