Ribbons and Laces and sweet pretty faces

Posted 09/03/2023 in Tips for Crafters

Jewellery is given and worn around the world to celebrate significant events in life, as a token of love and affection and as such tells part of its wearer’s story. In some cultures jewellery will indicate the number of children or position in society that a person holds. In other cultures rings are exchanged during a wedding ceremony. Little girls are often attracted to glitter and sparkles like bees to a honeypot! Throughout history, specific pieces of jewellery have been tenderly passed down from mother to daughter, carrying with them precious memories and the importance of family ties. This is not to say that men are excluded from the jewellery market; in some countries men rather than women are more richly and colourfully adorned! That being said, in the UK it’s usually excited young men rather than girls who are scouting nervously for engagement rings to place on the fingers of their betrothed! And round about now, with two significant days coming up which celebrate women, it would be savvy to take advantage of this fact in your marketing strategy.

Of course I’m referring to March 8, International Women’s Day and Sunday March 19, Mother’s Day.  Each of these celebrate women and offer ideal opportunities to sell beautiful and unique hand made items to be given as gifts.  Interestingly, they both originate from quite different roots and a cursory glance at these might help you to prepare for them.

International Women’s Day grew out of efforts in the early twentieth century to promote women’s rights, in particular the struggle to form trade unions and to achieve suffrage. There is a story, most probably not true, of a rally of female textile workers being brutally repressed and subsequent rallies commencing to commemorate this. In any case, rallies slowly grew to worldwide status and, in 1975, the United Nations General Assembly decided to designate March 8 as International Women’s Day. It thus has socialist origins, but more recently has taken on a more commercial mantle in countries such as Argentina and China where the increasing focus is on gifts and flowers bought by men for the significant woman in their lives.

The goals of IWD certainly offer an excellent marketing springboard for small hand made jewellery businesses. While some are more political, e.g. calling out and challenging discrimination and inequality around the globe, others are about celebrating women’s achievements and acknowledging their potential to influence change. How could you maximise on this acknowledgement of women’s contributions to our communities, and at the same time bring smiles to a few often unrecognised heroines? Maybe you could promote IWD on your website or at upcoming craft fairs. There are legal requirements for selling handmade jewellery UK so make sure you are up to date with these as you plan ahead. They include regulations around advertising and how you can describe your products, tax implications, rules around online sales, hallmarking goods containing upwards of a specific amount of silver, statutory requirements for customer refunds and of course insurance. As specialists in craft insurance we can ensure you are covered in this area of legal requirements for selling handmade jewellery UK.

Mother’s Day here in the UK comes from a completely different tradition and is a wonderful opportunity to treat much valued mums with a stunning and distinctive piece of hand made jewellery. The celebration of Mother’s Day in the U.K. has merged in the last few decades with its counterpart from the United States, but ours does in fact have a different origin, and indeed this can still be seen in the changeable date of celebration each year. Our Mothering Sunday has its origins in the days when many girls in rural communities went into service at the big houses in nearby towns. They worked long hours and their time off did not always coordinate with other family members who worked on the land. So, on one Sunday a year, girls in service were given the day off to go home to their families. This day always fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent, three weeks before Easter; hence the date change each year. Girls often gathered wild flowers to give to their mothers as they walked home and we see the continuation of this delightful tradition in the giving of flowers and gifts to our mothers each year.

There is a poignancy to Mothering Sunday, or Mother’s Day. It can be painful for some; maybe due to bereavement and the loss of a much loved mum; maybe due to the deep and often unspoken longing for children which have never come; maybe through the many complications of family life such as blended or adoptive families. Family life is messy, and mothers are usually at the centre of it. Yet maybe it’s exactly because of this, not despite it, that we should celebrate motherhood. Through the centuries it’s often been women, and especially mothers, who have held not only their families but also their local communities together in challenging times. Much of their work is unseen and is most definitely unrecognised by both national leaders and often by their own children! However, their daily practical love is invaluable and the impact they have on forming the next generation is inestimable. Mother’s Day, or Mothering Sunday may be the only day in our modern world where mums can be spoilt. And what better way than by gifting a beautiful piece of handcrafted jewellery. Customers will be looking to buy something special, knowing it is  individual and created with care. You can offer your consumers products which will not only be beautiful in themselves and appreciated as such, but which speak of the value to the woman to whom it is given. So, ensure you have the legal requirements for selling handmade jewellery UK in place and head out to snap some sales and bring joy and sparkle into the lives of some hard working mums!