Some of the most perfect, personalized and special pieces of jewelry can’t be bought directly from the case. They’re created especially for you, giving you the opportunity to choose every aspect of the piece – from the design to the setting to the stones. Others are reworked or reimagined from pieces you already had – whether you’re looking to blow new life into something old or create something completely new out of something sentimental.
Whatever it is, you need a team that is committed to making your vision a reality. Here are a few things you need to know to get started.
Think up your design
We operate on the premise that if you can dream it, we can create it. If you have a vision, you’ll come in and meet with a sales associate to help develop that idea and create a plan.
We always encourage people to have at least an idea in place before coming into the store for your first appointment. If you have the entire design in your head ready to go, that’s great, but we don’t expect everyone to be a professional jewelry designer.
If you’re looking for guidance, take some time before your appointment to search online – Instagram and Pinterest are always great places to find ideas. Create a photo gallery for inspiration. If you’re looking to remake a vintage pendant, search “vintage pendant” on Pinterest. If you want to add diamonds to a ring, search “3 Stone Diamond Ring” to see what comes up. That will give you a better idea of what you like – and what you want to avoid.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. All we need is a commitment and an idea of what you want to create. The final details and fine-tuning can be done along the way.
Leave yourself time
Custom pieces take time to make, so if you’re creating something for a birthday or anniversary, make sure to start the process well in advance.
Once the design is in place, we typically turn projects around within 8 – 10 weeks. If you come in with a concrete design in hand, plan on picking it up within that time frame. But if you want more guidance, you may want to start earlier.
When you’re creating the design alongside the sales associate – as opposed to bringing a design in – you need to budget time for planning and ideas as well as any edits for design mockups that come up. All in, that can be anywhere from 12 weeks to 5 months.
Just as it’s important to have at least a direction to start with when designing a piece, it’s also vital that you be flexible in the process. While we do the best we can to create the piece exactly as you want it, there can be logistical issues that we have to work around.
For example, there are times when people come in wanting to add to a band of diamonds, but when we take a look, we may find that the band can’t hold new settings. Or sometimes the metal of an old piece just isn’t strong enough to keep as we redesign. We prize quality above all else, so we aren’t afraid to say no to an idea if that means we can’t produce the quality we need to do it – although we’ll do everything in our power to avoid that.
Whenever an obstacle comes up, we’re creative in finding ways to still achieve the look you’re going for in a way that doesn’t jeopardize the structure and integrity of your piece.
Be sure before heading into design
Make sure you’re absolutely in love with your plans before heading to design. Every detail entered into the design program is extremely precise – from measuring each individual stone to calculating the weight of the settings. Each design takes 3 – 4 hours to create.
Once we enter the details into our system, changes aren’t as easy as clicking a few buttons on the program. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re happy with every detail discussed with your sales associate before moving forward.
Trust us, we want it to be perfect too!