Trendy jewelry woes

July 27, 2007

Here’s a recent clip from the Seattle Times which ran with an article advising readers to wear more “trendy” pendant necklaces this season.

trendynecks.jpg

Is it just me, or are these styles becoming boring beyond belief? (Sorry that sounds so negative . . .)

I especially cringe when I see that little rose pendant, which, granted, is cute, but it was also the “hottest” retro-trendy pendant design a full five years ago.

I wonder if people who wear jewelry, but don’t design and make it themselves, are starting to feel the same way about fashion jewelry trends? (I’ve been making jewelry long enough now that I guess I don’t remember what it’s like to be . . . a normal person . . .).

In comments to a past post we briefly discussed jewelry-crafter burnout related to relying too heavily on current jewelry fashion trends. There could be several reasons for this. Here are the two that I suspect are the biggest factors:

Stifling of creativity – In order to keep the so-called creative juices flowing, you need to exercise your creative ability all the time. It’s not always easy (I think everyone gets creative “blocks” from time to time), but the more you sort-of force yourself to be creative, the more creative you become. You may be familiar with this general vibe if you’ve read The Artist’s Way.

Frustration over competition – Unless you tap heavily into a big, local market, or sell quite a bit to your friends, it can be nearly impossible to compete price-wise with the mass-producers of trendy fashion jewelry. This struggle can be very discouraging, especially if it remains a problem over a long period of time.

For my designs, I think I do consider fashion trends to some degree. I say that because I believe I’m influenced by fashion because it’s so prevalent in our culture. But, as I’ve grown as an artist and begun to “discover” my own personal tastes (and, hopefully, as I become more creative), I think my designs noticeably vary from the trendiest designs out there.

I guess at this point, I’m just trying to allow myself to create designs that “feel right” to me. I’m relying a lot on instinct – and crossing my fingers that the results will be positive.

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One Response to “Trendy jewelry woes”


  1. Again you are so true! Jewelry is getting to a point where “boring” can not even start to describe it…maybe a coma would be better?

    I also consider fashion trends to a very limeted extent in my jewelry. And it sells so well just because of that! Nobody is going to pay twice or thrice the money for a handcrafted pendant when they can buy it at the chinese store for a dollar… uniqueness is so better paid! I use only colour schemes or general styles in order to fit the clothes my customers are buying each year, but I try to stay away from the general trends as much as I can – and that makes the jewelry stand for itself.

    I also find trends go way faster into the jewelry making community… but customers buy things still that were highlights a few years ago. That is very important to keep in mind too! Some people only buy pieces they’ve seen their friends wearing after a lot of time. I still get asked for pieces I sold five years ago!

    A normal person? What is that? I don’t remeber either LOL!!!!


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