Tuesday, January 6, 2015

How To Make A Jewelry Sketch

I get a lot of requests for help from jewelry designers. I’m going to lay out a plan of attack to get the best possible results when seeking help in getting your product assembled and delivered. I’d like to lay out some steps to start sketching, which will lead to your tech pack and this will help both the established designer and newbie get their ideas understood and brought to life.

I have an idea....

Great! Now you need to get down on paper. Sketch it out, full size, since most jewelry pieces can fit on one sheet of 8 1/2” by 11” paper, a flat sketch. Draw it out and keep drawing it out until it shapes up to what you want. Just paper and pencil. It’s cheap, you can throw it out and start over. It’s the idea you want to get across, not the execution of the drawing. Keep it loose, let it flow, and watch it develop with each drawing. This is called the concept sketch. This is the time to explore ideas, question, suggest. It’s a good way to keep track of your original idea and how it has evolved. Using your family and friends as your focus group, see what they think of these drawings and ideas. Here’s an example of sketches:




 Everyone loves it!

Now you need to get the details down. Start taking measurements, detail with notes, add necessary components. How long are the bracelets, necklaces and earrings? Take  these drawings to a digital mock up or refine your line drawings with the final details: Measurements, materials used in the piece, the style numbers of the components, stringing materials used, prices, these are all known as the specs. Here's an example.

What’s it made of?

Research the materials needed to make the pieces and record them by style numbers, size and prices. Where are you going to source them from?  Organize all these specifics on the drawings with your measurements. These specifics will go into your tech pack.

Now you can move on to early prototypes where you work out your kinks, fix the problems and do any necessary changes. This part can get expensive, producing each generation of a prototype, but it’s best to work out the problems before you get to the final prototype. It’s very important to not cut costs here. Mistakes made in the multi-thousands of an order is VERY expensive to fix.

I found out about this program from a designer recently. https://craftybase.com/  
This along with these programs: 
http://www.bejeweledsoftware.com 


will help out with organizing, keeping track of supplies, materials, inventory, labor, pricing, shipping, sales. Getting started in an organized manner will help you keep on track to create a thoughtful process in creating your jewelry business and thrive.

Friday, December 5, 2014

"No One Else Can Do What This Kid Does!" The Butane Kid [Official Trailer HD]

This is one of our Jewelry Assembly Chicks, Simon O'Keefe, who has been working with Melindesign since he was 14, during school breaks and summers. He's a senior at Buffalo State College, majoring in Television and Film Arts. Here's his latest trailer for his latest film, premiering SUNDAY, DEC. 7 at 7PM in the BUFF STATE Social Hall.

We can't tell you how thrilled we are at how he has progressed creatively with mad writing and camera skills! While he can gift box 50 necklaces and pack giant shipping cartons for Amazon non-stop for our fulfillment department in record time, it's watching his true talent and passion shine in his films that excite us here. We are so eager to see this bright star rising in the future of great story telling and film making. 

Congratulations Simon!

Check him out here:



Sunday, September 7, 2014

5 Steps to Create a Tech Pack for Your Jewelry Assembly Outsource

Jewelry designers come to us asking for help in assembling jewelry. They have gotten to the point where they can't do it all themselves. Some designers are brand new, telling us they want to bring their jewelry ideas to life. How does one do that? So I thought, how about a tech pack for jewelry designers?

For clothing designers, you have to present a tech pack to a manufacturer. It is imperative that is as detailed as possible. You have to have precise measurements, color swatches, the hardware used (buttons? zippers? snaps? thread?), trim, labels, tags. You have to be very precise and accurate. This goes to a factory and made into 50,000 pieces. Imagine missing a measurement change resulting in 50,000 shirts where one sleeve is longer by 2"? It's happened and it's a devastating and expensive mistake. We have had to remake thousands of jewelry items that were made wrong overseas. You can't communicate over the phone or a handshake and hope they understand and know the difference of what you think is a tube crimp or crimp cover or what they think is a crimp tube or crimp cover.

I wondered, can we make a tech pack that jewelry designers can use? Based on my observation in talking to hundreds of designers and filtering out their needs, I have arrived at this checklist. You have a design concept, now lets make it understood for all parties involved in putting this piece together to avoid costly mistakes and assemble it in a timely matter.

1. You need precise line drawings with correct measurements. A CAD or CAM, computer-aided design, can be used for pieces that need a wax model or are casted. This is generated by taking your sketches and making it a 3D image of your piece. I can't stress this enough, measurements have to be accurate! If you are not casting a piece, then apply the same practice to your strung or wire wrapped designs. Good line drawings with specific measurements. Add a good hi-res photo to the sheet. When we're assembling 10,000 units, you want every one of them to be the exactly the same, consistent and correct.

2. Material list that pertains to the specific piece we are making needs to go along with the drawing. What beads, stones, findings go with the bracelet? It's a good practice to do this with all your designs. Having the correct size jump ring, crimps, clasps, chain sizes, listed pertaining to the piece. How long and thick is the beading wire needed to make one bracelet? List the sources with style numbers of each item next to it. I usually refer to this process as the recipe, with the ingredients needed to make the piece. It has to be accurate to so the bracelet comes out perfect. The first time. Is there packaging involved, such as baggies, boxes or barcode labels? Include them here.

3. Price out all the materials for each piece on the spec. This way, you'll now when going forward with a large order, what you will budget for. Labor costs must be included. Add the time it takes to make one piece to the sheet. This will have you arrive at your wholesale price.

4. Determine your demographic. Who are you targeting? Who is purchasing the item, how much are they paying for it? How many other bracelets are out there that are similar? What do they cost compared to yours? What's the quality and price points of your competition? I tell designers all the time to google their product, with their specific details to find their competitors and see what they are doing. See how they are marketing their products. Think about how YOU are going to market your product. How are YOU going to make it stand out from the rest?

5. You need the budget and time line. You need to determine what you need and when for photo shoots, editorials, fashion week/runway, press kits, PR handouts. This needs to be thought out well in advance. You need time to work out kinks and problems that may arrive while producing the prototype samples, developing the collection. When you are ready, after going over flaws and correcting them, prepare for the time line with your jewelry assembly team to produce large quantities for retail. Your jewelry producer will be able to help you plot out the calendar for your assembling, completion, fulfillment (if needed), shipment out. The time line is determined after ALL the material has arrived to begin assembly.

There is software for keeping track of inventory, product/material lists of your jewelry. 

Here's a review between the two:

The most important thing about developing a tech pack for your designs is the more detail the better. You must be very accurate with all details. It helps us in the speed and accuracy of assembling your jewelry. And try to keep it made in the USA!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Shark Attack in Montauk, New York 8/2014



Here's a little fun I had in Montauk, New York. I'm still trying to learn how to use my GoPro Hero3+. I especially love to be able to shoot film and pictures under water! This was filmed at The Haven on the North Fork. It was a sweet little place! Bright beachy (white, wooden floors, refrigerator!) minimal rooms, great outside lounge area, LOVELY pool! It was walkable to Gosman's Dock, where we got just caught fish off the boats in the morning to grill up for dinner by the hotel's grill and picnic tables. There was a lovely wine merchant, The Finest Kind, and egg sandwiches in the morning at Gaviola's Market, all steps away. We didn't eat out at a restaurant for dinner or lunch all week. The hotel was situated across the street from their private beach, where we we had our first sunset picnic dinner around revelers enjoying bonfires. It was such a wonderful stay, that I will daydream of this trip fondly and often come January...

Check out more fun pictures on my Instagram account!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Simon O’Keefe Does Fulfillment With The Jewelry Assembly Chicks

I go to film school school in Buffalo. I walked out on the cold and am refusing to pay alimony. Here I am, home in ole Westchester and I got a new girlfriend: Summertime.
Upon my arrival, I was immediately employed by Melinda O’Keefe, CEO of Melindesign, to hasten the large orders the company had recently been required to fill. After two weeks of disassembling, packing, unpacking, repacking, packing up, packing down, and reassembling, Mrs. O’Keefe has promoted me to writing blogs.
Rejecting the social network phenomenon, I’ve attempted desperately to pose as a self proclaimed, old fashioned luddite film student. Nevertheless, I still tote around this container of data in my pocket that vibrates routinely when it hungers for my finger’s caress. Social networking is the new way to push business-- no more classifieds or yellow pages! It is a lending hand to promote and spread the news about what you’re up to in the business of film and jewelry.
Simon packing up some Hot Girls Pearls
Over the years, I’ve observed the growth of this company. Melindesign has steadily mastered the art of search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing and social media. I should learn by example in my industry, as should anyone who has the American dream to succeed in business. The Melindesign brand has steadily climbed to the first page of a Google search. Simply type “jewelry outsourcing” or “jewelry assembly.” The brand boasts Made in America-- in the case of Melindesign, jewelry manufacturing within the United States. Being at the top of a search engine indicates utmost relevance, which is the key of this business’ success. But you’ve probably read all about this if you’ve been following their blogs or reading their customer raves.
What you haven’t read is that Melindesign’s adaptation to the social network has recently attributed to a recent feature that the company provides. Constance Sherman’s Hot Girls Pearls, a cooling relief pearl necklace accessory, has been in mass production. Melindesign has taken on order fulfillment, after her Jewelry Assembly Chicks make the necklaces, sending the final product to wholesale retailers like Amazon and Shopify. This high dive into the market is the next ingredient for an ever evolving business that has managed to maintain the interests of companies involved with Melindesign from the beginning. Customer service has always been top notch, with decades of jewelry experience and knowledge in the trunk.
Melindesign has meticulously managed inventory with the new fulfillment orders constantly coming through. The work never stops here. Designers are always reaching out to the company, and the company is always working on some project or another. This exciting woman-owned company is able to take up and tackle business opportunities, and watch how the taste and trends of the jewelry industry can evolve into new products, all made in the U.S.A.
Written by Simon O'Keefe
simon@melindesign.com
simon.m.okeefe
Straight-Sixes-Presents
SimonSaysOK
xymin
simonsaysok93
Simon O'Keefe just finished up his junior year in Television and Film Arts Program Studies at Buffalo State College. He is working part time this summer as a Jewelry Assembly Chick doing fulfillment and saving lives as the senior lifeguard at Lake Lincolndale.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

From The Fashion Law: Donna Karan Hit With Unpaid Internship Lawsuit & What It Takes To Be An Intern By Law

 Just in time for a new semester of fashion student hopefuls. This is a good article that lists what the rules are in being an intern. Don't get taken advantage of. It would be better if you took classes then pay tuition for fetching coffee. Get paid for the work you do!

http://www.fashion-law.org/2013/09/donna-karan-hit-with-unpaid-internship.html