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Expand your reach with silver and gold
Written by Amanda Ryder
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jewelry11May 13, 2011 - You already know that flowers are the best way to a person’s heart, but jewelry doesn’t fall far behind. The two product lines often go hand –in hand at holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day and adding this category might be a great way to boost add-on sales at your shop and give shoppers yet another reason to come visit you.

In 2008, the total value of the jewelry industry in Canada was estimated to be $1.7 billion. The market is typically broken into two retail categories: fine jewelry, which uses precious metals and gems, and costume jewelry. Right now, as the price of gold and precious metals continues to climb, more consumers are gravitating to wallet-friendly costume pieces to round out their jewelry selection. These items usually change with fashion trends and feature materials like base metals, leather, feathers, glass beads, gems and pearls. From a retail standpoint, this is a great opportunity for you – a new piece of jewelry is a great impulse buy and the price point will appeal to most age groups and incomes.

The fashion market changes rapidly, so as a florist you need to be cautious when buying. Avoid buying large amounts of fad-type items that could quickly go out of style. Matching sets of earrings and necklaces can encourage the shopper to spend more, so look for co-ordinating pieces.

Christine Larose of Poesie en Fleurs in Lachute, Que., describes her jewelry selection, which is made by a local artist. “We have more conservative, but original, pieces made with pearls and stones and they always have the choice to take or not take the earrings that match with the necklace. We also have a more eclectic style made with wires and recycled pearls, beads and buttons.”

The key to finding the right offering is knowing your clientele. If you’re introducing jewelry for the first time, talk with one of your best customers and ask her what she’d like to see. Start small and take note of what sells through the best. You might find that classic and simple styles are a bigger hit with consumers rather than modern and edgy statement pieces. The season will also influence what types of pieces will fly off the shelves.

If you’re catering to customers who are on the lookout for what’s hot now, the trend forecasts say that, when it comes to jewelry, more is more in 2011. Statement necklaces that extend no longer than the collarbone are in demand, featuring bold colours, huge stones and funky designs. Coloured and precious stones like amethyst, coral, garnet and tourmaline are replacing last year’s emeralds and rubies. Chandelier earrings, layered chain necklaces and oversized cocktail rings are popular, as are stacked bangles and cuff bracelets.

Adding a line of jewelry to your shop can entice shoppers to swing by your shop next time they want to treat themselves, or a friend, to something shiny. It will also help position you as a destination for unique and stylish gift-giving products.

Jewelry a great way to go local

Thanks in part to popular sites like Etsy.com, which celebrates and promotes vintage and handmade products, consumers have a growing appreciation for items made by local artists. The jewelry market is no exception.

Shoppers are looking for a necklace or bracelet that complements their personal style and is unique to them. This is one area that can be a natural fit for your floral shop – why not contact a local artist in your area to see if you can carry his or her product? One way to track down a jeweller is to search for local artists in your area using websites like Etsy and offer them a little retail space in your shop.

We asked florists on the Canadian Florist Facebook page to share their experience with local artists. Tracy Bell of La Belle Fleur Floral Boutique in Surrey, B.C., says her shop has done this with great success. “We have a local artist who creates necklaces, earrings and bracelets for us and she does very well in our shop. What’s great is that she can make custom pieces for our customers, which they appreciate, knowing they are one of a kind.”

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