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  • Writer's picturePatti McWhorter

To Trend or Not to Trend?

I have to be honest. I do want and need to make a profit on my jewelry. I need the funds to purchase materials, participate in pop ups and markets, keep my website running, pay for my business license and domain name, and give donations to worthy causes. It’s not something I enjoy talking about, but it is the reality for any entrepreneur. I can’t expand in any way without the funds to do so.

So here is the dilemma - do I design and create jewelry that is on trend, or do I make what I like to make and hope it sells? The best advice I ever received from a wonderful local dress shop owner (now sadly retired) is to make what I make and bring it in for her to consider. In other words, I was fishing for what might sell, and she was telling me to do the opposite. Just create.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that trends often distract me. What’s in? What’s out? How do I reconcile what I want to make with the nagging concern that it might not sell? I haven’t found a definitive solution to the dilemma, but I do know that I am old enough now to know that trends come and go, and leave and return in a new form.

Examples… Chunky vs. dainty. Long chains and pendants vs. short chokers. Layers of chains and charms. Small stud earrings or big hoops? Colors of the season or year? Gold, copper, silver or mixed metals? Crystals? Pearls? Blingy? Reserved. Steam punk. Artsy.

Cue head exploding.

I’ve gone back and forth (and I’ll probably continue to do so), but I think I’ve found a happy medium. I will have, and will continue, to follow and be aware of trends in jewelry design. I can’t help it. I’m interested. However, I may choose to make a “twist” on the trend, rather than give into it completely. The recent trend for layers of dainty charms and chains morphed into a variety of pieces that can be layered or worn separately. They are not all dainty gold, and they are not the usual charms you might see on your IG feed.

I welcome the inspiration of the trends, but I am usually not equipped to pivot to something specific which panders to the influencers of the moment. I’m choosing to keep the wheels turning, moving ahead, and making what makes me (and hopefully some of you) happy without undue influence of a specific trend.

Would love to hear your thoughts on trends!

Left: Inspired by the layered trend, but using a vintage brooch and button cover...

Below: Any combination of layered small necklaces can be on trend.

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