Saturday, November 17, 2012

Can I Wrap That Up For You?

Why do people buy?  In particular, why do people buy jewelry?

In doing an internet search (of course, the font of all knowledge), I found all sorts of theories.

One website suggests that people are motivated by four goals: to be Happy, Healthy, Wealthy and Sexy.  People are motivated by praise or the need for social acceptance.  One's appearance also comes into play.  Jewelry can be an enhancement, a source of bringing out one's smile or eyes or unique point of style. 
Photo from International Gem & Jewelry Show website.

Another website gave 20 reasons for purchases, acknowledging name recognition, niche identity, and/or following a fad.  Well, honestly, I keep waiting for bead embroidery to become the latest rage, but after twenty years of creating, I'm losing hope.  Even though celebrities are currently wearing large statement jewelry, there hasn't been much of a trickle down effect in my conservative hometown.
Love the layers of this Junk Gypsy style.
Why do I buy jewelry, on the rare occasion that I do?  It's to symbolize my uniqueness, my personality - whether that be my fun side, my spiritual side, my rebellious side.  Or I buy jewelry to mark an event in my life - an achievement, a memory.  If I buy jewelry as a gift (a much more frequent occasion), I do so as a token of affection, of love and appreciation.
More from the IG&J website.
As I head into major jewelry shopping season, I'm working to find ways to transfer "why people shop" into sales.  Sometimes, often, it feels very mystifying.  What prompts a sale?  What turns fondling a necklace, trying it on, into "I'll take it." - is there a secret I'm missing that keeps me from making more sales?  Not that I don't make solid sales.  But let's face it.  I'd love to be the next big thing in jewelry.  Wouldn't we all?
So, why not?  Does it come down to marketing?  To being in the right place at the right time?  I've worked hard at my jewelry business for many years.  Have I just not "worked smart?"


  1. I wonder a lot of the same things. I don't embroider but I am a beadweaver. I get so much positive feedback at shows and on line but not the sales I need. And since I am not a salesperson, I am of no help to myself. I do well at one store in particular, but I have yet to figure out why. Where I live now, it is conservative. So there is a lot of Same-ness going around. Where I moved here from, it was very liberal(oh how I miss that place!) so there was a lot of individual expression. If I weaved then, I would have had a pretty good business, I think. A few of my friends make trendy stuff and sell like crazy. I just cannot bring myself to do that. Staying true to what you do is better, even if it results in slower sales. At least, that is the theory I can go to bed with each night.

    1. Christine, I just wanted to give you some applause for not following trends. It's something I'm not interested in at all, since that's not the kind of customer I'm looking for. Like you, I'd rather be true to myself as a designer!


    2. Christine - I totally get the shift from more liberal clothes to conservative. I experienced the same thing when I moved from Vegas back to my MI hometown. I'm still amazed at how many wear the same thing. And seem so reluctant to step outside the box, even a bit. But at the big spring show I did, it was older women (50s +) that bought the most unusual jewelry. Now that I'm thinking about it, maybe that's who I need to be marketing to...

      Like you, I refuse to tame myself down. I'd be so unhappy and it would show immediately in my work.

  2. I have to say, the sales thing is a mystery to me because except for beads and books, I'm not much of a shopper.

    Your work is gorgeous though, absolutely unique, and I think it's just a matter of getting it in front of a larger audience. Heidi Kingman of My Bead Therapy submits pieces to be featured on TV shows like Pretty Little Liars (the character Aria wears a lot of funky stuff, so this might be the right show for you) and The Vampire Diaries.

    And my friend Vanessa Walilko spends a lot of time on a site called Model Mayhem, where you can find models and photographers for your jewelry AND photographers who will use it in their fashion shoots. Vanessa's stuff has even been worn by a Japanese pop star in a video. I could totally see this happening to you.

    1. Sarah, thanks so much for the tips. I'm going to pursue both. When I first started out and lived in Vegas, I had friends who would wear my designs to shows on the Strip. But that venue has changed so much. So it's about finding new opportunities, setting new goals. Going to spend this next year building connections with designers. I don't watch much tv but might have to have family members do some "research" for potential shows. :)

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I loved reading this post and agree with you, it's so difficult knowing exactly what will sell and what won't and how to market your work, it's just one of the challenges of artistry, unfortunately!