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Designing Jewelry for Teens

Updated on October 14, 2007
Surfer-style jewelry is popular with many teens
Surfer-style jewelry is popular with many teens

Teen jewelry is a fast-growing market niche.

For many teenagers, fashion is an important part of establishing their identity. Jewelry, clothes, shoes, and hairstyles can set young adults apart or make them fit in.

In teen culture more than in any other age group, what you wear symbolizes what you believe, who you are (or want to be), and what group you belong to. Teens also have fun experimenting with fashion and color as their own personal style evolves.

You may want to consider having at least a small section of your jewelry business cater to the teenage market.

Why the Teen Jewelry Market is Booming

A considerable amount of jewelry is bought by and for teenagers - both girls and boys - for four main reasons:

  • This age group is always looking for something new; a typical teenage fashion trend lasts only six to twelve months. In my own experience, it's very rare for a teen to pass my jewelry booth at a show without stopping to look carefully at nearly everything in my display.
  • Jewelry is a popular gift for adults to give to teens. Especially around gift-giving occasions, I often have adult customers asking me, "Do you have any jewelry for teenagers?"
  • Many teens love to shop, and many also have a sizeable amount of spending money. Their income tends to be stable since it comes from multiple sources (parents, part-time jobs, babysitting, gifts) - and most of their income is disposable.
  • The teenage population is growing, and this demographic is expected to continue for several years. That means that spending among this group will most likely increase.

Mystical metaphysical jewelry and crystals are often popular with teens
Mystical metaphysical jewelry and crystals are often popular with teens

Tips for Designing Teen Jewelry

  • The entertainment industry is the most significant influence on teen fashion and beauty trends. Watch what's being worn by young celebrities, pop stars, alternative bands, etc. Check in on MTV occasionally, and thumb through teen-oriented magazines.
  • Ask a few teens you know for jewelry ideas and feedback. You may be surprised by their insights.
  • Remember that teenagers generally don't want to wear anything their parents' generation would wear - so unless you're a teen yourself, whether you would wear a particular piece of jewelry is not the best barometer of its marketability to teens.
  • Spirituality is an important issue for teenagers. Young adults are exploring their beliefs and tend to like symbols of philosophies they want to be identified with. Spiritual jewelry tends to appeal to a significant portion of teens. (Examples of spiritual elements that can be incorporated into teen jewelry include crystals and healing stones, crosses / fish / WWJD, star of David, and other symbols of major religions. And don't forget about the appeal of alternative spirituality, symbolized by elements such as Buddhas, chakra-rainbow jewelry, ankhs, Quan Yin, etc. You might want to choose just one or two religious directions to represent in your teen jewelry line.)
  • Stock some tempting impulse-purchase items. Teens have a low resistance to impulse buys (especially when they're shopping with other teens), and a price point of $15 or less can make a tempting piece of jewelry irresistible.
  • Body jewelry is hugely popular among teens. Remember it doesn't always have to be pierced styles - nonpierced body jewelry is also widely worn among this deomgraphic. In warm weather, teens will be susceptible to tempting displays of affordable ankle bracelets, toe rings, barefoot sandals, and other styles that can't be seen under winter clothes.
  • Young ladies aren't the only ones who wear jewelry. Young men are wearing more of it now than ever before. In general, masculine teen jewelry has a rugged look, with materials such as leather, hemp, rubber, pewter or silver, and beads.
  • Most teens don't buy jewelry styles that are too far over the top. They tend to gravitate toward accessories that are both cool and wearable.

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    • profile image

      alice 

      6 years ago

    • Rena Klingenberg profile imageAUTHOR

      Rena Klingenberg 

      8 years ago

      My pleasure, GlowingRocks! :o)

    • glowingrocks profile image

      glowingrocks 

      8 years ago from New York

      Thank you for writing this post!

    • Rena Klingenberg profile imageAUTHOR

      Rena Klingenberg 

      9 years ago

      Hi Lisa,

      Since I specialize in making the jewelry I sell, I'm not too familiar with sources for buying ready-made jewelry to sell.

      However, I do know that there are tons of wholesale jewelry places (you would probably want to buy your inventory at wholesale prices and re-sell it at retail prices, I assume) - and a bit of Google searching can probably help you find some to investigate.

      Regarding selling manufactured jewelry at shows and fairs:

      Many shows, fairs, and festivals only accept handmade items, so be sure to check with the show's organizer / management about that first.

      Best of luck to you!

    • Rena Klingenberg profile imageAUTHOR

      Rena Klingenberg 

      9 years ago

      Hi Terrymill,

      I hope your show went well - and yes, it's totally normal to be a bundle of nerves before a jewelry show! You never know exactly how much jewelry you'll need or how many sales you'll make, so the best thing is to get a good night's sleep before the show (instead of staying up all night making last-minute jewelry!), and go to the show with the mindset that you're going to have a great time meeting new customers, and that your creativity and flexibility will make it easy for you to provide what your customers want.

      Best of luck to your on your exciting new jewelry business journey!

    • profile image

      Lisagirl 

      9 years ago

      Thanks for your guidance. Good advise. I love earrings also, but creating them is not for me. How can I start a bussiness by buying and selling earrings/jewelry? Where do I find what I think are cool, sellable pieces that I can sell at fairs and or shows?

      Lisa G

    • terrymill profile image

      terrymill 

      9 years ago from Florida

      Hi Rena, I am enjoying your hubs. I bought your ebook on the ultimate guide to jewelry shows. I do kids jewelry and am doing my first show in Feb and I am totally nervous about it. I am following your guide and it's not the setup and all the extra show stuff I am nervous about. What I am nervous about is that no one will want to buy my jewelry or that I won't have enough of it or maybe have too much jewelry. I also worry that something I have will sell quickly and then I will run out of stuff. I am worried it will be looked at as too cheap or too expensive. I guess all of this nervousness is normal for a newbie like me. I get a lot of good feedback on my jewelry from my nieces and my own daughter but it's a different ball game when you are selling to the general public. I wish I could calm my fears.

    • Rena Klingenberg profile imageAUTHOR

      Rena Klingenberg 

      10 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sara!

      I do sell on a limited basis now - I used to sell lots more before I started writing and publishing so much. I'm an earring chick too - nice to meet you!

      Rena

    • SaraCoutodaSilva profile image

      SaraCoutodaSilva 

      10 years ago from Honolulu

      Good Hub! I like jewelry a lot! Do you sell your stuff? I'd like to see it and buy it. I love earings as well!!! :D

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