Personalization

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

This blog is going to be all about personalized items. Those little touches that make something special.  Of course we would love to know:

A) Why did you start offering personalized items? / What was your inspiration?
B) How do you do it? (pyrography, painting, calligraphy, etc.)
C) What types of items do you sell with the personalized option? / What’s your best seller?

Heather Barber from MooseintheMint says I was making pre-made racks for weddings, but then someone asked if I could made a new baby gift. That customer has become one of my best customers and a good friend, and will often make new suggestions.
I use letter tiles for the names, with small wooden decorations in various shapes that are hand coloured. These decorations are stars, hearts and flowers as well as train shapes.
I also do flat plaques for people who want them as door plaques, rather than these as a shelf decoration
The train design is the most popular – I’ve done these for new babies and other children, but also as Father’s day gift for a Grandad!

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Julie Herbert from EveryoneLovesGifts0 said personalised items are personal to each individual who purchases the item, the item has meaning to the person who the item is for and there is great thought that goes into a personalised item. You cannot pick it off a shelf. The item I have featured is a personalised pearl bracelet. The buyer can choose any name they like to go on the bracelet. I have used pearls as well as rhinestones and a Handmade With Love charm. Featured item is my best seller, great for weddings, birthdays or other great occasions. A timeless classic.

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Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio states many of my prints and printables can be personalized. I offered customization because it’s an extra step that I knew I could take that would lead to a larger customer base, and it’s a fun part of the craft. I enjoy the interaction I get with all sorts of customer, and we have frequent discussions back and forth to make sure custom work is just right before sending it off.

What I offer: In my print and printable shop I offer custom graphic design and photo signs and occasionally cards. From new parents and new brides to proud parents of high school grads and new businesses needing an ‘open’ sign. I can add names, messages and images to art I already have listened in the shop, or something more specific. The only thing I can’t do is add anything that I haven’t made myself and I don’t have a license for. So sometimes I’m limited by what fonts I have and I try and show the client a similar font. Or I propose a more generic alternative to a name brand theme (like a princess crown instead of a picture of a name brand princess).

I have a number of ways to let the shopper know I customize:
I use keywords in titles and tags (customize, personalize, customization. . . . .); I check of the ‘request a custom order’ button; some listings announce it in the listing photo; I have 2 ‘request customization’ listings, one for prints and one for printables. Those come in handy. Often, a customer sees something they like and contact me about customization. We discuss their ideas and what I can do. I send them a quick sample of what it might look like so they can visualize what I might do. I then direct them to the ‘customize it’ listing so they can purchase that and I’ll get to work on their product. I do this to ensure that the customer is as invested in the product as I am before I spend a lot of time working on a custom product just to find out that they have moved on to someone else. Purchasing this listing also clarifies that my time and skills are important (many long conversations in ‘messages’ about how to make it just right and find out what they client really means), and that’s how I make my living, and the extra time I put into discussions, designing, editing and re-editing is part of it so the price of a custom listing is higher.

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Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns discusses that most of the creations in my shop are ceramic (which are also able to be personalised), but I also love recycling materials, so some of my jewellery is made from reclaimed items – such as paper.

I have had a range of paper jewellery in my shop for a while and recently introduced personalised – name – necklaces. They are available in two sizes, just let me know your name!
Stay tuned for bracelets and also inspirational beads in the future.

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