[ Darren ][ Loudon, Tn ][ Musing ][ NEWS ]

You Pay For What You Get.

Today I will address the question that many people have about our Aromatherapy Jewelry, yet rarely ask. There have been a few folks who have been forthright enough to ask why it is so expensive. Yes, you can go to the discount store and get something similar for less money. Yes, you can go online and find a cheaper alternative. Please do as you Wish, just understand and know what you are getting for your money.

As I began my journey to making Aromatherapy Jewelry, I picked up a few things along the way. Whether it was my time as a Diesel Mechanic for military vehicles where durability was a focus, the intricate redundancies found in aircraft maintenance and repair, or the appreciation that I gained for allowing natural materials to be natural in woodworking; I developed a desire to make things that feature the beauty of natural elements, are durable enough for everyday use, and have the timeless classic style that will make a nice heirloom piece that can be handed down for generations.

With these concepts in mind, my techniques and the materials that I choose have evolved over time. While I design things to be worn while living life, there are some limitations that common sense should indicate. While I do not recommend most of these creations to be worn while skydiving or deep sea diving, some will survive well with others failing. The Infused Elegance line may not contain the best choices for a marathon, but an evening on the town or a day at the office would be perfect. While you may not want to change a tire with your Desisns By Darren (DbD) stretch bracelet, I have done it a couple of times.

Going back to the original unasked question, “why do my designs cost so much?” I know what I am making these pieces with; I know the materials. When I first started I went to the local craft store and picked up a strand of beads, some cute little charms, and some stretch cord. As I began adding lava stones for aromatherapy, I soon learned that the choice in materials made a difference. When high quality essential oils are used around some components, disaster can occur. I soon found that the coatings were coming off of some of the beads. Then I learned that a dyed stone can lose its color with use; all it took was one ruined blouse for me to get an earful (justifiably so). As time went on I realized that all stretch cords are not created equally, and the knot that is used makes a difference. Then the glue used on that knot plays a role in security. The diameter, size, and tensile strength of the cord plays a role in being able to “hide” the knot inside a bead for a finished look. All of this stuff has driven me to find the best materials possible; and this only describes my journey with simple aromatherapy stretchy bracelets.

In order to determine what my components are made of, I found a distributor who is a member of the American Gemstone Trade Association (AGTA). One of the many requirements that they must maintain, as members of the AGTA, is to comply with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines that require disclosure of any treatment to a gemstone. Learning these different treatments and their effect when essential oils are applied, has brought me to a place where I can be comfortable creating something to be used for aromatherapy without fear of dye leaching out of the stone. Learning the hardness of different stones also guides me when placing stones next to each other without a buffer between them. I now know that as much as Tigereye and Malachite look good together, the Tigereye is much harder and will abrade the Malachite over time; so a knotted silk cord or bead cap would be called for to separate the two. Bead caps and metallic components are another topic all to themselves. The bottom line with findings is this, I will not use anything that is plated or coated; the coatings come off. I prefer Sterling Silver (or Fine Silver), Copper, or Stainless Steel for the Men’s lines. I hate to design a piece with a silver component that is bronze colored in a few months; if I wanted it to look like tarnished brass, I would have used it in the first place.

The final answer to the question that most people won’t ask is this: You get what you pay for, and you will pay for what you get. If you think that a handcrafted item costs too much, you may want to consider what it is that it you are comparing it to. If your comparison only focuses on price, you probably do not want anything that we make. I would recommend that you go to a flea market or a discount store, where the value of the item will be reflected in the price. If your desire is to own a unique handmade creation that has been developed with blood, sweat, and tears; care and concern, as well as the vision and spirit of the designer; then we have something for you at Personal Space Creations.

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