When fleur-de-lis jewelry was unthought of in the wholesale houses and retail stores across America, it was part of the line of Accessory Wholesale. Why? Because the Louisiana tourist industry was a major part of our customer base and the fleur-de-lis was important to the State.
Throughout the nineties a uniquely crafted line of Louisiana jewelry was selling to a niche market—tourist destinations in Louisiana. The line included jewelry with Jazz and Cajun musical instruments, peppers, alligators, crawfish, and other swamp critters along with fleur-de-lis jewelry. In this unusual collection of themes, the noble fleur-de-lis was among the slowest selling items.
HURRICANE KATRINA AND THE RISE OF FLEUR-DE-LIS JEWELRY
Then is 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and tore up Southeast Louisiana. A few weeks later Hurricane Rita struck a devastating blow to Southwest Louisiana. The grief touched the entire world with news images of the flooding and suffering felt by victims especially in New Orleans. Then something amazing and unexpected happened.
The fleur-de-lis that was the City’s symbol suddenly became a rallying point and source of courage for the struggling population trying to rebuild. Demand for fleur-de-lis jewelry that was practically ignored in the previous decade skyrocketed. Women wanted fleur-de-lis jewelry, men fleur-de-lis ties, and fleur-de-lis décor was in demand for homes.
More amazing is the demand for fleur-de-lis jewelry continues eight years after the Hurricane. From this regional theme grew a national trend around an emblem with a history that is unfamiliar to many.
FLEUR-DE-LIS IN LOUISIANA HISTORY
Louisiana was first claimed for France by LaSalle in 1662 who named it in honor King Louis XIV. Bienville explored the Mississippi River and founded New Orleans in 1718. The Fleur-de-lis was a symbol of France and a symbol of French monarchs. French roots made it the symbol of New Orleans.
The connection of the fleur-de-lis and France dates back to the Franks. Stories about the origin of this connection differ. Fleur-de-lis is French for the flower of the lily, but some think it was originally an iris that grows along rivers in the Netherlands previously occupied by The Franks. Another theory thinks that Clovis, the first King of the Franks, needed to cross river to do battle. Water lilies indicated a shallow place to cross and the fleur-de-lis is actually a lotus.
Clovis became King of the Franks in 481 and the fleur-delis remained a symbol of the French Monarchy until the madness of the French Revolution that ended the Monarchy and removed the fleur-de-lis from the flag of France. But North America received the fleur-de-lis from France long before The French Revolution and it still had honor in America.
It remains the proud symbol of the City of New Orleans and is on the flag of Acadiana—that part of Louisiana that is homeland to the Cajun people and Cajun culture. The emblem graces the New OrleansConvention Center and other buildings in the City. In the heart of The French Quarter, The gilded statue of the Maid of Orleans, St. Joan of Arc, proudly stands on Decatur Street. She holds her battle standard in one hand—the standard that was studded with fleur-de-lis emblems.
UNENDING DEMAND FOR WHOLESALE FLEUR-DE-LIS JEWELRY
The sudden rise to popularity of the fleur-de-lis is amazing. Just as amazing is its enduring popularity. The Hurricane was eight years ago. Still today, Louisiana residents value fleur-de-lis jewelry, accessories, and home décor for themselves and as meaningful gifts.
Now fashion magazines, boutiques, and retail shops nation-wide show items proudly embellished with this royal insignia. A national trend emerged from a regional love affair with the fleur-de-lis.
WHOLESALE FLEUR-DE-LIS JEWELRY ANSWERS THE CALL
To say that Hurricane Katrina overwhelmed New Orleans residents is a drastic understatement—water in houses, some houses under water, others gone, shortage of materials, roofing blown off, and another pelting of rain as Hurricane Rita passed.
Yet some local artists answered the call in designing fleur-de-lis jewelry that people proudly wore as a symbol of hope. Cottage industries soon appeared creating tee shirts, caps, and every imaginable accessory.
Soon manufacturers everywhere were developing fleur-de-lis jewelry and accessories. Every conceivable item flowed from manufacturers especially in China to wholesalers that distributed to shops with a waiting list of customers. The fact that eight years later there is still plenty of demand is also amazing.
NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN WHOLESALE FLEUR-DE-LIS JEWELRY AND ACCESSORIES
Innovation is the lifeblood of a trend and wholesale fleur-de-lis jewelry and accessories have never quit innovating. Recently we received the first fleur-de-lis crystal headbands with a choice of all clear crystals or black and gold crystals—a new innovation in fleur-de-lis accessories.
New designs in wholesale fleur-de-lis necklace sets arrive for fall including a trendy look that appeals to younger shoppers. The necklace has multiple waxed cords supporting a pewter plated fleur-de-lis for a modern rendition of an old world emblem.
Wholesale fleur-de-lis earrings raise the bar with scrollwork in raised relief against an enameled black background and crystals embedded on the outside portions of the emblem. View the picture to really appreciate this new jewelry design.
Wholesale fleur-de-lis bracelets are also enjoying new designs. This year starting with prom, iridescent stones have been important. One new bracelet design blends shine and shimmer spacing a row shiny silver plated fleur-de-lis emblems with faceted iridescent stones.
We don’t have a crystal ball to tell if the fleur-de-lis craze will ever end, but we know at this point it is too important to ignore.