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Commissions: Working One-on-One with Kristen!

Kristen Baird

While everyone can shop for my most popular collections on the website, I also offer an individualized service through my commissioning process. To commission a piece of jewelry is an EXPERIENCE! It gives my clients an inside look into the creative journey and ultimately, an in-depth look straight into my studio.

I often get requests that are outside of my existing jewelry line from people wanting something special—perhaps inspired by a milestone, a place visited, or with details specific to them or a loved one. If so, they will commission me to create a piece in my style but fitting what they want or need. This is the chance for a client to work one-on-one with me! We have the opportunity to be creative together and go back and forth in emails, calls, videos, or even meet up in person. I work alongside my clients to make their ideas a reality, and the journey is so fun and hands-on—for both me AND my clients!

Commissioning a piece

Ready to work on something new, just for YOU!

How It Works…In a Nutshell

The commission process begins with the client filling out and submitting a commission inquiry form. This form provides me with the initial details and helps set expectations for the custom piece. Although the questions on this form may not seem relevant at first, trust me, everything has its place and each little snapshot is part of the larger picture to help me with the design.

Next, we’ll have a 15-minute consultation call or 30-minute in-person meeting, which will give us the opportunity to thoroughly go over the scope of the project, such as design ideas, budget, and timeline. This is also the point where my clients get to ask questions of their own, and in turn, I ask LOTS of questions, even random ones. Sometimes, that throws people off at first, but I always tell each client to trust the process. Even little things that might seem insignificant can weave their way into a design and become something so personal and special!

From there, I will draft a design, and the client will sign a contract that outlines the specifics of their project including the final design, estimated cost, and a completion timeline. We proceed with a deposit and the signed contract. This is the “business-y” part of the project, but it is very important to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

A Masterpiece in the Making

Commissioning Process 1

The tools...oh, the tools! 

Finally, once the business part is finished, the party can really start! This is when all the tools come out, complete with fire, hammers, and technical magic! Ta-Da! While I often get asked by clients if they can come to see their piece in-the-works, due to my studio being closed to the public, I sadly have to decline. BUT, something unique to my commission process is that, in the end, my clients not only receive a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry but they also get specific documentation of the entire creation process. I capture SOOO many pictures and when I send the final product to them, I include a little presentation with my initial design sketches and photos of the work each step of the way. This offers my clients a sequential build-up in suspense until the big reveal of the finished piece! I even post the sketches, photos, AND a video on my website after the client has seen everything.

Why I Love It

 

Above is a selection of cuff bracelets for various occasions, all commissioned by my awesome clients!

One of the best things about my commissioned work is the variety. My clients reach out to me for custom pieces to celebrate all the important events in their lives: engagements, wedding anniversaries, birthdays, baby births, holidays… and the list goes on. I’ve made many 30, 40, AND 50th wedding anniversary gifts, which is so humbling to think about. The shared history and love between these couples, it’s real! With each of these occasions, I get to dive into the life and personal journey of my clients. We celebrate, reflect, and relive the good ole’ days together! To top it all off, I get to create something that will live on, last a lifetime, and then be passed down to the next generation. I mean, really, how amazing is that?

I also work on many heirloom redesigns (which I will discuss in-depth in a separate blog post later this year). This type of commissioned work is very distinctive because it involves deconstructing an already existing piece(s) of jewelry and then reconstructing and reimagining it into something completely different and new. Oh, the stories I have about my heirloom commissions! Be sure to check back because you won’t want to miss them!

Is this process for you? 

The commissioning process is perfect for someone looking to be involved throughout the entire jewelry design and creation process. I get so much joy out of working with my clients directly and hearing how happy and delighted they are with the final result!

Did reading this blog post SPARK an idea in your mind? If so, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We look forward to hearing from you!


1 comment

  • Kristen, I don’t know exactly how many different words there are for “love” in Greek. I know there are a lot. There needs to be at least that many different words for “congratulations on your successes over the years”, “I’m constantly amazed at how talented your are.”, and “I love your work”. I know I keep saying the same things over and over, but I do mean them every time. Love, Aunt Mary

    Mary Griffith

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