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Main Street and Wall Street seem to be marching to different drummers as Wall Street declares the recession may be over and Main Street experiences slowing sales. What can we expect as we approach fall?

One thing is certain-floor space and emphasis have switched to fashion accessories with less attention on apparel. The logic behind this move rests on the fact that accessories often have lower price points and have a smaller impact on the family budget as they provide “feel good” purchases to consumers hungry for a little something new to pick up their spirit. Besides accessories can give last year’s apparel a fresh look for this season.

Fashion jewelry is almost always the accessories that lead the field. Our statistics show that wholesale fashion jewelry shipping to retailers continues to exceed all other categories. The “lipstick effect” discovered by Estee Lauder in the recession of 1990 certainly plays into the continued popularity of costume jewelry. This discovery noticed that lipstick sales rose as high ticket items slowed during the 1990 recession in upscale department stores. The conclusion was that women don’t quit buying they just move to lower priced goods to provide a little something new to lift the spirits.

While the “lipstick effect” is certainly helping fashion jewelry sales, trends are doing even more. Costume jewelry is impacting fashion looks everywhere you turn. Dramatic designs in fashion jewelry are turning up in every form of media-fashion magazines, television, the internet, advertising, celebrity wear, not to mention the heavy emphasis on fashion jewelry seen in malls, boutiques, and department stores.

Fashion jewelry sales have ignored the economic trends. Every year Accessories Magazine puts out a report on accessories sales by category. Information comes from many of the major department stores and big box stores. According to the latest report that shows results for 2008 and forecasts for 2009, fashion jewelry hasn’t missed a beat. Each year shows improved sales figures for jewelry while overall store sales may be contracting.

The direction of costume jewelry is certainly a move to classic. This trend has been ongoing for the last few years and according to Henrik Vejlgaard in Anatomy of a Trend, history shows trends like this rise and fall slowly, often over a decade.

What exactly does classic mean when applied to fashion jewelry? Well, according to Webster, classic is a standard of excellence. This excellence is rendered in the components and design of costume jewelry. It also often implies harkening back to a previous outstanding era of costume jewelry, such as the Victorian age or Golden Age of Costume Jewelry (many define 1930s to 1960s as this era). One test of classic is jewelry that appeals to a woman, her mother, and her daughter. This universal appeal that transcends age groups is a quality of classic jewelry.

Costume jewelry design in any season are as diverse as the personalities contributing to the art. But within these styles a few mainstreams develop that become the trends. The fall season will see some existing styles return with slight or major modifications plus some new expressions emerging.

Important branches of fall jewelry trends include long swinging necklaces that rely heavily on chain links and an even stronger return of fashion jewelry with gemstone component. These semi precious stones will provide new surprises as designers incorporate more unusual gemstones into jewelry. Meaningful jewelry with messages return, especially inspirational messages, Scripture quotes, and uplifting words like dream, hope, smile, friends, and family. The overall look of costume jewelry will have impact with dramatic size. Plated metals will range from one-of-a-kind looks that give a hand-made impression to clean classic designs inspired by major jewelry houses of a bygone era.

Nearly everything in fall jewelry delivers impact. Bracelets mix and match in multiples on both wrists. Wide cuffs and bangles are big. Dramatic earrings see a return of chandeliers and glitzy earrings in crystals and rhinestones make a substantial statement. Yes, costume jewelry will have a big impact on fall fashion sales, but its presence will be unannounced.

Slowdowns in business make the nightly news, but increases in costume jewelry sales or any other retail sector happens beneath the radar with no one noticing. Even the consumers continue to believe things are tough as jobs return and retail spending increases. Can we count on fashion jewelry ringing the cash registers this fall? Most certainly! But it won’t be announced in the headlines.

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For most women, wearing fashion jewelry is an easy way to try fresh new looks or to perk up your existing wardrobe. Keeping your jewelry looking its best will help keep you look your best too. Fashion jewelry, also known as costume jewelry is commonly made from less expensive materials and adorned with glass, plastic or synthetic stones. Unlike fine jewelry that can be refurbished to like new condition, an item of fashion jewelry that falls into a state of disrepair cannot always be restored. Caring for your accessories regularly and knowing what to avoid will allow you to enjoy your cool vintage piece or your fresh new necklace, bracelet, ring or set of earrings longer.

Taking time out once a month to care for your fashion accessories will keep it in good condition. Simply wipe with a soft cotton cloth to remove any surface dust. Use an extra soft toothbrush to remove any dust or debris that might be hiding in crevices or clasps, don’t forget to check between beads if your item has them. Then, simply use the cloth to polish the surfaces. This may be all you need to do to keep your accessories in good shape.

If your item is more severely soiled use mild dish soap and a soft sponge or cloth to gently clean it. Try to avoid submerging your jewelry completely. Moisture can cause rust or pits to form so the less moisture your jewelry is exposed to the better. Avoid using ultra-sonic cleaners with your fashion jewelry as they are too harsh. Be sure to dry well with a soft cloth and touch up your piece by gently polishing with a soft cloth.

There are also jewelry cleaners available for costume jewelry. If you choose to use these be sure that they specifically state that they are for use on fashion jewelry. Fashion jewelry cannot withstand some of the chemicals used to clean fine jewelry so make sure you know what your cleaner is made of before use. As long as you follow the directions given by the manufacturer you will be able to clean your items without difficulty.

You can also increase the longevity of your fashion jewelry wardrobe by knowing what to avoid. Avoid ammonia, vinegar, acid and alcohol as these will corrode your jewelry quickly to a non-repairable condition. Some more common substances to keep away from your jewelry are perfume, hairspray and lotion as they can easily alter the finish of your fashion jewelry. A good rule of thumb is to put on your jewelry after you get yourself ready in the morning and then remove it as soon as you get home. If you practice this you can easily keep exposure to substances such as these to a minimum. To keep fashion rings in good condition always remove them before washing your hands and/or applying hand lotion. Remember that moisture can cause rust or pits to form on your jewelry so remember to never wear fashion jewelry during a bath or shower or while swimming.

Once you have removed your jewelry it is also important to put it away carefully. Costume jewelry can easily be scratched or damaged by coming in contact with other jewelry or hard surfaces. Store your fashion earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings separately in soft pouches or boxes. A segmented jewelry box would also be a good place to store them if you have enough room to keep them separate.

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Something in the human spirit is always itching for independence and this itch translates to a constant flow of new entrepreneurs that so often gravitate towards fashion jewelry. What is so irresistible about this accessory? Beyond the high profit margins that wholesale fashion jewelry can open for retailers lies an intrinsic beauty that creates truly wearable art. Yes, wholesale fashion jewelry offers plenty of profit potential that enables retailers to turn small investments into the longest mark-up in the fashion industry, but the magic of fashion jewelry’s beauty stops consumers in their tracks and this magnetic attraction, more than anything else, brings the entrepreneur into retail sales specializing in jewelry.

Many of these new fashion jewelry businesses begin on the simplest level with retailers buying wholesale fashion jewelry and presenting it to friends and co-workers. Easy sales and new found profits ignite a fire to grow the business, but what step comes next? As a twenty-five year veteran of the wholesale fashion jewelry industry, I have seen business after business start in this way and often grow to become the major supplier of fashion accessories in a community. The learning curve never ends as fashion jewelry evolves as well as retail tactics, but some things never change and these key techniques will have positive impact on your fashion jewelry business.

But first, how are you going to sell your treasure of wholesale fashion jewelry? Outgoing personalities love the active sale. Visit businesses, do parties, set up in flea markets or craft shows, and bubble over with enthusiasm as you introduce stunning fashion jewelry to consumers. All they need is a crowd and permission to set up. Bingos, festivals, school picnics, car shows, sporting events-the list is endless. Overhead is low and actually stops when not engaged in sales activities. But so does sales, so many prefer brick and mortar businesses with a higher overhead, but continuing business even when you’re not there.

The quieter, methodical personality may not be up to this bubbling enthusiasm and choose a passive sales mode. Successful businesses often build without the entrepreneur ever engaged in active sales to the consumer. They connect with beauty shops and other locations to provide fashion jewelry on consignment with the owner profiting as well as the entrepreneur. Methodical personalities think out the details like how to handle shrinkage of missing items with no sales recorded. Increasing price and lowering consignment fees compensates for losses when fashion jewelry has open exposure that can result in more shrinkage. The flip side is reduced sales in secure environments like showcases or behind the counter, which reduce shrinkage, but unfortunately, also sales.

Okay, both personalities have a selling method they are comfortable with and both can expand their business with online marketing by working on websites while their sales support them as the websites grow, climbing higher in the results of major search engines. But what about the 5 shortcuts to retail success? They boil down to pricing, selection, presentation, knowledge, and benefits.

-First comes pricing the wholesale fashion jewelry. New entrepreneurs often feel shock waves as they see the wholesale cost compared to retail prices they paid as consumers. The first temptation is undercut all the competition. Stop there!-because fashion jewelry is cyclical and low prices generate low profits that don’t carry retailers through the tough times. Do you want to spend all your earnings on restocking wholesale fashion jewelry and covering overhead? Of course not, you want to grow your business and make a profit and pricing is important.

Retail uses a term called keystone-a nice word for doubling the wholesale price. Make keystone the minimum for mark-up in fashion jewelry and look for the items that give you room for far longer mark-ups. The upside has no rules. Let your intuition guide you because prices can always come down, but it is difficult to go up.

-Next comes selection and this is a factor that major retailers like fine department stores are always struggling to get right. Stroll through one and you will see they have reduced staff on the floor so selection often has to sell itself. The fine department stores need “no miss” choices and have resources, forecasts, statistics, and trained buyers to make these decisions. Small retailers don’t need to be discouraged because this isn’t rocket science and you are closer to the clientele in your location than any major retailer.

Making the perfect selection rests on the age and demographics of your main customer base. Add this to the fashion trends of the season and you are close to perfect. How do you keep up with all those rapid changing fashion trends? Well rapid change is a myth. Trends change very slowly-often over a decade. Yes, colors and subtle adjustments occur every season, but today we are in the midst of classic trends that started in the early 21st century and have a promising future. More on this when we cover knowledge.

-Now for presentation-making the fashion jewelry look special. Ever notice how necklaces clumped together on a tee bar on top of a showcase seem to scream “I’m on sale” while the stuff in the showcase whispers “I’m special”. That’s presentation and how it has changed even for fine department stores.

Teri Agins in The End of Fashion details how department stores that were once “the first visual contact with fashion” and “introduced merchandise concepts to customers” changed in the late 20th century to a collection of brands. Agins quotes one upscale shopper who “was appalled when she discovered $19.99 Nine West shoes displayed right next to $350 Chanels” in her favorite department store that was compromising its image of elite fashion. Make an item look special and it takes on the perception of higher value.

-Next comes knowledge that is worth more than price. Don’t believe it? Think of items you bought because the sales person impressed you with a deep understanding of the product. That was worth more than price. I personally experienced this lesson when I did a trade show with a colleague. I told my customers the fashion jewelry was a real value at the price. His sales person painted a word picture of the wholesale fashion jewelry with the season’s apparel and wrote more orders without the customers even knowing the price.

Knowledge is knowing the trends and knowing the item. Consumers trust a well-informed source and when you know what is today’s style and why it looks right on the customer, you remove the burden of choice from the buyer.

Knowledge today goes deeper because classic trends in fashion jewelry bring gemstone components, shell, Murano style glass, Millefiore, and more to jewelry designs. A story is worth volumes in explaining glass jewelry and knowledge of gemstones that removes the doubt about whether it is real. Don’t be overwhelmed about understanding the trends and knowledge of today’s components because everything is detailed in a report, Wholesale Fashion Jewelry-The Magic of Trends (find a link to the report at the foot of this article).

-Finally there are benefits. Think of benefits as vision-what the customer envisions. Anyone that buys fashion jewelry wants to make a positive statement. They want a look that is flattering and appropriate. So like the car commercial running on the radio, features describe the details like length, color, texture, and shape while benefits say “matches apparel while complementing your complexion”, “draws attention to your slender neck”, or “creates a youthful look that is so you”. The old adage of sell the sizzle, not the steak, gets to the point. Pick the right item for the customer, be sincere, and sell the sizzle.

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In comparison with fine designer fashion jewelry discount fashion jewelry is typically made with less expense materials, such as inexpensive metals, stones and gems. Keep in mind that discount fashion jewelry is worn to keep up with the trends of modern fashions, while more expensive jewelry is a true investment as well as collectible and made for gift giving. This means that more individuals can decently afford the more reasonable prices of discount jewelry Being affordable, many individuals choose to purchase more jewelry pieces to match everything in their fashionable wardrobes.

Fashion jewelry changes regularly with the trends, since every now and again many individuals choose to wear pearls, silver, gold, copper, platinum as well as gold plated jewelry depending on the what’s hot list. The top trend setters are famous celebrities and other fashion icons. Decade to decade the fashion icons and their fads of favorite fashion jewelry and clothing will vary. Various types of jewelry and clothing will be popular in each decade. For instance, the classic pearl necklace became fashionable again when worn by the beautiful Julia Roberts. Other occurrences such as this are related to other countless celebrities as well. It is a beneficial investment to acquire your own discount fashion jewelry since you can keep up with the constantly changing styles of today with out going broke.

The Launching of Stunning Discount Fashion Jewelry

Fifty years ago, fashion jewelry became widespread in the general public, while more designers began producing their dazzling styles of discount fashion jewelry with its increasing popularity in everyday wear. Many of the pieces designed in between the 1930’s and 1950’s bear beautiful designs and craftsmanship, although their methods of producing jewelry was not as advanced as our is today. Antique pieces from that time, are bought and sold by modern collectors for thousands of dollars.

Fashion jewelry is an essential element in daily wear. Many individuals enjoy wearing the same fashion trends as the celebrities they love, when it comes to choosing their rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets. However, designer jewelry worn by their favorite fashion icons, can be very expensive and unaffordable to many individuals. However, many creative designers are producing discount fashion jewelry that surpasses the appearance of its expensive counter part pieces. Many of these beautiful pieces are fashioned from less expensive materials, that are very similar in appearance to the originals that it can be very hard to tell the difference while gazing at them with the naked eye.

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Fashion jewelry began as a form of jewelry that was pasted onto various dramatically decorative theater costumes, which was called costume jewelry and even paste jewelry. However, as the years past, an assortment of materials were utilized for fashioning some very unique and stunning jewelry pieces. Some of the various metals useful for making fashion jewelry included nickel, pewter, brass and lead. Sterling silver, silver and gold may be electroplated over other metals such as copper or brass, offering the appearance of more valuable pieces, while being inexpensive. Other types of materials for fashion jewelry may include, wood, Lucite, rhinestones, or simulated gemstones, semi-precious stones as well as various crystals and lab created gemstones.

Since jewelry that is fashionable for celebrities, is the most often sought by the general public, many jewelry designers are regularly creating less expensive fashion jewelry that are similar in appearance to that of the designer jewelry worn by the celebrities. This means that even though the majority may not be able to afford such luxurious designer brand jewelry types, they may find their designer replicas to be more wallet friendly. For instance, take a look into the pages of many popular fashion magazines today, and you will find an assortment in showcases for both clothes and jewelry that are similar in appearance to the more expensive designs within budget of the everyday individual.

The best thing about fashion jewelry is that you can easily buy a lot more pieces of jewelry to compliment all your attire, because it is so inexpensive. Besides when you buy fashion jewelry, there is no need to fret over buying insurance, as with expensive designer jewelry. It is easily located nationwide in various department and discount stores and outlets. While you are always sure to find just the right designs and styles that are dazzling to compare with designer jewelry, for a fraction of the price, when you shop online for your fashion jewelry.

Properly Caring for Your Fashion Jewelry

To enjoy the long life of your fashion jewelry, even if it is less expensive, you will need to care for it properly, to ensure its appearance of newness and striking beauty. You can extend the lifetime of your fashion jewelry by never getting it wet. Keeping it nice and dry, means taking it off for bathing or swimming, since moisture can cause its colors to turn or even rust. Actually, it is best not to wear your fashion jewelry continuously, rather you should wear it occasionally and then take it off, because the acidity of our body can cause color changes in fashion jewelry. Remember, it will stay beautiful longer by taking care of it properly.

Leaving it on for extended periods of time can cause fashion jewelry to change colors due to the acidity of our bodies. Fashion jewelry is beautiful, less costly, and can last a surprisingly long time provided that it is cared for properly.

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