I've had assorted experiences, both in the context of personal
appearances for a major high-end department store, and in private
studio events. One that occurs with more frequency than I would have
believed is that the husband (usually) would be ready and eager to
make the purchase of an item which his wife admired, sometimes
borderline begging to do so, while his wife would demure, saying it
was too much money to spend (not necessarily saying it was
overpriced, but that it was an impractical purchase) -thus, flatly
queering the sale. I've seen looks of utter bewilderment, even
embarrassment, on the faces of some of these guys as they walked
away, often appearing to take it like a slap in the face. ( Sometimes
I think it is actually meant to be.) Now that I really think about
it, this has been the case only with married couples - and older
ones, usually, at that. Maybe that's some sort of "code dance" they
play with each other to make a "diplomatic" getaway from the
situation (of rejecting a piece in the presence of the artist,
perhaps because they weren't serious to begin with). More often,
though, the men seemed very sincere. I think it rather a sad
commentary: Here was a romantic gesture being shot down. But who
knows what subtexts and complexities in the relationships - or family
economics - may be in play in such a scenario?
With dating or engaged couples - the opposite is the norm. The women
not only warmly accept the gift, but clearly "encourage" it. Here,
the age of the players, even respective to each other, doesn't seem
to enter into it.
Overwhelmingly, my clients are women. In many cases, they pre-shop
their own gift, husband to come in and pay for it later (or buy it
outright, saying that this will be their husbands'
birthday/anniversary/ whatever gift.) Sometimes they even have the
thing gift wrapped. Most just straight - on buy for themselves, for
the sake of style, but also for the symbolic value inherent in the
components which, clearly, resonates. Many have been avid collectors,
over years' time, purchasing - or commissioning custom designed
pieces -to complement their entire wardrobes.
My prices can range from well under $50 to several thousand.
The women (and the men who genuinely know* and love them) buy my
work because it is highly individual, even those pieces that could be
described as "classic", with a great deal of symbolic subtext of its
own. It is not sexual status "bling" nor does it necessarily reach
out to the fashion victim. (If they came over to me from out of the
Chanel boutique, it was usually because they were losing altitude
from wobbly 4-inch heels and needed a "sit-down" - or maybe were
merely curious to know what the "fish-frenzy" around my display was
about.) It appeals to women (and the men who genuinely know* and love
them) who are comfortable in their own skins, fearless in their
individuality.. (The dead giveaway that I will never, ever, see a
sale from a customer is when, after gazing longingly - and long - at
her reflection in the mirror, admiring one of my pieces, she gently
hands it back saying "I absolutely love this, but I have to ask/talk
to my husband". If she adds, "I'll be back." -that's a dead-on
guarantee that I'll never see her again under any circumstances. Even
on the street. If she includes the word "definitely" - I
automatically think "witness protection program".
- Men who select according to the woman's taste, not necessarily
their own, because they actually have paid attention, know what it is
- and respect it.. These are the men who seem to be very jazzed about
shopping my jewelry for their mates - especially the older ones.
They're always so excited in anticipation of their wife's reaction ~
I just LOVE those guys...!