I'd like to share with you one particular custom adventure that I went on recently.
An Etsy shopper contacted me about putting together a custom set of "The Spirit" Bubble Danglers for her. She loved the characters Denny Colt (The Spirit) and Ellen Dolan and was hoping that I could create 4 pairs of earrings for her- 2 pairs featuring Denny, and 2 pairs featuring Ellen. She wanted to be able to create lots of mix and match combinations with them. After coming up dry for source material at my local comic shop The Dragon (the only Spirit comics available were really collector items and not what we needed for this project) my customer checked hers and found some imagery that she really liked so she shipped the comic my way. I set up a custom listing on Etsy that my customer could use to check up on the progress of her order- every time there were new images or something for her to approve, I updated her listing and sent her a message ('convo' if you're an Etsy user). Two weeks later (such is life with shipments that have to cross the US/Canada border) I had the comic in my hands and was ready to get to work!
I managed to find 4 pairs of co-ordinating images, got them prepped and updated the listing.
My customer's approval showed up quickly in the form of...
"Omg those are so great! I'm all excited now! Total yes on them all!"So I proceeded to bond them to my glass stones, finish all of the backs, and add the jewelry findings to turn them into earrings. I sent her a process update during this phase, and the last photo to be uploaded in the listing was the finished product:
(Bubble Danglers are terribly hard to photograph because they are so round and shiny!)
Being able to create things like this is one of the things that I love about being a member of the handmade community. Sometimes it simply doesn't matter how many places you check for an item you're looking for, and instead you have to start shopping for a creator who can bring your idea to life. I love the opportunity to connect with people that comes from being able to offer customizable options in a way that big manufacturer's can't.
The next time you're trying to find the perfect gift for someone, or even the perfect something for yourself, remember there are tons of talented people out there who would probably love the chance to make your dream item- and who'd do a darn good job of it too. And hey! I'm one of 'em! :)