How do you determine the value/price point of your designs, and how has that changed over the years?
Updated: Apr 18, 2019
The stones are of various prices and as I evolve in my work I am tending toward more expensive gemstones than I used early in my career. The line I call Elements utilizes a group of stones that were the entire selection of gems I used early in my career. They are affordable and offered me a variety of stones to work with and stay within my modest means. As the early years wore into the middle years of my career I drifted easily and with excitement into gemstones that surpassed my earlier budget. At the same time my designs were growing. Literally I was designing more freely with my use of silver, I was using larger stones more often. Figuratively, my designs were growing more sophisticated, more design time was spent and my skill set improved.
Another qualifying aspect of price came about in the mid-2000s when the price of silver began to rise. And rise and rise. By 2010 the market price of silver was 6 times what it had been during the first 10 years of my career! Also the housing and economic crisis of 2008 caused a clear shift in the general reception of buyers toward my price point. Since one-of-a-kind jewelry was my motto, I didn’t know how to go backward with gem selection, with dimension, and certainly my skills do not revert. So I became determined to develop a line that would be more affordable, but still very fun for the buyer. Elements was born. Elements used the group of stones that were the hallmark of my early work and I began making 10 pieces of each design. With 10 pairs of earrings of more or less the same design, each looked different when I set a black onyx in them versus a carnelian or rose quartz. Because I designed once and produced more than one, I didn’t have to add the design time to each individual piece. I determined to make each piece priced under $200.
One more effort came about and I worked on the Sweeties line which is priced under $100! Smaller stones in petite designs that are still in the distinctive Savané Silver style. I even worked on Little Silvers which are all silver rings that give a pop and a pow of design at $20-$35 each.
As the economic squeeze has eased I am pleased that these very affordable lines continue to have their place at Savané Silver making this work of mine affordable to everyone. I celebrate the joy of the young person acquiring a $20 silver toe ring with as much enthusiasm as the person choosing several of my one-of-a-kind pieces.
During the economic downturn I also began showcasing my Masterworks, because I need to evolve and be free to design without limitations. These pieces are one-of-a-kinds, but more than that they each have aspects of major challenge to them. They have all taught me many lessons as I have made them utilizing new techniques that I had to develop in order to accomplish the design and the setting of the stone. These pieces are generally of a generous dimension and their impact is such that they demand and deserve one display case each. Masterworks are, as one customer put it, “serious statement pieces!” and I have a feeling they have become heirloom pieces to be handed down. I wonder how many generations?