Not everyone has the same size neck, so make your jewelry fit
One of the trials of making jewelry can be making it in sizes that people will buy. If you make your jewelry one-size-fits-all, you can save yourself some heartache, and appeal to a wider audience.
I learned long ago that one of the most annoying things about making jewelry was producing it in sizes that people would buy. I had many potential customers contact me saying that my work was lovely, but the 12” size (I used my own neck to size all my work.) was far too small for the general public. It got me to thinking about ways to make my necklaces more universally wearable.
For a while I switched to making over-the-head style necklaces, because everyone would be able to wear them. This can be a solution to the problem, and a lot of people like really long necklaces that they can just slip on. Long necklaces can sometimes be tied in a knot or doubled over to make them shorter or just to give a different look. However, I found this limited my creativity, since I was most fond of making chokers.
The next thing I tried was making my chokers to fit my neck, then adding an extender to the non-clasp end of the choker. I made them about 3” long, which made them fit necks anywhere from 12-15”. This expanded my customer base a bit, but left out a lot of the more full-bodied ladies that were interested in my pieces. It also left out the men. (Female impersonators and drag queens love unique jewelry.) I could have added longer extensions, but I didn’t want huge dangling bits for the people with smaller necks.
I’ve found now what I think is the best solution a jewelry maker can use. I make 13” chokers with 2” extensions already in place. When I sell the items online, I tell customers to specify the length they’ll need. If it’s an extension of 2” or less, I add it for free. If it’s more than 2”, I add a small charge. When I sell in person, I make sure I have supplies on hand, and I offer to extend the piece for a small fee while they wait. For my crocheted chokers, I’ll sometimes make 2” extensions with a jump ring on one end in advance, so I can add them quickly for an in-person sale, or ship them along with a mail order.
When you’re making necklaces and chokers, it’s important to keep sizing in mind. You can choose to make your pieces in different sizes, or offer some sort of extensions to make them fit more sizes. Either way, you need to be flexible if you want to please a wider base of customers. You may be losing a lot of business if you’re making your necklaces too large or too small for the people who really want to buy them. It’s also a good idea to keep this in mind for bracelets and watches. There’s not as much variance in wrist size, but you still want to be flexible for your buyers.