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Our bespoke manager, Susie Lee talks us through how our bespoke service works, why it's not so scary and her most memorable bespoke commission.

 

Bespoke to a lot of people means expensive and possibly out of their budget. Can you give a little summary of how our bespoke service works?

Where possible, I like to begin each commission with a consultation at our London Bridge studio. It’s really important for me to get a feel for the customers unique style - going bespoke is all about creating something that’s tailored especially for you. We like the challenge of working to any given budget and brief, it’s often the most unusual requests that make the most memorable pieces! Once we’ve chatted through the design I can begin calculating quotes and sourcing various precious gems and metals. When the design has been finalised, we begin carefully crafting your piece. This can take anywhere from 4 weeks to a few months, it depends on the complexity of the design. One of the nicest parts of making bespoke jewellery is being able to involve the customer in a direct way, right from the start. This might include showcasing a selection of gems, from which you can select the exact one that’s perfect for you. Having control over the finer details, like the subtle hue and cut of a stone or it’s placement within the design is part of what makes this process so special.

 

 Many of your bespoke customers are shopping for that all-important first ring and have very little experience and knowledge of metals, stones and the process as a whole. How do you advise couples/individuals through the process? 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things to think about when planning a wedding and buying the ring is only a small part of that! So I aim to do the thinking for you. I will advise you on the best material choices and guide you through the various design options. If you want to read-up on the technical side of things, I’ve compiled a few easy guides to get you started on diamonds and precious metals.

 

Do you remember your first bespoke commission?

My very first commission (too many years ago to bear thinking about!) was a really lovely adaptation from our Heritage Collection. We mixed the Heritage posy flowers with extra diamonds and a teeny tiny bumblebee – all mounted on our signature wavy band.   I remember the lovely gentleman commissioned this piece as a complete surprise for his soon-to-be fiancé!

 

You’ve had quite a few, very interesting bespoke commissions. Can you share your most memorable?

Every commission is unique in it’s own way – and some certainly are memorable! They’re always a true reflection of the customers’ character. The first one that springs to mind was commissioned by really interesting sculptor, who’s specialty is life sized moving animals. With this in mind and his keen eye for detail, we made a miniature tropical scene that perched on top of the finger as an engagement ring. Twisting vines wrapped around the finger with flowers in bud, almost blooming. Inside the flower buds we set diamonds, aquamarines and alexandrite’s (her favourite colours) and hovering above was a tiny hummingbird! They had recently been travelling and seen wild hummingbirds, so he especially wanted to feature this in her special ring.

 

Initial Sketch Initial sketch

 

A special bespoke piece The final piece

 

 

Finally, any top tips for fine jewellery/bespoke shoppers? 

My top tip would be to think about what you (and your partner) really want, rather than following fashion or convention. Don’t feel like you have to have a diamond if they are really not your thing, there are so many other choices that are equally lovely. A great example of an alternative are our sorbet coloured stones in our Hoya range. Your rings should be a reflection of you both as a couple, so feel free to be as personal as you like and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks!

 

To book a free consultation with Susie, please email bespoke@alexmonroe.com . We now have bespoke appointments available on the first Saturday of each month.

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