Can you help me find where my edgy target market shops for jewelry?
October 28, 2008 5:27 PM   Subscribe

Help me find places in the Washington, DC Metro area to sell edgy men's jewelry, and discover where my target customer shops.

I have recently decided to start an high quality silver jewelry brand to cater to an upscale but "edgy" underground or indie crowd, and now I need to figure out where to sell it. Can't start my own (brick and mortar) store yet, so I would love advice on shops/boutiques that might sell this kind of thing in the DC metro area.

The aim of the brand, which will become more evident as the designs mature, is to offer fashionable non-boring jewelry that men can wear, and that rises above the cliche of skulls and/or snakes that dominates the biker/rocker jewelry tradition. I think I can provide a higher-class and higher-quality alternative without being cheesy, bringing more of a luxury fashion experience to those with less straightforward tastes.

So does anyone know where the slightly more affluent and discerning eccentric would shop in DC? I would love any info on the process of how selling in someone elses shop works, though I'm sure I'll learn along the way. Also any especially good places to advertise would help, like niche magazines, websites, etc. I am somehow out of touch with this demo in the area where I now live.

I'm sure it's not an easy question, but I will love any info you can give me! Feel free to buy the stuff too =)
posted by Redruin to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total)
Best answer: Try the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria. It's mostly studios but it sounds like just the place. There's a lot of little boutiques on that side of town that cater to that crowd. Don't know of specific names.
posted by wowbobwow at 6:51 PM on October 28, 2008

Best answer: I don't know DC, but places which sell black leather and bondage gear (either from a bdsm or a punk/metal/etc. direction) might be worth a shot, as might piercing studios.
posted by box at 7:59 PM on October 28, 2008

Also, pick up some flyers for goth events and fetish balls and whatnot, and see what local businesses are sponsoring them. Actually, come to think of it, just seeing what local businesses have the flyers would be a good first step.
posted by box at 8:01 PM on October 28, 2008

Response by poster: wowbobwow - Thanks, sounds interesting, I'll check it out.
Box - Yeah decent ideas, I'm just not sure how to find the good shops, since I want to avoid cheapo hot-topicy or sleazy low-class places. I'm not sure the type of places I'm thinking of exist in the area. Might have to go to Japan...
posted by Redruin at 8:05 PM on October 28, 2008

Best answer: Nah man, if you're thinking about those fashionable shops they have in Japan, they don't exist in DC. Banana Republic is the closest thing, I really can't think of anywhere that would buy them off of you.

However, you could always get a table at Eastern Market if you had enough merchandise, and there are lots of small neighborhood ones you could try. Maybe look at Crafty Bastards, too.
posted by borkingchikapa at 9:34 PM on October 28, 2008

Response by poster: Borking chikapa - Thanks, I'll look into it. I assume New York would have those kinds of shops though right? Maybe I should have asked about that.
posted by Redruin at 9:42 PM on October 28, 2008

Mod note: removed the link to your store, sorry but it's a bit too self-promotional and the question is answerable without it
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:06 PM on October 28, 2008

Response by poster: Ok, sorry my intent wasn't self-promotion, and I didn't realize it wasn't allowed. How about just an image instead.
posted by Redruin at 11:33 PM on October 28, 2008

Best answer: I'm not sure how much men's jewelry they sell, but there are a number of boutiques on U St. between 14th and 16th. I also think there was a store or two in the basement shops along 18th between Columbia and Kalorama that sold that sort of stuff. I really don't pay much attention to jewelry unless I'm buying a gift for someone, so you might take it with a grain of salt as to how much those places match your style.

That said, if I was buying my decidedly un-schmancy sister some earrings, U street is where I'd start. The places on 18th would be for if I were looking for edgier stuff. I think.
posted by averyoldworld at 6:15 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: 1. get a salesman's sample case

2. create a price list based on order quantity, price A, price B

3. make a business card

4. get an order pad and pen

5. ask an accountant about the tax situation, what is required of you in DC

Go to stores, Tuesday/Wednesday mornings best, don't go in the afternoons, morning best for store owner/buyer, less customers. Ask to see the buyer or store owner, they are used to vendors. Show your samples, take an order.

Take their business card. Follow up by calling.

Ask for their billing info.

You will be asked for delivery time between order and delivery.

If asked for 30 day credit: Say no, until they have established business with you.

Sounds like your jewelry may be more for Washington suburbs?

Go to fancy hotel gift shops. To galleries with artisan jewelry. Maybe try the Smithsonian Institution's Hirshhorn Musuem and Sculpture Garden shop. Maybe the National Building Museum Shop and call your jewelry "architectural". To gift stores. To gay/metrosexual men's apparel/gift stores, like
The Leather Rack
1723 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC

To men's hair salons. To places that sell men's ties and accessories accessories.

Be prepared to put pieces on consignment to get customer interest.
posted by nickyskye at 10:14 PM on October 30, 2008

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