Do you like to wear unique jewelry? Do you appreciate handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces created by skilled artisans? You are not alone—the market for custom jewelry has grown exponentially in recent years, thanks to artists showcasing their handicrafts on social media and e-commerce websites.
Global jewelry brands have a proven track record that speaks to the caliber of their work. When you buy generic jewelry from a brand, you don’t have the satisfaction of wearing an original piece of jewelry, crafted to your exact taste. The key to finding the right Orange County custom jewelry designer is to know what questions to ask.
Follow the information in this guide, and you are sure to find the jewelry designer that best suits your taste, personality, and budget.
What Is Custom Jewelry?
A custom jewelry designer creates original jewelry pieces that cater to the client’s wishes. The designer usually hand-carves, cuts, and solders every component of the piece for a bespoke, one-of-a-kind piece. Since custom jewelry design does not involve production machinery, every piece of jewelry is slightly different, and the designer takes great care to correct any flaws or imperfections.
A skilled Orange County custom jewelry designer may offer custom services for a piece of jewelry, such as engraving options, multiple chain styles, and sizes for a pendant, or interchanging gemstones. Some jewelry artisans accept commissioned work, in which they design and create a custom piece based on the specifications of the buyer. Bespoke or custom-made jewelry gives the wearer a unique vehicle for self-expression.
The Benefits of Buying Custom Jewelry
Custom jewelry captures a handmade aesthetic that machine-fabricated goods cannot replicate. Custom jewelry is unique, exclusive, and tells a story.
When you buy from a custom jewelry designer, you support an artist or group of artists who care deeply about their craft, and you are supporting a local business instead of a corporation.
Custom jewelry designers work on a smaller scale than large companies. They have total autonomy in selecting their materials, including gemstones and precious metals. Since they don’t rely on mass production machinery, handmade jewelry is a more environmentally friendly enterprise.
How to Find a Reputable Custom Jewelry Designer
You can find custom jewelry designers online and in your community.
Finding a Designer Online
A reputable Orange County custom jewelry designer will post positive customer reviews on their website or social media page. Are they trustworthy? Are they quick to respond to and interact with customers? Do the customers share online photos of their custom jewelry? If you are impressed with the designer’s online reviews, scroll through their website to see their past and current inventory.
Other Ways to Find a Custom Jewelry Designer
If you prefer to meet face-to-face with a designer, look for art festivals, craft shows, and pop-up shops in your area. You will have the opportunity to meet and chat with jewelry artists in multiple disciplines and see their work. Meeting an artist face-to-face helps you to assess if your personalities are a good match for collaboration.
Another benefit of attending a jeweler’s craft show is the opportunity to touch the jewelry. Many jewelers keep their work behind glass display cases. Most designers are happy to let a prospective buyer try on or hold one of their pieces. Look closely at the craftsmanship of each piece.
If the jewelry pieces include gemstones, look closely at the settings. Are they clean and secure? If you are looking at a necklace or bracelet, be sure to check the clasp. Are the components set symmetrically and securely? Every piece of jewelry that the designer creates should look professional and show the care the artist puts into their work. The same goes for packaging and the display itself.
Feel free to ask the artist about their process: do they make each piece themselves, or do they work with a team? Do they cast the jewelry, or do they hand-fabricate each piece? Most artists relish the opportunity to discuss their process and what inspires them.
Check the Designer’s Credentials
In addition to reviews and reputation, check the designer’s background, education, and certification to find out their level of expertise and experience.
An established Orange County custom jewelry designer has professional accreditations and affiliations that verify their experience and expertise. The designer’s education and certifications are usually readily available on the website, as well as their professional affiliations and jewelry trade associations.
Build a Relationship with a Jewelry Designer
Choosing a custom jewelry designer to meet your needs and vision is a personal decision. While you do not have to meet the designer in person, a face-to-face meeting is the best way to get a sense of their style, process, and values.
Customer satisfaction is the cornerstone of any small business; a reputable jeweler will go the extra mile to exceed your expectations in every aspect of the process, providing top-quality workmanship and outstanding customer service.
Ask About Their Exchange and Repair Policy
Imagine you buy an exquisite engagement ring from a custom jewelry designer. The finished product looks great when you pick it up from the studio, but when you get home, you find that the gemstone has come loose. What is the jeweler’s exchange policy? Will the jeweler repair the loose gemstone free of charge?
Repair and exchange policies are significant if you purchase custom jewelry online. You may receive the wrong size, or your piece could arrive damaged. Most reputable custom jewelers offer complimentary repairs and exchanges within a set timeframe. Ask them what their policies are or check their website for this vital information.
Create Custom Jewelry Pieces
If you are looking for an established, trustworthy Orange County custom jewelry designer, look no further than Mimi’s. At Mimi’s Jewelry, we strive to exceed your expectations, offering beautiful, well-made custom jewelry pieces at exceptional pricing.
Call us at (714) 964-7851 or fill out the online form to let us know how we can assist with your next jewelry purchase.