The Psychology of Self-Purchase
I’ve been a jeweler for 34 years now. Way back at the beginning, I remember the World Gold Council rolling out a huge marketing campaign, encouraging women to buy gold jewelry for themselves. Blanketing every media known at the time from billboards to television to magazines to radio (a la the way DeBeers did with diamonds before that), with the message “Nothing feels as good as gold.” Letting women know they are “worth it.”
Was this massive marketing effort successful? Nope.
At the time I thought, “Such a shame. I guess this concept is before its time.”
Fast forward three decades…and I mostly see the same. Women of all stripes in terms of marital status, socioeconomic class, style, age, and weirdly enough general self-spend habits will not indulge themselves when it comes to fine jewelry.
Sure, some of those same women—even those wealthy of their own accord—will spend a pretty big chunk of change over the course of a year on costume jewelry. They will also buy clothing, shoes, handbags, and other accessories at price points that can be legitimately called “luxurious.”
But, they will draw the line on fine jewelry..
“It needs to come from my husband (partner/boyfriend/father).”
“Ohhhhh, that’s too much to spend on myself.” (Says the gal sporting Louboutins)
“Maybe if I have a windfall with my tax return.” [Insert yawn here]
It’s not that women are opposed to decorating their bodies with jewels. Statistically, women are spending more of their disposable income on costume jewelry now than in years past.
And while the amount, in dollars, that women are spending on self-purchased fine jewelry is also on the rise…my careful look at stats shows that the number of women who self-purchase has remained close to unchanged in 30+ years.
What’s up with that? Just a few women buy nice jewelry for themselves…and they’ve figured out they really enjoy it, and are doubling down on that program. But the rest of y’all…?
Why not consolidate the money spent on many costume jewelry purchases, and buy something meaningful, well-made, genuine, reparable if necessary, and a future heirloom?
Something made by an artisan, not by a child living in indentured servitude. Something that becomes your “personal classic,” as opposed to a fake “jewel of the moment.”
I know you’re worth it.
Think how amazing it will be, when ten years from now you put on the necklace that commemorated a career success…right when you need some encouragement. Or, how lovely it would be to put on those special earrings at your 40th birthday party, realizing you’ve received compliments on them for 15 years. How triumphant you would feel putting on the bracelet you bought to commemorate one year cancer-free.
Remember, fine jewelry encompasses not only gold and platinum, but silver, as well. Many sterling silver fashion pieces enjoy as long a life as gold and platinum ones, with proper care…and silver is very affordable.
Realize this: many women come to Alara with silver pieces that originally belonged to their mother, grandmother, aunt, or dear friend--needing it sized, adjusted, or refurbished a bit. The excited emotion that comes with them donning those items after the necessary repairs is palpable. As they beam broadly, they say, “This came from my mom.” Wow.
You can be the start of a similar tradition. Don’t wait. Select a personal classic. Wear it often. Pass it down later.
This picture shows our customer, Leigh, sporting a handmade, one-of-a-kind self-purchase ring with uncut diamond cubes. Yep, she's wearing it with her "kick around" clothing. She wears it nearly all the time.
A perfect time to buy? During Alara’s annual Equal Pay Day Sale. This sale is for women only, and the percentage off is equivalent to the current gender pay gap. This year’s Equal Pay Day Sale is April 4th, and the percentage off is 22%.