Saturday, August 20, 2011
On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal ran a story by Heidi Mitchell called “Jewelry Style Waits for No Man: Buy It for Yourself.” Here’s the lede: “For jewelers, a market is emerging for their baubles: the women who actually wear them.” I’m not sure how to react to this. Since I launched my jewelry business in 2005, 95% of my customers have been women buying for themselves. (Another 3% are men buying what their womenfolk have specifically requested and the remainder are men buying engagement rings.) I was excited that nearly all my customers were and are women purchasing for themselves. It seemed especially apt because so many of my designs are inspired by historical women. Whenever a store or a publication asked, “Who is your customer?” I would proudly tell them this. In return, I got no love, just blank stares (or the email/phone equivalent of a blank stare). I figured that women buying fine jewelry must be old news, though I still felt that my percentage of female buyers was unusually high. Now I wonder if I was ahead of my time. Or is the Journal reporting on an existing trend that has recently gathered steam in a newsworthy way? What do y’all think?
Right after that, National Jeweler bummed me out by reminding me about the spike in diamond prices. I haven’t done a lot of work with diamonds recently. Coping with the record-high gold price has been bad enough. The article deals with whether jewelers should sell jewelry that was made before the price increase for the old price or for the replacement price. In other words, you can say, “I’m not going to raise prices because I can still make money due to the lower cost of this older piece.” You can also decide, “If I sell this piece at an outdated, low price, I’m going to suffer financially when I replace it with expensive new inventory, so I better raise prices now.” If you read my blog regularly, you know I went with the first option for years — until the day that I realized the cost of a replacement piece actually exceeded my retail price. In hindsight, I’m not sure that generated many extra sales. That’s yet another chapter for my Bitchtastic Guide to Business™.
Luckily, gorgeous blogger Princess Poochie is around to improve my mood by sending me this highlarious commentary on jewelry ads. Enjoy!