The Primary Reasons To Shop Handmade Jewelry
Handmade jewelry is a luxury that is always in high demand. Free from the constraints of large supply chains or corporate hierarchies, small jewelry designers and independent craftsmen have more flexibility to be creative with their work.
The result is often unique jewelry that you won’t see on your weekend trip to the mall.
So, what are the benefits of buying handmade jewelry vs mass produced jewelry? There are probably dozens, but we will be focusing on the 5 biggest ones.
1. Mass Produced Jewelry Has Too Many Question Marks
Big jewelers have large websites with thousands of items in inventory.
This is awesome when you don’t have a specific piece of jewelry in mind, but what does that mean for quality? Is it a good thing that there are 5,000 leather and gemstone bracelets in stock? Probably not.
Oftentimes with machine made jewelry, many of the finer details are unknown.
Who is the jewelry artist? Do you even know where the gemstones are sourced from? If so, can you verify that they were ethically sourced?
If you find a piece of jewelry for a price that is almost too good to be true, chances are it is. In most cases the stones and other materials are sourced from either India or China by low paid employees in harsh working conditions.
That might feel good for your wallet, but how about your conscience?
2. Direct Access to the Actual Jewelry Designer
We’ve all been in a situation where we talked to a customer service agent who had little to no knowledge of their company and was incredibly unhelpful.
These occurrences are common when you order jewelry through a big company and then need to make a return or size adjustment.
Long hold times, bad information, and an unhelpful attitude. Not the kind of experience shoppers cherish.
Contrast that to when you buy from an independent jewelry designer who makes their jewelry by hand.
Getting in contact with the designer is much more simple than a big business.
You’ll typically receive their personal cell phone number or email address upon purchase, meaning you go straight to the source whenever you have questions or custom orders.
Handmade jewelry websites are also typically a lot smaller and easier to navigate than their big league counterparts.
Overall, the entire jewelry shopping process is much more intimate and streamlined. Not only will you get a beautiful piece of handmade jewelry, but you’ll also build connections with the local artist scene in your city.
3. The Quality of Product is Much Higher
Is handmade jewelry more expense? In some cases yes, but you get what you pay for.
If an independent jewelry designer is ethically sourcing all her materials, they are going to cost more. In addition you are paying for that jewelry makers individual time and energy they spent carefully crafting each jewelry piece.
In addition, handmade jewelry designs are usually much more intricate. This ties back to what we talked about earlier; small businesses have much more room to be creative in their products because they don’t have to appeal to the entire jewelry market.
Which brings us to the next point…
4. Handmade Jewelry is Unique
When large jewelry retailers release a new product, they want those jewelry pieces to have as broad an appeal as possible. They also need to make sure those jewelry pieces are consistent when customers receive them, hence the involvement of machine production.
Why? Because they are entrenched in dozens of international markets over the world.
Compare that to a local Houston handmade jewelry designer who’s primary focus is her surrounding neighborhood and city. She has to make everything by hand and most pieces are a result of individual moments of inspiration or experimentation.
Even if an artist makes 10 versions of a ruby leather wrap bracelet, each of those 10 will have something unique about that.
The leather might be cut slightly different.
The pavé diamond beads may have an extra indent or two.
The shape of the gemstone will be unique.
That is part of the beauty of shopping for handmade jewelry. No two pieces are ever the same.
You’ll leave with a piece of jewelry that is just as unique as you are.
5. You Are Helping a Local Business, Not a Corporation
This may seem incredibly obvious, but the important cannot be understated. The “shop local” trend has increased during recent years and this has greatly impacted the lives of small business owners for the better.
It is important for us as consumers to realize that spending a little extra money to buy local products goes a long way towards stimulating the local economy and entrepreneurial scene.
A local jewelry designer might make $100,000 if they are crushing it.
In 2018, the jewelry industry spent almost $800 MILLION dollars in advertising, with that number expected to reach $1 billion by 2025.
Small businesses in your city, regardless of their success, simply can’t keep up.
That’s why it falls on the shoulders of us, the community, to support these businesses so they can continue to thrive and create beautiful works of art that we all enjoy.
Buying handmade jewelry has never been more important than it is today. As the Coronavirus continues to decimate the US Economy, hundreds of small jewelry designers are going out of business.
Unable to withstand the financial shock of a recession, these business owners need your help now more than ever.
Shopping at The Galleria might be slightly cheaper or even more convenient, but you will have tenfold the impact on your local community by supporting independent jewelry makers and designers.
Please consider supporting small businesses and shopping local today.
Bourne Jewelry is a woman-owned independent jewelry studio in the Houston Arts District. I design my jewelry with the goal of empowering the women who wear it, helping them feel their true potential and to fashion their own set of rules for life.
If you enjoyed this piece on handmade jewelry, please consider sharing on social media or checking out my shop here.