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I am inexperienced with selling at art fairs and have many questions.  I have plans to sell at two shows later this year.  I'm also a marketing student at Franklin University.  I have an assignment for my consumer behavior class.  The assignment is to conduct research into consumer behavior that would improve or create sales.  I chose to write about how I might sell jewelry to men.  

From browsing art fairs around Ohio in the past, it appears most art jewelry is targeted toward women.  Is this true?  Do you think there are opportunities in the male jewelry market?  If so, what personality types do you think would most likely buy art jewelry?

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I'm not a jeweler, but I did spend a night at Holiday Express. Just kidding ;-) I can't vouch for the type of guy that would buy jewelry for himself, but a few assumptions might be made. It would be a more independent sort of guy that doesn't rely on a significant other to dress him. There are many guys whose taste in clothing is dictated by what is bought for them by family members. These are not your target clients.

Look at the guys you see wearing ear studs and so on in order to see this target client. What sets them apart?. I would suspect your targeted buyers may be a younger crowd that borders on counter-culture. While this may be hip, the consideration has to be the volume of business this is going to generate compared to other areas. On the positive note, jury shots of this sort of work is going to set you apart from the crowds of other jewelers. I'm sure you're aware that your media is the most numerous and competitive of all the art media. I'm a photographer, and therefore just behind you in a crowded competitive field.

I would have to say that by far the bulk of jewelry is directed at women. If you're going to offer male oriented jewelry, then you may have to look past the obvious of ear rings, nose hoops, and nipple rings. The traditional rings are still obvious although it seems like few guys wear rings any more, but there may be a neglected market there. For myself, as an old geezer, I would buy cuff links and tie bars or tie tacks. I would suspect the younger guys would like sports related themes such as a basketball or football motifs, and particularly in a set.

Whatever you choose, get large posters made of your work and hang in your booth up high where they can be seen above the crowd and noticed. The type of work you're doing is impulse sales and you have to deliver a sizzling product to get their attention. Not sure if I've helped much, but good luck anyway!

Hmm, jury shots and cuff links... you've given me a lot to think about.

Hi Sharon,

My husband and I make jewelry, and have a small percentage of customers who are men who buy for themselves.  The most common purchase is rings.  My husband cuts cabochons uses them in the rings he makes.  I couldn't begin to categorize the type of man who might order or buy a ring.  All kinds of men like to wear an extra ring.

My jewelry sales to men are mostly for bracelets using heavy gauge wire, so pretty substantial.  I see men wearing heavier chains also.  Even with these items, I can't categorize the men although some of it is cultural.  In some cultures it is more common for men to wear jewelry.  I do art fairs in the Mid-West, Florida and Montana, and have sold bracelets to men in each of those areas.  You might consider the sales venue as well.  In the West, some men wear bolo ties and fancy belt buckles. Special interest groups might be interested in something that's related to the special interest group.  People with pets might be interested in jewelry that has something to do with animals.  

I think Robert has a great idea about putting up pictures/posters of the items you have for sale.  I'm not sure that I agree about jewelry being an impulse buy, nor about not selling to men whose wives may play a part in selecting their clothing and accessories.

This is an interesting topic for a research project.  One of my wire jewelry teachers sells a lot of bracelets to men.  If you contact me, I'll put you in contact with him.

Are you contacting people in jewelry stores for information, too?  I'd be interested in what you come up with.

buckles, buckle sets, money clips. silver mounted hatbands, silver mounted spur straps for a specialized market.

 

I created and sent out a survey to college students.  How would I compose an email list of jewelry stores?  It sounds like great idea!

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