When I asked him what was new, he said self-purchase is growing as a category… so much so, in fact, that he's about to open a boutique oriented around the concept. In particular, his store sells a lot of silver fashion, and he was at the show to find one or two new lines.
A couple of days later while strolling through the Generation Next pavilion, I spoke to a couple of designers who were both having a particularly strong show. One, Rebecca Hook (www.rebeccahookjewelry.com), only recently began her career as a jewelry designer, but she's already selling her designs like hotcakes. Because they're all done in sterling silver and gold vermeil, they're affordable, yet the designs are strikingly beautiful. That's value. Another, Julie Romanenko of Just Jules (www.justjules.com), creates her designs in 14K gold rather than 18K, again making them affordable while creating a gorgeous look for the price.
Maybe you're seeing a theme here. Let me drive it home with a statement that I hope a few of you will take to the bank: Gorgeous designer jewelry doesn't have to be expensive. Just as importantly, affordable jewelry doesn't have to look ordinary. You can deliver a designer look to your customers at an incredible price. I'm seeing more affordable metals and gemstones used than ever before, as well as clever use of openwork and other innovative design techniques that save on material costs while still making a big impression.
If you've never ventured into the world of designer jewelry in your store, there's never been a better time to deliver the unique, extraordinary look that today's customers want at a price they can afford… all while making a tidy profit.
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