You Can't Eat It!.....
Making and selling jewellery is fun and creative, but it’s also a business. Like any business, it needs to be promoted. So I joined a business group in order to get some hints, tips and ideas.
There's one question which keeps coming up and I've been struggling with it. Why do people ‘need’ my product. What problem does it solve for them?
The trouble with jewellery, is the simple fact that no one ‘needs’ it. You can’t eat it, it won’t keep you warm on a cold evening, it won’t make you thinner or help keep the house in order. In short, at first glance it doesn’t solve any problems.
Yet people have been wearing jewellery for thousands and thousands of years. There has been no known period in our human history when we haven’t been decorating ourselves with something we consider precious.
Cavemen/women adorned themselves with shells, claws and teeth. These shells were discovered in Israel and Algeria and are believed to be up to 100,000 years old. The holes are not natural they've been drilled by hand so they could be strung on some sort of cord.
Image from Pinterest, saved from newscientist.com
The Ancient Egyptians made and wore incredible jewellery. This gold and turquoise bracelet was found in the tomb of Tutankhamun and is just one of many amazing and beautiful finds.
Image from Pinterest, saved from ancient-serpent.tumblr.com
The Romans have left us some incredible examples of their jewellery, I particularly love the stone intaglios. This one is carved in amethyst and dates from the 1st Century AD.
Image from Pinterest, saved from archaicwonder.tumblr.com
Over the years, the nobility have doled out gems like they were sweets. This set (there's a matching brooch) were gifted by Mary Queen of Scots to her attendant Mary Seton.
Image from Pinterest, saved from royalcollection.org.uk
Our human love affair with jewellery is as strong today as it always has been. People from every level of society wear jewellery of some description everyday. So, back to the question of why?
Vintage rolled gold chain.
I'm not an anthropologist and I don't have a definitive answer, but the more I think about it, the more I think that there isn't one answer. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realise that jewellery actually solves many problems for people.
It makes the perfect gift, whether given as an act of love, or as a means to display our social standing and wealth, jewellery makes the perfect gift. It reminds the recipient of the giver and it lasts forever.
Theodora Gould packaging.
Our jewellery is a form of self expression, it makes us stand out from the crowd. Whether it's a basic animal need to attract the attention of a potential mate, or just to tell people who we are without saying a word, there's no doubting that our jewellery reflects out personality.
A piece commissioned by a customer , "I was looking for another necklace that suits my personality, quirky/unique but sophisticated."
It's an art form, it creates an emotion in both the wearer and the people who see it. Leonard Berstein summed it up perfectly when he said;
"The point is, art never stopped a war and never got anybody a job. That was not its function. Art cannot change events. But it can change people. It can affect people so that they are changed...because people are changed by art - enriched, ennobled, encouraged - they then act in a way that may affect the course of events...by the way they vote, they behave, the way they think."
Image from Pinterest, saved from pmacraftshow.com
It's an investment, like art, 'good' jewellery is only going to increase in value over time. This obviously depends on what you buy, but that's a whole other blog post...If you buy high quality, well made pieces you get the joy of being able to wear them and build yourself a nice little nest egg at the same time.
Little nest ring from the Theodora Gould Family Rings.
Jewellery can give a sense of belonging. The christian cross or crucifix is worn to remind Christians of the sacrifice that Jesus made for them. Tribes worldwide have specific pieces that identify them to one another. Freemasons often wear rings to remind them that they are forever bound to their fraternity. Young women sometimes wear purity rings as a sign of chastity.
Image from Pinterest, saved from themasonicstore
Certain stones and minerals are said to have special properties which are passed on to the wearer. Amethyst as a stress reliever, aqua marine to clear the mind, citrine for clairty, garnet for heath and energy. The list goes on, and on.....
Quartz, a power stone with many beneficial energies.
The more I think about it the more reasons I come up with as to why people need jewellery. I've only scratched the surface with this blog post. I hope it's made you think about the reasons why you love jewellery, it's certainly helped me answer the question posed by my business group.
"Beautiful, sometimes eccentric jewellery for beautiful, sometimes eccentric people."