Barbara's Blog
  1. Wow is gold crazy high or what...at $1900/oz it's truly a king's metal these days!  Well, my business has been holding it's own and last year was our best year ever in 18 years!  I attribute it to the fact that I have the look of high karat gold at the price of sterling silver (which isn't so cheap these days either!).  Even though I have a particular style and look the high end jewelers are finding out they can sell it.  After all these years of me trying to convice them to give my designs a chance they are finally doing it AND telling me it's very profitable for them.  Well of course!  It's wearable ART, done in the tradition of the ancient Mongolians and Faberge eggs and the fact that it's gold over silver has nothing to do with it's ability to sell. 

    It's the look that counts.  This is proven over and over again with fashion jewelry also.  Some of it is the cheapest materials but creates a very particularly fashionable look THAT sells.  People who buy quality gold jewelry still want a beautiful handmade piece with genuine precious metals and gemstones, but not at the high cost of gold.  And where can you sell a design for 3 and 4x the cost these days in fine jewelry? My line becomes a very profitable item.  You CANNOT do that with gold these days... in fact you're lucky if you can make 5-10% on a piece of gold jewelry now.

    So if you've never tried my line and have been seeing me for a while give it a try now.  The holidays are here soon and what better time than then for trying out something new and AFFORDABLE to offer your customers?

    Have a great Autumn of colorful sales!

    Barbara

  2. Well it was a grand event at the Red Carpet Gifting Event.  Lots of flash, cameras and video interviews with many stars and just a lot of fun!  It was an all day event and I lost my voice after 10 hours of talking to EVERYONE about my jewelry, the women who make it and our interest in finding a celebrity who might want to help us improve the working conditons for the women.  You can see all the photos of me and the stars, producers, music and other behind-the-scenes people at my FB page at www.facebook.com/importbarb.


  3.        Is the Color of Your Store Killing Sales???

    Happy New Year! 

    It’s the time of new beginnings, so why not  take a moment to examine the impression your store gives to potential customers?

    COLOR IS KING

    I started designing textiles for fashion in NYC then moved into home furnishings for many years.  Now I’m back in fashion and have been designing jewelry for the past 18 years.  They may be different industries, but they all have the same issues.  Experience has taught me the one thing that is absolute in designing is that COLOR IS KING.

    Designing for the furniture industry taught me some very important facts.  A customer first walks into the store and is attracted to the COLOR which gets them to walk over to the piece.  This would be the same with gemstones, pearls etc. in jewelry.  We call that eye appealNext, the customer sits on the furniture to see how COMFORTABLE it is; this we call butt appeal.  This is the same thing when a customer tries on a piece of jewelry and checks it out in a mirror. And to the surprise of the VP of Sales, the last thing they did, not first, was look at the PRICE tag.  

    You know what we learned?  If they absolutely loved the color and the comfort, and it was somewhat out of their budget, they suddenly upped their budget to accommodate the purchase!  PRICE IS ALWAYS LAST WHEN THE COLOR, DESIGN AND FIT WORK. 

     

    YOU HAVE ONLY 90 SECONDS!

    Well, the color environment in your store is also extremely important to inspire customers to buy your goods!  

    Take a moment and stand outside your store front as this is the first point of contact.  Take a good hard look to see if the signage and colors match who you are trying to draw into your store.  Look with a discerning eye because the time is short.  A potential customer makes up their mind in about 90 seconds whether to enter or not!  It’s your sales pitch, your elevator speech, and it’s got to draw them in fast.  It’s a lot like when you went out on a first date.  You knew fairly quickly if you were going to want to see that person again or not!  

    Make sure the exterior matches what they expect to find inside.  Too much orange or yellow is the universal sign for inexpensive or discounts, unless that’s your kind of store, of course.   If you want your store to stand out for passers-by be careful how you use color.  Unexpected colors put people off.  You can do it more by lighting and exceptional landscaping.   Look also at very successful local stores in the jewelry business or other businesses.   Remember aesthetics are important, but response is more important.  So beautiful is not necessarily what works.

    DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS

    Different colors are appealing to different socio-economic groups.  Are you using colors inside and out to which your target market responds? 

    There are two types of colors people respond to: complex and simple.  A simple color is clear and not toned by another color and looks like sky blue or grass green or fire engine red.  Complex colors have a main hue but hints of other colors to make it look different.  They also are hard to describe and take many words to do so.  Mauve and taupe are such examples.

    The lower you are on the socio-economic scale the simpler the colors MUST BE to get a positive buyer response.  Complex colors to them look old, hand-me-down and dull and uninteresting.  The higher the socio-economic scale the more complex the colors MAY BE.   The difference between the must be/may be is that the upper income group has a greater number of colors with a positive buyer feedback.   They don’t have to worry if something looks old or new because both are acceptable, as in antiques.  Their life experience is broader and usually their range of travel has brought them in contact with varied colors and textures giving them a broader range of positive buyer response colors.

    I know this to be a fact from my days I designed fabrics for K-Mart.  The colors had to be basic primary colors on a background of white.  When I designed for the high-end stores or department stores it had to be maroons, teals, periwinkles and all accented with black, grey or almond…NEVER white.  So know your demographics!!

    DON’T BE BORING!

    The interior color must meet two criteria: integrate the exterior and interior and appeal to your socio-economic group while serving as a backdrop to your merchandise.  It should enhance the response to all your colored jewelry and other products to create an excitement so they are more likely to buy. Too many stores are painted boring pastels, or have forgotten they don’t have windows and are an oppressive dark color.  In most jewelry stores dusty or grey mid-tones are great to give a sense of luxury without feeling like a cave. 

    Color must be chosen in the type of light your store will be using.  So don’t carry the color chips into the sunlight unless you’re furnishing the parking lot!

    BUY MY GOODS!

    Most stores work best with “color zones” to set the best background for different customers.   Is the section appealing to men? Women? Young men? Brides? Everyone?  Men have a preference for yellow-based reds, blue, brown, green and black and not tinted with white.  Women like blue-based reds, most other colors and tinted or pastel colors.  Strongly colored backgrounds are useful for creating atmosphere when the color of the pieces sold in these zones is not critical.

    Saks Fifth Avenue has used a beige background in their children’s area which is not a kid oriented color at all.   However they know this is their Beverly Hills location and Grandma is the shopper who feels good in the tasteful and elegant surroundings.  She knows the quality of the product and doesn’t need a simulated nursery.  This is not true for lower-end shoppers who would appreciate a child–like display to shop in.   Know who’s shopping where in your store!

    There’s so much to know about the effects of color!  I have only tapped into a small percentage of the psychographics of consumer buying as related to color.  Many years ago I heard the late Carlton Wagner speak about color and the psychology of it’s power.  He founded the Institute for Color Research located in Santa Barbara, CA.  If you want  to know more his books, Color Power and The Wagner Color Response Report  from which I have taken many facts for this newsletter you can be bought at www.amazon.com

    Thanks and enjoy great sales this year!

    Barbara  

     

     

     

     

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  4. Welcome to our new and improved web site!  I hope you'll enjoy how easy it is to buy online from us now and will use it frequently!  If you have any questions about how to use it or where things are feel free to contact us directly at 770.434.7936 or email us at info@barbaragarwood.com.

    Enjoy!

    Barbara

New Spring 2011 Designs Are In!

New Spring 2011 Designs Are In!

PF-515/G Peridot Trillions with Amethyst Drops
I've been working on new designs for Spring 2011.  Some are in and more are coming. Lots of new stones and some new shapes along with different bead and pearl combinations.

I'll be showing at the Houston Int'l Gem and Jewelry Show at the Reliant Center April 15 - 17, 2011.  So come on by and let's chat while you shop!

I'll be at Boston's Fashion Week on September 25th!  I'm pairing up with a fashion designer and we are coordinating my jewelry pieces with her fashion looks.  We're having great time putting it all together....hair, shoes, make-up the whole works!  I'm really excited since there will be lots of regional media and retail store buyers, many who will be seeing my line for the first time.  The runway fashion show and entire event will run from 8pm - Midnight so it should be a lot of fun too!

I'm including the press release so you can get all the details and go to the web site if you want to see and hear the high energy event it was in 2009!

BARBARA GARWOOD PRESENTS DESIGNS OF MONGOLIAN STYLE JEWELRY AT THE EMERGING TRENDS 2010 SHOW

  
Thursday, 02 September 2010 20:58
An antique, but NEW sterling silver line shown during Boston Fashion Week on September 25th, 2010.

Atlanta, Georgia -- Barbara Garwood, designer and president of Barbara Garwood, today announced her handmade Mongolian style jewelry line will be showing new introductions during Boston Fashion Week at The Emerging Trends 2010 fashion show presented on Sept. 25, 8pm-midnight at The Castle, Boston Park Plaza Hotel.  This sterling silver and 24kt gold line combines ancient Chinese and Russian filigree techniques with Western design and colorations transforming them into modern wearable art that is a fabulous accent worn with today's fashion.

Garwood personally travels to Asia to design and work with 20 crafts women who she is passionate about preserving their lifestyle and their dying art form by providing employment for them for over 17 years.  Each piece is hand fashioned with tweezers where fine silver wires are shaped into flowers, butterflies and contemporary designs.  Powdered enamel is painstakingly filled into the shapes and kiln fired into glass for a stunning, high gloss coloration.  The technique has been around for 1000 years similar to the Faberge egg process, and during the 1700's it was popular with the Qing Dynasty empresses.  Garwood hand selects gemstones from around the world, which are set, and then a final 24kt gold or antique silver finish completes each piece that can take from 3 - 7 days to make.

This designer collection includes bracelets (some for 8" sizes), earrings, unique rings, and pendants on various pearls and beads also designed by Garwood, handmade and imported from Nepal, Guatemala and Indonesia.  Every piece comes gift ready in a lovely gold monogrammed satin pouch with an artisan card telling the story of the craft and how each purchase helps preserve the art and employs the lovely woman. 

Currently her pieces are sold through catalogs such as National Geographic, Smithsonian, Uno Alla Volta and Ross Simons, and various art galleries, boutiques, and gift stores internationally. 

More info about the show can be found at: http://www.theEmergingTrends.com. A portion of the event will benefit The American Heart Association. More than 22 designers will gather this year's fashion and vendor show in New England Area. Over 15 vendors and sponsors such as SmartWater, Monster Energy Drinks, American Laser Centers and PopChips will be providing product sampling at this event.

About the Emerging Trends Fashion Show: The 2010 Emerging Trends, a unique fashion event committed to advancing the fashion industry's exceptional emerging designers, will be held in Boston, MA on September 25th, 2010. This event is a dedicated effort to aid the Boston fashion community in developing its reputation known for innovation and creativity.

The 2008 and 2009 Emerging Trends events demonstrated great success for participating designers and sponsors including former Project Runway contestants Jerry Tam, Maya Luz and Keith Lissner (The Fashion Show, Bravo TV). Expecting to generate 500+ attendees, we hope to further our achievements for the 2010 event. This event is an incredible opportunity for emerging designers from around the world to showcase their designs to a variety of sponsors, buyers, press and media, as well as gain extensive exposure on the east coast. A recent video has been related about the show located here.

Wow, it was so great to be a part of the fashion show during Boston's Fashion Week.  Lots of hustle and bustle with make-up artists, models and watching the behind the scenes of getting a fashion show of this size together.  I've got this pulsating video that gets you going.  The models in the beginning are wearing my jewelry and then you'll get to enjoy the other fashion designers and other jewelry designer lines also in this short  video.  It's fun to watch and you can get a taste of what it's all about!  Enjoy!   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKl3qbqsyXc

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Smyrna, GA
info(at)BarbaraGarwood.com