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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Handmade Headlines

Cultural Trends for 2010

Like many of you who run an indie handmade business, I like to keep track of the cultural trends and relate them back to my business.  Therefore, I read a lot of articles, review websites, and spend my time in the grocery line perusing the latest magazines to try to form a snapshot of the primary trends for 2010 and beyond.  Then I try to think of how this relates to my own business.

Cultural trends invariably mirror what is going on in the world and the economic downturn and recession has forced many people to review their prior lifestyle, downsize, and interestingly enough, change their perspective in many cases as to what things are important.

Some of the trends for 2010 that caught my interest as a designer and seller of handcrafted jewelry were:

  • Bold Color--this is a typical trend after what our country and the global community have faced during the past year.  Adding bold and bright colors to your designs and your brand will help attract consumers to you because after all, it is all about giving the customer what they want.
  • Personalized Gift Giving--there has been a shift away from luxury gift giving in favor of more personalized gifts.  No one is better prepared to service this consumer group than handmade sellers who can offer customization on many of their handmade products and enter into a collaboration with the customer to give them exactly what they need.
  • A Concern for Our Planet--the pursuit by consumers of environmentally safe and friendly products is a very prevalent trend and one that the handmade industry has been involved in for quite some time.  From organic cotton fabric and fiber, to recycled and up-cycled designs,  he industry offers eco-friendly alternatives to products you use every day.  Handmade sellers do this because it's what they believe sets them apart from regular retailers and e-tailers rather than capitalizing on any cultural trends.  However, it's nice to see that it is what the consumer wants to see in 2010.
  • It's Cool To Find Quality Bargains--not only does this mean that consumers desire to find the best value for less money, it is also a trend to seek out gently used clothing and fashion accessories but also means that they are looking for alternatives to the inferior quality mega-stores have to offer.  They can find just that within the handmade industry.
  • Nostalgia for Simpler Times--consumers, again due to the drastic shifts in both the economy and personal life quality are interested in returning to a simpler time in life.  This not only applies to the baby boomers by also to those consumers that didn't live during those times!  This is good news for vintage sellers, those designers who take vintage or antique items and re-purpose or up-cycle them and for those designers who have returned to styles and materials from the past.  This trend also points to a renewed interest by consumers for high quality service; business as it was conducted in simpler times.
Well, hope you have enjoyed some of the trends I've talked about here.  I think it positions all of us in the handmade industry in a wonderful place to serve our customers' needs.  We offer quality products, using the best materials, unique styling, and superior customer service.  Here's to a very successful 2010!!

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    About Me

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    I am an MBA Jewelry Artisan and owner of Zur Designs.  I create handcrafted jewelry using only the highest quality materials such as sterling silver,semi-precious gemstones, swarovski crystals, and pearls.

    My designs are inspired by life, love, and the beauty that surrounds me from the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts to the wonderful beaches in Rhode Island...both I consider my home.