Accessory Wholesale Newsletter  AWNOL
Issue: # 97
March 2014
In This Issue
More Fashion     Jewelry and          Accessories For Christmas and Beyond

sinamay fascinators

rhinestone masks
Rhinestone Masks

ladies wide brim summer hat
Summer Hats

Wholesale Brooches

Iridescent Prom Bracelets
Iridescent Prom Bracelets

ring 78
Stretch Band Rings

Rhinestone prom necklace set
Rhinestone Prom Sets




Spring arrived March 20, so hopefully that's the last from the weatherman about snow.  The big story right now is hats.  Headwear got a late start because of the cold weather.  This compresses everything into a shorter season.  Pent-up demand is creating excitement.  Consumers are shopping for both dress hats and casual hats. 


Hats are a healthy category in accessories.  The 2013 Census Report just published by Accessories Magazine provides statistics for the 12 major fashion accessory categories for the year just finished.  Hats enjoyed a 13% increase, ranking #3 on the list of 12 categories. 


Fashion jewelry ranked second from last with -6%.  So how do we avoid being stuck with styles that don't sell?  We need jewelry that is classic or so exciting it takes our customers' breath.  Also must-have jewelry for events like prom and bridal.  Rhinestone and crystal jewelry fill all the above specifications.  Gemstone jewelry, especially turquoise is classic.  The real surprise revealed by 2014 sales history is the strength of niche markets.  As for edgy stuff, it is definitely not mainstream.


Still, fashion jewelry remains too important to ignore because it generates far more revenue than any other accessory.  Accessories Magazine reports sales in fashion jewelry were 11.6 billion dollars in 2013, far ahead of second place handbags at 8.7 billion. 


Prom is a big event every spring that calls for the type of fashion jewelry mentioned above.  For many fashion shops, it is a gift that helps get the bills paid.  We will review new items that arrived for the prom season. 


Let's take a look at the fashion items that sizzle in the spring.  It's a once a year opportunity.  

ladies spring dress hats 97

Hats-The Big Story Happening Right Now

Dress Hats and Casual Hats   

This is the year of excellence in women dress hats.  It outshines all past years with more styles in dress hats, more colors, and more materials.  This is the year that will take the breath of women shopping for church hats, derby hats, headwear for luncheons and special occasions. 


Materials for making ladies dress hats include satin, organza, sinamay, satin braid, and polypropylene (the traditional dress hat material with sewn-and-braid construction).  The new addition this year is satin hats.  What rich color satin hats deliver!  Shop satin fabrics and you wills see colors are endless.  We are proud of so many rich colors added to the line this year.   


Organza hats also have gorgeous colors.  This year super widebrims in organza are delivering a high-fashion look.  Wired brims enable the hats to keep their shape.  Organza hats also come in small brims for conservative customers.


Sinamay hats arrived early with a nice assortment of colors and styles.  Some have sold out, but there is still a nice selection available. 


More polypropylene dress hats are still on their way to us. This is the traditional look in dress hats that uses the sewn-and braid technique of Milan straws.  When all have arrived, nearly every basic color will be available. 


All the major hat events are coming.  For church hats, the two biggest days are Easter and Mother's Day.  Big days for dress hats include The Kentucky Derby, all the other derbies around the country, and countless dressy events that call for women's dress hats.  Every spring, this is a bonanza for shops carrying ladies dress hats.  Prepare now for your share.


dramatic iridescent crystal earrings for prom

Fashion Jewelry

What Sells?

Three months into the year, we can use a feature on our order processing software called "Best Sellers".  Results had some surprises.  Dressy jewelry is doing well-both rhinestone and crystal.  Crystal jewelry especially has innovations that are too exciting to ignore.  Dramatic necklace sets with large stones radiating sparkle are showstoppers.  The arrival of new styles and colors keep this trend sizzling. 


Rhinestone jewelry also enjoys steady sales because of innovations and also because of needs.  We have carried rhinestone jewelry for nearly 30 years and are always amazed at the imaginative designs that keep coming.  See the rhinestone necklace set in the sidebar for an example of what we mean. 


Jewelry is a must for prom and bridal and rhinestone jewelry is the top preference to fill the need.  Sets with iridescent stones mushroomed in popularity last prom season and is hot again this year.  Gold plating with iridescent stones is especially in demand. 


Rhinestone and crystal jewelry intrigues consumers, but even better, this is must-have jewelry for weddings, prom, pageant, and dress-up events.  


Navajo style turquoise bracelet

Jewelry for Niche Markets

The Surprise Revealed in the Statistics

Before writing this newsletter, I reviewed the sales statistics for 2014.  The big surprise was the strength of niche markets.  It wasn't jewelry added to the line to meet seasonal fashion trends that was selling fast.  It was jewelry in niche markets-fleur-de-lis jewelry, Mardi Gras jewelry, sports jewelry, and local theme jewelry. 


Also specialty categories like bridal, gemstone, and hematite were outperforming trendy fashion jewelry.  Basic needs like chains and chokers also showed steady sales.  Turquoise amounted to one third of all gemstone sales.  So how do we plan for a successful spring and summer? 


Maybe you know about turns.  The majors look at how many times inventory turns over a year as an indicator of success.  An efficient retailer like Wal-Mart gets about 8 turns a year.  All of us want our businesses profitable and efficient.  Therefore, we need the items that turn over. 


Rhinestone and crystal jewelry are jewelry items that have eye appeal and are needs.  It is a good place to begin.  Hats are a category enjoying nice growth figures so some kind of headwear should fit into your marketing plan, whether it is casual hats or dress hats.  We have more exciting hats that will soon go on the site. Bridal jewelry and accessories is a year round business.  Then think about niche markets or themes specific to your area or customer base. 


So many events call for fashion items this time of year-prom, spring hats, bridal, pageant, Easter, festivals, and more.    Let's get creative and provide the items consumers are wanting.  


Next Newsletter:  Casual Jewelry, Hats, and Accessories

Next newsletter focuses on summer with casual jewelry, hats, and accessories.  Upcoming months are the time for vacations, beaches, festivals, and enjoying the outdoors.  Good luck with spring events.

Accessory Wholesale Inc | 5845 River Road | Harahan | LA | 70123