Even if you’re not a “trendy” jewelry designer, it’s important to keep abreast of the latest jewelry trends. After all, you don’t sell your jewelry in a vacuum and whether you like it or not the current jewelry trends can have an impact on your jewelry sales.
One fun way to keep abreast of the trends is to take a fun trip to your local mall for trend watching. You can learn quite a bit in one afternoon of trend watching and have a great time while doing it!
Start by setting aside a day where you have at least 3 hours you can spare from your other projects and head out to the biggest mall in your area. Wear comfortable shoes since you’ll be doing alot of walking. (this is good exercise too!) Take along a notepad for jotting down notes and observations. Start out at one end of your mall and enter the first clothing boutique, jewelry store, or department store you pass.
First head to the jewelry counter:
1 What type of jewelry items does the store have the largest inventory of? Bracelet, necklaces, earrings? This should give you an idea of what type of jewelry pieces are the most in demand. Take a quick look at the sale items. Are there more necklaces, bracelets, or earrings on sale? Jot down your findings.
2. What metals does the store stock in highest quantity? Silver tone, gold tone, sterling silver, copper? Check the sales rack to see which metals may have been marked down due to slow sales. Again, make notes in your notepad.
3. Look at earring construction. Are most of the earrings carried in the store long dangles, shorter posts, chandelier style? What about the sale rack?
4. Look at necklace styles. Are most of the necklaces single strand, double strand, multistrand? With pendants? Long or short in length? What about the sale items?
5. Make note of colors? Do most of the jewelry pieces this store stocks have bright colors, muted colors, naturals? Is there a color trend to what’s on sale?
6. Does the jewelry here spark any new jewelry design ideas? If so, do a quick sketch or write down your ideas.
Now, it’s time to find a salesperson. When you find her, ask if she has a moment to answer a few questions. If she wants to know why, let her know you’re researching current jewelry trends. Ask her:
1. Which items have been the fastest sellers for you? Which type of jewelry piece, which metals, which colors, which styles?Take notes.
2. Which items have been slowest for you?
3. Are people asking for items you don’t carry? If so, what are they?
4. Why do you think the slow moving items didn’t sell? Wrong style? Wrong price?
5. If your store could stock one type of jewelry it does currently carry, what would it be?
Thanks the salesperson for her time and head to the next boutique or department store and do the same thing. By the time you reach the end of the mall, you should start to see trends and patterns regarding what jewelry trends are popular.
Now, head down to the food court and order a quick lunch. While you’re eating, keep your notebook handy for jotting down what type of jewelry you see your fellow shoppers wearing. Pay particular attention to the target age group that buys jewelry from you. Are you meeting the needs of your target audience?
Lastly, before you head out the door, top at your local book store and flip through some of the latest fashion magazines to see what the upcoming jewelry trends are. Pay particular attention to celebrity magazines and W (Women’s Wear Dailiy). Women’s Wear Daily is usually on the cutting edge of trends. If your bookstore stocks foreign fashion magazines, be sure to look through these also as they’re usually ahead of us as far as jewelry trends. You can also check out online jewelry blogs like Beyond4cs.com’s engagement rings gallery for ideas.
Have you learned alot? On the way home, think about how you can adapt some of what you’ve learned to your own jewelry designs. It’s been a fun and educational day, hasn’t it?