Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Handbag Theory

It’s common knowledge that women notice other women. Women notice sooner when another woman changes her hairstyle, has on the latest trend or just looks great overall. Our Director of Sales Training, Charlene Hudson has been overheard saying that when a woman has on a fabulous pair of shoes or a cute sweater she’s going to tell them. And she does on almost a daily basis! Her reasoning? Women put effort into how they present themselves. If someone is going to spend hours getting her hair the perfect mix of chocolate and caramel brown and it looks good, let her know! Not enough people in general, women in particular are acknowledged for their style effort.

Realistically, most (but not all!) men shop for function and most (but not all!) women shop for function too, but also spend time making certain their purchases fit their style. Women also encounter purchases that are slightly more involved than those men face, like handbags, jewelry and shoes. Often, the jewelry industry is indicative of other high-end retail trends.

In the fall 2007 issue of Accent Magazine Marc Fink was asked what the biggest change in the jewelry industry was in the past 25 years, his answer:

“Self-purchasing women, the power of women in the workforce, two-income families. Women are empowered today and they don’t need permission to buy a piece of jewelry; they buy it for themselves. They treat themselves if they want to. When I first joined the business, it was much more of a gifting business. Society has changed.”

He goes on to explain how Fink’s employees are top-notch in their customer service and sincerity and quotes long-time employee Marie Compton as saying, “We like to out-nice the competition.”

JCKonline.com’s Caroline Stanley recently posted on her blog a post titled, The Handbag Theory – Do Women with Great Handbags Shop for More Jewelry? What a great concept?!?! The woman with the high-end, designer handbag is the type of woman coming into Fink’s, knowing what she wants and purchasing her own jewelry, then telling her friends about the experience.

Mr. Fink was spot on in his assessment of female self-purchase shoppers. Women know what they like, typically know what they’re in the market for and respond to a positive customer service experience. Check out the article and let us know what you think.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring Fever

As the weather slowly warms, we tentatively start looking forward to late evening walks, long summer days, sundresses, sandals and shopping for baubles that match!

The most comprehensive source for scoping fashion trends is the internet. Obvious, right? Right. So, take a look at your favorite clothing retailers’ sites and see what’s going on this year. You’ll probably find prints galore, whether in an abundance of color or just two or three perfectly paired tamely together, interesting patterns are all over everyone. Stripes, checks, florals, ruffles are taking over much attire as the weather warms and the jewelry trends are falling in line, just as they should.

Working from last fall’s trends, this season layering necklaces, cocktail rings and animal and nature inspired jewelry are the most current fashion staples. Whether it is subtle like the John Hardy Kawung Collection and David Yurman’s Renaissance Collection or bold like some of the silver, gold and gemstone creepy crawlies and literal animal prints we’ve seen in the past year, nature is now in a big way.

So enjoy the current state of sunshine with colors and prints that will set you apart and as always, it’s all up to your personal style so just have fun.