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Designing Jewelry for Teenagers - A Profitable Market Niche

Teenage jewelry is an important and lucrative market niche. Today’s 12- to 19-year-old crowd shops for fashions more than any other age group.

Fashion market analysts say that American teens currently spend $33 billion a year on fashion and beauty, with over 90% of them shopping for clothes and accessories at least once a month.

For many teenagers, fashion is an important part of establishing their identity. Jewelry, clothes, shoes, and hairstyles can set young adults apart or make them fit in. In this age group more than any other, what you wear symbolizes what you believe, who you are (or want to be), and what group you belong to. Teens also have fun experimenting with fashion and color as their own personal style evolves.

You may want to consider having at least a small section of your jewelry business cater to the teenage market. A considerable amount of jewelry is bought by and for teenagers - both girls and boys - for four main reasons:

1. This age group is always looking for something new; a typical teenage fashion trend lasts only six to twelve months. In my own experience, it's very rare for a teen to pass my booth at a show without stopping to look carefully at nearly everything in my display.

2. Jewelry is a popular gift for adults to give to teens. Especially around gift-giving occasions, I often have adult customers asking me, "Do you have any jewelry for teenagers?"

3. Many teens love to shop, and many also have a sizeable amount of spending money. Their income tends to be stable since it comes from multiple sources (parents, part-time jobs, babysitting, gifts) - and most of their income is disposable.

4. The teenage population is growing, and this demographic is expected to continue for several years. That means that spending among this group will most likely increase.

Tips for Designing Jewelry for the Teenage Market:

* The entertainment industry is the most significant influence on teen fashion and beauty trends. Watch what's being worn by young celebrities, pop stars, alternative bands, etc. Check in on MTV occasionally, and thumb through teen-oriented magazines.

* Ask a few teenagers you know for jewelry ideas and feedback. You may be surprised by their insights.

* Visit a Hot Topic store, if your local mall has one.

* Keep in mind that teenagers generally don't want to wear anything their parents would wear - so whether *you* would wear a particular piece of jewelry is not the best barometer of its marketability to teenagers (unless you're a teenager yourself, of course).

* Spirituality is an important issue for teenagers. Young adults are exploring their beliefs and tend to like symbols of philosophies they want to be identified with. Spiritual jewelry tends to appeal to a significant portion of teens.

(Examples of spiritual elements that can be incorporated into teen jewelry include crystals and healing stones, crosses / fish / WWJD, star of David, and other symbols of major religions. And don't forget about the appeal of alternative spirituality, symbolized by elements such as Buddhas, chakra-rainbow jewelry, ankhs, Quan Yin, etc. You might want to choose just one or two religious directions to represent in your teen jewelry line.)

* Stock some tempting impulse-purchase items. Teens have a low resistance to impulse buys, and a price point of $15 or less can make a tempting piece of jewelry irresistible.

* Body jewelry is hugely popular among teens. Remember it doesn't always have to be pierced styles - nonpierced body jewelry is widely worn among this deomgraphic. In warm weather, teens will be susceptible to tempting displays of affordable ankle bracelets, toe rings, barefoot sandals, and other styles that can't be seen under winter clothes.

* Young ladies aren't the only ones who wear jewelry. Young men are wearing more of it now than ever before. In general, masculine teen jewelry has a rugged look, with materials such as leather, hemp, rubber, pewter or silver, and beads.

* The majority of teenagers shy away from jewelry styles that are too far over the top. Teen designs need to balance "cool" with "wearable". Writer and jewelry artist Rena Klingenberg shares thousands of tips for selling your handcrafted jewelry in her http://www.home-jewelry-business-success-tips.com website. She also publishes jewelry marketing secrets several times a week in http://www.jewelry-business-blog.com .

Rena Klingenberg