Naughty and nice list. Check. Mulled Wine. Check. Ink-soaked gel pens. Check. Ah, yes - it’s that time of year again. In this blog, we’ll share our top tips for buying bespoke at Christmas: Whether you’re looking to opt for a snazzy strap for your new Apple Watch Series 7 or commission a card case for someone special - here’s our top tips to get you started.
Let’s start off with the most important question, the need.
Do you need bespoke?
Bespoke sits in amongst a sea of terminology: “made to order,” “customisation,” and “ready to wear” and it’s easy to get confused with all the jargon. The best way we’d think about bespoke is like this: Are you looking to recreate an object that was handed down through the family? Or a card case to hold business cards that are different in their shape, size and thickness? If you are answering “yes” to any of these, then bespoke is the path you should look to explore. For those of you looking to create products that are branded to your exact company colours and logo, bespoke is a good place to start.
Who's it for?
Once you’ve determined whether bespoke is what’s needed, the next consideration is who the item is for. If the item is for someone else, consider whether you’re clear on what they’re looking for. Are you sure the person will use the item? A bespoke piece won’t come to life unless you’re clear on these points. Buying a gift is a really emotional and challenging purchase, and it’s just as tough for both the recipient and the buyer! If you’re in doubt on whether a bespoke piece will work for someone, don’t be afraid to do some stalking!.
If you personally were thinking of splashing out on bespoke after receiving a little windfall, consider whether the item you’re looking for is available ready-made, ie: you can buy it off the shelf. If it is, then look at that as an option, especially if you need it soon. If you’ve searched the shops with no sign of the item, then it’s best to turn to bespoke.
Can you commit?
Sadly, teleportation is a no-go here! Commissioning a bespoke piece takes time, and lead times can be as varied as travelling between London and John O’Groats in the north of Scotland. If there’s a single key piece of advice we can give, it’s to plan ahead. On average, bespoke pieces can take anywhere from a 4 weeks for a basic bespoke watch strap to 8 weeks for a belt or card case. For more complex projects such as a folio case, leads times can go up to 6 months.
Know your budget.
The average starting price for bespoke straps ranges between £425 and £750. For card cases, belts and folio cases this can jump up depending on the style, material and finish your looking to achieve - anywhere between £350 - £2000. In other words, it’s an expensive investment, but what you’ll get is a quality product that lasts for many years compared to frequently replacing an off the shelf item.
Last but not least, our parting advice would be this - start off with something small, like a card case or a watch strap. Not only do some of the best surprises come in the smallest packages, but it’ll also give you an idea of what the experience of buying bespoke is like. It’s not just like walking into a shop and picking something off the shelf - measurements are taken at different stages and you’ll be directly involved in designing your preferred item with a craftsperson.
Looking for inspiration? Drop us a line via our contact page.