Choosing a jewelry organizer can be confusing — there are so many available, and you can’t be sure which one will work for you until you’ve bought it, brought it home and set it up. But by looking at the four different kinds of jewelry boxes, and the best uses for each of them, you can narrow your choices and ensure the jewelry box you buy is perfectly suited to you.There are four kinds of jewelry organizers: jewelry trays, jewelry towers, jewelry chests, and hanging jewelry organizers. Let’s take a look at each of them.Jewelry TraysThese organizers sit in a drawer, or may fit into a shelf of a closet organization system. They lie flat, and ideally have some sort of cover over the top to keep dust and little fingers (or paws) from playing with shiny things. Jewelry trays cost from $2 for little plastic trays that are made for craft supplies, to $50 wood and fabric trays. Trays are best if you want to fit your jewelry into a spare drawer or a shelf in a closet organization system.Jewelry TowersThese sit up on a bureau and provide dozens, even hundreds of little hooks to hang your jewelry off of. If you like to see your jewelry and have some surface area near where you dress, a tower can be a nice choice. They cost anywhere from $20 to $30. A lot of these “towers” are wall mounted, or even door mounted, but I classify those models as towers because the principle is the same: hooks to hang your jewelry off of. If you are tight on space, using a wall “tower” for your jewelry is a terrific way to go. Just keep it a bit out of the way so you aren’t brushing up against it when you walk by.Jewelry ChestsThese are the classic jewelry boxes we all grew up with. I consider “jewelry boxes” and “jewelry armoires” to be jewelry chests — the box is a simple jewelry chest, and the armoire is a fancy jewelry chest. The benefits of this kind of storage is that you can get one to match your bedroom or dressing room decor, and you can keep your jewelry out of sight. They look neat. But you will need a shelf or top of your bureau to fit the chest on. Prices can start at $10 for a simple box and go all the way up to hundreds of dollars for an elaborate armoire.Hanging Jewelry OrganizersThese are big plastic sheets with heavy backing and lots of little compartments for jewelry pieces. They are not luxury items, but they work, they’re very portable, and they save space. You can hang some of them from the wall or even from a hanger. They let you see your jewelry, though my necklaces tend to get tangled up in these kinds of organizers. You can also roll them up and put them in a drawer, then just unroll the organizer on a bed when you are ready to pick out what you want to wear.If you have a lot of jewelry, or even a lot of one kind of jewelry (like a big selection of earrings, or necklaces), it may work best for you to use two kinds of organizers. For instance, I have a collection of faux pearl necklaces that all live on a wall mounted jewelry “tree”. I can see them all the time, which I like, and they don’t get tangled. All the rest of my jewelry is in a drawer in a few tray organizers.
Having grown up immersed in south Asian culture, I came to be familiar with jewelry as a standard accessory and essential part of a woman’s expressive identity. In my culture, women adorn themselves with precious jewels as readily as one would put on their wristwatch here in the west. Upon moving to the United States as a young woman, I discovered that jewelry is looked upon as a luxury, usually bestowed upon a woman by her significant other, and only on special or rare occasions.Of course, I am referring to fine jewelry, as opposed to the fashion and costume jewelry that often fills the display cases at most department stores. In fact, in countries like India and my homeland of Sri Lanka, anything less than 22KT gold is not considered “real” jewelry, and wearing and collecting pieces of fine jewelry begins at an early age. My first pair of earrings, a pair of 22KT gold hoops that I still own, were in my ears at the age of six months old. Yes, six months old! No self-respecting south Asian girl would ever leave the house without accessorizing her ears, even in infancy.My first introduction to American culture, as it pertains to jewelry, began at the age of sixteen when I was working at a jewelry store in the mall in Connecticut. In stark contrast to my own upbringing, I discovered that getting pierced ears was almost considered to be risqué and was often discouraged by parents, in young girls. I watched with fascination as little girls came into the store with their mothers, begging to get their ears pierced. More times then not, the parent would respond with the notion that their daughter was still too young.The concept seemed foreign (no pun intended) after coming from a culture where almost every young girl has pierced ears by her first birthday. Another fact that came as a surprise to me is that, in general, western women and girls do not buy their own jewelry. Instead they hope that their boyfriend, fiancée or husband will surprise them with a beautiful piece of jewelry for a special occasion. Popular dates include birthdays, Christmas and of course, Valentine’s Day. Back home in Sri Lanka, it does not occur to us to wait for our significant other to buy us a piece of jewelry.In regions like Sri Lanka and India, women are foremost consumers of jewelry, purchasing everything from simple baubles to extravagant pricey pieces that can be passed down to younger generations. From an outside perspective, it is fascinating that in the United States, a country that celebrates individualism and empowerment, even in the year 2007, women still do not feel empowered to make their own jewelry purchases. American women do not think twice about pulling out their credit card for a five hundred dollar pair of designer shoes or a designer handbag, yet when it comes to jewelry they are still desperately hoping to be presented with the proverbial “little blue box.”Recently, a successful marketing campaign introduced the concept of the “right hand ring,” a diamond ring that women can buy for themselves as a reward for their own achievements; one that would be worn on their right hand, free of social stigma. This campaign went one step further, pushing the idea that a woman no longer has to wait for a man to buy her that much coveted diamond ring. This begs the question, why should we wait for anyone to buy us jewelry?? Instead of wasting hundreds of dollars on disposable costume jewelry, why don’t we indulge ourselves and buy the investment pieces that can be enjoyed over the course of our lifetime, and then handed down to our daughters and granddaughters? And why limit our own jewelry purchases to just the “right hand ring?”American cultural norms seem to dictate that the diamond ring ought to be the main investment piece of jewelry in a woman’s collective assets and in her life. There are, in fact, so many beautifully crafted and diverse options to choose from.It was during my own quest to find the right jewelry for my wedding that inspired my jewelry line, Crysobel. I wanted jewelry that would commemorate my special day and would also reflect and express a combination of my eastern roots and my current urban lifestyle. I certainly did not expect my wonderful Dutch fiancée to be able to meet my specific requirements in this area. As a modern day woman, I knew exactly what I was looking for, and after an exhaustive search I realized it did not exist.I decided to design my own wedding jewelry and the seeds of the Crysobel Jewelry Line were sewn. During my initial quest to design and craft my own jewelry line, I was reminded once again how unusual it is for women to buy their own jewelry. It was then that I decided to commit fully to Crysobel. I chose to design a line that was not only a reflection of my aesthetics and cultural background, but one that would also introduce a new perspective into what people associate with women buying, collecting and investing in fine handcrafted jewelry.My customers tend to be confident, fashion forward and independent women who choose to invest in finely crafted jewelry and who understand that a pair of fabulous 18K gold and ruby chandelier earrings can just as easily be worn with a pair of jeans and wedges as it can with a silky slip cocktail dress. They know that they deserve to enjoy their jewelry on a daily basis, and that they deserve it. I try to design my pieces accordingly, to afford customers all of the flexibility they could ever want in an “investment” piece.After all, who wants to invest in an exquisitely designed piece of jewelry, only to keep it locked up in a vault and pulled out for the rare dressy occasion? Life is too short…every moment of our lives should be viewed as a red carpet event.
Are you a frustrated jewelry designer looking for new markets to sell your jewelry? Finding the right market for your jewelry designs can be frustrating process for some designers. Jewelry marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes it’s just a question of adding a unique twist to your current jewelry designs to give them additional buying appeal.Let’s talk about that unique twist that can turn your handmade jewelry into truly special pieces that are sure to attract a buyer.Here’s a good example from a recent craft show:Two different vendors were both offering similar pairs of earrings at roughly comparable prices. The earrings were sample dangles made of semiprecious beads and sterling silver findings. They were priced in the $12.00 range.Both vendors had very nice displays that played up their creations. Upon first glance, the two booths appeared somewhat similar in appearance, BUT one booth was full of prospective buyers AND their was a line to pay!The other booth looked like a ghost town. No lines, no prospective buyers.What was the difference between the two booths that was having such a dramatic impact on jewelry sales?Here’s the secret. The jewelry designer in the empty booth had mass produced, very ordinary jewelry cards with the standard information printed on them. Her cards were professional but eye catching. They did the job of holding her earrings, but were not good jewelry marketing material.The owner of the second booth who appeared to be drowning in sales, had jewelry cards with a tiny dried flower delicately pasted to each one. This gave the jewelry a whole new appearance and value in the buyers mind. Many customers commented on the beauty of the cards as they stepped into the line to pay. This jewelry designer knew how to effectively market jewelry!What is the take home message in this case? Sometimes it’s the subtleties that count when marketing jewelry. A few small changes to a jewelry card greatly increased the value of this designer’s jewelry in her potential customer’s eyes. This jewelry designer understood she could better market her jewelry if she did something to set her apart from the other jewelers out there. Could your jewelry presentation use an update?If you want to sell jewelry, it may be time to add a unique twist to your jewelry designs. Don’t be afraid to set yourself apart from the crowd. People buy handmade jewelry because they want something unique and special that hasn’t been mass produced. Show them how special your jewelry designs are by giving them a special handmade touch and watch your sales explode!