Trend Watch: Tips for the Recession: Fresh Ideas and Inexpensive Updates for Jewelry

In the “Ask Mrs. Exeter” column in the September 2008 issue of Vogue magazine, is posted the almost inevitable question this season, “how the Best-Dressed cope during economic downturns.”


Prefacing her comments with the observation that being well-dressed is an attitude, Mrs. E. responds that having lots of money is optional but fresh ideas are necessary. She mentions bumping into a stylish friend wearing what appeared to be a new Cartier watch. In fact, her friend had changed the gold watch bracelet to a white alligator strap, making the wristwatch look entirely new for a fraction of the price of a new watch. This kind of ingenuity is key now, Mrs. E. concludes.


Consider how you, as retail jewelers, can freshen up your customers’ jewelry wardrobes to make them look new. Now’s the time to replace a boring clasp with something interesting that might be worn front and center. Or to dismantle a set of pearls or beads and add some interesting elements to create a much bolder statement necklace. Or to add a bail to a brooch so it can be worn as a pendant. Or yes, something as simple as updating the bracelet or strap on a wristwatch.


Hold a jewelry makeover event, upgrading your stone resetting event to a new level. Restyle earrings and bracelets, brooches and necklaces as well as rings. Invite an image consultant in to assist individual customers with fresh and flattering ideas (hopefully by now you have an ongoing working relationship with an experienced, certified image consultant – if not, you can locate one through the Association of Image Consultants International). Think of the many ways you can utilize your skills as a jeweler to remodel jewelry with small and larger modifications that will refresh your customers’ jewelry wardrobes. Help your customers develop wish lists for future purchases. Sometimes delaying gratification can make the purchase that much more delicious.  


And thank you, Mrs. Exeter, for your astute observation that women over 30 are ideally at the point in life of “building a wardrobe, investing in quality basics, good accessories, and great jewelry.”

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