Read economic trends and you get depressed. Read business marketing trends and you get confused. Social media, going mobile, branding, user-generated content—what if your customer doesn’t even use that stuff? What if your customer is over 50?
Been to a swap meet or flea market lately? Especially those once a month or once every six month kind that draw tons of shoppers. Those people are out their combing through merchandise, touching it, and enjoying the dust and heat. This is old school.
Smallbiztrends.com recently ran a series of articles under the title, Small Businesses Go Old School. It’s back to the good old days. Old fashioned sales ideas, old fashioned products, and conversations instead of sales pitches.
One article in the group said a mouth full—“Attitude is Everything”. Apparently the full article is no longer on line, but it came from MyCentralJersey.com and began, “Forget gloomy economic predictions and depressing statistics. Small business success goes back to a very simple concept. Attitude is everything. A positive attitude and persistence will lead to success.”
Already we feel better. Already we are beginning to have creative ideas run through our head. Here’s a few to help prime the pump. Let’s go back to that swap meet scene. Ever notice how shoppers draw more shoppers. Pretty soon they are so deep they can’t get close enough to see what is on your table.
PICKING A PRODUCT
So the product needed has to galvanize attention. It has to hold the customers attention so they stick to your booth like glue. A gang of shoppers around your merchandise is better that a big flashing sign. What kind of products do that? Products that stir memories, pull at the heart strings, or entertain.
Here’s a few ideas. Pets are loveable and always draw a crowd. Some are easy to transport like hermit crabs. If that’s not your cup of tea, what about little action toys or novelties that are cute and entertaining. You have seen those small cartoon-like characters that wind up and move around, flip, walk, and who knows what else. They engross everyone around.
What about nostalgia? What about an eighties booth with jewelry and articles from the eighties. Items for this era are easier to find than decades farther back like the sixties. It also expands your customer base because a greater percentage of the population can say—Oh, I had one of those.
If you are going with new merchandise, you have to make a statement. You need a booth full of items in one theme. And you want it to have the stickiness that engrosses customers so they have to stay awhile. Even the ones that don’t buy will help your business because, like we said, a crowd draws a bigger crowd.
If your choice is new merchandise, think about gemstone jewelry–jewelry made with all those semi precious stones that are so unique. Customers feel this jewelry is worth something. They know tiger’s eye, rose quartz, and amethyst and equate these stones with value.
In gemstones you get designs, colors, inclusions, banding—everything you can imagine to build interest and tell a story. Let them touch it. It feels cold because it is real. Try to scratch it, most semi precious stones are harder than steel. It doesn’t take long to learn the semi precious stones and once you do, you can tell stories all day.
PENDANTS, MATCHING EARRINGS, AND CHOKERS
Another great crowd builder is Best Brand’s line of pendants, earrings, and chokers. Why? Because of impeccable quality and endless designs and themes. Imagine all those shiny pendants with themes from ballerinas, soccer moms, and yorkies to barrel racing, dolphins, and zebras. Each one stamped with amazing detail in raised dimensions.
Every piece is unique and something is going to pull your customers’ heart strings. Want matching earrings? Most pendants have them. And the line has over fifty different chokers so customers can put their own combinations together and change up the look. This gives the customer a chance to be creative and get involved.
It’s not just themes holding the crowd, it’s also quality the eye can see. This is the Cadillac of fashion jewelry. Some items are castings, but most are stamped and molds for stamping are far more expensive than ones for casting.
That’s only part of the story. This company starts with a thin sheet of steel and stamps the design so the pendant and earrings have a raised three-dimensional look. Then stamping cuts a thin sheet of steel to fit the back perfectly and seal it. Next, the jewelry is plated and polished. The height of quality craftsmanship plus detail that is unbelievable galvanizes the shoppers.
A customers may start by just admiring the imaginative designs of this line, but then a theme will strike them as something they love or would be meaningful to someone they care about. “How much is this one?” and the rest is history.
THE REST IS UP TO YOU
These are only a few ideas to spark your own creativity. It’s your own ideas that will put together the winning formula. It is your drive and attitude that will not accept setbacks. Remember where we started, “Attitude is everything”.
Remember those commercials—where’s the beef? Well we’re into summer, the peak time of the year for vivid color in fashion jewelry and where’s the color? It seems manufacturers are shying away from producing color because they feel summer color must sell in the short season and they want to avoid any chance of loss in the current economic uncertainty.
Color is there and your customers will love it. It just takes more work to find fashion jewelry in vibrant color and summer themes. Actually, the summer color palette is loaded with vibrant brights and one of the major themes this summer is garden and flower themes
SHELL JEWELRY CAPTURES SUMMER COLOR
Does any fashion jewelry say summer like shell jewelry? Shell not only is very summery, but it is also very colorful. It can be anything from clam shell necklaces kids and teens like to designer shell necklaces that are the utmost in boutique jewelry.
Stylish designs in shell jewelry are a big cut above beachy. Some like the set shown, have shells cut to create floral themes or other exotic designs. Others use dyed shell in natural shapes or present polished shell in a natural state strung with satin cord that picks up the color. Regardless, the days of shell jewelry being cheap beach shop trinkets are long over as this medium becomes into boutiques as exclusive high fashion jewelry.
Want bright multicolor necklaces? Shell is the place to look. Yes, it can be high fashion, but shell jewelry can also be fun and casual with dyed colors delivering vibrant hues. Just take a look at the disk set shown. Where can you find these brights today other than in shell?
Bracelets and earrings can also add color with the beautiful natural iridescence of shell. These dyed trochus shell bracelets offer the vibrant brights found on Pantone’s fashion palette for this summer. These stunning bracelets not only deliver vibrant hues with nature’s mesmerizing iridescence, but also look at how affordable they are.
GEMSTONE JEWELRY CONTINUES TO FASCINATE CONSUMERS
Gemstone jewelry is another category that is loaded with color. Semi precious jewelry has played a dominating role in fashion for nearly ten years. Some may think the trend is over, but let’s look again.
Gemstone jewelry has an intrinsic value that consumers perceive. Most semi precious stones have a feel that is cooler than room temperature when you touch them. The banding and inclusions in gemstone is unique in every piece. Also while consumers are familiar with the most common gemstones, there countless ones they may have never seen before. All of this keeps interest alive in this timeless jewelry that is appearing every new season in the showcases of high-end department stores and boutiques.
But the color is what makes gemstone jewelry so important this summer. Semi precious jewelry provides every color included in Pantone’s fashion palette for summer 2012. Some are easy. The aqua hue they call cockatoo finds a match with Amazonite. The necklace set shown does a superb job of bringing the color to an outfit.
Also, agates and jaspers can easily match the neutrals like starfish and driftwood on the palette. The color driftwood that lies somewhere between beige and gray has matches in gemstone fashion jewelry, bracelets, and necklaces. Starfish, which is a bronzy beige, finds countess matches in the same categories.
Rose quartz is a perfect fit for sweet lilac on the palette. The soft pink color of this semi precious stone is always a favorite for gemstone jewelry regardless of the palette.
Amethyst is a match for bellflower. Who would have ever thought that amethyst would be as inexpensive as it is today? The gemstone once reserved for royalty became affordable for everyone thanks to a big find in Brazil. The semi precious stone is not only a color match; it is gorgeous and is certain to attract the attention of your customers.
Sodalite is easy. The name itself is a gemstone. But what about the colors that aren’t easy? The three brights of the summer palette—tangerine, vibrant yellow, and bright fuchsia– seem to lack gemstone matches.
HUMAN INGENUITY ADDS VIBRANT COLORS TO SEMI PRECIOUS JEWELRY
Sometimes human ingenuity alters the colors of semi precious stones or creates a synthetic that gets classified with natural gemstones. Recently cateye finds itself often included with gemstone even though it is fiber optic glass. The moving eye effect, called chatoyance, puts it in the same category with semi precious stones that have the same quality—tiger’s eye and chrysberyl. This fiber optic jewelry comes in a rainbow of colors. One of them is tangerine, a color on the palette. Fiber optics also provide other colors for the summer including a rich hue of sodalite that is a gemstone itself that we mentioned above.
The vibrant yellow of solar power finds a match with dyed crystal quartz bracelets. The crystal quartz is originally icy clear and is too hard to accept dye. A process of heating the crystal to a high degree and then dousing them in cold water causes hair line fractures that accept the dye which reflects through the icy clear stone, creating color. The image shown includes five colors on the summer palette including the vibrant yellow.
The inclusion of coral with semi precious jewelry is universal. Because it is a marine animal rather than rock or mineral, it does not have the characteristic cool feel of other gemstones. Most coral is not originally the gorgeous pink or Mediterranean red that people love, so it is dyed to get the color. A vibrant rich fuchsia shade can make a wonderful match for the cabaret fashion color for summer. The bracelet shown comes close to matching the color.
Fashion jewelry with color is in short supply this summer, but you can still captivate your customers’ attention with an exciting splash of color derived completely from nature with shell and gemstone.