I see a lot of men shopping for the women they love in the brick and mortar shop, Gala, that I co-own in Kensington, MD. Shopping in my little shop of jewelry, accessories and handmade craft items is not the natural habitat of most men over a certain age. I’m sticking to that even if it’s a stereotype. I’d say 90% of the men shopping for their female partners are sincerely trying their hardest to find the perfect gift -- maybe 95%. That other 5-10% walk in, often with a phone to the ear, flip a tag, and if it’s the right price range done. (In this case, I hope the price range is high and that she exchanges it for something she loves!)
Some guys walk in and know. They take a once over and they see what they know she will love and buy it. It may take a bit of time, but he doesn’t need too much guidance, he just knows. And then I see her wearing it all the time and it’s perfect. Lucky guy - lucky girl!
Some guys are torn. They’ve bought so many things that were not quite right but they refuse to give up trying. We talk about things that I might know that he might not think of. How old are the kids? i.e. are they going to yank that necklace right off her neck? Or, what does she do? i.e. if she works with her hands she may not want something so chunky. Or whatever!
But then … there are the guys who walk in and lurk in the entryway for a minute -- there’s something akin to terror in their eyes. These guys, I go help right away. You can do this, dude!
Where to start? What is her eye and hair color? How tall is she? Doe’s she like dainty jewelry or chunky jewelry?
But key, and usually fruitful -- let’s take a look at her social media footprint. Almost everyone has a facebook page these days. Let’s look at her photos. What jewelry is she wearing? Here we can get the full scope of what she likes to wear because guess what -- if she’s like most of us, she owns 100 pieces of jewelry and wears 10. Let’s find something in a similar style and color because that’s what she likes. (I don’t recommend trying to fill a gap, like getting her blue earrings because she doesn’t have any … there's usually a reason she doesn’t have any.)
Another place to start is with a meaningful stone choice: Is it a birthday gift? What about a birthstone? Here’s a birthstone chart put out by The Gemstone Society. Is it an anniversary present? Here are the anniversary stones according to the Natural Sapphire Company. Or how about the metaphysical qualities? This is a big area to discover -- too big for a chart but perfect for another blog post or two!!
All in all, whether he works with a local designer in person or finds it in a shop, what a woman wants -- aside from really great jewelry -- is to know that she’s been thought of. Someone tried to imagine what she would want and why. She wants to know that someone has taken the time to think about what she might like -- after all, that’s what’s most important!.
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When I unpacked these bead looms I felt a jolt of excitement like I was 10 years old. Looking at the loom and the beads brought me back to my childhood. Seeing them reminded me of the hope there is in beginning a project