Archives for posts with tag: jewelry

Gul-(lible)pada

No, not the latest Asian model or starlet. I’m talking about SILPADA. They’ve got everything wrong, except their craft. I love sterling silver jewelry, preferably the vintage American Indian and mid-century Nordic kind. For the purist, the only silver is sterling. Unfortunately, sterling doesn’t anything along the lines of a Denomination of Origin that would inform the buyer as to what is and is not sterling, much less to the fact that there is a difference. Part of the problem stems from ignorance (intentional and not). Salespeople say “silver” and only the informed know to ask if it’s real…meaning sterling or .925 or above silver content. Thankfully, this brand is upfront about the quality of its silver; it’s praised as “handcrafted,” yet the company never divulges the origin of the goods outside of the “world.” So, let’s get on with what I’m not sold on.

Nothing is credible in this ad, dated or not, or at the website. The tagline here tells me what they’re peddling, but there’s really no need…could this lady have on any more jewelry? So much is bad taste; it just cheapens the idea…and the wearer. Such a display even cheapens sterling, which has a long-standing image issue to the less artistically inclined. (Some people won’t wear anything but gold, even if it is gold-dipped, vermeil or 10-carat.) Sterling lacks fans mostly due to things like this: poor product design (there’s just no depth or soul to what looks and is overly commercial) and even poorer branding. Also, sterling tarnishes, and people are lazy. They don’t want to do any maintenance on their adornments. But, it’s just like most everything…you need to keep your purses, shoes, teeth and earbuds clean. Gold needs cleaning on occasion, too.

I never could figure out this ad (from InStyle, November 2009) of a few years back (yes, I’m going through some magazine clippings) — What do vacation days have to do with jewelry? I don’t naturally associate “controlling my time” with a vacation. Why do I want to escape with jewelry? Is that my retail therapy? The colors of the gal’s outfit? Again, nothing aspirational.

Fast forward to 2011. OK, so you’re trying to sell me on the idea that a lifestyle consists of pushing your products at hosted parties and plugging your brand whenever I can get a word in? Such is not a lifestyle (a word which is altogether deserving of another post); it’s unrealistic,  another job and would alienate my friends. The Tupperware, Mary Kay and Avon of sterling. Sorry, you three. You’re good. Just referencing the channel. Silpada, it’s demeaning to see you pitch success defined as a lifestyle built around not only wearing gobs of mass-produced sterling silver jewelry, but selling the stuff. (Want a little .925 with that salad?)

I see that they somehow have secured the silpada.com domain (over the previous silpadajewelry.com). I wonder how much that cost them. The name is not bad, but it’s not pretty either. It’s got some VCV (vowel-consonant-vowel) going on, making it easy to pronounce, and the “Sil-“ informs me of the metal, but the name sounds more like a pill or a shoe insert. Font confusion: The font in the name has no personality; they try to make up for it with the arrows, but it doesn’t work. The font in the logo on the home page is different from the font in the “Welcome to….” The current tagline: Live Life in Style.” is over-capitalized and doesn’t need two fonts. It is Bonneville flat (without the speed). So far, between the name and the tagline, I have no idea what line of business you are in. “Sil-“ only helps with a visual cue. I figure it out by a few nav buttons and “financial freedom.” You can never have enough jewelry, but you can wear more than enough.

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Va-va-vintage!

I recently came across a wonderful shop chock full of mid-century (give or take) pride and craftsmanship. Esther is one sharp curator of well-cared-for items from all over. Stepping into Modern Star is like a tactile history lesson. It’s hard to find something still made in this country, which is why the past looks so good these days. It’s not hard to find Esther:  228 W. Hancock Ave., downtown Athens, GA (right next to The National). Open Tuesday through Sunday. Get there for yourself. Go there for gifts. The point being, it’s worth a visit. Nothing beats the heat like cool vintage.

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