Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Red Hot. On Trend Fair Trade Jewelry

If you've been reading the fashion magazines or fashion trades, you know "Red" is the dream color of 2017. Pantone didn't name 'fire engine red' color of the year. But, they should have. When I see Calvin Klein, Michael Kors and Carolina Herrera sending 'red' down the red carpet, I know it's time to offer our fair trade jewelry in all shades of red. Red for Spring. Red for Winter. Red Red Red.

If you visit our retail and wholesale websites, you'll find lots of saucy red fair trade offerings. You'll find these earrings ---> on our Shop Dunitz site. (Not into red? You'll find them in other colors too.)

Red has been on my brain for quite some time. Yesterday, I received notice that Accessories Magazine was going to be emailing a trend-finder report focused on red to their audience, store owners. Do you know what that means? By reinforcing the importance of red to brick-n-mortar owners, you'll find lots of red stocking store shelves as we move into fall and holiday.  You better believe that Dunitz & Company is prepared. I read lots of color forecast articles. I watch all the clothing runway shows. By the time I design my fair trade jewelry collections each season, I absolutely know what colors to include. Just the same, after I read Accessories pitch to pitch "red", I sighed with relief. We have plenty of nifty red designs on our retail site. We're offering some stunning new red color combos for our wholesale customers for Fall/Holiday.

Are you familiar with our Joanie M Collection? This is a fair trade fused glass jewelry collection I first introduced in 2011. It's been a huge success. It's made by artisans in Guatemala...& yes, for 2017 we have lots of red hot designs. These pendant necklaces and lariats ---> (and matching earrings) can be purchased on our site.

I personally think that retailers and customers will choose to purchase more muted shades of red for Fall and Holiday. Our wholesale show season starts later this week at the Los Angeles Convention Center. We'll be there for California Marketplace. Later this month Dunitz & Company will be at Las Vegas Market followed up by New York Now in August. When I see the buyers that purchase from me (for their stores), I'll have a host of new designs in various red color combinations. For Fall, I'm banking on garnet - amber combinations. Here's a teaser! Wouldn't you wear these?

And for holiday - deeper darker shades - almost blood red. And in some cases, our combos will include hints of jet or gold. See what I mean here---> And yes, if you study the collections of Calvin, Michael and Carolina you're sure to find some more muted hues.

So, it's all about Red for 2017. And we've got the fair trade jewelry to prove it. Tomato Red. Burgundy. Wine. Crimson. Mahogany. Oxblood. Flame. Persian Red. Tuscan Red. Cardinal. Rosewood. Maroon. Ruby. Sangria. All these names will conjure up different feelings for you. And we sure hope you'll find our shades of red absolutely mouth watering. -ND

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Describing Our Colorful Fair Trade Jewelry

What's in a name? By any other name that orange necklace would be as beautiful. Ah - I love quoting from Shakespeare...well sort of from Shakespeare. I was obsessing about color descriptions yesterday when I was photographing Dunitz & Company's colorful fair trade jewelry on a young and pretty model. In this particular case, we had decked her out in an ensemble of orange goodies. There are so many shades of orange, it got me thinking. Just calling these pieces orange is too generic.  (Have you ever lingering over the paint chip displays at the hardware store? Now that's a job I'd like. I'd like to spend countless hours researching what to name all the hues and tints of wall coloring.) If someone is looking at this photo, they get a sense of what they see. And, if you're describing the pieces without the help of a photo, 'just orange' will never cut it. My first sense was to describe this collection as "Persimmon".  And then I thought, not everyone will really know what that color is. Are they Coral? Coral comes in so many shades. Although most people perceive coral as darker as opposed to lighter. (My experience has proved that many of my clients believe Coral to be closer to red.) Oh my. Tangerine? Maybe this looks more Tangelo. What did I go with? Coral/Tangerine.

I could designate this ribbon necklace 'orange' as well. If you saw the photo, you could decide whether you liked it or not. You could decide if the color was for you or not. And how would you describe it? What if you didn't have a photo and you were describing it to a friend? It could be Coral. But that would be a long way off from the Coral in the above photo. Other choices? Salmon seems a good one. That sort of conjures up an impression of a pinky-orange. Peach? Some peaches are pinkish. Others are not.  Tea Roses seem a bit orangish. The verdict. Sometimes I refer to shades similar to this as Salmon. In this case I used Apricot. Would you have known what I meant?  Good thing you can see these and other fair trade jewelry designs on the Dunitz & Company website!

I'm sort of enjoying this color test.  It seems reminiscent of those color quizzes that have been showing up on Facebook lately. You know, the ones that depending on your answers they can guess your age? OK, let's continue.
You might call these Dunitz & Company fair trade earrings apricot, no? But how can we call these apricot when we used that description for the ribbon necklace above? Can you imagine how many hours we spend just thinking about colors and descriptions? The pink we called 'bubble gum' - perfect for summer fun yes? But how could I describe the orange beads? Cantaloupe came to mind. Ah that's it. "Melon" seems a bit sexier. So there it is. Bubble Gum and Melon! You know by actually seeing the earrings, we meant cantaloupe melon. (I'm afraid we'd be in trouble if you didn't have the earrings in your view. What if you had thought of honeydew? Now that would be a bad description.) How might you have described the color combination of these earrings?

The lines do blur. Sometimes shades of yellow might be considered orange. Think Marigold. Sometimes shades of brown might be considered orange. Think bricks and some coffee beans. If someone used the description "carrot" I'm almost sure all carrots are about the color. On the other hand, "pumpkin" might bring up all sorts of different visions. Carved Halloween pumpkins just aren't the same color as pumpkin pie.  Amber. Marmalade. Honey. Yam. Cider. Sherbert. Monarch. Goldfish. Basketball. Papaya. Creamsicle. Candlelight. Ginger. Sunrise. Sunset. And until now, I bet you hadn't spent this much energy thinking about shades of orange. As a designer of handmade and fair trade jewelry, I'm thinking about shades of orange all the time. -ND

Sunday, July 9, 2017

What I've Learned about Fair Trade Colleagues

I know this is rather random. I wanted to make a public call-out to Fair Trade Federation and explain why I have such a warm and fuzzy feeling about my fair trade colleagues who are members and support this fine trade organization. Dunitz & Company has been designing, importing and selling fair trade jewelry since the early 90s.  We were screened for membership and joined FTF several years ago. What I have experienced from my FTF compatriots is a deep spirit of cooperation, helpfulness and transparency. I have never consistently found these traits in any other community of people.  The business climate (for retail and wholesale selling) continually becomes more and more difficult. Even with the increased challenges of surviving market conditions, I find my FTF colleagues consistently open and supportive. We do have a broadcast email system where members actively ask and answer questions and provide advice. I find even if you don't know members personally, by being part of the group, there are always those willing to help others.  In other cases, I've had many conversations one-on-one with FTF colleagues to pow-wow on issues of the day.  In just about any other community, people tend to be competitive 100% of the time and quite self-centered. I actually think many of us FTFers survive better because we are sharing ideas and being supportive. Ours is an amazing community.

Clearly the marketplace is a competitive one.  Many business freely use the words "ethical", "sustainable" and "fair trade." I've come to learn that these are 'buzz words' that many companies use only to drive traffic to their operations. For the most part, I've learned that FTF members ARE a unique breed and practice what they preach.

Recently a few now friends (who are also FTF members) and I brainstormed how we might help each other out with our Instagram accounts.  Many of us have found it challenging to drive traffic to our social media accounts.  In the spirit of cooperation, a few of us decided to run a joint giveaway contest together. Our contest will run in a few days for a few days. This contest is not sanctioned by Instagram or Fair Trade Federation. It's just a contest a few friends masterminded.  It just happens that we're all like-minded fair traders and we met through FTF. Lucky us. Stay tuned for Dunitz & Company, Malia Designs, Mata Traders and Kahiniwalla ---> and on IG at @shopdunitz  @maliadesignsfairtrade  @matatraders  @kahiniwalla *! The value of the giveaway is over $200 and yes, includes fair trade jewelry among other goodies. (I want to send a special thank you to Mata Traders. They have an IG following much larger than the rest of us. That they are collaborating with us exemplifies just how magnanimous they are.) Will you be watching us on Instagram so you can enter to win? -ND