Particularly during the holiday rush, while you’re visiting your local lineup of boutiques (and especially the mall!), it’s not hard to let the shopaholic in you take full control. But then the internet came along, and shopping became even easier—though not for bank accounts—with just a few clicks of the mouse. And in this decade, it got even easier with the introduction of things like Apple Pay, which literally lets you make a purchase with a scan of your face.
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Before Faris Du Graf launched @farisjewelry, her line of sculptural, modernist jewelry, she was doing, as she describes it, “more or less odd jobs.” Though those stints included working at an architecture firm and with the founder of Design Within Reach, she says she didn’t consider herself a creative person until she started making jewelry in 2012. Now, she says, she’s feeling endlessly inspired. “I’m having a lot of fun with ear cuffs—earrings are the least restrictive in form. You can play with the shape of the ear.” ✨
It used to be that you’d click through an email to buy something you liked, or you’d go off and visit a store’s website on your own in search of whatever it was you desired. Leave it to social media not only to reveal things you never knew you needed (or wanted, in some cases), but also for making it quick and easy to purchase, too. This year, Instagram introduced Checkout, a new shopping feature that allows its users to make in-app purchases from select retailers. Then the platform upped the ante with its dedicated @shop account, sharing products from both up-and-coming and established brands available for direct purchase with a simple swipe. It’s been fantastic for introducing small businesses and new designers (not just in jewelry), but again, not for the easily swayed who trying to abstain from spending (are you sensing a theme here?).
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“I started making jewelry when I was 5—and I sold it door-to-door,” says @amarilo co-designer Ali Heiss. Ali’s young hustle came full circle recently when she and business partner Stella Simona were contacted by one of those childhood customers to design an anniversary gift. “People buy from us because they connect with the intimacy of the brand,” says Stella. “A lot of our customers have told us that our pieces reminded them of family heirlooms.”
Where e-commerce is concerned, these have been incredibly exciting developments that offer new ways to get customers to part with their dollars, and it’s also been beneficial for those vendors who are seeing exposure to new shoppers. While I lament the ease with which I am able to make purchases without thinking much about them, I do hope to see these capabilities continue to grow so that jewelry retailers and creators can share their products with the world. It’s the most wonderful thing to see jewelry bring people joy, particularly when that jewelry is made by someone you just happen to know.
For now, I’m doing my best to keep my shopping finger from tapping purchase too many times—but a visit to Instagram doesn’t make things easy. And if how quickly social media shopping has grown in the last year alone is any indication, there’s more ease of access to come. Which begs the question, what’s next?
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