4 Essential Tips That Will Help You Make Better Bracelets
By: Sawyer Wood
Bracelet-making is a wonderful art and means of self-expression, not to mention an excellent avenue for generating some extra cash － or even the majority of one’s income, depending on their commitment to the craft! Because of this, countless people worldwide have taken to it as either a hobby or a full-on profession, turning their innate talents, creativity, and good tastes into something others can physically own and admire.
Some of these pieces can undoubtedly be considered the products of master craftsmanship. Yet, it doesn’t truly matter whether a bracelet’s construction is perfectly executed or a little on the messy side; intricate in style or overly simplistic; excitingly new and novel or as overdone as the remix of a cover song: it can be improved upon.
Already on the same wavelength? Curious about how to develop nicer designs or make bracelets in a better, more efficient way? Here are four essential tips to keep at the forefront of your mind when you’re in the early stages of the bracelet-making process.
- Commit to Continuous Learning
Remember how we said that making bracelets is an art form? We don’t say that just because it requires a similar level of imagination or inventiveness as other creative endeavors like painting or knitting. Bracelet-making also shares a lot of other commonalities with these disciplines, including that a lot of practice and education is needed to produce something truly special or, at least, to improve your skills from where they currently reside.
It’s pretty self-explanatory why － there are dozens of materials, thousands of techniques, and probably millions of unique styles you can utilize when making bracelets.
Getting comfortable with many, mastering a few, and figuring out how to use all that new knowledge; they’re hefty tasks for anybody. But it’s necessary for bettering your craft, so fully embrace the learning process. Open yourself up to unfamiliar things, recognize that your jewelry-making education is never truly done, and your bracelet skills will grow in good time.
- Don’t Be Afraid of What’s Classic or What’s Trendy
There seem to be two schools of thought in the clothing and accessory industry: either you go all in on fleeting styles and fast fashion, or you offer nothing but the classics. We’ve seen this clashing ideology time and time again (think H&M versus Uniqlo, Balenciaga vs Calvin Klein, etc.), but frankly, it’s played out. You don’t have to choose. Indeed, it makes more financial and creative sense not to.
Think about it. Basics have a universal appeal; everyone needs them. All of us have at least a couple of classic bangles or thin chain bracelets in our jewelry box. To have a catalog utterly free of them would be to drive away a large segment of the market, hurting profits and potential customers alike.
Meanwhile, trendy pieces aren’t stable, reliable. They go in and out of favor quickly, making them a dangerous niche for most small to medium-sized businesses. They do provide strong appeal when they’re in the former part of this cycle, however, and can get people in the door who otherwise wouldn’t think twice.
It’s only reasonable then to settle somewhere in the middle, making classic and trendy bracelets to reap more benefits while suffering from fewer disadvantages. Thus, feel free to develop some consistently popular bracelets and keep them coming, but don’t be afraid to play with riskier, more “of the moment” designs. Consider introducing permanent bracelets, provide moody celestial charm bracelets or whimsical nautical ones, or get into metal stamping － allow yourself room for experimentation. Product diversity is a strength, not a weakness.
- Always Offer Customers Options
We’re all unlike anybody else, possessing different interests, preferences, and values than those around us, and that reasonably extends all the way down to our jewelry tastes. That’s a challenging space for those who make bracelets to be in. You simply can’t please everyone. However, you can offer customers some basic options to get a little closer.
Obviously, offering a few styles of bracelets is extremely helpful, supplying some daintier ones for those who crave subtlety, thicker pieces for those who want to make a statement, etc. But there are other ways to diversify and bring customers in, too, like carrying the same designs in various lengths and tones/materials.
After all, it doesn’t matter if someone likes your bracelets if they’re allergic to the metal they’re comprised of or have wrists too small or large to wear them. You’ll still lose their business all the same.
Don’t want to have that happen? Prioritize variation when making bracelets and constantly restock as soon as one sells out. This means crafting bracelets ranging from around six inches long to nine, carrying the same bracelet in gold, sterling silver, and stainless steel, and offering different thicknesses or material quality when applicable. It sends a great message of inclusion to your customers, increases your shopper base, decreases the likelihood of returns, and allows you to really fine-tune your creations all at once!
- Incorporate Texture, Not Just Color
Take a moment and glance at one of your favorite bracelets. What do you notice? What makes it stand out, separates it from the lesser-beloved pieces in your collection? While shine, color, and metal composition probably do play a role, you’ll likely realize that texture has a much larger contribution towards this than you’d expect, transforming what would otherwise be a simplistic length of chain into a real bracelet.
Newbies getting into bracelet-making for the first time can oftentimes struggle incorporating texture into their designs without over-complicating things. Yet, the good news is that it doesn’t have to take much.
Just opting to use less traditional forms of chain, like our sequin disc or marquise bar link offerings can give some much-needed tactility and visual interest without extra fuss. Utilizing beadwork, engraving, and wire-wrapped frameworks are great for adding this as well.