As a child, I remember the delight of receiving a personalised item of jewellery/clothing/accessory with my name printed on it. I particularly remember the velvet hairbands with my name painted across it decorated with flowers and swirls.
These hairbands were great because they were one of the only nice hair accessories my very strict school allowed us to wear, and it gave me some identity in an institution where all the little girls had to dress and look the same. As I got older, Me and the rest of my friends fell in love with personalised bracelets and necklaces that had the first letter of our name on. It was cool, it was special and we had great fun getting people we didn’t know to guess our name based on our jewellery.
Growing up, I never noticed personalised jewellery on adults. I think perhaps many people didn’t see it as particularly sophisticated as anonymity was something to be protected at the time (the time before social media). However, now I notice many women in their 30s and 40s wearing personalised pieces of jewellery, namely on bracelets or necklaces. This got me wondering what had triggered this recent rise in popularity and I came up with a few reasons:
1) At the moment, we are in an age of clones – nearly everyone has the same sort of thing. We all have the same phones, the same skinny jeans, the same computers, the same social media accounts, chart music is easily accessible to everyone and we are bombarded and brainwashed by brands.
These similarities between us all have come to my attention recently as I’ve really noticed the resemblance between pre-teens, teens and young adults. As a woman in my 20s, I notice children of around 12 wearing clothes that I wear. With identical styles and identical make-up to me (and their friends) I can’t help but feel disappointed; I’m going to sound really old by saying that when I was their age, my very make-shift style in no way, shape or form resembled a young adult.
Whilst finding your own identity used to be hard within your own age group, I now feel that I am also competing against children 10 years plus my junior. Whilst we want to fit in, we don’t want to be camouflaged and blend into the background. Personalised jewellery is a small step to individuality but it means that you can have that little bit of uniqueness about you (unless you and your friends all have the same name) wherever you go.
2) Personalised objects are absolutely ideal for gifts; birthday presents, christening presents, anniversary presents etc. They are an easy way of making something fairly ordinary special and personal to someone. Personalised gifts go beyond jewellery and recently, there has been a particular rise in personalised kitchen objects such as spoons. Personalised children’s clothes have always been in demand and continue to rise in their popularity.
3) The advance in internet stores has made personalised jewellery so much easier to access. Before, one had to hunt around high street shops on the off chance that somewhere may do a necklace with their name on it, but now, there are shops online specifying in personalised jewellery.
This makes it so easy and also gives the shopper a big variety to choose from. These shops such as Hold Upon Heart, allow the shopper to personalise jewellery down to a printed fingerprint, birthstone and nickname with ease. No hanging around a shop whilst someone has to engrave the item.
So whilst some people are fantastic at creating their own styles, finding their own music and discovering an alternative forum to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, (although goths at gigs still have the same iPhone as the girlie princesses at nails salons) the majority of us are not. With the rise in easy personalisable, jewellery shops and the want to differ slightly from the other skinny jean, leather jacket, converse wearing people on the high street, personalised jewellery has shot up in popularity.
Long may it last – the letter E dangling from my wrist really suits me.
Image Credit: Kirsten Skiles