Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What's the big deal about designer jewelry?

Oh, I'm so glad you asked! That was certainly one of the questions rolling around in my mind as I began to hear about Willow House Jewelry by Sara Blaine. Thankfully, Bill Shaw was proactive by answering the question before it even left my lips... or fingertips. And once I saw the jewelry, the distinction became abundantly clear! Here's is Bill's explanation... I hope it is as helpful to you as it was to me:

Designer jewelry is a term used to define jewelry that is more exclusive, unique and original than jewelry that is mass-manufactured and commonly available. With Willow House jewelry there is greater care and expertise taken in the technical execution of the jewelry creation process, resulting in a higher quality piece of jewelry. Jewelers consider designer jewelry as more individualistic, as it is produced on a limited scale, often by hand. Because no two genuine pearls, hand-cut stones or carvings are exactly the same, each piece of Sara Blaine jewelry is unique.

Designer jewelry also represents a line attributed to one particular person, like Sara Blaine, who is the exclusive creator of our designs. To be considered designer jewelry, the collection must embody a signature style. Designer jewelry is by nature recognizable by both its method of creation and its verifiable design pedigree.

Designer jewelry is found in upscale boutiques, traditional retail jewelry stores, and now for the first time in direct sales — from Willow House. By definition, Willow House offers the only designer jewelry in the direct selling industry.

Art jewelry represents a broad spectrum of jewelry design. Art jewelry may be produced from cloth, paper, beads, clay, precious and non-precious metals, wire of varying types or any material that may be suitable for wearable bodily adornment. The jewelry artist uses the materials to make the art jewelry in a unique manner. Art jewelry is often signed by some method, whether it is initials, or a stamp. Art jewelry is produced by the artist who created the design and often only one piece is ever made.

Art jewelry is typically sold directly to the consumer by the artist and is impractical for traditional retail or direct selling.

Costume jewelry is easily identifiable and defined by the use of both inexpensive materials and mass-production techniques. Costume jewelry uses synthetic stones, glass, plastic, silver and gold tones. Most are manufactured with automated stamping and casting techniques rather than expensive skilled artisan hand-carving and cutting. While all jewelry has to be designed by someone, it is either the inferior quality of the materials, the mass-manufacturing techniques — or both — that cause it to be considered “costume” jewelry and not “designer,” despite sophisticated packaging and sometimes artificially high price points. Most silver jewelry that is mass-produced is considered costume even though it is made of higher quality material than other costume jewelry. Each piece of our silver jewelry is carved and crafted by the hands of the finest skilled silversmiths.

Costume jewelry is typically sold in department stores, mass-market discount retailers and through direct selling companies.

I'm anxiously awaiting my sample kit -- until then, you can preview our beautiful, exclusive collection through my Willow House website!

(Note: if you'd like to join my team of design consultants to own your own business selling Willow House Style for Home or Jewelry by Sara Blaine or both, contact me for details!)

© Suzanne Jackson 2011.
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