Changes at Swarovski Impact Jewelry Designers
Swarovski specializes in many exclusive crystal cuts currently unavailable from other manufacturers. As a jewelry designer who has written several bead-weaving books with patterns using unique Swarovski shapes, I am also forced to think about how the changes will impact my current and future offerings. When a consumer opens a book or magazine featuring a project with a shape specific to Swarovski, but can no longer purchase the shape, they will most likely have to make major pattern adjustments.To get more news about Earring jewelry designers near me, you can visit jewelryhunt.net official website.
Wiseman knows several other artists who will need to radically overhaul their designs as a result. She adds, “As I think of new designs, I’m definitely not making them with Swarovski. The more limited fancy stone lineup from other crystal makers will limit what’s coming from designers in the near term.” Grakowsky Shippee is forced to take a similar approach: “I’m now using focals from different American artisans and German glass cabochons as focals in my projects, rather than relying only on Swarovski.”
The question now is which bead manufacturers will jump at the opportunity to fill the void that Swarovski will leave behind. One company that often comes up when talking with designers is Preciosa, a reputable beadmaker based in the Jablonec region of the Czech Republic. For Wiseman’s retail business, she revealed, “I’m picking up Preciosa, although it will be phased-in as it’s expensive to invest in all-new inventory. I’ll also be evaluating some Chinese crystals and am still researching other options. In general, I feel like Preciosa will be the best comparable [to Swarovski], but we’ll have to see how fast they can pivot to a much higher volume of orders.”
Grakowsky Shippee agrees that Preciosa may offer some light at the end of the tunnel: “I am exploring Preciosa crystal, which is really expanding their line of crystal now and the number of items they offer is increasing, as well as the quality. They look really good!” However, brand swaps aren’t typically as easy as one might think; most successful substitutions in beading require testing. Wiseman gives an example: “I have done side-by-side comparisons of 3mm and 4mm bicones and the Preciosa are a smidge (around .1mm) smaller than the Swarovski. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but those of us who make precision designs know that a small size offset multiplied by however many times that bead is used can add up and cause construction issues.”
In all of business, where there’s demand, supply will follow. However, for many designers in the DIY jewelry market, it will be a long road to recovery before we see a full line of Swarovski replacements. Wiseman maintains a positive attitude: “I believe Swarovski’s product assortment is not currently matched anywhere else, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done going forward. The other crystal companies have just been handed the biggest gift from Swarovski and we’ll have to see which ones step up to the plate and are able to ramp up their production. This won’t be a simple changeover. It’s going to take years for our industry to recover from the Swarovski exit.” Grakowsky Shippee concurs, “Swarovski most definitely had the hugest variety of crystal shapes and sizes on the planet, and the quality is unmatched, but we will adapt!”