To begin with, I'm not here to tell you there's no place for cheap and cheerful mass produced accessories in my life! I love the quick fashion fix I get from a pair of colour pop, perspex earrings, hot off the factory conveyor belt, and every season you'll see me grab a few budget pieces that work their magic for a few weeks before the stringing sags, they loose their sheen, and the 'silver' starts to acquire an unhealthy greenish tinge!
But when I make a more considered buy, I want that accessory to last, not to have the zip break and the stitching come undone within the first year (as disappointingly happened when I recently bought a pricey, established brand handbag).
When you buy an expensive item from a recognised designer name, you'd be forgiven for thinking that that big ticket price means better quality, or a more exclusive item. However, most of your spend isn't going on the quality of the materials, or the time it's taken to make that piece, it's being spent on gorgeous advertising campaigns, on large scale distribution, shareholders dividends, and the branding itself. Heidy Rehman, founder of fashion house Rose and Willard, claims that most of what we pay for for when we buy designer 'in reality is advertising, i.e. A-list celebrities in multi-million dollar promotion campaigns.'
Not so when you buy a handcrafted accessory from me.
Whilst my accessories don't fall into the budget price range, they don't come anywhere near the big ticket prices you'll pay for a Dolce & Gabbana couture piece. Equally, they're a good few strides away from the silver painted plastic pieces you can grab from Claire's. But when you buy an accessory from me your money is very much being spent on the quality of the materials I use to create your delicious piece of wonderment. It's being spent on the unique cut of the Swarovski crystals I use in my work; on the time I take to sketch out designs that at the very most I'll handcraft 20 of in a year, not churn out 20,000. Your money goes on paying me to personally quality check each and every seed bead and sequin that I hand stitch onto your accessory, because when it's just me making something for you I invest pride into what I'm creating, and I want you to be as excited about the finished product as I am, not let down because I've used a scratched pearl, or not secured the diamante trim properly.
And your handcrafted accessory will last, and it will last, and last, because it's finished properly, by hand, and if you care for it, you'll be able to wear it over and over again, and it's going to look as good on the 31st wear as it did on the first.
Then there's the personalised element of a handcrafted accessory bought from me. Don't like the length of the arms of that brand name top? Not keen on the buckle on those designer boots? Just go and ask the shop assistant to get in contact with Karen Millen and Jimmy Choo to see if they can get back to you with some adaptations....When you commission me to design a piece for you, even if you've chosen one of the core designs from the shop we can still discuss and agree on changes you'd like made to your accessory.
So while there should always be a place in your jewellery box for those four-week-wonder-budget-accessories, if you're going to splash out, spend your money wisely and invest in the quality, craftsmanship, and unique design that handcrafted items offer you, rather than on paying Kendall Jenner to look fabulous in that glossy Vogue ad!
Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your next handcrafted accessory buy.