Home » Spring 2010

Jewelry Marketing 101

by Marilyn Millstone March 30, 2010
Jeweler Nola Jane Smodic connects with customers at a preview event at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts gift shop in Nashville. Credit: Emilie Strom.

A woman walks into your gallery, spies a lovely piece of handcrafted jewelry and plunks down her credit card without even so much as asking the price.

Sound a little too easy? In this economy, it probably is. The reality is that when times are tough, jewelry retailers must market like never before—rethinking old strategies and using new tools. We talked to savvy gallery owners to find out what’s moving jewelry off the shelves and into the hands of happy customers.

“We treat jewelry as art,” explains Ellen Jones Pryor, director of communications and manager of the gift shop at Nashville’s Frist Center for the Visual Arts. “And we believe everybody needs art. Jewelry is not expendable; it’s a durable good that will last a lifetime, and then be passed down as if it were a fine painting or a magnificent piece of sculpture. We take that sensibility to the floor.”

For more of “Jewelry Marketing 101” pick up a copy of the Spring 2010 NICHE magazine.

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7 Comments »

  • Marilyn Davenport said:

    Thanks for the info. I work with Precious metal clay and some clients cannot appreciate the cost of a finished piece of metal art jewelry.

  • Dawn said:

    This is awesome information. I am a lampwork (glass bead) artist and often get questions like ‘why is that so expensive, I can buy glass beads at a craft store for a fraction of your price?’ UGH, trying to convey that these are made one-at-time and are individual pieces of unique art is challenging and, sometimes, frustrating.

  • Geralyn Sheridan said:

    Great info! In addition to the art aspect it helps to when the sales associate has good product knowledge of the property of the gems, quality of the precious metals and other benefits of the jewelry piece. I am a designer/gemologist making eco-friendly jewelry which is a quality many consumers are inquiring about.

  • Angela Mahler said:

    I have been making what I consider to be art-to-wear jewelry for over a decade now and am extremely happy that jewelry as art is coming into the mainstream thinking now. Thanks for promoting that fact!

  • Sharon Butcher said:

    I also market my jewelry as art to wear. Jewelry can be a small painting, a collage, or a sculpture. You become the gallery for the wearable art.

  • Lisa said:

    Jewelry is art. As are handbags, scarves, and other handcrafted wearable pieces for the body.

    As artists, it’s important to craft our story about our business and our individual pieces to captivate the attention of the buyer. It’s vital that the story is clear and compelling for both the gallery and the customer, capturing them as a fan for life.

    Lisa
    @ecstewart

  • Frank said:

    Love the sensibility that is shown in taking jewelry to the floor. It is an art, and only people who understand the craft can appreciate what jewelry making, designing, selling, possessing is.

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