Western Cowgirl Jewelry and Accessories. Passe or A Current Fashion Blitz?

Sometimes when we start a business we get so focused on what we like that we forget the tide of trends. To stay current in your inventory sometimes it is wiser to pare down your offerings and make your menu of items smaller and more targeted. I found this to be the case when someone starts a web business. Probably you have big lofty ideas, but certainly not the pocketbook to fund them all.In order to make the most of developing websites with the funds available, begin to look for the hottest trends in the targeted area you chose. If you love western horses then find things that match your passion.It always seemed natural to build a website that every cowgirl or horse lover would gravitate towards. Great idea but it doesn’t always work right off the bat.There is so much competition because the western trend is growing by leaps and bounds. Don’t try to be too many things to too many people. Horse lovers do have many things in common but just like outside the horse world people tend to be individuals,buy and wear what they like, usually it is what is trendy and popular at any given moment. A famous rider wins a big competition and wears a bracelet then BAM! that style is seen by scores of people and they will look to purchase similar styles.What is hot today is passe` by the end of the month.The same goes for western styles or horse themed items. Be it jewelry or clothing it can be a pretty tricky business keeping up. Big retailers aside, my thought is that I believe I found the best way to make a steady business is to find a niche and target group then try and remain current with what is happening in the field overall.What has been seen recently at Western and English events is that the western influence is everywhere, indeed hotter now than ever. It has become sophisticated, competitive, and sometimes highly profitable. People who ride western have different styles they prefer, classic ranch styles and the rhinestone cowgirl look. English riders have been seen sporting many previously “western only” accessories like changing their very plain belts to the western styles with conchos, applique cutouts and so on. The western theme seems to be pervading the entire fashion world where top designers now offer many items that look like they came right out of the west.So how do you compete with the thousands of merchants trying to get a piece of the hot fashion trend while still remaining current? My answer is find a target audience and cater to them.Chose a rather small target group, set forth on a mission to represent their styles. Try to find out everything you can about their events,fashions and obviously what was selling at the big retailers. Find companies or artistsans that make unique wares. Look and see what the tourist trade at these events.Since western events tend to be big tourist business, try to cater to them wherever they live as well. Once tourists visit an event, a decent portion of them will continue to “return” to it. even in spirit. They continue buy items that look like where they have been and enjoyed themselves. Some become completely immersed in the culture.With the advent of internet sales they can easily search for those items. Your job is to be there when they do!Investigate manufacturers and craftsmen. It isn’t easy and it takes time to develop a “brand” however as with everything in life you get out of it what you invest in time and effort.While this approach may not work for everyone it certainly is one way to capitalize on a very hot fashion trend that doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon, rather continues too evolve and grow exponentially.Whether you chose a narrow target group or decide to cover all the bases, western style is here to stay… at least for the foreseeable future.Happy trails to you! Deborah G Flynn