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How is the jewelry economy?


#1

I posted about “One-of-a-kind Jewelry Sales” and didn’t really get a
sense of what I was after, so I thought I’d rephrase and try again.

I am wondering whether the feeling is throughout the U.S. that
people are not attending and buying at art shows or galleries? I may
be asking about something that some will think should be obvious, but
what the media reports often seems to differ from actual experience.

I am interested in this to help me decide my marketing
strategy for the rest of the year.Thanks to any who are willing to
share.

Sue
http://www.jseenameljewelry.com


#2

My shows so far this year have been amazingly good. I hate to write
this for fear of jinxing it, and every show I fear that this will be
the one where the economy catches up with me.

Janet Kofoed
http://users.rcn.com/kkofoed


#3

This is one of those questions that there are no precise answers to.
It is going to depend on what part of this huge country the person
replying is in, and what they do. In my area sales on original
pieces are very good, and the artists at the shows have done very
well. I have returned three artists work (much to my dismay) because
they did not sell here. Ask them how sales in my gallery are and they
will tell you dismall, ask some of the others and they will say
fantastic. If you have what the people want they will buy it, if you
don’t they won’t. Personally I think if the media would shut up our
economy would grow like crazy. I also think that the art shows are
not what they used to be, they have been marketed to get the masses
to them and not the buyers, the quality of the work is going down and
the mass produced items are becoming more prevelant. It takes years
to find the shows that work for you and to build up a good customer
base.

Bill Wismar
www.metalbendersgallery.com


#4

Hi all

just back from a show in the Berkshires, Mass… People attended
BUT… they were more interested in the “group conversation” than
looking at any exhibitor! I experienced a steady conveyor of people
past my booth… not a look or pause!.. For the first time I was
entertained by the crowds… some people should not go out in
public dressed like that!

Barb McLaughlin


#5

Since you’ve widened the scope…

Most of what I do is one of a kind, but not at galleries, shows. I
have a B&M studio.

Two words…

What recession?

Ok a few more words. Temper that with that I do custom, to order. A
specialized niche. You can’t just go somewhere and buy this stuff
(it doesn’t exist yet), which while it limits overall market size,
its quite a quality market.

Neil, stillwaitingfortheothershoetodrop, thejeweler


#6

Interesting topic…as an employee and observer of past sales for
the last 6 mths,? high end pieces are down, but seeing a huge
increase in more reasonable purchase for our gallery (200-500$
range). Women are buying lots of gemstones that are set in sterling
with 14k caps, etc, but are either semi-precious (amethyst, blue
topaz, peridot, citrine, etc) or are champagne, clear or yellow CZ’s
that could easily pass as the real thing.

I have also noticed a larger increase in fine jewelry repairs. Women
are bringing in old broken gold pieces from 80’s-90s and having new
pieces created with old gold and stones or re-working hierloom
pieces. It is interesting to see how the economy has plaid such an
impact on jewelry purchases/designs. I would enjoy seeing academic
research on jewelry purchases vs. custom work due to economic
stimulus/gas situations. Would make for a neat academic journal
piece.

Nicole


#7

Hello Sue,

In my neck of the woods, Los Angeles County, sales are in the pits
this year for me. Last year was much better, I guess the gas prices
are taking a major bite out of everybody’s spending. I have two more
shows scheduled this year, and I can take comfort in the fact that I
have already paid for my booth space. Not to mention that the shows
here are totally saturated with bead stringers, of which I have been
myself. I am building up my inventory of fabricated stuff–they have
sold better for me than my beads.

Good luck with your sales,

Vicki K


#8

At about this time last year I decided that I was driving myself
crazy trying to run two businesses at the same time (selling at art
fairs and being a self-employed carpenter) and made the decision to
just do the art show circuit in 2008. In order to sell enough to make
a living, I had to put a full-time effort into running the jewelry
business (which is a lot more than just making enough to sell!). So
this year just about all of my income is coming from art shows.

In the spring (March/April) I alternated between hopefulness and
terror, since I listen to NPR a lot and keep up with the latest
economic indicators. My first two shows don’t count since they were
small and weren’t my target market; I did them just to shake the
bugs out of a new booth design before the season really began and I
don’t anticipate ever doing them again. At this point I would say
that sales are down somewhat from last year, but are still quite
strong for me. There are definitely people who, while not rich, are
still choosing to visit art shows and spend money. The biggest change
I have noted is what people are buying and how they are paying for
their purchases. Smaller ticket items and a lot more cash. I have
also noticed that having more variety of items in my booth has
increased sales. Plus my new booth design definitely helps!

Not all artists are doing well, however. Several artists (not
jewelers) at some of my good shows did not make booth fee this year.
We need those artists to do well too!

I had this past weekend off (yay!) and now begin another onslaught
of six weekend shows in a row. Ask me again in mid-August…

Jan Raven
www.janra-jewelry-designs.com
www.wovenwire.blogspot.com


#9

The store I work at has an incredible increase in our consignment
intake. As well as appraisals pouring in the door every day. With the
cost of gold going up, and people looking at what they have sitting
in the drawers, this is the time to push new designs with Mom and
Dads old jewelry. Play on the sentiment that keeps us in business.

Julia


#10
What recession? 

yeah what recession? we have decided not to paticipate in the
recession also! we do not tune into any continious nausiating
negative news its them that talk people into depression and recession
they influence so many decisions that people start building bomb
shelters and fill their barns with food stockpiles.

the oil price is most probably due to this as well. can we all
remember the millenium 2000 debacle everything was going to crash and
close dowwn what really happened nothing zero nix zilch but according
to those news distributors we would still be rising from the ashes.
all our airplanes computors etc blown up.

lesson dont participate in panic recession if it happens it happens
to those who believed it would 'the secret?" have a flourishing
fruitful day !

frank


#11

Surprisingly I’m keeping busy this summer. I have intentionally tried
to slow down for the summer due to personal reasons; however this
hasn’t happened. Even with no advertising the orders are coming in.
However, they are smaller than last summer and contain more lower
priced items.

Leanne
Leanne Elliott Soden
http://www.piecesofclass.net


#12
we have decided not to paticipate in the recession also! we do not
tune into any continious nausiating negative news its them that
talk people into depression and recession they influence so many
decisions that people start building bomb shelters and fill their
barns with food stockpiles. 

I do the same thing Frank; no news or negativity allowed…You
sound like a law of attraction follower and we only want to attract
positive prosperity,

Have a prosperous day… Frankenstein


#13
The biggest change I have noted is what people are buying and how
they are paying for their purchases. Smaller ticket items and a lot
more cash. 

I am following this thread with great interest. But, those of you
who respond, it would be great if you were willing to say what part
of the country (world) you are in, and what your price range is–
maybe even what kind of work you sell.

Myself, I only got into three shows this year out of the dozen or so
I applied to (I only apply to tough-to-get-into shows) and, wouldn’t
you know it, they are on consecutive weekends in three different
states. The last is tomorrow. I have sold less, and much smaller
items-- mostly under $100, none of my titanium and silver art
jewelry. But those pieces have sold in the past at this last show,
Cain Park in Cleveland, so we’ll see…

Noel


#14
2000 debacle everything was going to crash and close dowwn what
really happened nothing zero nix zilch but according to those news
distributors we would still be rising from the ashes. all our
airplanes computers 

Well speaking as a 25+ year veteran of the computer industry, 2-3
years prior a lot of time and money were spent fixing and testing
legacy software and still there was a lot of concern. I rang in the
New Year sitting in a datacenter just in case something broke and
the phone lines were down. A few bugs were encountered but nothing
causing a major outage.

Rick Copeland
Legacy System Graybeard


#15

Many of my clients are in the jewelry industry. To be successful, you
need to see this time as a challenge, you need to find ways to do
business in new ways, and with product that is different than that of
your neighbor. My clients that have done this, and are hanging on.

Michael H. Iser
Associated Agencies, Inc.
associated.cc


#16

Yes Frankenstein

the second one of my people mention recession, we reprogramme them.
Negativity is a no no (pun intended) Its amazing how it really works.

Frank


#17
But, those of you who respond, it would be great if you were
willing to say what part of the country (world) you are in, and
what your price range is-- maybe even what kind of work you sell. 

I’m in a suburb of New York City (you know, where the great BBQ
sauce comes from. Hrumph, sometimes I DO miss The South). Price
points are all over the map but there does seem to be a gap between
$2000ish and $5K. $3K hard to sell, above 5 its alright, good even.
Sales of diamond total weights are not only plentiful but lucrative.
Bread and butter (a few hundred) always moves, curiously this is
mostly color. Big colored stones are spotty but pricepoint is not the
factor I think. Perhaps lately people feel more comfy with diamonds
as a store of value, although I never tell anyone diamonds are a
good investment. Maybe they feel diamonds are just more fashion
flexible. Diamonds work with a sweater and jeans, they work for
evening. Color is much narrower in what it goes with. Maybe that’s
the value they seek…double duty. They’ll drop a coupla hundred for
a fun color thing that they’ll wear now and then but when they invest
bigger bucks they want to USE it.


#18
the second one of my people mention recession, we reprogramme
them. Negativity is a no no (pun intended) Its amazing how it
really works. 

Absolutely I like the expression of not allowing the words can’t and
quit except when using them together.

Ever listen to Joe Vitale books on tape like the attractor factor??

Total agreement Frank… Frankenstein


#19

I just got more confirmation that my end of it really sucks!
Yesterday I did something I’ve never done before- I packed up after
the first day of a show and left! This was the second year(my first)
of a new show by an established promoter. But he really dropped the
ball on one. No car traffic nearby, zero weekend foot traffic,
terrible layout. My section of the show had the most unapealling and
unpromising ambiance of any show I’ve seen. The turnout was
incredibly sparse. I wrestled with the unprofessionality of leaving,
but the promoter didn’t hold up his end of the deal first. And I was
the 4th vendor in my section to bail. I did stumble upon one $40
sale as I was getting ready to pack up, but I’m going to take a nice
hit on this one.

But the promoter’s shortcomings were only part of the problem. It
was the perfect storm of bad location and layout, gas prices, hot
weather, stock market dive, and a huge bank failure in the
neighborhood the day before. I’ll tell ya, folks, this is gettin’
scary! I’m not going to apply to any more shows this year other than
the 3 I’ve already booked. I’ll tighten the belt, hunker down and
hope for better times in the spring.

Allan
www.silvermason.com


#20

I know this thread died a few days ago, but I’d also like to confirm
that it’s at least affecting show economy. I am in the middle of
what is usually a big, high end show here in Asheville, NC…the
Southern Highland Craft Guild show. This is my first time doing it,
but I’ve been talking to others and almost everyone is down across
the board except for certain artists with a major following of
collectors etc. One gal said the last two days she’d guess she’s
doing half or less of her normal sales. At least I don’t have much in
the way of expenses beyond my booth fee and my time and materials
since I live here in town.

I get tons of ooos and aaahs over my filigree work, but people are
just not opening their wallets. Today, the biggest sale was for two
$35 pair of cast earrings to one person, and everything else was
pretty much $35 or less at a time.

I discussed with several people today how it seems like many of the
people seem to try to look at a booth from a distance of 4-5 feet
rather than going up to it…like they don’t want to be tempted to
buy anything. This wasn’t just at this show either…I spoke to a
friend of mine doing a show in Michigan today and she had noted the
same phenomenon.

Jeanne