If you dare to dream, and wish to streamline your wild imaginations into some technically sensible and commercially viable career, welcome to the world of jewelry design! If you have always been interested in style or fashion and you like drawing, painting or graphic design, you might consider a career as a jewelry designer.
Designers work with jewelers and retail customers to create one-of-a-kind jewelry, or they work for manufacturers, developing new pieces for the company’s line.
Some designers go on to start their own businesses, producing designer jewelry under their own names. Designing jewelry – whatever route you choose – can be a unique and challenging occupation.
Is there a designer in me?
Design is not necessarily the skill of an artist or the technical drawing by a skilled draftsman.
Design is a systematic, well planned, well calculated, thought, which has gone through some process of visualization and execution, based on a few fundamental guidelines called as the principles of design.
To become a jewelry designer, you do not need to be an artist, but you sure need to have a techno-functional understanding of the principles of design, applied to the various design and manufacturing aspects of jewelry.
Designers are comfortable meeting new people and
are able to present themselves and their work in a positive light. While
creativity is critical, organizational skills and the ability to meet deadlines
are equally important.
Commonly, designers report an early fascination with art or art history, or
with jewelry history, gems or vintage clothing. At the same time, jewelry
designers have to keep up with trends in the jewelry world. They also need to be aware of trends in fashion, as retailers and manufacturers today look to celebrities and clothing designers to see what the next hot trend or style will be. Forecasting and understanding global psychological trends, needs to be an important part of your skills sets.
What does a designer do?
Most designers bring both artistic skill and mechanical ability to their work.
Many feel that some experience actually making jewelry helps them understand how jewelry works – how it is put together, how the stones are set, how the clasps are attached and so on. Good hand-eye coordination, drafting ability and an understanding of color are important. Many designers today credit their gemological training with opening their eyes to new gemstone colors and combinations, allowing them to create unique and beautiful jewelry.
Communication skills are critical, particularly for the designer creating jewelry for retail customers. Time management and basic business skills benefit anyone whose tasks involve supervising the work of others or estimating and controlling costs. Marketing skills, and some experience with market research, are useful for designers trying to establish their own name and product line.
The greatest challenge many designers report is being able to both influence and respond to their markets. This poses several creative conflicts. A designer must be free to express his or her individual creativity, yet also translate existing trends in fashion and design into their designs; they must bring their own ideas to their work, yet the end result must express the feelings and identity of clients they may never meet. Ultimate success comes from meeting that challenge – seeing their designs in stores and worn by people across the country.
How can one grow as a designer?
A designer’s career path can take many directions. From early employment with a retailer or manufacturer, some designers seek to start their own lines or firms. Others will move into management or supervise the work of other designers or jewelers in a design studio. Some designers are also accomplished bench jewelers, and make and sell their work through galleries and craft fairs, traditional retail stores or their own retail boutiques.
What can make you a successful designer?
- Previous experience in sales or customer service;
- Buying or merchandising experience, especially in jewelry, art or interior design;
- Formal training in jewelry design and fabrication; education in art and design;
- Gemology courses and bench experience are very helpful;
- For business owners, classes in accounting, marketing and entrepreneurship;
What salaries can one expect as a designer? *
- Entry Level – Rs.1,20,000/- to Rs.3,00,000/-
- Qualified/Experienced – Rs.4,20,000/- to Rs.6,00,000/-
- Career Potential – Rs.9,00,000/- to Rs.12,00,000**
* The figures are generic and indicative in nature. They may vary from case to case.
** The career potential implies the best possible earnings that one can expect, without much risk,
if the career is handled well.