I just returned from the NY Now gift show. While there I had a handful of conversations with retail store owners, buyers from museum shops and another wholesaler (now also retailing) who was once a booth neighbor at the now defunct Boston Gift Show. Surprisingly, I was not the one to initiate the conversation. These buyers were quite explicit that they were "done with" buying for goodwill. And evidently their customers are over it too. What I garnered from these conversations was, when spending money, customers want affordability and well-designed merchandise. They want "pretty". And only after that, do they want to know their purchases were produced under fair trade principles or that any given business owner was providing financial aid or making donations to this group or that organization. And I say bravo!
When I heard this from my customers, honestly, I felt a sigh of relief. For years that is exactly how I saw our sales. Our customers bought Dunitz & Company jewelry because it was beautiful. Our ethics were verified with our Fair Trade Federation and Green America Business memberships.
Just today a client of ours who buys for a few locations said to me,"It is really hard to find fair trade things that sell and aren't too village crafty. We need items that are a good value and people can use every day. Your jewelry is the perfect example. It is on trend, cool and wearable." Yes, this warmed my heart big-time.
Are you a buyer or vendor reading this blog? What do you think about the topic of 'compassion fatigue' and how this applies to you and your life? I'd love to hear from you. In the meantime, I'm hoping there is a return to "pretty". I'm certain Dunitz & Company sales will increase as buyers focus more on 'good looks and value'. And then and only after choosing our jewelry because it is "pretty", customers can feel even better knowing our jewelry is verified fair trade. -ND