On EBay and Etsy, where I sell many of my designs, the custom order requests for loaded charm bracelets, domino pendants and wooden cross necklaces came in several times a week. To accommodate these requests, I set up special "custom" listings for people to order these items through the sites without having to contact me first. Upon checkout, they let me know the specification for their designs.
|Custom loaded Catholic saint charm bracelet|
|Custom charm bracelet - Graveyard Angels|
|Custom charm bracelet - Graveyard Angels - detail|
Sometimes, I've found that if one person is looking for something in particular, it results in additional sales to others. For example, a person with the last name of "peacock" asked me to design some peacock-themed resin jewelry pieces for them. I ended up getting numerous requests for peacock-related designs from others who saw the original design and I had a hard time keeping them in stock.
|Custom peacock resin pendant|
|Custom peacock resin ring|
|Custom peacock resin earrings|
The special orders I initially accepted have expanded into wholesale orders for businesses, as well. Several years ago, the Director of the Jell-O Museum gift shop in New York purchased a pair of polymer clay Jell-O salad earrings from me on EBay. This was the start of a regular business relationship for us. The museum has provided me with specific images they want used in their jewelry designs; I make all of the Jell-O earrings for their gift shop and have been doing so for many years now. I have expanded this to include novelty polymer clay candy piece earrings for a candy store in Pennsylvania, among other entities.
|The Jell-O earrings that started it all for me with the Jell-O Museum gift shop in New York.|
|Jell-O earrings similar to those being sold at the Jell-O Museum gift shop.|
The orders didn't stop there. When St. Damien of Molokai was canonized as a Catholic saint in 2009, I was commissioned by the Catholic Church in Hawaii to make hundreds of St. Damien pendants for the state's canonization celebrations. (A little side note about St. Damien - He ministered to the lepers of Hawaii in the late 1800's; he eventually passed away from leprosy himself in 1889.)
|Saint Damien of Molokai pendants in process.|
|St. Kateri Tekawitha pendants in process for a St. Kateri Tekakwitha conference this summer.|
|St. Kateri Tekawitha wood cross necklaces in process for a St. Kateri Tekakwitha conference this summer.|
|Our Lady of Guadalupe polymer clay necklaces made for a church group in Texas.|
Last week, I designed and made domino pendants and key chains for the Christian band, Third Day. The dominoes featured images of the crucified Christ with the words of one of Third Day's songs imposed over them - "Cry Out to Jesus." Needless to say, the band loved the designs.
|Domino key chains and necklaces made for the Christian band, Third Day, June, 2014.|
|Domino necklace detail made for the Christian Band, Third Day, June, 2014.|
All in all - if you create things as a part of your business and have pondered about whether to take custom orders - I'd say, "go for it". Take it from me. You never know what it can do for your business and your sales.