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Ideas for Jewelry & Accessory Businesses

Archive for February, 2011...

Filed under Fashion Jewelry, Pendants
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 The last blog introduced a fashion jewelry line of superb quality that mainly centered on pendants and earrings—a line that poured oodles of creativity into extraordinary designs that fell into theme or fashion categories.  The manufacturer, “Best Brand”, goes through painstaking processes with each piece to produce fashion jewelry destined to be the future collector items in jewelry. 

 

Before we begin coverage of fashion pendants, click on theme pendants, which the last blog covered, and browse through a few pages for a lesson in creative design.  One theme pendant can be wonderfully simple while another has extensive detail that engages the imagination.  More amazing, nearly every pendant has matching earrings, which you can locate easily by changing the letters “PD” to “FS” before the number and putting the code in the search on the site. 

Now for fashion pendants!  To me, creating a line of fashion pendants requires even more creativity than theme jewelry. The designer works mainly with shapes, textures,  and platings with an occasional addition of shell, gemstones, inlays, or epoxy highlights.  Creating a few gorgeous pendants is hard enough, but putting together an entire line with new addition constantly being added—Now that’s a challenge!

Do it right and the pendant added to a choker creates a classic tailored look that is timeless.  How stunning this looks with a woman’s business suit or a nice dress for church or work.  Even when fashion jewelry becomes lukewarm because of changing trends, the tailored look remains popular. 

 

Glancing through the fashion pendant line will have you wondering—how do they create so many designs?  Maybe they don’t sleep at night because there are even more pendant designs in other categories.  Gemstone pendants offer some extraordinary pendants using amethyst, carnelian, tiger’s eye, and Unakite.  Returning to the fashion pendant category, the variety can’t fail to amaze.  Animal print suspended in glass rests in a plated frame for a classy accessory that compliments animal prints or becomes the whole story by adding the animal print jewelry to an ensemble of solid colors.     

A glass prism wrapped with an orbit of silver plated wire sends the imagination back to the mid-century moderns jewelry era.  Other pendants use metals in different shapes, platings, and textures to please younger shoppers with a variety of geometrics.  Inlays contrast metals with Formica and other components that add opaque color. 

Epoxy brings a whole new element of color to the pendant line, often providing the appearance of framed gemstones.  One especially attractive pendant uses epoxy to create a Zuni Indian inspiration.  The pendant ahs a large disk filled with epoxy color in tiny raised bezels, creating an interpretation of the tedious needlepoint stonework of the Zunis. 

Still other pendants use filigree and scrollwork in lockets or puffy designs for tailored jewelry that is vintage inspired.  This is a look in jewelry that is always dignified and always stylish.  The cultures and eras covered in the fashion pendant line boggles the mind. 

Certainly not for every retailer, but some fashion businesses find an excellent niche in this line that provides a steady flow of sales.  Most pieces have a timeless quality that never goes out of style, providing an inventory of striking fashion jewelry year after year.  In addition, the manufacturer never rests.  A parade of surprises grabs customers’ attention with the introduction of new designs.  If you are uncertain about this pendant and earring line, begin by nibbling at the edges. 

First, add some chokers that are a needed basic.  Then add some gemstone pendants that have universal appeal.  Search for theme pendants that match local interests and add some for special occasions like Mother’s Day.  Then let the line grow from there  What amazes us is this fashion jewelry line doesn’t make a big splash, but it requires constant reorder because there’s a steady flow of sales occurring below the radar.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Filed under Wholesale Jewelry
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 Do you ever feel beat up by the big box stores and high-financed competition?  Well, here’s an idea worth considering that is like that pink bunny that keeps going and going and going—an exceptional line of pendants and matching earrings.  It not only quietly keeps selling, but it’s something the big box stores don’t have.

What made me think of this?  It’s a stable item in our wholesale business and has been for over 15 years, so it isn’t something that we think of as new and exciting.  But it is something that we need to reorder frequently and something that always ranks with the top selling jewelry at the end of the year.  It is a bread and butter item that we just reordered again and that prompted the question—why haven’t I written a blog and told you about it? 

So, here goes.  The line includes fashion and theme pendants that, for the most part, have matching earrings.  Also a wide selection of chokers lets your customers create their own looks by changing up the pendants and chokers.  We’ll start with the chokers.  You may need these steady items in your jewelry business, even if you don’t carry the pendant and earring line.   How many manufacturers are making pendants, but overlooked the chokers needed to wear them?

FASHION CHOKERS

With nearly 60 styles in chokers to select from, there is something for almost every imaginable look.  Many come in both silver and gold plating and several have shapes formed to the neck for a natural fit.  V shapes and question marks are popular designs and for customers that want longer necklaces to go with the pendants, there is a line of chains.

The chokers can be bold, only accepting pendants with large bails or worn without a pendant for a tailored statement.  Narrower chokers are flat wire with plated surfaces that have a high polish or they can be round wire or tubing in different diameters, Surfaces can also be textured and plating can be antiqued.  The wide assortment of shapes and finishes results in a variety of looks that combine with different pendants so your customers can have fresh designs for different outfits with a few chokers and pendants that combine for very different looks.  Base metal for the choker line is steel or brass, so they are shapeable for a natural fit. 

PENDANTS

Now for the pendants.  There are two main categories—fashion pendants and theme pendants—but this pendant line also show up in nearly  every other category of jewelry on the site including gemstone, Mardi Gras, Christmas, sports, seasonal, and inspirational.  

Beginning with the theme pendants, if you make a list of themes that will be popular for your customer base and then use the search on the site to find pendants that fit into the themes, the surprise will be that most of them will find a match in this extensive line. 

Not only will you match the theme, but also the creativity and detail that go into the fashion jewelry will astound you. 

The designs as well as craftsmanship are what make this line so special.  The manufacturer has spent decades perfecting the process and each piece is stamped with “Best” for the manufacturer, “Best Brand” that takes pride in delivering fashion jewelry in the highest quality.  These are the collector pieces of future generations.   

What is so special about the artisanship?  Imagine this!  Each piece starts with a thin sheet of steel.  The manufacturer makes a costly mold for each design.  Then a stamping process presses each piece into a three dimensionally raised design with detail that is overwhelming.  Another piece of thin steel seals the backs and the fashion jewelry are plated, recesses are often antiqued, and the final step is a high polish. 

Sterling silver uses the  process for items like puffy heart jewelry and the Victorian era created quality pieces with the procedure, but who goes to such toilsome steps to create fashion jewelry today?  No one I know of except this one manufacturer that has made the process his trademark of excellence. 

Why are themes so important in fashion jewelry?  Everyone that has years of experience in retailing fashion jewelry knows that the industry experiences ups and downs—sometimes extremely hot and other times sales are rather cool.  But themes transcend these ups and downs.  Themes draw a customer because of something dear to their heart.  They also draw as gifts because they are the perfect match for the interests or cares of the one that is receiving the gift.  It is not the trends or styles that sell this fashion jewelry, but the exceptional design

The next blog will continue with the fabulous pendant and earring line produced by “Best Brand”, a quality leader in fashion jewelry.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Friday, February 18th, 2011

Filed under Dress Hats, Hats
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We are in the middle of February and most of the country has snow or frigid weather.  None of that stops the shops stocking spring hats.  Their customers are waiting for the latest styles in Easter hats and derby hats, not to mention the women that want church hats for every Sunday.  Well, Spring hats are in—more gorgeous than ever—and shops aren’t wasting any time scooping them up. 

Every spring milliners deliver new breath-taking designs and you wonder—how can they top this?  Well, ever season somehow they do and they did again this year.  Browse through this springs selection of ladies dress hats and judge for yourself. 

 

Organza hats are back with their light and airy summer look and feel—mostly wide brims, but a few smaller conservative designs are in this category.  Organza is a sheer fabric with a luxurious appearance.   It has sheen much like silk and is lightweight, so ideal for spring.  Organza hats have lower price points than sinamay, polypropylene, or satin braid, yet provide a rich and summery appearance that attracts customers. 

This season there are exceptional wide brim designs in organza hats.  Widebrims along with ruffle trims make organzas irresistible.  Brims angle down or roll down like the lampshade hats of the sixties. 

 

Sinamay hats also hit the target for high demand in spring.  All those hat pictures after the Kentucky Derby show plenty of sinamays.  Actually, Queen Elizabeth attended the Kentucky Derby in 2007 wearing a sinamay hat.  She chose sinamays matching suits for most of her appearances in the trip to America.    

 

One sassy looking style in sinamay hats is the cavalier.  Cavaliers have one side flipped up with the other down and decoration offset to one side.  The hat style first appeared around 1920 when the novel, The Three Musketeers, came out.  Since then, milliners have continually reinvented the dress hat that never goes out of style. 

Perhaps the dressiest of all spring hats is satin braids.  These ladies dress hats have narrow bands of satin continually sewn to create lavish styles in headwear.  The hats retain the satin sheen and large decorations make this headwear the utmost in ladies dress hats.

 

Satin braids involve more labor and carry higher price tags that the other dress hats, but anyone familiar with this style of headwear will recognize this springs selection as bargains.  Dramatic designs often have high crowns, rolled down brims, and extravagant decorations.   

 

Polypropylene hats are still coming in, so a future blog will cover these dress hats that provide a Milan straw look as well as more casual wide brims that are a big hit on derby day.  These are the hats drawing attention as they grace the runways.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Filed under Mardi Gras Masks
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 The familiar colors of Mardi Gras–purple, gold, and green–show up every Carnival season in every kind of Mardi Gras item, but this year they are making a big hit in Mardi Gras masks

Many are already familiar with the vibrant color of Mardi Gras feather masks, especially the marabou masks with a full fluff of feathers brilliantly displaying purple, green, and yellow for gold.  These masks are still extremely important for gift shops and event planners because they offer such a bargain for a fabulous look.  Shops that stock these masks by the dozen, can sell them under $4.95 and be very profitable. 

The most popular feather mask remains a sequin mask mounted on a stick with a spray of ostrich and coque feathers on one side (VM81).  Year in and year out, this remains the number one Mardi Gras mask.  The second most popular is VM82, the same masks with elastic strings instead of a stick.  Especially the mask on a stick is extremely popular with florist because adding them to an arrangement makes easy Mardi Gras centerpieces.

 

Shops that need very inexpensive Mardi Gras masks for impulse items have a great option in the masquerade masks, MM10.  These eye masks come in three solid colors (purple, gold, and green) and the colors come evenly divided in a pack for shops buying by the dozen. 

Venetian masks have been rising in popularity over the last few years and design haven’t ignored Mardi Gras, perhaps the biggest masked event of the year.  One of the first Mardi Gras Venetian masks is the full-face joker mask.  Everybody recognizes this face that appears in every deck of cards.  Actually, inspiration for this character is the crafty servant, Arlecchino, from the Italian comedy that finds its roots in the Renaissance. 

The joker masks are made with paper mache’ like the artisans of Venice use in mask making.  It fits the face and also makes a great wall hanging.  Bargain priced, the joker mask needs to be in your selection of Mardi Gras items because it makes such a great souvenir to take home.  

Its Venetian style masks that provide the fabulous new designs this season.  Purple, gold, and green return in an exciting way to masks.  Sparkly color creates diamond-shape patterns in masks on a stick.  For centuries, this pattern has been tied to the Commedia dell’arte, the Italian Comedy.  The diamond-pattern represents patchwork clothing of the poor servant, Arlecchino.  Dyed marabou and ostrich feathers top the mask in Mardi Gras colors. 

Another popular pattern introduced in Venetian style masks this season is tiger stripe.  Again, purple, gold, and green form the pattern that is anew artist’s conception this season.  One eye-catching design has an eye mask that spikes up on one side in a flame-like design with dyed ostrich and marabou feathers adhering to the same side. 

Mardi Gras masks are grabbing customers’ attention this season with innovation.  There is still nearly a month left before Fat Tuesday so stock your shop now and get ready for the revelers.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Filed under Masks
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How many knew what Venetian masks were ten years ago?  Not many, but these masks have so much history, art, and culture surrounding them that they can’t be kept a secret.  Television certainly found Venetian masks and made a statement with them.  Paris Hilton’s finale had everyone wearing one, Vampire Diary did the same, and movies like Eyes Wide Shut helped make Venetian masks a household name.    

Visit Venice and fabulous masks will take your breath as shop after shop shows their artistic masterpieces, revealing more than ever thought possible in mask making.  Venice is the home of this art and the roots go back to the Middle Ages.  A form of theatre developed during the Renaissance called Commedia dell’arte—a comedy performed in the market place with stock characters. 

The popularity took Commedia dell’arte all over Europe and the characters developed and sometimes evolved into other characters.  All the male characters in the theatre wore masks.  Originally the masks were molded in leather, but with time these characters became the inspiration for fabulous works of art that used paper mache’ and became well known as Venetian masks. 

The stock characters had their own personality and characteristics and it was the actors’ job to present the character within this framework. Subject matter was a parody of the times and the performance sometimes had written lines, but often was improvised. 

Some of the best known characters are the inspiration for today’s Venetian masks.  Perhaps the best known is Arlecchino, the servant of Pantalone, presented in masks with the familiar patch-work quilt design, representing patched clothing.  He is acrobatic, but dull witted and has an attraction for Columbina, a female servant.  Arlecchino has a wooden sword with two pieces separated by a block of wood that makes a slapping sound when he smacks someone with it.  From this comes the word “slap-stick”. 

 

Zanni are other servants.  They are portrayed with long noses because the longer the nose, the dumber the character.  Many believe Zanni is a corruption of Gianni, a common name from Lombard, an area that mainly relied on farming.  When Venice turned to imports for most of its food, many from Lombard were unemployed and went to Venice to work as servants. Zanni is a parody of these servants and the Zanni mask has a long nose.    

 

Pulcinella is perhaps the character in the Italian comedy that reaches back farthest in history.  A Pulcinella mask has a long curved beak and the derivative of the name is little chick.  He is a short hunch-backed character that is sometimes master and sometimes servant.  Some believes Pulcinella dates back to the Roman theatre, called Atellenae, performed in Rome in the late Fourth Century. 

 

Women characters were unmasked in the Commedia dell’arte, but the artisans in Venetian masks applied a mask to Columbina, the most famous female servant of the Italian comedy.  Arlecchino was always pursuing Columbina who, in turn, was always trying to change him, but eventually she has to accept him just as he is.  Columbina masks are rather simple eye masks. 

 

The characters of the Italian Comedy were exaggerations of personality traits.  II Capitano is one of those exaggerations.  He claims to be a Spanish soldier with a history of courageous feats, while deep down he is really a coward.  Capitano masks often include the military hat and superb masks for men.    

II Dottore actually claims to be a university professor rather than a medical doctor.  He misuses words and expounds useless knowledge in an ostentatious way.  The mask has a bulbous nose, bushy eyebrows, and a furled brow. 

 

The jolly mask, also referred to as the joker mask is extremely popular in Venetian masks and if we connect it to a character, it would have to be Arlecchino because he is acrobatic and often considered more of a jester than a servant.  These are some of the most fabulous Venetian masks and are used as wall hangings as well as full faced masks.  The mask usually includes the curled horns of a jester hat and come in styles for men and women. 

 

The Bauta mask actually dates back to public masking in Venice rather than the Italian comedy.  Masking went on year round and promoted promiscuous behavior before the Church stepped in and set the dates for masking between the Feast of the Epiphany (Jan 6) and the day before Ash Wednesday (Mardi Gras Day).  The Bauta mask was popular because it not only covered the face, but the long chin area covered the mouth and muffled the voice, making it difficult to identify anyone acting up.  This mask became traditional for Carnival and is often seen during Carnival in Venice.   

 

Some Venetian masks are simply beautiful works of art and do not find their beginnings in characters of the Commedia dell’arte.  VM72 is such a mask with white and silver or gold color and a crown of flowing white ostrich feathers.  The mask come on a stick and is a top selling mask for Venetian weddings.  VM71 offers the same style that stays in place with elastic bands. 

Venetian masks are one breath-taking work of art after another.  Anyone glancing through the category has to be impressed.  Many retailers are a little reluctant to branch into Venetian masks because price points are higher than feather masks or masquerade masks.  Don’t be reluctant because of price.  Start slowly and test the waters with your customer base.  Most retailers that have done this get a good response and return for more inventory to widen their selection.  Venetian masks are just too gorgeous for customers to ignore.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Filed under Mardi Gras
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  The celebration of Mardi Gras gives retailers something to make the cash register ring after Christmas.  January sees many areas buried in snow and shivering with arctic weather, but in areas of Mardi Gras celebration, attitudes get upbeat and spending begins in preparation for Fat Tuesday. 

Last blog covered Mardi Gras beads, feather boas, and masks–the most important items for gift shops and parade riders.  This blog centers on items for souvenir shops and Mardi Gras balls.  The good news is these items also sell beyond the area of Carnival celebration and outside the Carnival season. 

WHOLESALE MARDI GRAS ITEMS FOR GIFT SHOPS AND BALLS

  Mardi Gras is a local celebration that draws tons of tourists.  The Krewes foot the entire bill so it is often referred to as “The Greatest Free Show on Earth”.  Still the economic impact is mind-boggling.  According to MardiGrasNewOrleans.com;  Carnival generates over one billion in annual spending—that’s a whopping billion a year!

 

Locals start early by donning the Mardi Gras jewelry that spreads the spirit.  The Carnival season begins on the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6).  That may prompt the question—what’s the difference between Mardi Gras and Carnival?  Well, Carnival is the season for celebration and the Church set the dates for the season during the Renaissance—beginning on the Epiphany and ending the day before Ash Wednesday.  Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday” and is actually the day before Ash Wednesday. 

Back to Mardi Gras jewelry.  On January 6th the Mardi Gras music begins on the radio and women dig in their jewelry box or go shopping for pins, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces that spread the spirit. 

 

Pins are the runaway favorites and nothing can be too gaudy.  The closer Fat Tuesday gets, the more extravagant the pins get and many are hand made.  Masks, jesters, and crowns are the favorite themes and Krewe members attending balls often give these same pins as favors. 

MARDI GRAS SOUVENIRS AND FAVORS

 Another popular favor is Mardi Gras ornaments or magnets.  Jester heads with ceramic faces, fabric jester hats and fabric collars make not only attractive ball favors, but also standout souvenirs that are affordable enough for everyone to take home to family and close friends that didn’t get to go to the celebration. 

Miniature jester dolls with ceramic heads are equally as good for souvenirs or favors.  The wonderful thing about the jester head magnets and miniature dolls is they come in Mardi Gras colors as well as fancy brocade outfits.  The brocades and prints let them sell year round to shops even outside the area of Mardi Gras influence.  Shops supplying Sweet Sixteens, Quinceaneras, Mardi Gras weddings, or any event requiring favors use these popular magnets. 

Get a little more dramatic with Mardi Gras dolls.  Jester dolls are the attention-getters here.  Smaller dolls with jester outfits in Mardi Gras colors are wonderful favors and easy to pack as souvenirs to take home.  Some have velvet outfits and others sequin outfits in purple, gold, and green.  Also some small jester dolls use satin outfits in a variety of colors and these have sales appeal anywhere in the world. 

The next step up is poseable 12 inch jester dolls in lame’ purple, gold, and green.  These jesters are also popular with florists for centerpieces and crafters for wreaths.  Bend the poseable dolls to give them personality and customers will find them irresistible.

Larger dolls that also have very affordable pricing include the soft sitting jesters with ceramic head, hands, and feet.  The outfits sparkle with sequins in a variety of colors that allows them to sell beyond Mardi Gras–in any gift shop and any location.  A similar style uses cat faces and animal print outfits. 

 

Now add a spectacular statement to your Carnival display with 17 inch jesters that have a spray of coque feathers that attach for a large spray behind the doll.  Here is a special gift your customers can take home as a souvenir.  Each doll comes individually boxed with a clear plastic top for easy display.  Identical to this jester is a 12 inch doll that gives shops a smaller version. 

 

Another stunning choice is the child jester doll with a sweet porcelain face and blue glass eyes.   The doll is in a sitting position and comes in two sizes.  Outfits are Mardi Gras color as well as rich prints and brocades that have a market year round and in any location. 

 

Another indispensible Mardi Gras item that revelers can’t seem to resist is Mardi Gras crazy hats.  This selection can’t get too wild for the crowd on Fat Tuesday.  Purple, gold, and green are located under Mardi Gras crazy hats on the site and just shopping it is entertaining.  Find everything from jester hats, sequin tiaras, top hats, and feather caps to Cleopatra wigs and jester headbands here.  For more party hats in a variety of crazy themes, see Novelty Hats. 

 

More items that revelers love include Mardi Gras accessories like polo shirts in purple, gold, and green and even Mardi Gras sequin bags for a ball. Sequin bow ties, Mardi Gras maracas, and wands are all affordable accessories wild enough to sell on Fat Tuesday.  Finally, Mardi Gras plush provides throws as well as cuddly souvenirs for a gift shop. 

Instead of an after Christmas letdown, boost your sales with a statement in Mardi Gras items that keep the cash register ringing until all those spring events kick in.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Monday, February 7th, 2011

Filed under Mardi Gras
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MANY SEARCHES FOR MARDI GRAS COME FROM OUTSIDE THE CARNIVAL AREA

 Search terms tell a story about Mardi Gras supplies in times when the celebration is spreading to new territory.  Examining the search terms used to find Mardi Gras information and products reveals that the word Mardi Gras gets over a million hits a month at this time.  The surprise is that Mardi Gra without an s gets the same number of hits.  What does this tell us?  It shows there is a tremendous interest in Mardi Gras outside the area that is familiar with the celebration.  Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday and the s is silent.  But those away from the Carnival celebration are less familiar with the term and spell it like it sounds. Mardi Gras is rich in history and traditions so some areas where the celebration is new appreciate ideas on essential supplies for the season. 

According to Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the first parade in New Orleans with floats, themes, and masked riders was in 1857.  Since then there has been plenty of time to gather history and tradition.  As a wave of interest ripples out to fresh territory, the tradition and history take time to catch up.

ESSENTIAL MARDI GRAS ITEMS

So in this blog, let’s look at how to maximize the fun with the Mardi Gras items that are essential to celebrating Carnival.  Mardi Gras is a European import.  It first came to America through a French connection.  French settlers occupied the coast now known as Alabama and Mississippi. The explorer Iberville undertook an expedition up the Mississippi River on March 8, 1699 and camped the first night at a spot near present day Fort St. Phillip.  It was Mardi Gras Day and Iberville named the spot Point du Mardi Gras.  Mardi Gras had come to America.

By 1718, his brother Bienville had founded New Orleans and the Governor of the territory presented the first Carnival Ball in 1743.  Even before that, newspapers reported street festivities on Mardi Gras Day.  Masking was part of the street celebration as well as the balls, called bals masques.   So one essential item to Mardi Gras is masks. 

The French Quarter gift shops don’t miss the opportunity to sell Mardi Gras feather masks during the Carnival season. Dyed feathers take the Mardi Gras colors of purple, gold, and green.  The top selling design uses a purple sequin mask with a large spray of ostrich and coque feathers on one side.  The mask is available with elastic bands to go on the face or mounted on stick for handheld. 

Venetian style masks have mushroomed in popularity over the last few years thanks to big boost provided by reality shows on TV. Creating the masks in purple, gold, and green transforms some popular styles to Mardi Gras masks that bring a fresh look to the category.  A future blog will cover Venetian masks extensively, but Venetian styles in Mardi Gras colors are what is important here.  Adding some to your Mardi Gras supplies may surprise you about how well more pricey masks sell. 

Mardi Gras beads are also an indispensible item for gift shops plus nicer beads like hand strungs are used by parade riders as special throws.  Attractive designs in Mardi Gras colors are always important, but numerous beads have themes like the jazz bead shown.  These grab customers’ attention in the gift shop and do very well with riders when the theme matches that of the float. 

Nearly as popular are feather boas.  You will find them in nearly every Bourbon Street gift shop and these retailers know a lot about what sells in Carnival season.  Chandelle boas are most common, with a good fluff of turkey flats.  The feathers are dyed and a mix of purple, yellow, and green provides boas in Mardi Gras colors.  Solid colors also sell and actually sell better throughout the year.  Feather boas have a standard length of six feet and fullness is measured by weight.  Weights of 55 to 60 grams provide a full look and are affordable.  

The next blog will continue with more coverage of essential Mardi Gras items including many that sell well for other occasions throughout the year.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Friday, February 4th, 2011

Filed under New Orleans Accessories
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The traditions and history that Mardi Gras has accumulated in America over the last 175 years fills books.  Mardi Gras jewelry can’t match that, but five unique charm bracelets with special design tell individual stories about elements of the Carnival celebration.  

First, the stretch bracelets use faceted lucite beads in purple, green, and gold.  These are the Mardi Gras colors with purple representing justice, green faith, and gold power.  What sets these bracelets apart are charms uniquely created to give the wearer a piece of the Mardi Gras tradition. 

 

The Mardi Gras parade is the theme of the bracelet, CB384.  Four three-dimensional charms depict different parade floats with another charm showing a horseback captain. The floats are silver plated and highlighted with enamel in the Mardi Gras colors.   A walking parade participant accompanies the floats with other familiar Mardi Gras themes added to the dangling charms. 

 

Another Mardi Gras bracelet (CB387) celebrates some uniquely New Orleans traditions including Second Lining, Zulu, and the Mardi Gras Indians.  One charm shows a typical Zulu rider with feather headdress.  Zulu is the first parade on Mardi Gras morning, positioned ahead of Rex. Five other charms show members of a second line including one dancing with an umbrella and four different musicians with Jazz instruments.  Second lining became a tradition that started with parade spectators falling in behind the parade after it passed and dancing in celebration.  Some may remember Tom Benson, owner of the Saints, dancing on the field after a game with his second line umbrella.  Two other charms depict Mardi Gras Indians, a tradition beginning in African American neighborhoods with walking participants wearing elaborately outfitted Indian costumes that they spent an entire year making with feathers, beading, and other exotic components.  This bracelet finds roots in traditions that are uniquely New Orleans. 

 

The parades of Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans are the subject of a third charm bracelet (CB389).  On Mardi Gras Day, the first parade to roll is Zulu.  Zulu began in 1909 as a black parade that was a spoof of Rex.  The first king wore a lard can for a crown and carried a banana stalk as scepter.  The bracelet has a charm of a typical Zulu rider with wild feather headdress and a white circle around the eye and mouth, distinctively Zulu. 

The next parade is Rex and the bracelet (CB388) has a king’s float, crown, court jester, band members, and Boeuf, the white bull that symbolizes the last meat before Lent begins.  Before 1909, a live bull rode in the Rex parade, but today a large white bull in fiberglass takes its place.  These Mardi Gras bracelets give anyone that attends parades in downtown New Orleans on Mardi Gras Day something to take home as a lifetime memento.     

Masks and Mardi Gras have a close connection that goes back to the very beginning of Carnival.  The abuse of masking for promiscuous and rowdy behavior brought about the dates of the Carnival season.  The Church limited public masking to a period between The Feast of the Epiphany (Jan 6th) and Mardi Gras Day (the day before Ash Wednesday).  Even before parades in New Orleans, Carnival Balls called bals masques were held in the City. Today A New Orleans law requires that all riders mask and the crowds of revelers don costumes and masks.  So the next specially designed charm bracelet (celebrates the masks of Carnival.   Epoxied charms broadcast the theme in a colorful way with three full-face masks and three feather masks.  A jester, two walking parade participants, and Boeuf, the while bull from the Rex parade accompany the mask charms.  This Mardi Gras bracelet lets your customers take home a wealth of Mardi Gras tradition that will be memories for a lifetime. 

 

Finally, we have a Mardi Gras bracelet (CB619) with many of the popular themes of the Carnival season.  This is Mardi Gras jewelry that is at home wherever Mardi Gras is celebrated.  Silver plated charms have highlights of jewel tone epoxy in purple, gold, and green and faceted beading matches with the same three colors.  Charms include jesters, masks, and a crown over block letters spelling Mardi Gras.  These are three most popular themes in Mardi Gras jewelry.  Add a reveler second lining and you have bracelets that are obviously for the Carnival season.  Wherever the celebration takes place, this jewelry fits in so shops and event planners can include these wholesale Mardi Gras bracelets and customers can enjoy the spirit. 

The rich tradition and history of Mardi Gras come alive in the charms of these Mardi Gras bracelets that have special design that tells the story in jewelry.   Best of all, these Mardi Gras bracelets have price points that let everyone enjoy the story of Carnival.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011