I thought I would outline the reasons to buy from independent British designers, from jewellery to shoes. In Britain we are renowned worldwide for our design talent so keep nurturing it. I am proud that everything I design and make is made in Britain.
1. When you are buying handmade jewellery or gifts you know who made it, where they made it and that they put their heart and soul into it.
2. You can customise your jewellery by asking the designer to include something special and unique to you; be it birthstones, or engraving, or even to include a handwritten note for the recipient. A totally bespoke piece. This is because you can talk directly to the designer and ask what they can do, making it an amazing gift.
3. Each piece is unique. It might not be a one-off, but there will be slight differences due to the handmade nature – no maker creates two pieces that are exactly identical, You are the only person with that specific piece of jewellery, which is something pretty special
4. You are supporting someone who loves what they do, it’s tough doing it on your own so help show them they are doing a great job, they are making something with love just for you, and they care about you and making you happy. Don’t forget to write a testimonial to show other customers what a great maker they are!
5. The makers’ process is something you can see from start to finish, be it initial sketches and inspiration, to mock up designs. Each piece tells a story and holds a message. A little piece of me goes into each and every piece of my jewellery. Time has been taken to ensure each item is perfect.
6. You can trace exactly where the product came from if you have any problems you can get in direct contact.
7. The customer service is usually second to none, as each small business wants you to come back again and wants to prove how great their products are. Quality Makers are extremely proud of their work. They aren’t going to let an inferior item quality leave their studio with their name on it.
8. It may not always be cheaper but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth every penny. The quality is almost always higher, the finish better and the design more superior. You may be able to get knock offs but they are never the same.
9. Often you can get a better deal by buying direct. Retails have such large margins they charge more for the same products, and you also know you are not lining the pocket of some huge fat cat! This is why I now only sell directly to my customers.
10. Jewellery Makers are often dedicated to sustainable and ethically sourced materials; they know where the materials come from! They also are usually only employing themselves, and a couple of others – so no bad work ethics either, (apart from working late most nights!