Daniel Bowden specializes in custom pieces
By Charles McMahon
Hampton Union, October 7, 2014
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON — Local jeweler Daniel Bowden is attempting to carve out his own place in the custom jewelry scene on the Seacoast and beyond.
As the founder of Bowden Jewelers, Bowden specializes in designing and creating handcrafted jewelry for any occasion. The 27-year-old jeweler and former fashion model has been in the custom jewelry creation business for the past 10 years, but has only recently experienced moderate to significant success thanks to a unique business model he says was deliberately designed to be unlike a traditional jewelry store.
Bowden said he designed his business plan to focus on a concierge-type jewelry experience that emphasizes comfort and convenience. Rather than expect his customers to come to him, Bowden said he’s fully prepared to meet his clients in the comfort of their own home, or wherever they prefer. This as a result cuts out the stuffiness most people experience when shopping in a jewelry store, he said.
“It’s whenever and wherever you’d like to meet,” he said. “Some people invite me over to their house for dinner, others have even taken me out fishing with them.”
While the business is technically based out of his Hampton workshop, Bowden said his craft has brought him all over the place. “This has led me all over the country,” he said.
Having studied at the Gemological Institute of America, Bowden said he gained valuable experience in custom jewelry design by studying diamondology and gemology, as well as completing training in computer-aided design software.
And it was this education and real-world experience that Bowden said helped him recognize the unique business opportunity awaiting him.
“I saw the need and decided my business model would be all about catering to the client,” Bowden said. “I want to make it easier for people who don’t have the time, or don’t like going to jewelry stores, to purchase a one-of-a-kind piece.”
Since starting the concierge jewelry business about three years ago Bowden said word has slowly started to get out about his custom jewelry design talents.
“The growth has been slow, but steady,” he said.
The first step in the creation process, according to Bowden, involves getting to know the client. The initial meeting is usually a get together to talk and get to know one another. The one-to-one experience is important, according to Bowden.
“I like to take everything in as a person,” he said. “It allows me to personalize the piece exactly the way they want it.”
While the timing varies depending upon the piece, Bowden said the overall process takes about six weeks from start to finish.
While the vast majority of clients want rings, Bowden said he’s also created custom necklaces as well.
“There’s nothing I can’t do,” he said, adding he only works with gold and platinum, as well as high-end diamonds and gems.
And because he’s an independent business owner, Bowden said he needs not to worry about the upcharge of dealing with a middle man and is able to offer his jewelry at a much more affordable price than the average jewelry store.
“I have a price point that makes it a lot more affordable for pretty much everyone,” he said.
But at the end of the day the most unique aspect of the business, according to Bowden, is the customized pieces of jewelry he is able to create for his clients.
“I don’t duplicate,” he said. “I protect all of my client’s pieces.”
Having always had a love for fine jewelry, Bowden said he takes the trust his clients give him very seriously. He said there’s nothing quite like seeing the look on a client’s face once they’ve seen their custom made piece of jewelry.
“There’s so much meaning behind it and so much value,” he said. “I love all the little tiny details that go into creating such a small and personal piece.”