Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Marketing Rubber Cords


#1

Hi all,

After being reluctant to use them in the past, I’ll be selling
rubber cords for the first time at a show this weekend, and I’m a
bit concerned that it may be difficult to get customers to accept
them as a “valid” jewelry material. I love the smooth look, the
perfect flexibility, and the price of these cords, but I’m worried
that some folks might be put off by the word “rubber.”

Is there any alternative descriptor I can use - something like
"nitrile" or “neoprene” (not sure what these things are actually
made of) that sounds a bit cooler than “rubber”? Also, since I’ve
not had much time to “field-test” these, what can I tell customers
about care and durability? (I did see the thread about gluing
rubber cords, but I also wondered about the durability of the rubber
itself - especially wear/abrasion resistance.) What’s the answer
to “will they mark clothes?”

I figure these things must be pretty decent, as I saw an $1800 white
gold pendant offered with a rubber cord on one of the
"Orchid-winning" websites!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience,

Jessee Smith
www.silverspotstudio.com
Cincinnati, Ohio


#2

Jessee, why not refer to them as elastomer cords.

Regards Eric
@efgriff


#3

Hi Jessee,

I had a similar situation marketing leather braided cords - when
cheap ones are so prevalent.

Neoprene (which is rubber) sounds like a good replacement name. I
agree calling it “rubber” is just not the right feel for marketing
quality jewelry (it has a shared-meaning connotation, too, that just
pulls the mind in a direction you don’t want it to go! Just like
recently I had to gently keep telling my husband to stop referring to
the thin leather cord holding his locket as a “thong” – ooops!).

There will be purists who will argue with you til the cows come home
that “if it’s not actual true chemically perfect neoprene you can’t
call it that.” I would follow your insticts!

Neoprene cords are hugely popular now, especially with young men. My
nephew has worn the same one for at least 2 years now and it hasn’t
degraded to my knowledge, though young men might not notice if it
marked clothes!

(I market my leather cords as “hand-braided of the finest calfskin”

  • I don’t even use the word leather if I can help it.)

Roseann

Roseann Hanson
Desert Rose Design Studio
www.desertrosedesignstudio.com
Tucson, Arizona
520-591-0508 voice/message
866-421-1813 toll-free fax


#4

Jessee, I wouldn’t worry about carrying rubber necklaces in your
line if your only concern is how your customers will react. I’ve
been selling them to go with my less costly line of jewelry for
about a year and got no complaints or worries. I do have customers
who just want to buy one necklace … which I am loathe to do
because I alter them to make them more consistent with my work. I
have to really mark them up for an individual sale.

Do have a more expensive chain as an option for buyers. Faced with
spending a few bucks for a rubber necklace or about 5 times that for
an all silver one that makes the same visual impact and the buyer is
likely to go with the less expensive alternative. You’ve given them
an option and that’s what America is all about.

Larry


#5
    After being reluctant to use them in the past, I'll be selling
rubber cords for the first time at a show this weekend, and I'm a
bit concerned that it may be difficult to get customers to accept
them as a "valid" jewelry material.   I love the smooth look, the
perfect flexibility, and the price of these cords, but I'm worried
that some folks might be put off by the word "rubber." 

Oh, Jessee. I just have to ask, what would make a jewelry material
"invalid"? A lot of people are put off by the words "cubic zirconia"
but have no problem buying “pink ice.” In this world of widespread
gem misnomers, I never thought I’d hear or read about rubber
misnomers, too.

    Is there any alternative descriptor I can use - something like
"nitrile" or "neoprene" 

Since CZs are called by such inventive words as “Diamonelle”,
“Diamonique”, etc., maybe you could call your rubber cords something
similar. How about “Leatheresque”, or, instead of neoprene,
“NeoQueen?” (please note heavy sarcasm).

At the risk of alienating one of my favorite people here, Jessee, I
think you’re trying to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. You said
yourself that you like the look, flexibility and price of the rubber
cords. Either your customers will too, or they won’t. Present it as
(and rightfully so) one of the current jewelry material crazes, and
they’ll buy it up like it’s going out of style. All styles (jewelry
and all others) do just that, anyway.

Something tells me that there is a breakthrough concerning the
fetish industry hiding here, somewhere.

James in SoFl


#6

I have found that people love to wear them because they’re so
comfortable, and they like the look. I have not found them to mark
any clothes. I use them for some pieces at low price points. I call
them “rubber cords.”

As far as durability goes, I have a necklace I’ve been wearing
frequently for over a year and it shows no signs of wear. I guess the
oils in my skin keep it soft. My husband, on the other hand, has one
of my lampworked beads on a rubber cord and he has been wearing it in
the shower (!). Sweet that he likes it so much, but… The
combination of water and soap from the shower made the cord draw up
and become hard and leathery.

Courtney
Courtney Graham Hipp
cgHipp Jewelry Designs


#7

Hi Jessee -

I love the look of these cords, especially the 4mm ones, and I sell
a lot of them with pendants that I fashion myself.

I have had a few people ask for silver chains instead, but most
don’t.

The only problem I have ever had with them, and only with the 2mm
ones (so far) is that the cord has pulled out of the silver clasp.
But as far as marking clothing, haven’t seen that happen.

In my descriptions, I call them neoprene.

Linda


#8

Umm I have a minor issue with " Neoprene (which is rubber) sounds
like a good replacement name"

If we assume Rubber is a generic name which is the context it is
being used here. Then yes Neoprene which is a specific chemical
product does fit into the greater set Rubber, However all rubber is
not Neoprene.

Just being a pain in the a** but like many I decry the tendency to
’generalize’ when it comes to terms

Kay


#9

Hi Jessee

I have a couple of rubber cords that I wear pendants on. I love
them because they are flexible and modern looking. I think that
they make a piece look more interesting because it is not on a
predictable gold chain. I wore one of them under a white collor and
by the end of the day there was a black mark, but nothing that a
little laundry detergent and spot remover didn’t cure.

Good luck with them at your show.

julie


#10

Hello Orchidland,

Courtney brings up a question for me. She commented that her
husband wears the rubber cord constantly and it has become hard and
leathery.

What kind of cord has been sturdy enough for this kind of constant
wear? (Guys seem to never take a necklace off until it breaks.) I’d
like something smooth and about 2mm diameter. Hemp is itchy and rots;
silk rots; leather gets stiff and smells(!); reportedly rubber gets
stiff. That leaves synthetic fibers. Other ideas? Your input is
greatly appreciated.

Judy in Kansas


#11

Many thanks to all who responded (and so quickly too, since I waited
’til the last minute) to my questions. Your suggestions and comments
were very very helpful.

I think I do like “neoprene” the best of all the alternate
appellations - it’s [probably] not dishonest, it has the "new"
connotation of the “neo-” prefix, and watersports aficionados might
find it appealing. I don’t think I’ll go with “Leatheresqe” (eeeew),
but I have to admit that “NeoQueen” was tempting :wink:

…And in the words of They Might Be Giants, “alienation’s for the
rich, and I’m gettin’ poorer every day”!

With gratitude and best wishes,

Jessee Smith
www.silverspotstudio.com
Cincinnati, Ohio


#12

Hi,

Slightly related to this subject, I was just in a fishing shop buying
a couple of lead weights as counterweights for a grandfather clock
and I spotted packs of silicone rubber tubing - I think intended for
making little rubber rings to fix floats to fishing line (I don’t
really know anything about fishing except that it is the biggest
bloodsport and should be banned throughout the world!). Anyway, this
tubing was available in a variety of sizes from maybe half a
millimetre bore to about 2mm bore and the packs each had two lengths
of about 18 inches in (at least the one that I bought had) for just
under 2UKP. It occurs to me that, since this tubing seems quite
strong, it could maybe find a use in place of rubber and you could
then make mechanical fixings to it by pushing a wire with a blob on
the end up the bore and wrapping another wire ring around the outside
to trap it in place. You could incorporate such a wire into an endcap
and then kind of crimp the cap on…

Best wishes
Ian
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK


#13
    What kind of cord has been sturdy enough for this kind of
constant wear? (Guys seem to never take a necklace off until it
breaks.) I'd like something smooth and about 2mm diameter. Hemp is
itchy and rots; silk rots; leather gets stiff and smells(!);
reportedly rubber gets stiff. That leaves synthetic fibers. Other
ideas? Your input is greatly appreciated. 

Hi Judy…

Among the synthetic rubbers is a kind known as “Viton”…

Ya know…I kind of like that name…

At any rate… This stuff stands up to most anything that gets to
other rubbers…

The durometer of it is higher than most others…so it might not be
as flexible as one might want…

You can get it by the foot from McMaster-Carr, for one source…

Think I’ll get some just to fool around with…

I suspect it’s not glue-able… One of its forte’s is resistance to
chemicals…

Gary W. Bourbonais
A.J.P. (GIA)


#14

Judy, you asked “What kind of cord has been sturdy enough for this
kind of constant wear? (Guys seem to never take a necklace off until
it breaks.) I’d like something smooth and about 2mm diameter.”

What about steel cable? That should endure, would be smooth,
strong, and simple. Other than this, I doubt there is much out
there that will meet the need. If you like the look of black rubber,
then I’d simply replace it every so often - its easy enough to do.

K


#15

I have seen an interesting substitute for rubber cords: plastic
medical tubing! One particular version had been silvered inside
somehow and had magnets at the ends to close it. It had an
attractive appearance when worn, and I figure that there are
infinite ways one can decorate the inside or outside of the stuff to
make it an aesthetically pleasing neckpiece…

Dee


#16
A lot of people are put off by the words "cubic zirconia" but have
no problem buying "pink ice." 

Ah, yes…the eternal sales pitch. Nevertheless, “a rose is a rose
is a rose”; or, to put it more crassly, “no matter how you slice it,
it’s still bologna”.

Neoprene is a synthetic rubber, and it has the same relationship to
latex(a natural product) as CZ has to a diamond. If the rubber cords
are rubber, call them rubber. If they’re neoprene, call them
neoprene (or, if you wish, synthetic rubber). But neoprene is not a
fancy name for rubber.


#17

POLISHED COTTON available in black


#18

Judy -

I made a woven seed bead necklace for my dad (I know it sounds
feminine but it wasn’t!) and unfortunately he wore it in the shower,
playing golf (in SC in the summer), etc. I used nylon thread (Nymo)
and it also is not up to the task of constant wear, with all the
sweat and chemicals that involves. My brothers have been more careful
with their necklaces, which are still in great shape. I can’t think
of anything other than chain or maybe a woven metal chain that would
take the kind of beating we’re talking about for very long.
Tigertail, perhaps.

It makes me feel good that the guys like the pieces enough to wear
them all the time, but - especially with woven pieces - a lot of time
is going down the drain when they aren’t cared for properly. I’m sure
that’s the same kind of frustration the jewelers on the list feel
when people wash dishes with their pearl rings on or other such
horrors.

Courtney
Courtney Graham Hipp
cgHipp Jewelry Designs


#19

What about calling them natural rubber?

marilyn smith