Last year in an interview I said that one of our biggest challenges was to ‘maintain a unique identity in a crowded marketplace’. This is an ongoing challenge & one that we thrive on. Walking to work this morning I spotted a new jewellery store that has opened on the main walk way around Korcula old town. I started to think about how we can ensure that our identity is not lost amid the mass of stores here, and what makes our store different to others.
I firmly believe that our main unique selling point (USP) is the fact that ALL of jewellery is made here by us in Korcula, it is only available in our store in Korcula and in two boutiques in Dunedin, New Zealand. Each piece of our jewellery is handcrafted, using traditional filigree techniques that have been passed through many generations of the Seba family. It brings us much joy to know that we are keeping a centuries old tradition alive. By adding a Korcula flavour/modern twist to our pieces we are able to introduce a fresh approach to filigree making, keeping filigree relevant for today’s jewellery lovers and wearers.
I have written before about the various steps that go into creating each of our pieces, from the traditional filigree bead – see Creating Our Filigree Beads, part i, ii & iii to the wide variety of bespoke requests that we have enjoyed creating.
If you don’t see what you like in our store we are happy to create something especially for you, our bespoke service is offered to customers worldwide and we are yet to meet many of the people we have created pieces for. Items can be ordered online and discussed via email – firstname.lastname@example.org – feel free to contact us if you would like to know more about this service.
Both Doka & I enjoy sharing how we create our filigree pieces, and are here to answer questions in Croatian, English, Albanish or German.
We hold daily filigree demonstrations in our Korcula store (Seba Dizajn) where people can watch and learn about how we create our jewellery. There is a full working table in store and a lot of our pieces are created on site during the summer months.
We are passionate about our creations and ensure that each piece is worked to the highest standard, ensuring a product that will be enjoyed for many generations. Our unique pieces include several designs inspired by our Korcula environment, some of you will be familiar with our ‘Cathedral Window‘ Series – each pendant, and newly introduced pair of earrings, has a framework that is based on the window of St Peter’s Cathedral – the oldest (of 17) church here in Korcula. We have recently added a pendant to our collection that we first made in our first year of opening (2011) that is based on some of the amazing stonework found here in Korcula.
Our use of social media to promote both our business and Korcula is another feature has helped us create a unique identity here in Korcula. There are a number of Korcula businesses with fabulous facebook pages and we enjoying interacting with them and our ‘friends’ all over the world. We also use Twitter (@SebaDizajn), Pinterest, Google+ & this blog to help share our filigree world.
It is always interesting hearing about how people ‘found us’ and each of the social media listed here has been responsible for introducing a customer or two.
The constant updating of our stock also helps keep our business alive and fresh, making it interesting for those who are returning to visit and for us :) If you are in Korcula come and visit, we would love to meet you. If you are further away, leave a comment below, we enjoy hearing from our readers all over the world. Where in the world are you?
Our ‘non-shop’ season has been fairly full with creating new jewels for the 2014 season. There is an endless stream of ideas and never enough time to create all that we discuss.
The earrings featured here are part of our ‘luxury’ collection – while we consider all of our work to be special each pair of these earrings took several days to complete.
These photos highlight some of the many steps towards the final product.
I took the photo above on my mobile phone to emphasis how small each bead is. Here they are tied together with wire, in the next step the bead halves will be soldered together and the wire will no longer be required.
I hope you have enjoyed this short insight into the work that goes into creating our filigree jewellery.
Far too long since I have blogged, we had a fantastic break with family in Berlin to welcome 2014 and since our return to Korcula we have been working on new designs for our 2014 collection.
Here is a peak at three of our recently completed designs,
This open style of filigree bead has been popular as both earrings and pendants. We decided to add a new dimension to the pendants and have included a small coral bead in the base of the bead on the left, while the central bead has a coral bead suspended inside it. The third photo shows the original design.
Do you have a favourite?
Earlier in the summer we received an email request from a customer who we meet in our store last year. Chris had a silver filigree bracelet that needed some repair work, and if possible an extension made so that she could wear it – without the extension the bracelet would be repaired for her daughter to wear.
Chris sent us some images of the bracelet and we sent each other a few emails talking about the work that needed to be done and working out a price for the work. Approximately two weeks later the bracelet arrived in the post from Australia.
A closer inspection revealed more repairs were necessary than we originally thought and we emailed Chris about this and were given the go ahead to do all that we thought the bracelet needed to fully restore it.
The first part in the repair process was repairing and replacing the central beads of each segment, three pieces were missing and we thought it would be best to replace all 6 beads.
After the damaged pieces were repaired Doka then started working on the required extension. The bracelet needed to be 2.5cm longer than it had been. The original segments, as seen above, are 3cm long so we decided to recreate the original design in a slightly smaller frame.
New pins were created to fit between each of the hinged segments and finally a new catch was created, then all the pieces were cleaned and polished.
We sent a few ‘work in progress’ photos to Chris as the repair progressed but saved the complete work for a live inspection here in our Korcula store – Chris enjoyed Korcula and her 2012 painting tour with Slikamilina Painting Tours so much that she returned to Korcula this year for more painting.
Here is the completed bracelet;
Chris was overwhelmed, literally – there was a tear in her eye and many thanks offered to Doka for all his work.
It’s amazing, I can’t believe it, it’s like new, thank you so much.
I wish we could have recorded her response on first seeing the bracelet – one of our best customer reactions to date!
We learnt a little more of the history of the bracelet from Chris – her Dad brought it for her during the second World War and it was given to her when she was 18 years old. She wore it constantly while she was at University and even used a safety-pin for a catch when her original catch broke!
Chris left the store this morning wearing her fully restored bracelet and she was so happy, we said our goodbyes at the door and I watched her walking down the street – I don’t think she took her eyes off her ‘new’ bracelet.
During the summer we have the pleasure of meeting a number of friends from our Seba Dizajn facebook page, the set featured here was created for one of our facebook friends visiting from Switzerland. Natascha did not see exactly what she wanted in store, we talked a little more and worked out how long she was staying on the island and what she was looking for. The filigree and turquoise set that we created for her and some of the production process can be seen here.
Natascha was delighted with the set, and left the store wearing her new jewellery, the perfect advert – a happy customer wearing beautiful jewellery.
We really enjoy our bespoke work and the challenge of a new project. You don’t need to be here in Korcula to have a bespoke piece created, please feel free to email us with any ideas you may have, we are here to help with any of your questions and enquiries – email@example.com
While the blog side of life has been quiet our third season here in our Korcula store has been busy and we have met some great people and made some wonderful pieces of jewellery.
It is hard to believe it is already September, some slightly shorter store opening hours have started (currently 9am – 9:30pm daily) and I am aiming to re-launch our blog with weekly updates. It is nice to have a bit of time to re-focus here and I look forward to sharing some of summer projects with you.
The piece on the left was a customer request, not seeing exactly what she wanted here in the store she decided to ask could we create ‘a teardrop shaped bead with a dangling silver fringe’ – sure! It is so nice being able to create something unique for someone that we have met and seeing how happy they are with our work.
Our facebook page and twitter accounts see a growing number of followers and we are enjoying interactions with our friends there. We have also started a G+ account and our store location has been verified so you can find us via Google Maps if you are visiting Korcula and wondering where we are – Ulica de Polo, beside the Marco Polo Tower. The range of online networks have all been useful steps in helping to promote our business. We have also reached out to a number of tour operators to let them know that we offer the chance for visitors to Korcula to see, learn about and enjoy watching how our filigree jewellery is made. We encourage questions from visitors and enjoy sharing the family history of filigree making and the steps involved in creating each of our pieces.
We have also increased our range of jewellery, adding some wonderful new products. We are currently working on a Filigree and Pearl range and aim to have this loaded onto our website this week.
Thanks for your patience with our often neglected blog, we hope you will re-join us for the rest of 2013 and enjoy our continued journey and growth of our Filigree Jewellery business.