We’ve all seen the memes. Someone shows a photo of a gorgeous dress: “What I ordered!” In the next panel, they hold up an ugly, frayed piece of material that barely resembles the picture: “What I received.” Womp womp. In the age of fast fashion, we’ve all had this experience. It happens in the jewelry industry too, with so many easily attainable mass-produced products out there. And I get it! Fine jewelry can be pricey, so it’s natural to want to look for deals.
That said, there are some real upsides to investing in meaningful pieces that stand the test of time. Whether we’re talking about a genuinely well-made garment or a handcrafted piece of jewelry, sometimes slow fashion is worth the wait and the investment.
Why is slow fashion so… slow?
Put simply, handmade products take time and effort to create. While some jewelry manufacturers use mass production machines and assembly lines, every piece of Kristen Baird® Jewelry is handmade by me in my studio. That means melting metal, drilling, detailing, polishing, and getting my hands very dirty! It also means that I have the ability to personalize just about anything.
One example I love to talk about is my cuff bracelets. Many people think they can’t wear cuffs because their wrists don’t fit the standard (i.e. mass produced) sizes available in most stores. But you can wear my cuffs, because I will perfectly size them to your wrist. (Shameless plug, check out these handy, dandy sizing guides for both bangles and cuffs!) Similarly, I can swap out a stone for a color you like better or even incorporate a stone with sentimental value to you. But that means crafting a setting from molten metal, letting it harden, and then carefully drilling the setting until it perfectly fits the new stone - all of which takes time!
Costs More, Lasts Forever
If you buy ten $10 necklaces and they all eventually break, you’ve spent $100 and you don’t have a necklace! If you buy one necklace for $200 and it lasts forever, you have a favorite necklace.
I’m not going to sit here and claim that my jewelry is a bargain. Every piece of Kristen Baird® Jewelry is a completely handcrafted work of art, created with love by me, right here in my Savannah studio. Every piece is given the best price for the high-quality materials, creative design, and craftsmanship that goes into it. It’s also made to last an extremely long time - forever really. Rather than jewelry that is meant to be worn a couple times then thrown away, my hope is that these pieces will develop a sentimental value in addition to the dollar value. That, after all, is far more precious.
Supporting Local Businesses and Ethical Practices
This one can be touchy to talk about, because I’m the last person who wants anyone to feel guilty about the stuff they buy online. We’re all just doing our best out there! But the truth is, sometimes when things are really cheap, it’s because something unsavory is going on behind-the-scenes. This is true in all types of fashion, but especially with jewelry. It’s important to know where your gemstones and materials are coming from.
I know for a fact that all my gemstones are ethically sourced. I know what my labor practices are like because… hello, I’m the one doing the work with the help of my amazing team. Plus, many of the people I work with on a daily basis, like my photographers and videographer, are located right here in Savannah. So money spent stays in our community. We also make an effort to give back charitably. For years, we’ve partnered with the SD Gunner Fund to help veterans, first responders, and families with exceptional children afford much-needed service dogs. Your support helps our whole community get stronger!
Investing in Meaningful Pieces
Even if all of this sounds nice, you might still wonder if Kristen Baird® Jewelry is out of your reach. Fortunately, we offer handmade, high quality pieces of jewelry at many levels. It’s very possible to start off with basic pieces and build your collection over time.
Our silver jewelry is great for gifting - either to loved ones or to yourself! My newest collection, Graceful Glimmer, is designed for starting small and building your jewelry look over time. Elegant and petite silver pieces like the Veiled Horizon and Seashell Speckle necklaces are a great place to begin.
Gold jewelry is ideal for those big milestones and celebrations in life. Maybe you finally got that promotion you’ve been wanting, or maybe it’s a birthday or anniversary. The Petite Pop and Solo Seashell Sparkle necklaces are ideal because they’re highly-customizable and they work beautifully when layered with the silver pieces. Choose your favorite stones, such as a birthstone, and your favorite metal, such as yellow, white, or rose gold. When you wear these pieces, you’ll think about those special moments again and again.
To truly fill out your sentimental jewelry box, commission a set of stacking Dandelion Bloom rings using those little diamonds and sapphires from grandma’s old wedding band.
There’s just something special about handmade jewelry. Whether it’s an engagement or milestone anniversary or you want to commemorate a parent or grandparent, these are the pieces that will be passed down from generation to generation.
One final reason to support small businesses: you know the face behind the name. I’m always happy to chat, so feel free to reach out with any questions you might have.