So why can be handmade, artisan jewelry be more expensive than buying a ready made piece from larger jewelry shops?
Firstly the larger jewelry shops buy in bulk so they save money. Many of them outsource the production overseas so they don’t pay high wages. The pieces are often cast in molds in high quantities (mass produced), so each piece will be exactly the same, with no individual character and therefore is cheaper to produce. The larger jewelry shops will have lots of the same piece in stock but the handmade, artisan jeweler will handcraft that piece for you one at a time with individual care and attention to the fine details.
When you buy from a handmade jewelry artisan, you will get a completely unique piece of jewelry handcrafted by the artisan, (in this case just little ole me!). It will not be exactly the same as the other pieces that are in the shop, if multiples of that piece are available. Each piece is completely unique because it is handcrafted with care, love & intention. Handmade jewelry artisans source specific materials and stones for their pieces, which takes much more time to do before even making the intended pieces and pay a higher price for materials as they are not bought in bulk.
What people forget is that designers, artists and makers are skilled professionals and they should be paid like a conventional, professional employee. You yourself, will be in a specific profession and you get an annual salary or you pay yourself a good hourly rate of pay.
When it comes to the creative, artisan sector, some people don’t value the beauty, individuality and craftsmanship of handmade products. The word handmade falls into different mindsets, from hobbyist fairs where people just do it for fun in their spare time, to the professionally trained creatives who run a specialist practice and are trying to earn a living.
Most artisans struggle to run their practices full time and need to mix it with working part time. We never tend to pay ourselves a proper salary or reasonable rate of pay. So when someone questions our pricing or says that a piece is really expensive, the creative person has barely paid themselves a minimum wage to make that piece, and that can be very frustrating and disheartening to say the least.
So remember, artisans of all types are professional, skilled workers and deserve to be paid for their time.
I hope this blog makes you re-think the cost of handcrafted products and helps you to understand why handmade can be more expensive than buying from larger jewelry shops.
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