More and more work I get is on existing jewelry. I am developing a reputation for being able to upcycle jewelry without it “looking like junk”.
I’ve had a client come to me with 5 pieces from a necklace her Grandmother’s to turn into something fabulous they can wear. I love adding just the right amount of flair to this set for her. It was an interesting project to make the piece custom for my client, not just what I’d like to wear.
Another client just needed her beautiful necklace shortened. At it’s length of about 25 inches, it just felt too formal for everyday wear. It’s an easy task for me to take out a few beads and polish up the silver for extra shine.
A third client, who does wardrobe consultation, ordered some bracelets to go with some necklaces and they are funky. Way too thick, weird clasps, and they just don’t sit right. You can really get more like 3 bracelets out of the beads of one. I’ll be taking these apart and making a few new bracelets out of them.
With all of this fabulous work comes a question: What do I charge for this kind of work? Hourly on some, hours plus materials on others? Materials for the shortening project is negligible. On the work with Grandma’s jewelry it’s beads and findings, and I don’t have a break down to that level for pricing. It’s hard for me to look at the huge seed bead bracelets and put a price on the work, though I know it’s could be a lot if I have to do any restringing.
A similar issue came up with another artist asking me to teach her wire work. Do I charge an hourly rate for instruction? If so, is it $20? $40? A social media expert I know charges more to teach than to do the work herself. When you teach, you give away your knowledge and future work. But in my case, the other artist isn’t going to pay me to do wire wrapping for her in any case. I’d prefer to teach her.
What do you charge? What is a service like this worth to you? Have you had someone charge you for this before?
I’d love your input.