On my artisan highhorse

16 thoughts on “On my artisan highhorse”

  1. this is really great. i love love LOVE etsy and spend a lot of time on that site and at local fairs. my mother was an artist and i’ve always loved supporting independent artists, but one of the hardest things to convince others of is the reasons to spend what seems like more money on an artisan piece, instead of something mass-marketed. this is a perfect tutorial of why!

  2. Thank you for posting such great info. I am saving to buy one of your beautiful rings to reward and remind myself of a goal I hope to achieve. I love that the jewellery I hope to buy is HANDCRAFTED with passion and soul. Life is too short for crap!

  3. *bows to you*
    M’am, you have just eloquently summed up what my bumbling self has tried to explain to people on countless occasions. Now I can just give them a print off of this post and subsequent comments.
    And that necklace is the Ed Hardy of jewelry. Blech. Finding a piece of jewelry from a high end mainstream store that HONESTLY takes my breath away is a moment that is very few and far between, but artisan jewelry always makes my heart thump a little harder, even if it isn’t the best piece in the world, simply for the love and effort obviously put into it.

  4. Ok, so, I’m going to play devil’s advocate because

    a) I like arguing. I admit it.
    b) I am a hobby economist. Which means I really don’t know that much about econ, but I can fake it pretty well.

    So here’s my counter argument. If the market will bear it, then ok. It means that even tho you don’t value this piece, they do. They value it enough to part with $1000 without being forced. You can dislike it all you want. But it’s there money they’re freely parting with. So they may value it even if you don’t. Diversity of opinion is good.

    Second there’s a concept in econ called “asymetrical information”. That’s when one side knows more than the other and bad trades result. For example, buying insurance with an undisclosed pre-existing condition. Or used cars.

    In this case the missing info is the cost of the parts. You are providing a valuable service that emerges in almost all markets: expert review to help close the information asymetry gap for buyers. Thank you!

    It’s still TBD whether the market will continue to buy this even after your (and I preume other’s) negative review. But if they do, then respect that. They’re spending their own money. Maybe that’s actually what they want.

    Perhaps it suggests an opportunity for your business to make a lot more money for less cost & effort. Say for example if you made these and sold them for $500. That’s over $400 for the effort. OTOH you risk diluting the brand that you’re establishing in non-generic jewelry. So I suspect you won’t do it. Still if this thing sells you always have a backup plan in the event that you’re really strapped for cash.

    Ok. Done. You may commence the verbal beat down now.

    1. I don’t disagree with you. While this necklace is not my taste, I’m sure it is someone’s, and I hope that I did not pass aesthetic judgment on this piece. If this is the most beautiful piece in the world, in a consumer’s eyes, then it is surely worth every penny.

      My issue is with the misinformation which partially fuels the purchase of this type of jewelry. If long-term value is being touted as a reason to buy this type of jewelry, which it is by commercial jewelers, then the consumer is being mislead.

  5. I’d hate to pass judgment on this necklace and say that it’s not attractive, because attractive is in the eye of the beholder. But I think it’s fair to say that it’s generic; it’s a good example of homogenized, mainstream jewelry. It’s the cheap t-shirt of jewelry, and what bothers me is that it is marketed and sold as the haute couture cocktail dress of jewelry.

    The jewelry industry can get away with this because most consumers aren’t familiar with the basic ingredients of jewelry in the way they are with so many other consumer products. We can feel good leather and silk, we can taste good food, we can feel the way a new car handles and brakes, but with jewelry we gauge value primarily upon the information the jewelry industry gives us. It behooves them to teach us that their product is more valuable than it really is, and consumers are totally drinking that Kool-Aid.

  6. After talking about it today, it became clear that while I am offended at the price because it is a soulless, and frankly unattractive piece, Katie is far more offended by the whole value for the money issue. Andrea’s right — there’s no love there.

  7. Hmm, thanks for that, I have always wondered. Now that I know, I will likely avoid national jewelers for future jewelry purchases.

  8. Thank you so much for this candid education. I love artisan jewelry– it’s my preference– and now I can smugly say it’s the better investment, too– with all sorts of information to back it up.

  9. I too am offended. That in my opinion is not a very good looking necklace. Where is the love? The love?! No one loved that necklace into reality, no one. It does need an artisans touch, truly. That is why I can’t wait to show off my jade ring and my Mother’s earrings because they will be made by an artisan, who will lovingly handcraft them both. I will shout from the mountain tops of Montana, “These pieces of artisan jewelry were lovingly made, they are unique and I will direct you to Vaka Design.com for jewelry, handcrafted, designed and made with LOVE, LOVE!!!!”

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