This week we enjoyed a great lesson in learning to knot tiny pearls!
We have always charged $3 per inch to knot our pearl jewelry or to reknot pearls for our customers. Occasionally we have very big pearls, which do not take as long to knot. Then we occasionally work on smaller pearls which take longer to knot. They always seem to balance out. Well, this week they didn’t balance and we learned something huge…
We received three necklaces of teeny, tiny pearls. Here are two of them. The third was even smaller! The pearls were around 1mm-3mm in diameter!
These necklaces featured ten inches of pearls on a gold chain. They were an add-a-pearl style necklace. And those ten inches of pearls featured 120-125 pearls each! We had lots of knots to tie! So, three hours into reknotting these strands, my staff called an emergency meeting. We quickly learned that $3 per inch was not enough to charge for these tiny necklaces!
The good news is, we have amazing women like Beverly who kept her cool! But, we quickly learned that our flat rate of $3 per inch does not always work in our reknot business…. especially when we are reknotting tiny pearls. So, what did we do? Well, of course we honored the price we had quoted our customer. The staff gladly finished the work and I paid them according to the time they worked, not what we charged the customer. Then we created a more equitable plan to implement moving forward. We all agree $3 an inch works great for necklaces and bracelets with pearls 7mm or larger. But, for these smaller pearls, we are starting to charge per knot. These necklaces, with around 120 knots, would actually cost $90 to reknot. It feels fair given the amount of time they took. And, if a customer wishes to save money, we will still only charge $1.50 per inch to restring a necklace with no knots.
The necklaces looked absolutely beautiful when we packed them up and returned them to our customer. And, we feel pleased that we found a sound way to compensate our staff for their work!
Thanks for being a Pearl Girl!
I am a modern day treasure hunter who travels the world for gorgeous pearls and amazing adventures. I own a pearl jewelry and jewelry repair business, ThePearlGirls.com, with a cute retail store in Athens, GA. I also have a Pearl Travel business and travel blog at TheWorldofPearl.com.