Unfriend the Trend...

Earlier today, before heading to work, my husband was telling me about a video he’d been watching that compared modern music with the music of decades ago. The basic theme was that modern music has adapted to the changes in various aspects of modern life. It was the opinion of the video’s creator that these adaptations have not necessarily been for the better.

A few things I recall off the top of my head had to do with how, as our attention spans have decreased, along with the increase in the ability to literally have millions of songs available at our fingertips, songwriters and producers are employing various techniques to make their work stand out from the masses and capture our attention right away, before we click to another selection.

In earlier times, record companies would often listen to the numerous submissions they’d receive. In order to stand out, one really needed to have tremendous talent. If selected by the A&R folks, that artist/band would be developed by the record company. There was inherent risk involved, and sometimes, this process wouldn’t work out, but the ones that did made it worthwhile for the record companies.

Nowadays, the cost of developing an artist/band is astronomical. So if an artist or band comes along that doesn’t follow the accepted formulas, chances are they’ll never be signed, no matter how talented they are or how good their music is. It’s simply too much of a risk for the record companies. They instead prefer to stick with formulas that work.

The part of all this that really caught my attention had to do with why these various formulas work. The video was talking about how, as humans, we gravitate towards the comfortable and the familiar. For example, with music, when we’re constantly bombarded by the same songs, employing the same tools, every time we turn on the radio, watch a movie, or walk into a store, we start to find familiarity in that. Rather than consumers choosing what music and artists will be popular, the record companies are taking that choice away from us and brainwashing us through constant repetition.

I began to think about what had caused me to start designing my own bracelets. Every time I’ve gone shopping, whether online or in person and regardless of the store/vendor, everything seems similar (this was one of the reasons I started Chic by Christina). It almost seems like most designers don’t want to take a chance with something that’s a little different, or perhaps bold or daring. Now that I learned about the video my hubby was watching, it seems to me like this carries over to jewelry and fashion as well. Maybe most consumers feel drawn to and safe with what they find familiar. Consumers may pick the “safe” choice versus something else they may truly like more, but are worried about the opinions of others.

Of course, there’s many talented designers out there, and many of these more familiar styles are quite beautiful. But just as I made the choice to follow my own path in other aspects of life, I feel the same way about my bracelet designs. I truly want Chic by Christina to become the home and the family for those who “dare to be different.” This is something I believe everyone should pursue in all facets of their life, not just with jewelry. We need to stay true to who we are, but also take chances.

When we walk away from the crowd and refuse to follow the trends, regardless of what stage of life we’re in, there can be a cost. But I truly believe that those that love us stick by us, and love us all the more for who we are! And when our days finally come to an end, we’ll have the peace and fulfillment of knowing in our hearts that we truly walked our path, and no one else’s!