DESIGNER SAMPLE SALE? Are They Legit Or A New Way to Sell "Dogs"? Posted on 9 Dec 14:06 , 46 comments

Is this just a "come on" to get me into a jewelry store during the most important gift giving and shopping season?  Absolutely, but its also a legit process for a jewelry designer.  I'm a different animal from a traditional jewelry store trying to sell off "dogs" aka mis-ordered, un-returnable, or "what was I thinking?" finished jewelry, that we all make.  As a designer working out of my own studio boutique, all year long projects get started and don't resolve the way I thought they should... or a customer will change course in the middle of a piece, leaving special materials unused.  Its not that there is anything wrong with these materials either.  I design pieces where the first style idea is nice but not nice enough to put into the collection... so why not a remodel and sell them at a BIG discount?  Fine jewelry is a luxury.  Its rare that most of us can buy all the pieces that catch our eye.  Affordability is key!  Also, bargain hunters are in every strata of income.  Most people just LOVE a deal!!  Its the thrill.  Below is a great example...
I was commissioned to design a new collection of affordable, wearable "daytime diamonds" which the client bought set with "chocolate" diamonds in sterling silver. I thought that they might also be appealing in white diamonds with a highlight of rose gold or yellow gold.  I had the production models paid for from the first order and available to use, so why not test them in a new version for my sale at 1/2 price to get customers to come in and look at them??  Shoppers will give me the feedback I need to pursue the collection in a new version or let it pass. 
Another example is below, as well:
I was commissioned to make a large scale, one-of-a-kind funky pearl necklace for a client.  I designed these very cool sterling silver beads that could make a traditional strand of white Chinese pearls a little "out of the box"!  Chinese pearls are great to use in this case, too.  They are affordable, thus this client wanted to experiment.  When the necklace was finished and she tried it on, they were too over-powering for the luster of the pearls.  We used only a few - which was perfect - and there I was with these cool, un-used leftover beads.  Now they have found they're way onto these easy to wear nature-inspired necklaces which will sell for about $100 each.  Done!  Everyone wins. 
My jewelry stylist and wife, sculptor Nancy Lovendahl and I sit down in November each year and pull all of these kinds of leftovers out of the safe to prepare for this end of the year sample sale.  I want to sell left-over inventory before tax season, so the timing for the sale is great, too!  She picks pieces out of a tray and says" I'd wear this!"  Bingo.  Re-designing begins.  Leftover pearls become cool necklaces on leather, a white gold chain that never got used gets a black Tahitian pearl strung on it, beads get rearranged, unloved earrings get new hoops to make them more contemporary, and on and on it goes. Anything left is re-examined and made better. I'm always surprised when there is a new "winner" that I would never have thought about before this year-end review. This process helps me design.  Win-win again.  
So join the design process and go to a sale like this.  The fashion industry invented this forum to keep ideas moving, free up cash and get feedback of a different kind. Designers, especially in the jewelry field, take the lead from them for the same reasons.  So if you are in Basalt.... 
                  Join Us  FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11 from 3-7pm at the studio boutique for our
50% OFF during this sale!!  Great Bargains.  We can ship anywhere if you can't come in
yourself.  Give us a call as there are many $100- $1500 items.  We can send you a pic!