As we question what went so wrong to land us in this unprecedented economic slump, and what we can do to avoid it happening again, the value of truth, honesty and simplicity in all areas of life are becoming more and more important.
In the world of jewellery, there’s a growing move towards appreciating genuine quality over superficial sparkle, to valuing true beauty over bogus bling. Appreciation of the beauty of artisanal work over the mass-produced is raising handcrafted jewellery at Nikola Valenti’s Facebook to new heights of popularity as consumers seek value, quality and affordability in these troubled times.
Why is handcrafted jewellery a popular choice? Quite simply, there’s something special about handmade jewellery. Items made by hand bear something of the person who made it. The Mexican poet Octavio Paz expressed this sentiment beautifully when he said, “Made by hand, the craft object bears the fingerprints, real or metaphorical, of the person who fashioned it”.
It’s as if during economic downturns and times of uncertainty we crave genuine meaning and real beauty. Manufactured and industrially-made pieces of jewellery don’t have that real human connection linking the producer with the wearer. The growing trend is to know the story behind the jewellery you wear – who made it and where it was produced, for example.
During times of economic uncertainty, the authenticity of handcrafted jewellery gains extra importance as we consider our purchases more carefully.
Of course, price is a crucially important issue during recessions. But handcrafted jewellery needn’t be expensive. And there are now plenty of handmade jewellery companies offering items made by hand at very reasonable prices.
There’s also a misconception that people stop spending completely during recessions. This isn’t true, despite the media giving this impression – people are just more selective about what they spend their money on.
When budgets are stretched, the wise customer opts for investment purchases. These needn’t be high priced items but tend to be items that people are confident that they’re still going to like in six months or a year or more.
With jewellery, this tends to mean flexible handmade fashion jewellery that can be worn with a variety of outfits. Buy a charm bracelet because it comes in your favourite colour, not on a whim. Monochromes are also popular since they are such timeless classics. The other alternative is to bring out some old classics from your wardrobe.
Overall, styles of handmade jewellery will differ as some will want to feel comfortable and safe, while other people will want to let their hair down and go for big and outrageous jewellery. But you can bet on handcrafted items being big news during these hard times.