what makes a designer stand out from the crowsd

This is a guest post by Tracy Matthews, jewellery designer and one half of the Flourish & Thrive Academy team.

Have you ever wondered why some designers or makers seem to easily attract publicity and sales while others fail to gain traction?

While having lovely designs is wonderful, there is a distinct difference between designers who shine and those who become wallflowers.

If you’d like to turn your passion into a business (or make it more profitable) take note at what we’ve learned from designers with worldwide recognition. One thing is for sure, their are specific characteristics that make famous designers stand out from the crowd.


Here are a few of them:



The number one factor that makes a designer thrive is that they believe in their value and their worth! Above everything else, if you have faith that you are destined for success and go for it, you have won half the battle. Success is more about belief and attitude than anything.



Designers who stand out always are really focused on their niche. They aren’t trying to please everyone, just the right people AKA their DREAM clients.

Do you have a special material you work with, or a special skill you know you’re an expert at? If not, work on getting clear. You can’t be everything to everyone.



In a world with an influx of designers and makers, it can be overwhelming to stand out. Don’t be a faceless business. As a designer, let your personality shine through.

Use topics from your own life that others resonate with as a means to incorporate personality into your brand. A personal connection with clientele is invaluable.


Shameless Self Promotion

Personally, as a bespoke fine jewelry designer, I make more connections by just talking about what I do than anything else. Self promoting can take many forms from full PR pushed to constant sales calls or even subtle conversations. The key is that you are always talking about what you are doing and you are not afraid to ask for the sale.


Make Lemonade

One thing that we’ve learned and is true is that all designers and makers experience ups and down. Some even make tragic mistakes. Those that stand out learn how to turn a bad situation into something good, either and learning experience or a new door to walk through. Let go of the drama! If you make a mistake, learn from it and move forward instead of wallowing in the fog.


Play Your Cards Right

When opportunity does come knocking, take full advantage of it. Learn to recognize a good opportunity, and take action. For example, when a big order or client comes through, make sure your entire staff brings their A-Game, from email correspondence to design. If a big-time blogger mentions your designs, make sure your website is in tip-top shape and prepare your business to handle high quantities. Whatever you do, don’t let a great opportunity turn sour because of dropping the ball (or folding your cards).



It’s easier to keep a client then to find a new one! Designers who make an impact create exceptional customer experiences and continually deliver great value to clients.

At the end of the day, the difference between those who have “made it” and those who are struggling is clear. If you are serious about making an impact, emulate these values and cater them to your brand for success.


How do I know all this? At Flourish & Thrive Academy, we’ve been working hard interviewing top jewelry designers with a worldwide following for our FREE Design to Thrive interview series! These famous designers shared everything from how they’ve survived difficult times, how they’ve ridden the wave of success and how they’ve funded their businesses. Oh, and it’s 100% FREE. Go here to sign up for the series!


In the comments, let us know::

1) What values do you have that set you apart?

2) How have you turned lemons into lemonade in your biz?


Tracy Matthews is an eco-luxury jewelry designer specializing in bespoke engagement rings, wedding bands and heirloom redesign. She loves to connect on a personal level with her clients, making the process of design intuitive and fun! Her passion for making the business of jewelry fun, led her to found Flourish & Thrive Academy  an online community of jewelry designers who are changing the face of the jewelry industry. Along with her partner, Robin Kramer, she is dedicated to helping jewelry designers get their work on more of their DREAM clients and raving fans.  Join Tracy Matthews and Flourish & Thrive Academy on Instagram.


Image source: Copyright Flourish & Thrive Academy

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