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Making Bead Jewelry for Senior Citizens

Jun 28, 2008
With America's aging population a lot of towns have not one but many retirement and adult communities in them. Many of these retirement communities hold craft shows, yard sales and other events to promote social activities while generating a little extra money from the surrounding township.

If you are a bead jeweler or jewelry artisan of any sort then you should definitely check out some of these retirement communities to see if you can be a vendor at their next craft show. Not only is their table space often dirt cheap or even free, but you are given the chance to promote your jewelry to a large audience of people who may not otherwise venture out to see you at any other storefront or fair.

However, if you are going to make and sell jewelry for older women, especially senior citizens, then you may need to make some physical changes to your jewelry to make sure it suits them and their needs. Here are a few ways you can modify your bead jewelry to appeal more for your older clients:

Use Easy To Open Clasps: You'll quickly learn that arthritis and reduced hand dexterity makes opening and closing typical small clasps difficult for older people. Some senior citizens avoid wearing jewelry altogether because it is simply too difficult to put on and take off. You'll want to use easy to open larger clasps on your necklaces and bracelets. You may want to consider using magnetic clasps of some sort. These are not as secure as more traditional clasps but they can be opened and closed much more easily by older people.

Consider No Clasps: You may want to skip the entire clasp issue entirely by making over sized necklaces and bracelets that can easily slip over the head and wrist. You will want to bring your jewelry tools with you so that you can shorten pieces for customers right at your table if your bracelets are simply too large for thinner wrists.

Choose Textures Carefully: You may want to try to choose non-allergenic materials and stick with beads that are more rounded than chunky and sharp. A bracelet of sharp square Swarovski beads may look great, but if the rubbing of the bracelet against the wrist all day is going to cause a skin irritation then someone may not want to buy it.

Clip Earrings: Some older people move away from using pierced earrings for the same reason they shun small tight jewelry clasps: earrings are simply too small and difficult to wear and remove. Consider making to clip on earrings that are slightly larger than the norm but don't dangle too much. You may need to test out several clip on kits until you can find one that you think most older people will want to use.

Eyeglass Holders and Bookmarks: Sure, beaded necklaces, bracelets and earrings will still sell, but consider making more non-traditional jewelry items such as jewelry chain bookmarks or beaded eyeglass holders. You'll be amazed at how popular they can be!

Selling jewelry to older people is usually a lot of fun and can be a very rewarding experience. You'll learn a lot about life just by talking and watching your older customers. If you really want to please them then you'll definitely want to take their needs into consideration and offer them something unique and made especially for them.
About the Author
Visit the Bead Jewelry Blog to get more bead jewelry ideas, news, trends, tutorials and bead jewelry business advice.
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