Interesting. I wonder if these are actually made by Swarovski, or a third party manufacturer. Swarovski has changed the way they are doing business and at the end of September (or October) will no longer allow the use of their name in products others make (unless they have applied for permission).
It has caused quite a stir in the crafting world where small business jewelry makers can now no longer use the word ‘Swarovski’ in their product descriptions, and will be unable to even buy them very soon.
One half of the Swarovski family has decided that it wants to be exclusive to control the brand, and the other half fought in court to keep making the crystals available to all crafters. It has angered a lot of small businesses (and large distributors as well, who now have to make folks sign contracts in order to order crystals).
Their crystals are very nice, but I think they will find that the largest purchaser of their stuff is small business jewelry crafters and it will hurt their bottom line more than the ‘exclusivity’ will help it.
A number of years ago, I saw some craft-level jewelry people starting to edge away from the Swarovski name even where they were using provable content from that manufacturer, for multiple and often unrelated reasons. Overall, the general collapse of the strung-object costume-or-semi-precious jewelry hobby trade had pretty much trashed the sales of both crystal (Austrian and Czech) and semi-precious beads by the middle of 2017, and I see little evidence that it will recover anytime soon. Swarovski may be trying to position themselves as a specialty up-market brand in whatever develops in the coming years. I know that I’ve got a small stash of crystal beads in the materials that my partner had, and I see little or no prospect of getting any value back out of it.
@Kyeh@werehatrack It will be interesting to see how it plays out. It’s been a while since I’ve made jewelry, but I do still have a small stash of Swarovski crystals and pearls that I will hold onto for future projects.
I have read that there is stiff competition from the Czech crystals and China, but I haven’t looked to compare quality. I always found Swarovski to be a little more brilliant than the competition, but I’m sure that is changing.
Their pearls on the other hand, from what I’ve been reading, are far superior to others. Something about the way the finish is baked on seems to hold up much better over time. I have a small stash of those as well, but I wonder if I should try to get some (if I still can) because I do love pearl accents, lol!
What’s interesting about this decision (to me) is the recent trend towards LESS ‘exclusive’ and ‘high end’ products (I guess partly due to the economic hardships due to the pandemic) which makes me think that their products would be more desirable as a way to get the look without the high price tag. I have been in their store in NYC…and it’s beautiful…but the stuff was super expensive. I feel like they think they are going to be Tiffany’s…but if one can afford expensive jewelry, the Swarovski store is not where they are going to shop.
I’m just sad that they are taking all loose products away. I guess if the costume designer and craft jeweler market has changed that much, it makes sense…but what I’ve seen on beading boards is a general opposition to this move. And since those beaders are buyers, I think Swarovski will take a hit in the pocket…at least temporarily.