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About Me

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Reisterstown, MD, United States
A practicing attorney who is trying to find the time to develop a small business designing, making and selling handmade jewelry.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Balancing Quality and Cost

This is my dilema...I want to be known for making beautiful, heirloom quality jewelry.   I want people to be excited by buying or receiving a Jill's Jewelry piece.  I want them (the jewelry, that is) to be one of a kind classic pieces that can be worn with pride year after year and passed down from mother to daughter. I know that sounds a bit arrogant but I don't intend it that way.  It probably isn't reality yet but it is my goal.  That means in addition to the exacting workmanship involved, I have to start with the highest quality materials, sterling or argentium silver, gold fill or 14 or 24 kt. gold and beautiful, well cut stones.  Of course, that drives up the prices of my pieces.

I do want to be able to sell the jewelry I make.  So, here is the dilema...high quality materials may drive the cost of my jewelry beyond the reach of many people.  I don't like that at all.  Not only does it cause my sales to be limited to those who can afford expensive jewelry,  most of the promotional activities on the websites I use to sell my jewelry are designed to be effective for lower priced products and can't be effectively used with my price point.  In addition, it just leaves way too many people out there who are not wearing Jill's Jewelry creations.

I've considered making a line of less expensive jewelry.  I would still use the same exacting standards of workmanship but would use less expensive materials like silver and gold plate and vermeil instead of what I'm currently using.  However, if I do that, should I create another brand or should I sell under Jill's Jewelry?  I've been struggling with this for some time now.  Every time I look at the current price of silver and gold, I rethink this issue.  Frankly, I've been hesitant to do this because it means that I'll have to purchase an entire new inventory of components, wire and other things.  Then, I'll have to figure out a storage system that keeps the components separate from my other materials.  I have enough trouble keeping my "stuff" organized now.  You would not believe the mess that is my work bench.  Perhaps I'll post a picture one day.  Hmmm, we'll see.

So, now I'm reaching out to you to tell me what you think, should I continue to use only high quality materials?  Should I continue to use high quality materials and also develop another lower cost line?  Finally, should I sell my lower cost items under the Jill's Jewelry brand or should I develop another brand for those pieces?

Leave me a comment and tell me what you think about all this.

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