Sunday, June 3, 2012
Simple is Better
On Memorial Day, I was making a casserole to take to a cookout, and it struck me – simple is better. The casserole I was making was an old recipe from my grandmother. I cherish all of my recipes from her because I adored her and boy could she cook. A lot of recipes today call for a variety of crazy ingredients and spices, but grandma’s recipes were simple and easy to make, and often taste much better than the fancy recipes. This particular recipe was a calico bean casserole with different types of beans, hamburger, bacon, onion, ketchup and brown sugar. That’s it! Mix it all together, throw it in the oven and voila – a great dish for the cookout.
My revelation got me thinking about my jewelry making and how simple is often better there too. Sometimes, I try to make my designs more elaborate than they need to be. Why? Because I figure if someone is going to pay the price for a handmade piece of jewelry, they should get something elaborate. Don’t get me wrong – the elaborate pieces are very pretty and I’m told they are very reasonably priced. However, I find that it is the simpler pieces that sell better. I’m guessing that simpler is more versatile with different wardrobes and different occasions.
One of my best sellers was this simple pair of disc earrings. I textured and domed the discs, applied alcohol inks, sealed them, and hung them on the ear wires. Nothing elaborate but they sold like hotcakes.
I realized that it is not the elaborate components but the design that people are looking for. The lesson I take from this is: 1) Use simple, high-quality materials, 2) Don’t over-think the design, and 3) Put a little of my personality into the piece and people will love it.
What about you? Do you like simple or elaborate jewelry? If you are a designer, which sell best for you?