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Archive for the 'Costume Jewelry' Category...

Filed under Costume Jewelry, Mardi Gras, New Orleans Accessories
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Hard to Find Jewelry that is Hot Now
Finding a selection of nice Mardi Gras jewelry is not easy. That is good for you because you have a source and that puts you ahead of the Mardi Gras Pin 94 competition. Mardi Gras jewelry is a popular way for your customers to share in the spirit. It also a necessity for royalty in Krewes that need favors. If you are in an area with parades and balls, you don’t want to miss this once a year opportunity.

Promote your selection with a Mardi Gras display that captures the spirit. If you want to add some music, shop for Mardi Gras in New Orleans Volume 1 and 2. Some reliable sources are Floyds Records, Louisiana Cajun Stuff, and Cajun Village near Sorrento.

If you are not in the Mardi Gras area, you are not left out. Nearly everyone in the country is familiar with Mardi Gras. You can bring the party to the store with Mardi Gras jewelry, accessories, gifts, and beads. Put up some Mardi Gras decorations, play the music, and maybe even serve some samples of king cake. This will add some excitement to January and February and have folks in town talking about your shop.

You can view the entire January 2015 Newsletter Here

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Filed under Costume Jewelry, Valentine Jewelry
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A Lasting Sign of Warm Feelings

Many skeptics look at Valentine’s Day as a moneymaker invented by Hallmark or the candy and flower industry. Fortunately, couples and those courting don’t take this attitude. A large percentage of every age of married couples and those dating see Valentine’s Day as a special time to show warm feelings. The day is so special that they spend 18.6 billion dollars to RED CRYSTAL HEART PIN show how much they care.

The nice thing about Valentine’s jewelry is that when the dinner is over, the flowers have wilted, and the candy is gone, the jewelry item remains as a permanent sign of love. Brooches are a favorite jewelry piece that is meaningful and affordable. In fashion jewelry, hearts are the leading item. Red heart brooches and necklaces lead sales. The heart brooch shown is popular year after year.

Necklace sets also do well for Valentine’s Day. You will probably remember the crystal heart necklace shown. Other heart necklace sets with a contemporary look will be arriving soon. Especially younger customers like the two-tone metal design with hammered texture and engraved messages. Watch fro their arrival on the site.

You can view the entire January 2015 Newsletter Here

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Filed under Costume Jewelry, Crowns, Tiaras
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Mardi Gras Balls, Prom, and Pageant
Demand for crowns and tiaras begin now and continue until summer. The Mardi Gras and Homecoming Crowns hardest item to find is mens crowns. Mardi Gras, prom, and festival kings all call for men’s crowns. The cost of quality crowns can go up to several hundred dollars. Fortunately, you have a source with several choices in quality men’s crowns below $85.

Local stores have an advantage over online stores in this market. The king wants to see how the crown looks on and how it fits. Only the local store can offer these options to customers before they buy the crown. A favorite is the one shown that comes in gold or silver plating.

Adjust crowns that are too large by adding padding inside. The easiest way to do this is weather stripping that sticks to the inside of the crown on one side and has foam on the other side. This also makes the crown more comfortable to wear.

Tiaras are even more important because they have a bigger customer base. Brides, pageant winners, maids and other members of Mardi Gras courts, as well as members of homecoming courts are all potential customers for tiaras. Other needs for tiaras are quinceaneras, sweet sixteens, and bachelorette parties. fleur-de-lis scepter

Scepters are another hard to find item. See fabulous designs on the site with the most popular ranging from $12.75 to $29.50. For many retailers, stocking these items makes them the only game in town.

You can view the entire January 2015 Newsletter Here

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Filed under Costume Jewelry, Necklace Sets
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Crystal Necklace Sets Raise the Bar
The first five months of the year are exciting because there are so many large crystal necklace set events that call for fashion items–prom, dance competition, Easter, spring hats, Mother’s Day, Kentucky Derby, spring festivals. These months have something for nearly every type of fashion business. But the first things out of the gate are Mardi Gras, debutantes, and Valentine’s Day. All of these can call for breath-taking crystal jewelry.

Lavish crystal necklace sets continue to impact consumers with a breath-taking shock of beauty. The look surfaced in the spring of 2013. By fall, Accessories Magazine listed it as a trend labeled Estate Update. Continuous innovation has this trend thriving with the newest additions just one week old. The crystal necklace set pictured is among the favorites.

These dramatic crystal necklace sets are perfect for Mardi Gras balls. The same sets also appeal to some debutantes and what a look for theater and dining out on Valentine’s Day.

Add a few of these sets to a showcase of rhinestone and crystal jewelry. The sparkle will mesmerize your clientele.

You can view the entire January 2015 Newsletter Here

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Filed under Christmas Jewelry, Costume Jewelry, Fashion Accessories, Fashion Marketing, Seasonal Jewelry
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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

Filed under Bracelets, Bridal Accessories, Bridal Jewelry, Brooches, Costume Jewelry, Crystal Jewelry, Earrings, Fashion Accessories, Fashion Jewelry, Fashion Jewelry Trends, Fashion Trends, Hats, Necklace Sets, Tiaras, Uncategorized, Wholesale Jewelry
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Accessories Magazine reviews trends shaping fashion jewelry and accessories each season based on the fashion shows that preview the coming season.  Major fashion stories result from sorting all the tangents of designers crossing the runways.  The last blog covered the first two for fall and this blog covers the next two—a dual that seems to contradict each other as fashion statements.  Accessories Magazine’s Survival Mode borders on grunge while Ice Queen has a classy majestic look.     


As different as the trends seem, both find inspiration in the dominant mood of the times—economic uncertainty.  Survival mode finds an obvious connection.  First impression is the rugged attire of inhabitants of the arctic tundra.  Earth tone colors with patches of fur deliver a nomadic appearance.  Inspiration is global with Scandinavian prints, African crafts, English tweeds, and Alpine flairs all contributing. 

Jewelry combines natural materials with metals for a close-to-earth feeling.  Wood and raw gemstones blended with metals create fashion jewelry that delivers the story.  Look for burnished metals in cuffs and bangles as well as braided leather in jewelry. 

Trapper hats are a natural fit for these trends well as any headwear that is fur trimmed.  Other hats include wide brim wool fedoras, crocheted caps, and wool buckets. 


If the previous trend reflects a rugged response to economic times, this fashion story that Accessories Magazine calls Ice Queen uses a fantasy world to cope with financial stress.  Opulence abounds in this trend characterized by shades of opal and winter white.   Fur and cashmere add to the extravagance of the fantasy. 

Fashion jewelry accessorizes the look with iridescent crystals, unconventional designs of pearls, and opalescent Lucite.  Rhinestone or crystal mixed with frosted beads and pearls as bracelets or necklace sets.  Jewelry with shades white, cream, and ivory fit into this theme with wintery snow and ice inspiration. 

Headwear accessories include bobby pins with enameled flowers, lace and crocheted headbands or caps, and headwear with sequins, especially iridescent sequins.  Winter white in nearly any hat can accompany the look. 

This fashion story is easy to accessorize because the jewelry that delivers the sparkle for the trend also provides holiday jewelry that will soon be in demand.  Actually, fashion jewelry in crystals, rhinestone, and faux pearls should have a permanent location in shops because of the endless line up of events that call for dressy accessories. 

The following blog includes the fashion story for December delivery as well as holiday trends

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Filed under Costume Jewelry
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DID YOU HAPPEN TO NOTICE that at a time when many of us are suffering from the recession, we tend to add to the problem by instituting all kinds of austerity measures that make us feel bad. “WE can’t afford it” is the common refrain.  And, unfortunately, this is often the case.  The big question, however, is where do we draw the line between common sense frugality and what is considered extravagance?  It’s not always easy to tell.

However, and here’s the good news, even when you’re pinching pennies and watching everything you spend, you don’t have to feel deprived.  In fact, you don’t have to be deprived.  You can still enjoy myriad little luxuries that will make you feel terrific and get you through these tight money times feeling like a King or Queen.

–I call these “spend now, don’t worry later” items AFFORDABLE LUXURIES.  You’ll love them, and so will your customers.  Tap into a few of these, or make a list of your own.  They are guaranteed to make a difference in your life, and your business.


  • Sparkling crystal brooch revisits the Golden Age of costume jewelry with flower blossom design.

SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO:  When I first got my latest car, they gave me a free six month trial period to Sirius. I initially considered it an unnecessary expense.  But then I listened to it!  Imagine:  all the music you most love, anytime you want to hear it, with no ads to interrupt your enjoyment.  For me, that means Symphony Hall, which has wonderful classical music; Margaritaville, where I can tune in to the likes of Jimmy Buffet and James Taylor;  and my perennial favorite, Willie Nelson on Willie’s Place.  Could anything be better?  Use your negotiating skills and you might be able to bring the cost down to a little over $8 a month.  And, that, believe me, is AFFORDABLE LUXURY!

Pinned for Prosperity

A WONDERFUL COSTUME JEWELRY BROOCH:  Pick one in the style and colors that express your personality, and then wear it in a dozen or more different ways.  You can pin it onto a suit or coat, use it to jazz up a hat or beret, and even pin it on a handbag.  Any way you use it, a handsome, well designed brooch will add real fashion and pizzazz to your outfit.

Brooches are becoming increasingly popular right now, and part of the excitement has to do with finding new, imaginative ways to wear them.  Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of England used to wear a brooch pinned high up on the shoulder and it always looked fabulous!  Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright owns a huge collection of brooches.  She wears them continually, and recently wrote a book about them, exciting new interest and appreciation in brooches in general.

–The great thing about brooches is that there are so many in the costume jewelry class that are exquisitely designed and selling for extremely reasonable prices!  These, too, are real AFFORDABLE LUXURIES!


DARK CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES:  Lots of supermarkets now carry these glorious confections but if none in our neighborhood have them, find a place in your mall where they can be bought.  You don’t need a lot.  Buy a half dozen and let them last you a week.  There’s no way you can feel deprived when you taste one of these luxurious creations.  If you can’t find strawberries, try going with chocolate covered graham crackers.  A box of them will last you some time, and you can even excuse the purchase by noting that dark chocolate is actually good for you.  Mmmmmm!

STATEMENT EARRINGS:  This is one not to be missed!  Earrings give a special look to any outfit.  But for our AFFORDABLE LUXURY proposal, pick out a pair that will turn you on every time you see them. Wear them, or keep them in a jewelry box on top of your dresser, and make them something to look at!  Think of a pair of beautiful, classic earrings you might have bought at Cartier. Or long chandeliers you could have found on Rodeo Drive.  Or flashing diamond earrings you happened to fall in love with on your most recent trip to Dubai. Then, work at reproducing them all, in style or mood, in fantastic costume jewelry pieces.  Is this magic?  You might never feel deprived again!

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Filed under Costume Jewelry
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“Creativity combined with attention to detail defines luxury,” says Australian designer Samantha Wills. “Fashion jewelry,” she asserts, “can evoke the same confidence in the wearer as fine jewelry.  Costume jewelry does not have to be cheap!”  




“Even if you are going to a big gala, it doesn’t mean you have to wear diamonds,” declares Melinda Spigel, designer.  You can still look fabulous in fashion jewelry pieces that mimic the real thing in everything thing but price.

   —Don’t forget:  Costume jewelry was the brain child of Coco Chanel, perhaps the premiere European haute couture designer of the Twentieth Century.  She knew how to make a woman look marvelous!


With the economy on the skids, money tight, and fine gemstone jewelry outrageously expensive, costume jewelry is again coming to the fore in fashion.  Yes, smaller pieces of real jewelry can reduce costs for those who want to take that route.  But nobody really wants to look like less than they did last year, and last year was a time for major-sized jewelry pieces. 


                                             Drama and Presence


“Big pieces add drama and just show up more,” explains accessories designer, Ashley Dodgen-McCormick. To keep the large size momentum going, the shift is to costume jewelry.  And…it looks great!







  • 15-strand beaded choker/necklace features tiny Bohemian glass beads in rich colors.  Strands are twisted for high fashion impact!


“You can achieve a lot of drama for not a lot of money with good costume jewelry,” says stylist Rachel Zoe, who has been collecting vintage costume jewelry for 20 years. And drama, let’s face it, is really where much of fashion – especially haute couture – is at. 


Just look at the runway shows in Paris, Milan, New York, and elsewhere, and you are often overwhelmed with the phenomenal theatrics orchestrating the latest in women’s and men’s apparel and accessories.   


                                    Mastering Your Own Stuff


PERHAPS THE REAL ATTRACTION to costume jewelry now goes a lot deeper than price, more toward a democratization of experience.  Not many people can afford real gemstone jewelry collections, and even here, a revolution is taking place, as fine jewelers turn to less expensive metals and stones in order to still keep the “look” demanded by today’s fashion. With these changes, costume jewelry is rising in stature and demand! 


Writing on the same subject is Matthew B.Crawford, author of Shop Class As Soulcraft.  With a PhD in political philosophy, Crawford has had more than his share of elitist jobs — including a stint at a high-paying job at a Washington think tank – but he left it all to open a motorcycle repair shop in Virginia.

    —“Any job that has to be done on-site is relatively safe from the logic of outsourcing,” he says.


Following in the steps of America’s leading philosopher, Emerson, (and his extraordinary book, Self Reliance), Crawford promotes working at jobs where you take responsibility for your work and where you can use your own judgment instead of blindly following a set of rules and procedures. His focus is on quality and creativity. And that, frequently, puts costume jewelry on the same level as fine jewelry.  Done well, both can incorporate vision and meaning, Crawford says. It’s not just a matter of price.


                                    A New American Movement


Many top designers agree with verve, along with retailers and even fashion editors, who are spearheading a new American movement toward a broader recognition of what constitutes beauty and value in fashion. 


The latest fall handbag collection from Alexander McQueen, for example, is on magazine display with a great looking, heavy medieval-looking brass necklace of chain and cross pendants.  The combination is not even startling; it all just goes together marvelously. In another example, gunmetal-plated brass earrings and a hematite metal spike necklace are brilliant accessories for a rich, Alexander Wang black leather jacket.






Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Filed under Costume Jewelry
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WHILE COSTUME JEWELRY is made from a great variety of materials, few have had the dramatic impact on the field as plastic.  This miracle material allows designers to fashion pieces in myriad different shapes and colors, sometimes as a gorgeous piece of plastic jewelry itself, as in many Lucite pieces, and even more often mimicking expensive fine jewelry pieces for a rich, bet-you-can’t-tell appearance. 


There are so many different plastics on the market today; it would take an encyclopedia to list all of them and their variants.  But they all share a number of properties. To start with, plastics are fantastic! They are almost always remarkably affordable, and yet there isn’t a serious jewelry designer around who hasn’t at one time or another been intrigued by their properties. 


If its costs were prohibitive, plastic would probably be as revered as the spectacular gemstones in the Taj Mahal.  Or, you might also relate plastic to cotton.  It is a miracle material, too, but because it is so affordable, it is often overlooked.  Lucky for us, the psychology that says expensive is always better is beginning to wane!  Plastic as a valuable material is coming into its own.


                                 Hi-Class Plastics a la Coco Chanel


PLASTICS IN VINTAGE JEWELRY represent a category that is especially fun to study and collect.  You might remember that Coco Chanel, the great diva of Parisian haute couture, originated costume jewelry to go with the outfits she created.  Plastics played an important role in her fantastic jewelry collection.  Today, many of those pieces are worth thousands of dollars in and of themselves.  You can also pay plenty for some more common-place vintage pieces. 


Lucite, as we already mentioned, is an extraordinary material.  It is an acrylic resin that, in jewelry, generally dates back to the 1940s.  It can be molded, cast, laminated, inlaid, and carved.  It can also be easily tinted, making its color possibilities just about limitless.  Equally intriguing is the fact that Lucite can be opaque or transparent, again widening the design possibilities for this versatile material. 


RIGHT NOW, LUCITE IS RAGING BACK  into popularity.  It is especially handsome when used for modern designs, opaque, transparent or translucent.  A number of exclusive jewelry firms offer wonderful collections of modern-design Lucite rings in a wide range of bright, if not brilliant colors. The rings are stunning, large, all one piece molded shapes, and relatively expensive, although they are being increasingly copied in the low-cost market. 









                                Color-Fabulous Bakelite Bangles


BAKELITE IS ANOTHER fun plastic– this one known most especially for its many uses in the 30s and 40s.  Back then, bakelite was used for so many items, it became almost pandemic.  Radios, telephones, kitchen utensils, poker chips and even billiard balls were just some of the everyday products given the advantage of bakelite composition. 


A vintage bakelite bangle bracelet from the 40s, say, is very desirable today, and can cost you hundreds of dollars.  The material was ideal for bangles, incidentally, because it was so easy to mold into a permanent shape!


The big advantage to bakelite is that it will not melt or burn and, once it has been heated and formed, it is impossible to melt it down and reform it.  That means that products made from bakelite stay true to shape and form.  Bakelite can also be carved, laminated, inlaid, and cast, making it an ideal material for jewelry. It can also be made in any color your imagination might come up with.  




CELLULOID JEWELRY generally dates from the turn of the 19th century to the 1930s, and while it allowed for some handsome, creative jewelry pieces during that time span, it also had many disadvantages that detracted from its wider use.  Celluloid jewelry is today sought-after for its vintage value. 


…BUT…pay attention:


Celluloid jewelry tends to be light and brittle and, if not cared for, it will crack and discolor.   Even more problematic, if it is stored with other jewelry, celluloid will often affect their color and composition, too.  Adding to the negative even more is the fact that celluloid is highly flammable.  Watch out for sparks.  Watch out for the kids.  Hey…watch out for celluloid!









  • Brilliant, chunky Baroque beading in this necklace mimics the bright color of yesterday’s bakelite jewelry – yet offers rich, updated design for a very trendy summer/fall look!
Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Friday, July 10th, 2009

Filed under Costume Jewelry
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Costume jewelry has always taken some of its best ideas from fine jewelry, replacing expensive, real gemstones with amazingly real-looking stones like CZs, rhinestones and glass that cost just a fraction of the price. 


A prime example of that movement can be seen in the fabulous new costume jewelry collection being introduced by Prada, the super-expensive fashion brand that has formerly stood for some of the most expensive accessories in the world. 


Now, however, Prada is unveiling a group of costume jewelry pieces that mimic real jewelry with remarkable skill. We don’t expect everyone to go out and buy Prada…the pricing is still high, by costume jewelry standards.  But, it is important to be aware of the products and to see the kind of jewelry the firm is manufacturing. 


              — After all, this is an incredibly hot brand, and getting “the Prada look” isn’t a bad thing to try for. It’s just about guaranteed many top costume manufacturers will be doing just that!


Prada is using a number of innovative materials in its new collection, like crystals of various sizes that are treated with thermic shock to create a cracked effect. They are then put on grosgrain ribbons which are linked to chains and clasps made with silver-alloyed metals. These, in turn, are used to form the collection’s necklaces, earrings and bracelets. 


The new Prada necklaces will retail from $695 to $750, while the earrings will run $350.

But, the good news is, you don’t have to spend that much to still get plenty of Prada-like power.  In making your buying plans, look for jewelry items with large, expensive-looking gemstones. 


Prada uses a good deal of turquoise in the new collection, along with clear crystal and both silver- and gold-toned gold in one piece. The firm also works with matched sets. Mixed metals rank high in this new grouping.  So do crystals or CZs on ribbon or on metal link chains.


Consider a bib necklace made of high fashion reconstituted turquoise stones set in a meandering pattern of metal.  It approximates the Italian look dramatically.  Also, look at fashion earrings in turquoise color, or a faux turquoise and crystal brooch with Victorian inspiration.  They all speak with the same refinement and beauty.


             — Remember:  Getting a hot designer look isn’t all that difficult. 


All it takes is, first, a keen eye for detail, and an appreciation of the original item. Then, you have to list the main elements of the item.  Think in terms of color, material, and stones.  Also, is the piece traditional, or modern? 


Some materials automatically give a rich appearance.  For example, crystal bracelets are wonderfully elegant, and perfect for that special formal affair.  Made of Austrian crystal, these bracelets will dazzle the eye delightfully. This is the mood you should look for when trying for jewelry with a “Prada sensibility.” 


Once you’ve got a line on all of that, start looking for pieces that match up with the original in at least several points.  And don’t forget to trust your own eye:  Do the pieces look alike?  If the answer is “Yes,” you’ve got a hit!

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, November 17th, 2008