What can niche markets do for small business in the fashion industry? First, let’s begin with the challenges these small businesses face. Entrepreneurs in the fashion industry are a hardy lot of people. They face what often seem insurmountable challenges and yet always find a way to move forward. The economy, competition from the majors, and government regulations are only a few of the challenges. Yet this special group of people overcomes with drive, imagination, and creativity.
Niche Market Report from ColoradoStateUniversity
A report from the Colorado State University that is actually focusing on agriculture provides idea that apply to all businesses including fashion businesses. It begins with the line, “Niche markets are an attractive opportunity available to small businesses forced to compete against the scale economies that larger competitors are able to achieve.” That is an academic way of saying niche markets can level the playing field.
The report begins with a search for like-minded consumers that become cluster groups. This is a niche market. A plan to focus on their wants is filling the need with products for a niche market.
Appealing to Consumers with Niche Market Product Line
The report concentrates on the cluster group side of niche markets, but there is a flipside also that applies very easily to fashion businesses. Many entrepreneurs already use it. That is to draw customers by concentrating on a narrow segment of merchandise. Reducing this idea to a simple example, let’s think about swap meets or craft shows. Booth focused on a narrow product line normally draws more customers. And a gathering of customers usually translates into a crowd of customers that want to see what everybody is interested in.
A booth filled with nothing by beautiful blooming orchids can’t miss. Recently booths with jellyfish in glass draw crowds. Glass jewelry booths with the artist using a torch to create a new piece have shoppers standing in awe.
Niche Markets in Fashion Jewelry and Accessories
What are some niche markets in jewelry and accessories that appeal to shoppers? There are two ways to capture attention with niche markets. First, concentrating on one particular item in fashion jewelry or accessories that is in demand creates a niche market, especially if it is unique. The second method will be covered in the following blog. Here are a few examples of focusing on narrow product lines.
Have you seen booths full of hematite jewelry at flea markets of swap meets? Hematite has at least two drawing cards. First necklaces use pendants to create themes—different pendants to appeal to everyone from teens to seniors. Second, many consumers credit hematite jewelry with pain relief since it is an iron derivative. This is widely believed and the lack of support in medical journals doesn’t change the opinion of many. Normally markup is good with wholesale hematite jewelry retailing at 3 to 4 times markup.
Gemstone jewelry seems to have some magic at outdoor events that draw a crowd. Semi precious jewelry in bracelets, necklaces, and earrings have interesting banding, inclusions, and natural colors. Stones always have a way to capture interest and they also have lots of stories that can keep shoppers intrigued. A booth can contain a mix of gemstones or concentrate on one, like turquoise—the most popular semi precious stone.
MUSIC JEWELRY AND ACCESSORIES
The music jewelry and accessory niche puts the shoe on the other foot. So far we have been talking about product niches—a narrow line of products like all hematite jewelry. The music theme uses the idea in the report from ColoradoStateUniversity—providing a want or need to a group of like-minded people—a cluster group.
Gift shops in a music theater or near one can capitalize on the music theme. That sounds like a very small number of shops. But there is another way to capitalize on this market. That is to go to the event when they allow vendors. Every kind of music festival and concert is a potential market. These people love music and are definitely interested customers. This niche is important enough tht we have a category dedicated to it on our website.
Fleur-de-lis jewelry mushroomed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Actually, fleur-de-lis jewelry was in our Louisiana tourist line before the Hurricane and didn’t sell very fast. But what a shock the sudden rise of fleur-de-lis jewelry and accessories was after the Hurricane.
Nine years later fleur-de-lis jewelry is still important enough to be a niche market. The popularity spread throughout the country. Since Katrina, fleur-de-lis jewelry
Hats can always be a niche market, especially in the summer. However, focusing on one category of hats creates a stronger market—for example, church hats.
For summer events, especially outdoor events, casual hats can be a booth or store that draws. If you want to narrow the niche even further, think about straw hats. Straw hats have a range from durable festival hats to boutique quality raffia hats and sewn-and-braid wheat straw hats.