Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Innovation or Replication

When I started my studio after I graduated from GIA and Revere in 2006 I knew that there were a couple of things I needed to think about.

I could see what was being offered by the large distributorships of jewelry findings, places such as Stuller, Rio Grande, Fire Mountain regularly offered clasps, findings and components made of base and precious metal. Components that my mother and grandmother had seen with some modification. The easy way would have had me take some of the models I saw there and throw a little spin of my own on them to make them mine. It would have been easy. A toggle with a wiggle where they had a waggle, a box clasp with some sexy stone or unusual thing decorating it, a magnetic that had an interesting pattern, hooks and eyes, etc.

I decided to see if there was something new out there. I had seen some German, Swiss and Italian manufacturers that had some interesting pieces. I didn't want to make what they did, I wanted to make what I saw in my head.

It has been quite a voyage. When I acquired HandFast in 2008 I acquired the genius of Maude Lorah and her work. Her work was phenomenal and made of many years of fine silversmithing. I am honored that her husband selected me to continue and add to her line with my work. Over the years I have created over 300 models. Now in the HandFast line you will see her work blended with my own. The part numbers that start with C are hers and the ones that start with K are mine.

I made the decision to make my line a line of innovation. I am self funded so development funds come from my sales. I do not have a large marketing and advertisement department - I have me. I am also glad to have my customers. They have given me ideas on product to create and given me new uses I had never thought of regarding my existing products.

Through the creation of innovation in closures, findings and connectors I have had great unexpected successes and somethings that will remain in the files - under the topic "What was I thinking" I don't think I am creating that will rock this world - but in my own little way - I wanted to innovate and create something new.

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