A few thoughts, for whatever they might be worth, probably not
First a little background. I began my official career working in a
shop that billed itself XXXX Silversmiths and Jewelers. By the time I
came aboard, in house ‘making’ of silverware was already about dead,
so the course of business became sales of branded manufactured silver
and repairs/plating. I was involved in thousands of transactions of
both types with a lot of direct customer contact so came to know what
people were thinking.
It was plain to see that interest was waning as the old folks left
the market, leaving younger people who just didn’t want to deal with
silver for several reasons. Maintenance issues, relative cost, old
fogyism. In the past, bridal was the big segment, accounting for not
just some big individual sales bit also introduction to the market.
But more contemporary new brides wanted an easier lifestyle that
didn’t make demands on their time/money.
While antique collecting is still a viable segment to serve, one
cannot make antiques.
Jeffrey’s idea here is a good one, because its applicable to a more
health conscious generation(compared to an older one where marrow
scoops were a standard thing, ughhh). I should think it could be
promoted not just in bridal/gift venues but also in health mags etc.
I have a feeling though that the future of silverware(as opposed to
silver jewelry) has a ceiling that lowers a little bit every year.
The market needs some remarkable innovation to capture new consumers.
Maybe its away from tableware and toward tech, I don’t know. Or maybe
its a rebirth of tableware with a new definition.
In some respects I miss working on silver. Its a bigger canvass. Its
also incredibly messy. Eh, maybe I don’t miss it so much after all.
Spend a day buffing Tea Sets and you’ll know what I mean.