Jewelry With a Personal Touch

Design Idea A141 Bracelet

by Barbara van Look, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

In this mass-produced world, personalized detailing has grown into a large influence on jewelry design. The original personalization--the monogram--is still going strong. In addition, customers are discovering new ways to customize and personalize their style utilizing jewelry and other accessories such as belts, shoes, purses and more.

Name pendants are increasingly popular as well, especially as spellings are growing more unique. While you might find "Alice" on a pendant at the corner store, finding the Welsh version "Alys" can be more difficult. Customers with unusually spelled names will be thrilled to discover they, too, can join in the personalization trend!

Influenced by the Internet
The online world offers consumers a chance to create a new identity, with new names and new interests. They frequently want to bring that new identity forward and use it in the non-digital world, letting others know who they are online and what ideas, topics and people they're interested in there.

To that end, jewelry showing Twitter hashtags or account names is growing in popularity. Jewelry makers are recreating them in metal, leather and other materials, using a variety of techniques. Some designers form names in a cursive script using wire, while others are creating names on metal or leather bands using stamping tools.

Personalized for the Family
Birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones are also being marked using personalized jewelry. Mother's rings are one of the earliest examples--with a birthstone for each child--and charm bracelets with each child's name aren't far behind. The personalization of gifts for mom and dad have only grown.

Have you considered creating necklaces for mom with a pendant for each child--each pendant with a child's name or initials and birthstone? Designers are creating the birthstone pendants and letting the family request the initials be added on-the-spot. How about a tie tac or tie bar for dad, with everyone's birthstones? Designers are offering the component frames, then filling them with Apoxie® Sculpt, setting with birthstones or Crystal Passions crystal chatons in the proper colors and letting it air-cure. Voila!
Stamping Tools

A Sense of Place
Location jewelry--designs that indicate a place--let consumers express pride in where they're from, where they're going and where they are now. Pendants, earrings, finger rings, belt buckles: they're all palettes for personalization that jewelry makers can take advantage of.

Designers are showing pride of place using a range of techniques: zip codes, state names or outlines, GPS coordinates, area codes and national and state flags. They're showing up as interchangeable charms, large pendants, stampable drops, wireworked names and a lot more.

Quotable Quotes
Inspirational quotes, Biblical verses, song lyrics and poetry--even shared jokes--offer customers more ways to create a personalized style that also has deep meaning.

These designs can be created for individuals, for couples, for families or for groups of friends. A couple may want a verse of a reading from their wedding on customized rings. A pair of friends may exchange pendants with the punch line to a joke only the two of them understand. Parents can request bracelets for each child as they head off to college, with an inspirational quote.
Blank Metal Embellishments

What's More Individual?
Even identical twins don't have the same fingerprints or signatures. What else could be more personal and individual? Jewelry designers are using the variety of materials now available to help their customers create with these ultimate personalizations.

Customers are commissioning metal clay pieces with their own fingerprints, their children's or spouse's fingerprints--even the dog's prints--impressed in them. Children's and pet's prints are also showing up in polymer clay pieces and ink-stamped on paper or porcelain and sealed under glass cabochons, mica sheet or layers of clear sealants.

In a world filled with mass-produced jewelry and accessories, customization becomes more important. Consumers are willing to pay in order to express their uniqueness to the world around them. The savvy jewelry maker will offer clients an opportunity to say who they are in their own way and their own words.

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