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Archive for the 'Venetian Masks' Category...

Filed under Halloween Jewelry, Halloween Masks, Masks, Seasonal Jewelry, Venetian Masks
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From Bulk Masks to Extravagant

Masks have so many facets, they could be a newsletter by themselves. To simplify, we are going to list categories with a picture and short description.

Venetian Style Masks:
A range of looks and prices inspired by the masks of Venice. New arrivals include leather masks and macramé masks.

Masquerade Masks:
Inexpensive masks for your customers doing parties that need bulk masks. Cats, butterflies, and masks on a stick are some of the styles.

Feather Masks:
Good looking masks at low wholesale prices. Your customers can wear them or use them for decorations or in centerpieces.

Day of the Dead Masks:
Popular in the Hispanic culture, The Day of the Dead occurs from Oct. 31 to Nov 2, corresponding to Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day. It has a long history and banks in Mexico close for this event.

Rhinestone Masks:
Rhinestone masks are the height of extravagance in masks. Both rhinestone and crystal designs are available.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Filed under Boas, Brooches, Fashion Jewelry, Feather Masks, Mardi Gras, Mardi Gras Beads, Mardi Gras Earrings, Mardi Gras Masks, Masks, Necklace Sets, Sports Jewelry, Uncategorized, Valentine Jewelry, Venetian Masks, Wholesale Jewelry
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This is the 27th year for Accessory Wholesale inc. business.  Sometimes we have to stop and ask, have we learned anything over the last quarter of a century in business?  Our business is fashion jewelry and accessories plus some really fun items like Mardi Gras and masks.  Those familiar with fashion know that it is cyclical.  Trends come and go, business build for years and then reverse for years in rollercoaster-like cycles. 

 How does small business survive that?  Our business as a wholesaler depends on the success of small retailers.  These are our customers.  Some small fashion businesses have found their space in the retail world and are doing very well, while many others may feel the walls closing in with competitions from major retailers as well as taxes, insurance, and everything else including days with problem customers. 

 Over the last 27 years, we haven’t come up with neat little formulas for guaranteed success, but we have noticed some tactics by successful retailers that seem to work.  This blog and the following two will hash out five ideas. 

 1) LOCATION

How many times have we heard the three most important things that make a business successful are location, location, and location?  Sounds simple enough, right?  That is until we try to pin down what is the right location.  Most areas have shopping destinations that can draw from 25 and more miles away.  This is often a mall like the Acadiana Mall in Lafayette, La. or the White Oaks Mall in Springfield, Ill. 

 These shopping destinations get plenty of traffic, but leases are through the roof.  Small business often feels it is giving all the profit to the property owner. I noticed something as a road salesman calling on small fashion businesses.  Many successful businesses were in smaller towns away from the shopping destination. They had desirable merchandise and were conveniently close to their customers.  Personal service accompanied by a high level of energy made shoppers feel special as well as energized to buy.  They were packed with customers when locals needed gifts for those special days like Valentines Day and Mothers Day. 

 Location and the price of the lease need to be weighed to determine whether sales volume is going to overcome the lease cost. 

 2) NICHE MARKETS IN JEWELRY & FASHION 

The Christmas shopping season is probably the time when small business feels major retailers cutting into their sales more than any other time of the year.  Niche markets insulate small business from the onslaught.  Most niche markets are an area where the majors simply don’t go. 

 FLEUR-DE-LIS JEWELRY AND ACCESSORIES

A few examples will make the point.  Since Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, especially in New Orleans, fleur-de-lis jewelry and accessories have been extremely popular.  It is the symbol of the City as well as on the Acadiana flag.  Louisiana has rallied around this emblem since the devastation of the Hurricane and it has been in hot demand by the locals.  But the only place to find a nice selection is small business.  This is a niche market that small business owns. 

  CAPITALIZING ON LOCAL SCHOOL THEMES

Think about sports.  Local high schools and colleges have a following of avid fans.  This is a super niche market, especially high schools.  Of course manufacturers are not going to produce lines of merchandise for individual high schools, but that is where the ingenuity of small business comes in. 

 If this were a recipe, school colors and school mascots would be the main ingredients.  Decorating an area with colors and the mascot screams “local high school” to your shoppers.  Everything from stuffed animals to jewelry and printed shirts creates the story.  In jewelry, chokers, mascot pendants, and school color beads can be offered separately so customer can create their own high school jewelry.  School color bracelets are also available to fit into the theme.  If mascot pendants aren’t available, simply substitute a sports pendant like a football.  That with the school color beads will tell the story.  Sounds like a lot of creativity and work?  Well, there are some easier choices that can add other niche markets. 

 MARDI GRAS JEWELRY, GIFTS, AND PARTY ITEMS

In some areas, Mardi Gras is huge and this market belongs almost entirely to small business.   If “The Greatest Free Show on Earth” is celebrated in your area, take advantage of the enormous retail business done in Mardi Gras items while other parts of the country are recovering from Christmas.  If not, you be the shop that introduces this fun celebration to your area. 

 What makes up an irresistible Mardi Gras selection for retailers?  Of course, beads must be included—not cheap throw beads, but specialty beads that consumers will pay money for.  Hand-strung Mardi Gras beads in nice designs and Mardi Gras colors of purple, gold, and green have to be part of the selection. But other colors are often used in beads that have a theme, like crawfish boil, jesters, peppers, seafood, oysters on the half shell, and more. 

 Novelty hats are also an almost necessary party item.  Purple, gold, and green novelty hats again do well for Mardi Gras—headwear like jester hats, sequin tiaras, mad hatters, or crowns.  But any crazy hat will be popular for this super party.  You need a lot of selection, but not a lot of depth.  The market doesn’t end on Ash Wednesday.  Festivals, birthday parties, and sporting events are more opportunities for sales in this fun headwear.    

 

  Boas are a festive accessory popular with girls—purple, gold, and green for Mardi Gras day, but other colors do very well also.  When buying boas, the fullness is determined by weight and a good weight is 55 to 60 grams. 

 Masks are a major ingredient for Mardi Gras and selection has certainly become more sophisticated over the last few years.  Feather masks, both worn with elastic bands and on a stick to be held, continue to provide more breath-taking designs.  The sequin mask with a spray of feathers to one side is leading seller year after year.  Coque, ostrich, and marabou feathers make a fabulous arrangement in the spray, making these masks extraordinary without being expensive.  

 The rising star in masks is Venetian style masks.  These gorgeous works of art were practically unknown a few years ago and now frequent reality shows, TV, and the movies.  The art of mask making had its own guild in Venus during the Renaissance and the growing popularity of Venetian style masks makes it hard to pass up when stocking your store. 

 Venetian style masks can be affordable with designs like the Arlecchino patchwork patterns of eye masks for men or masks mounted on sticks with lavish ostrich plumes for women. 

 Exceptional styles include the full-face jester masks in Mardi Gras colors as well as butterfly Venetian style masks for women that are breath-taking.  Venetian masks have the history and artistic beauty that will make you proud to include them in your inventory. 

 Whew!  This blog took more time than I expected so we will save two important areas for small business until the next blog—the areas of jewelry for special occasions and seasons plus key niche markets that appeal to a wider audience. 

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Filed under Mardi Gras Masks, Masks, Masquerade Masks, Venetian Masks
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As 2012 rolls out, retailers are looking for every edge to build a successful year, especially if the holiday season was less than spectacular.  One often-overlooked market that has more sales potential than imagined is masks.  I’m sure that will raise some eyebrows of doubt, but this market has been growing quietly under radar for the last few years. 

 

You have seen them in movies and in reality shows, but probably had little idea how popularity was growing.  Today schools are doing masquerade proms; couples are having Mardi Gras or Venetian weddings; fundraisers are using masks to raise money; and masked balls are growing in popularity. 

 

When your customers need large quantities, they usually turn to masquerade masks because they get a reasonably good look at very inexpensive price.  One-step up is feather masks—still inexpensive, but exceptional in appearance. 

 

However, the surprising big winner in today’s market is Venetian style masks.  They have a history that dates back to the Renaissance where the art had its own Guild in Venice.  Masking was common in Venice and eventually got out of hand, causing the Church to step in and limit the time to Carnival, from the Feast of the Epiphany until Mardi Gras Day.

 

Some designs were popular among the public and others found inspiration in the Commedia dell’arte, the Venetian theatre.  From popular designs comes the Bauta mask and no one can visit Carnival in Venice without seeing this style that was a favorite disguise by the populace of the City.  Accompanied with a cape or hood, the mask not only covered the face, but also muffled the voice to avoid identification of the wearer. 

 

Mask inspiration also comes from the Commedia dell’arte.  Actually, the original masks used during the Renaissance were made of leather, but his revival of the art in the early 1970s took the characters as inspiration and brought the art to a new level. 

 

The long nose mask is an example.  The servant characters of the Commedia dell’arte were called Zanni.  This form of theatre is the origin of slapstick.  (The name actually comes from Arlecchino’s sword that had two pieces of wood separated so when he smacked someone with it the wood slapped together making a noise.)  The raw humor associated the length of a Zanni’s nose with how dumb the character was—the longer the nose, the dumber the character.  From this comes the Zanni mask with exaggerated nose, so popular today. 

 

The leading servant character was Arlecchino often represented by patchwork patterns reflecting his patched clothes.  Arlecchino masks are a favorite for men for masquerade. 

 

It the US Carnival is most commonly referred to as Mardi Gras.  The full-face jester mask in Mardi Gras colors of purple, gold, and green is a spectacular piece of art that is Venetian inspired and can be worn or used as a wall mask.  The jester hat and collar are shapeable. 

 

Venetian style masks can also be very elegant.  Venetian style weddings today use masks, often masks on a stick.  The most popular style has ostrich plumes in color combinations of white and silver or white and gold.  This is growing in popularity faster than most people realize. So if you are a bridal shop, don’t overlook the possibilities here.   

 

Fundraisers and masquerade balls often call for more elaborate Venetian style masks.  The butterfly Venetian style mask is exceptional.  A mesh screen above the top provides the appearance of butterfly wings.  This style is pricier so quantities aren’t large, but the engaging beauty of the design keeps it selling. 

 

 

The newest Venetian style mask in the upper end comes individually boxed with dimensionally shaped maple leaves surrounding the eye mask.  Two-tone colors shade for a spectacular effect.  The inspiration of the maple leaves is a mystery, but the beauty sells this work of art. 

 

Mardi Gras is a month away and it is it huge for mask sales.  Beyond that interest continues all the way to summer with proms, weddings, balls, and fundraisers.  Surprise yourself by trying some masks in your shop.  There is a bigger market than most retailers realize. 

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Filed under Masks, Masquerade Masks, Uncategorized, Venetian Masks, Wall Masks
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 Tired of the sultry heat of summer?  Well fall is coming and Halloween is just ten weeks away.  So one way to build some excitement in your store during the muggy days of August is to introduce some extraordinary art in masks that will grab customers’ attention—and do it before all the discounters roll out their Halloween and try to steal your thunder. 

Before we begin reviewing the fabulous new designs in masks, let’s see how important Halloween is to retail sales.  The National Retail Federation keeps track of this kind of stuff and the 2010 results are online.  What category do you think led Halloween sales in 2010?  If you answered kids’ costumes, that is 4th.  Candy was first, decorations were second, and adult costumes finished third.  That means there is a lot more Halloween parties for adults than we would have imagined and that is good for us because they will need masks. 

The NFR reports that adult parties are growing every year and 2009 accounted for 6 billion in sales with 2010 being bigger.   In a fragile economy, this is a huge help.  Combine new arrivals in masks with some of the timeless designs already in our line and you can capture part of these sales.    

Ladies masks this season will take your customers’ breath with a maple leaf design that tastefully combines crystals, glitter, cupped maple leaves, and a special technique in painting that gives an antiqued crackled effect to these Venetian style masks that come individually boxed with clear plastic tops.  

A second Venetian style mask using maple leaves also comes individually boxed.  The same special technique of painting delivers the crackle design with maple leaves extending from one end and a feather arrangement on the other.  Both designs are eye masks that can be worn while eating or drinking at a party and both have color choices. 

Want a ladies mask with all the mystique of masquerade?  A new lace mask in black certainly fills the bill.  The eye mask shapes to the face with lace blended with a hazy film that is semi-transparent.  Beaded drops are spaced along the bottom of the mask.  Price is very reasonable and these masks need to be part of your Halloween display because they certainly look the part. 

In Venetian style masks, a new full-face jester offers all the artistic craftsmanship anyone could want in a mask at a price that will make your customers look twice.  While not as convenient for enjoying food or drink at a party, these jester masks are so outstanding that customers will have a hard time passing them by at these prices.  They also have a loop that lets them double as wall hangings. 

 

Sometimes the host provides masks for their guests so they need something that is attractive, yet very affordable.  New arrivals have a variety of masquerade masks that will work for Halloween parties.  For men, nothing is more popular or more recognized than the domino mask.  You know this mask.  It is the lone ranger mask that is also worn by several other super heroes and used in cartoons to denote burglars and bad guys.  During the Renaissance, the mask was accompanied with a hood that looked much like the garb a priest wore for warmth.  The root word for the domino mask is the French word for priest.  These domino masks sandwich flexible mylar between thin layers of fabric for quality that is still inexpensive. 

Perhaps the most exciting new masquerade mask for women is the glittery butterfly mask.  They have the shape of a butterfly with wings spread and plenty of sparkle.  Best of all cost is $2.20 wholesale and price drops with quantity.  So your customers that are hosting parties can still get a great buy even after your markup. 

Summer is nearly over and won’t be missed unless you are a summer tourist destination.  Fall is around the corner and that should translate into better sales.   Why not start the excitement now with knockout items customers will be looking for shortly.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Monday, August 22nd, 2011