Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bending my Rules for my Anti-Trend Lifestyle

I am not nor have I ever been a "trendy" person.  I can distinctly remember scoffing at my 8 year old sister's decision to pour out her savings to purchase POGS.  "Why are you wasting money on a FAD!?! It's going to be so dumb in a year when no one plays with them any more."  Was I right?  Yes.  Were POGS awesome?  Yes.  (Google it, kids.)  Do I regret not following suit and diving into the world of Slammers?  Nope.

In fourth grade I went through a phase when I only wore black stretch pants.  My mom couldn't get me to wear a pair of jeans if my life depended on it.  They weren't comfortable so I refused.  Form over fashion, people.

I can say with certainty that I would not have married my high school sweetheart if Christian school uniforms hadn't intervened.

Being comfortable and not spending money on things that won't last have always been the most important things to me when making purchases.  Finding a shirt that fits me and I like??.... well, buy 3 of them in 3 different colors, of course!  No brainer!

However, wading into the world of retail where trends are actually IMPORTANT has thrown me for a loop.  The first garland that I made, I sold a ton of because I knew that after having a baby, the color kings of nursery decor were gray, white, and yellow.  (Thank you Pinterest.  You do have a greater purpose than causing self-loathing after all.)

And now that I'm in it to win this whole entrepreneurial Etsy thing, I have to step up my game and not just know what colors people like NOW, but what they will like a YEAR from now.  I thought I would hate having to research what is trendy since it was never really valuable information to me.  It turns out, it is ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING to me to watch color trends.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I went for a little overnight get-away.  Our original plans were derailed due to the extreme cold, so we ended up spending most of our day walking around a mall.  This used to be an activity that would have caused my inner 2 year old to throw a hissy fit, but because now I'm forced to care what other people like, it might as well have been Disney World.

*Insert Hallelujah Chorus upon stumbling upon an Anthropologie store.*

Hello, MINT, PEACH, NAVY, TEAL, CREAM, CORAL....I had no idea you could be so lovely when paired together!  Oh, and hello, $158 price tag for ONE blouse!  If people are willing to spend that much on a shirt, they don't just like the color of it....they LOVE it.  You're just not going to get research gold like this as Target.    

So if my target audience is nesting and mamas with young children, why not do some research for nursery decor at Babies R Us?

Here's my theory:

The very first lesson we long to teach our children is this: This world is beautiful.
How to we teach that?  We prepare for their arrival by crafting a room for them filled with what we think are beautiful colors.
How do I know what colors people deem "beautiful"?  It is the color they choose to live their lives in....first in the clothes they wear.  Not just the comfy go-to hoodie- its the clothes they INVEST in.  If they choose to wear a color, they will eventually love it so much they will paint their walls that color.

That's why Babies R Us is still filled with white, gray, and yellow.   Because I bet if I was watching things three years ago, these were the colors people were wearing.  (Who knows?  I was probably in a hoodie and comfy black stretch pants at the time.)

It's just a theory.

Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe people that buy on Etsy have a hankering for a color palette that includes coral, and aqua, and teal, and mustard, and mint.  But I do know this...gone are the days of pinks for girls and blues for boys.  We have way too many influences like Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr that mold our tastes for color these days.  (Which, by the way, I am watching because it's my job now.)  

"Once Upon a Time" Garland. This is a big seller these days.

I would like to say that all of this trend watching hasn't changed me.  It has.  Now I buy 3 DIFFERENT shirts in the same color.  See? Look how trendy I've become! (while shopping the clearance wrack at Kohl's with my 30% off coupon)

You'll still never see me in a pair of skinny jeans.