What is the magic of small business gift and accessory stores? In a word, it is surprise. Surprise after surprise makes these small businesses irresistible. Cracker Barrel Restaurants recognized it and must have done an extensive study to capture the intrigue of a quaint cottage shop. One item mesmerizes you with sparkle, the next with nostalgia, then comes practical use, followed by the surprise of reviving something long since forgotten. The surprises never end. It is not the slick look of department stores, but something very homey and comfortable.
Black Friday is upon us followed by Small Business Saturday, but these labels are the invention of Madison Avenue advertising. The reality is the everyday consumers find surprises in small businesses-the most creative people on earth. Let’s review some items that may add to the magic of your shop.
Comments (0) Posted by admin on Thursday, November 27th, 2014
The Drive of Christmas Giving that the Economy Can’t Stop
Every time we are in a slow economy when the end of the year approaches, economist release their dire predictions for Christmas shopping. But when Christmas on 34th Street starts playing on TV and Silent Night on the radio, hearts melt and everything changes. Se we can never count Christmas out.
Start with some classy Christmas jewelry especially the pendants that double as a pin and have the look of sterling silver. Do you remember the sterling puffy hearts that were once a rage? A stamping process created the puffy hearts from a thin sheet of silver. They were hollow inside, creating lightweight pieces that were nice size.
The rising price of sterling hindered development of new designs. But an innovative manufacturer picked up the idea using the same process with thin sheets of steel to produce jewelry that looked identical to sterling. The line is mainly pendants and earrings. Most of the pendants have a pin back letting them double as pins. Some of the very classy Christmas jewelry is part of this line.
The Christmas pendants and earrings provide the expensive look of sterling silver in more affordable fashion jewelry. Add some chokers from the choker selection so your customers have an attractive way to wear the pendants. The Christmas pendants have a classy and expensive look for your customers to wear, but they also make a meaningful Christmas gift with the valuable look of sterling silver.
Next Newsletter: What is Hot for the Holidays
The next newsletter will explore all the new items for the Holiday stretch. Your success concerns us. Looking back over the year, the economists’ predictions for consumer buying have missed the target most of the year. The coming upturn has not happened. We are working hard to find the items that will make it happen for you. That is what our next newsletter is about.
Comments (0) Posted by admin on Saturday, November 22nd, 2014
It doesn’t take much to make a scarf. Pick fun material and you’re just a few snips away from one of the most diverse pieces of cloth you’ll ever own.
Stock up on them because your customers use them, and in many different ways.
Scarves can improve a particular décor fixture that seems lacking. Dress up curtains, drape over couches, lay them out across coffee tables, and so on and so forth. The possibilities are endless.
They can add character to your outfit as well. It’s common to see fashionable gals involving scarves in their hair-dos or as a purse accessory. They are great additions to a quick outfit for last-minute outings.
If the fabric of a certain scarf vibes well with the color scheme of a room, all it takes is a few tacks and it becomes part of it.
The fashion items people can’t live without go by many names including impulse items. With fleur-de-lis being a hot item in Louisiana, these rhinestud ball caps caught on immediately. The hats have pizzazz and go straight to the heart of those captivated by the fleur-de-lis.
These are the kind of products we need to fit the just-got-to-have category. For women going to formal events, the got-to-have item can be breath-taking crystal jewelry. For church ladies it can be a stunning dress hat. The products in this category have to have an irresistible attraction shoppers just can’t live without out.
What items does your customer base find irresistible. These are the items you need at least a modest selection of in your shop. Irresistible beauty trumps cheap price for shoppers.
Comments (0) Posted by admin on Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
While rhinestone and crystal jewelry continues to fill needs, fashion jewelry seems to have lost its direction. With the beginning of shopping season for Christmas, what can retailers do to appeal to consumers?
Do you remember the importance of wholesale gemstone jewelry for you selection in past holiday seasons? Especially in those years that classic jewelry was all that counted. Well, gemstone jewelry is timeless and has an attraction that never ends. The uniqueness of each piece formed over thousand of years by nature; the cold feel of natural stones; colors that coordinate created by nature compounding elements. How can the human spirit ever discard the beauty of gemstones?
THE FAVORITE WHOLESALE GEMSTONE JEWELRY IS TURQUOISE
Nothing surpasses turquoise for consumers that want gemstone jewelry. This magnificent semi precious stone has so many textures and colors that there is no end to designs artists can create. Most turquoise is mined out in the US. But the mines still give their names to the turquoise they yielded. Traderoots.com shows the different shades of color and matrix from each mine. This was the Turquoise Native Americans used to create the genuine American Indian jewelry–a true American art.
The turquoise jewelry pictured with a chunky polished nugget necklace set captures Navajo inspiration. Especially the Navajos worked with polished nuggets and bolder designs. The original jewelry is a treasure in high demand, but not easy to find. Imported turquoise jewelry provides the look to a certain degree at a price that is affordable to nearly anyone.
Since gemstone quality turquoise is around $1,500 a pound, imported turquoise jewelry is either low grade or reconstituted. Reconstituted turquoise contains pulverized turquoise that is mixed with resins and dye to create attractive stones at a low price. According to Wisegeek, this process is not exactly new. The Egyptians had a similar process 4,000 years ago.
WHOLESALE GEMSTONE JEWELRY YOUR CUSTOMERS KNOW
Many semi precious stones are household words. Your customers recognize them instantly. Rose quartz, tiger’s eye, amethyst, and coral (which is actually not a stone) fit into this category.
Rose quartz has the characteristic soft pink color that is semi-transparent revealing inclusions.
Tiger’s eye jewelry has colors between deep brown and honey. The moving eye is the most famous characteristic. It is called chatoyance. Parallel fibers in the stone cause the effect.
Amethyst is perceived as a gemstone too expensive to be included with affordable gemstone fashion jewelry. Clear amethyst in deep purple with no color variance has a gemstone quality that commands a price. Anything below that can be components in gemstone fashion jewelry. Notice the color variance in the amethyst earring shown. Your customers can take advantage of this slight variance in color that lets them own a pair of amethyst earrings at a very low price.
Coral is grouped with semi precious jewelry, but is actually a life-form of the sea. The most popular colors are Mediterranean red or pink coral from the Pacific. In order to supply inexpensive coral jewelry, drab colors are dyed or enhanced to get the rich red or soft pink.
COORDINATING WITH GEMSTONE JEWELRY
Gemstone jewelry offers an array of colors that makes coordinating a breeze. The easiest way to illustrate this is by follow the link to gemstone identification. There you will see color with pictures of 21 gemstones. By browsing wholesale gemstone jewelry on the site, you will see far including basic black and white like the snowy white quartz necklace set shown.
VARIETY IN GEMSTONE JEWELRY
From necklace sets to bracelets, whatever you find in fashion jewelry can be found in gemstone jewelry. Bracelets are particularly popular. Fro a bracelet that goes with everything, consider the mixed gemstone bracelet shown.
Gemstone jewelry can be very traditional or very contemporary. The Blackstone necklace set pictured is strung on piano wire for today-styling. This comes as a surprise to many when they consider this semi precious jewelry.
So when stocking showcases for Christmas, if fashion jewelry doesn’t seem to have anything to offer that will excite your customers, fall back on wholesale gemstone jewelry that is never out of style for long.
Comments (0) Posted by Michael Gietl on Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
Pageant, homecoming, prom, and Mardi Gras are all occasions that call for kings crowns. But finding kings crowns with the masculine look that men are comfortable with is not easy. The preferred style is full round crowns, which adds another problem—size. Then there is the need for gold or silver plating. Finally, kings crowns are often more expensive than queens crowns. This is a lot to deal with, so let’s begin with crowns that men are comfortable wearing.
THE RENAISSANCE LOOK IN MEN’S CROWNS
Men are used to seeing crowns like King Arthur wore or those on the heads of kings in Shakespearean plays. For the most part, these are from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, often embellished with fleur-de-lis emblems. The full round crown dominates this period from simple crowns cut from metal (like King Arthur and Henry VI) to more elaborate men’s crowns with arches creating height and lined in velvet.
The cut metal crown shown is a full round design in mostly plated metal with a few stones. Full round crown means a circular crown with continuous design and no openings for adjustment.
The velvet-lined crown in the image has the rising arches creating an 8.5 inch height. Gold plated fleur-de-lis emblems rise in a continuous pattern around the base. The look is similar to the Imperial State Crown of Great Britain.
Very popular as a Mardi Gras king’s crown, these full round fleur-de-lis crowns are available in silver or gold plating and have the King Henry VI look with the addition of sparkling stones.
The inexpensive crown pictured here frequently pops up as a king’s crown in homecoming pictures. It has the velvet dome and white fur base inspired by The Imperial State Crown of Great Britain.
Boys’ crowns for pageant use a modified version of the one just reviewed. They have a very affordable wholesale price that helps pageant directors keep within a budget.
SIZES OF KINGS CROWNS
Since men’s crowns are mostly full round crowns, there is no adjustment. Sizes can compare to hat sizes. See the size chart on our site. A slight difference in the diameter makes a lot of difference in the circumference. The fleur-de-lis crown shown has a 7.5 inch diameter. The diameter multiplied by pi (3.14) gives the circumference. So the circumference of this crown is 23.55 inches. A measurement around the head tells what size the king’s crown should be. In hat sizes, 25.5 inches is a large to extra large hat size.
The sizes of full round crowns don’t adjust. The king can always make a large size fit a smaller head, but can’t make a small size fit a larger head. How do you reduce the size? We will take a lesson from some of the less expensive crowns that use foam weather stripping inside the crown to add comfort. This also reduces the size. If there are openings, use weather stripping in a color close to the hair color of the king. This actually makes the crown not only fit, but also fit comfortably.
The selection we reviewed includes wholesale men’s crowns from $8.00 to $78.00—very affordable for nice kings’ crowns.
Comments (0) Posted by Michael Gietl on Thursday, November 6th, 2014
Need takes lots of avenues. All the commitments to balls, church events, charities and fundraisers, homecoming, school events are needs. And there are plenty more like prom, bridal, and seasonal changes like warm weather clothing.
A good example of need in our area is Mardi Gras Balls. Those chosen as kings, queens, and members of the court consider it a great honor. The privilege also creates needs. Royalty needs crowns, tiaras, scepters, gloves and favors.
Call-out gifts for formal dancing are another need for favors. Other Krewe members give favors to those sharing their table. There are plenty of other expenses, but the ones mentioned are items any local retailer in the fashion accessory industry can provide.
Find the needs in your area. Outfitting homecoming courts is one idea. They need crowns, scepters, jewelry, suits, and gloves. This year as a cost saving measure, many courts are using fascinators instead of dress hats. You have access to all of this through our website.
Church groups are another need. With Christmas coming, many choirs want matching scarves and sometimes ties for special music renditions. Be creative and find the needs that generate sales in your area or your niche market.
Recent economic news relates weaker retail sales in the US. That is not a surprise to retailers on the front line. Nor is it reason for discouragement for small business that is never down for long. It has an amazing resilience that finds ways to survive and succeed. It comes down to making enough sales to cover the overhead and a little more to make a profit.
Small business has a nose for figuring out why consumers buy and what items they need. ClickZ lists 20 reasons consumers buy, but this month’s newsletter will narrow it to three.
When big business says sales are flat, small business looks for the items consumers absolutely need or can’t live without. Add to that the Christmas factor-consumers just can’t pass up Christmas no matter what the economists say. This newsletter explores these three categories that motivate buyers this time of year: 1) need, 2) Christmas spirit, 3) can’t live without it.
Masks have so many facets, they could be a newsletter by themselves. To simplify, we are going to list categories with a picture and short description.
Venetian Style Masks:
A range of looks and prices inspired by the masks of Venice. New arrivals include leather masks and macramé masks.
Inexpensive masks for your customers doing parties that need bulk masks. Cats, butterflies, and masks on a stick are some of the styles.
Good looking masks at low wholesale prices. Your customers can wear them or use them for decorations or in centerpieces.
Day of the Dead Masks:
Popular in the Hispanic culture, The Day of the Dead occurs from Oct. 31 to Nov 2, corresponding to Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day. It has a long history and banks in Mexico close for this event.
Rhinestone masks are the height of extravagance in masks. Both rhinestone and crystal designs are available.
With a flurry of activity occupying everybody’s mind from Thanksgiving to New Years, is it too early for shops to think about stocking wholesale Mardi Gras jewelry? Actually, those that stock Mardi Gras jewelry early reap a big benefit. Let’s look at the reason why.
In 2015, Mardi Gras Day is February 17 and the traditional starting date for the Carnival season is January 6, The Feast of the Epiphany when The Wise Men arrive to visit the Christ Child. For many Krewes, Coronations and Mardi Gras Balls precede Fat Tuesday, often by several weeks. There is a great need for favors for these events and Krewe members are shopping early to get special designs in Mardi Gras jewelry and favors they will proud to give.
A GLIMPSE AT MARDI GRAS FAVORS AND BALLS
Mardigrastraditions.com shows excellent insight in their report on the development of Mardi Gras Balls. The period of Reconstruction in the late 1800s brought turmoil to social and political norms in New Orleans. To offset this, upper class citizens organized balls that acted out aristocratic fantasies based on pre-Enlightenment Europe when kings and courts had codes of chivalry and behavior. These balls gradually developed into Carnival Balls that continue to this day.
The Balls are private events thrown by Krewes. Krewes are private clubs that develop the events that make up Mardi Gras including Balls and parades. They have royal courts including kings and queens. Those selected for the court consider it a great privilege. As a member, there are certain expectations. One of them is the giving of favors by kings, queens, maids, dukes and other court members. In addition, there is a need for “call-out” favors for ladies invited to dance. Other Krewe members often give favors to those seated at their table. Finding favors early eliminates the stress of a frantic search when they are in short supply close to the time of the Ball.
STOCKING WHOLESALE MARDI GRAS JEWELRY EARLY
Traditionally, the most popular favor is Mardi Gras jewelry. A decade ago, the Mardi Gras crown ring was an elite Mardi Gras favor with low supply and great demand. These crown rings, made in the USA, were finished with heavy gold electroplated and clear crystals or crystals in Mardi Gras colors. Stock is still available for this wholesale Mardi Gras jewelry if you want to offer your customers this exclusive item that looks like fine jewelry. Since the USA no longer manufacturers these rings, they will be a Mardi Gras collectible once inventory is depleted.
The wholesale Mardi Gras jewelry most often used as favors is pins. Mardi Gras pins offer the happy combination of a classy look and low wholesale prices. There are at least 40 choices available from cute to classic. The Mardi Gras Teddy Bear pin shown would have to be included with cute.
UNIQUE WHOLESALE MARDI GRAS JEWELRY FOR FAVORS
Mardi Gras history and collectibles are part of the New Orleans culture. Some wholesale Mardi Gras jewelry reaches back in history providing a favor that is definitely unique.
Doubloon holders are that kind of Mardi Gras jewelry that makes unique favors. First of all, some people are going to wonder what is a doubloon. The short answer is a coin-like favor or throw. And yes, it’s an item that started in New Orleans. Find the full story on gonola.com. For those that want a quick answer, these throws or favors slightly larger than the old silver dollars began in 1960 when Alvin Sharpe came up with the idea for The Krewe of Rex.
First minted in aluminum, Rex has 1000 anodized in gold and used them as throws in their parade. Soon other Krewes were using them. The “heavies” followed shortly afterwards—doubloons minted in bronze or sterling tht Krewe members could buy.
For these a doubloon holder made a way to convert a valuable Mardi Gras memento into Mardi Gras jewelry. The USA produced some nice doubloon holders. These became Mardi Gras jewelry that was very appropriate as favors.
Today China makes most of the doubloon holders at promotional prices with lower quality than the originals made in the USA. The few American-made that we have left are under wholesale Mardi Gras jewelry as two different products. One is a blank that accepts the recipients own doubloon. These are good for Krewe members that want to use their own doubloon as jewelry.
The other comes with a doubloon included. The doubloons in these doubloon holders are mainly from the 1960s, the decade in which doubloons first appeared. Both are in low supply. They are no longer in production so grab this wholesale Mardi Gras jewelry while inventory is available.
So should retailers stock wholesale Mardi Gras jewelry early? Absolutely, both for royalty that is shopping early and also so those shopping later will see it your showcases when they are doing their Christmas shopping. After the holidays, they know where to go to find favors.
Comments (0) Posted by Michael Gietl on Monday, October 20th, 2014