LOVE AND SALES IN THE TIME OF COVID
In recent months, we have seen so much happen; as I write this the protests are still happening in my beloved Los Angeles, and the area around the studio where I work and protested myself is surrounded by kindly young (so young) National Guardsmen, looking hot and bored and tired. We are all so tired.
We miss our friends, our families, our restaurants, our birthdays, our doctors, our hairdressers. We miss our daily doses of love in the mix of the business of living. I personally thrive on alone time, but I also thrive on the human touch, the intelligence in the eyes of a new acquaintance, the taste of a new dish, the consistent wonder of a flight to a new place.
This was the first week I went back to work since the middle of March, when I had a trunk show in Florida, and feared I would be stuck there due to Covid 19.
I shared that show with a friend who had to journey home to New York, and we left for the airport, not knowing what we would see at home and certainly her reality was far worse than mine.
But this blog, my first, is about the demise of retail, and what that means for the jewelry industry and how we move forward. As you know, I do not sell on this site, but what you may not know is the reason why. It's because I experienced so much fraud that I worried that my bank would drop me as a client. Every day, I had more than a dozen fraudulent hits on this site. Which is shocking. And I didn't want to get used to it, or subject my brand to its dangers.
I am amazed at the great rate at which millennials and Generation Z types are able to trust their phones and computers with all manner of things, including their most private details, purchases and photographs. Certainly an expensive piece of jewelry must be seen in person, caressed, seen in the light and held close before plunking down the cash, no? No? Is it me? Is my Amishness showing?
I even enjoy the anticipation of a good shopping experience; the dressing for it, the making up of my face, the knowledge that I may see an old friend behind the counter or in a store, who may know my size and my taste and we may chat a while. I'm out of the house, I'm seeing new things, I'm inspired, I'm having a coffee...are these days gone?
Right now, Barney's, the great master of cutting edge design in jewelry, is gone. Neiman Marcus, with whom Feral had several conversations, is teetering on the edge and boy, do I hope they make it. (I not only want my brand there, but hey, let's face it, it's a beautiful place to which to escape....) Amazon seems to be taking over more and more of our daily needs and my question is this; do people buy really awesome jewelry on Amazon? Would they ever? I know I would NOT. Perhaps it's an age thing. I find myself resistant to the e-commerce world and while I can be found on several e-commerce sites, I have been loathe to join up fully myself, on my own, on this site.
But it seems as if I will have to, and I hope you will join me in my efforts as I move ever-so-carefully toward e-commerce, along with continuing to work with the retailers I adore and support, and working with bespoke clients whom I adore. I will be creating some less expensive pieces that are more approachable for on-line sales, and also working toward creating a second line, which I am excited about and will share more with you as the collection comes together. In the meantime, you can continue to contact me personally for any of your jewelry needs, because as we know, joy and gift-giving are not cancelled. I want to thank you for keeping me in your thoughts for those occasions. For now, I hope you all are safe, well and enjoying your families and time at home to collect your thoughts about how you will work, live and love in the future as it unfolds.
It's a strange new world already, requiring courage. And love.
Saturday, June 6, 2020