Looking for a jewelry product that will ward off the curse of summer doldrums? A hot item called “evil-eye” jewelry is purported to protect from pernicious influences — and, somewhat more reliably, fashion pundits and flea market experts say it may bring blessings to your bottom line.
Fashion consultant to the stars Carol Brodie says that evil-eye bracelets and talismans are hot. Reality star Kim Kardashian was recently spotted wearing them. So was TV host Kelly Ripa. Celebrity model Brooklyn Decker sported a bracelet on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue. Designer Lauren Klein suggests that they make great gifts for grads and young people. Fashion and celebrity blogger Coco Perez has reported on the trend.
In Turkey, the evil-eye stone, or “nazar” is worn as an amulet, and it appears as a good luck charm in many places, including doors, cell phones, and airplanes.
In the flea market trenches, vendors are reporting positive results with the jewelry. “I had a good response. It’s popular also,” says Raj Kumar, who recently sold jewelry at Rice’s Market, in Pennsylvania. “I have a friend of mine who also sells that same eye style. He sells like crazy. It depends on where you sell. Now it’s not that popular in some flea markets, but at bigger shows, different kinds of shows, fashion shows, we did well over there.”
Marilyn Richmond of Silver Treasures, a vendor at the Columbus Farmers Market, in New Jersey, recently started stocking evil-eye jewelry again after taking a break for a while. “Actually, since we started carrying it again, it’s been going very well,” she says.
She decided to pick the item up on the recommendation of her daughter. “We just recently started again, about a month ago. What made us come back to it was that my daughter told me that they are really hot. So I’ve been buying it, and we’ve been selling it.”
Speaking with this reporter on the phone, she said, “In fact, I’m wearing an evil-eye anklet right now.”
Jewelry wholesaler Joe Mui is upbeat on the business side of the product. “We sell a lot of those evil-eye bead bracelets,” he says. “It’s a hot item and it’s doing very well. It is one of our company’s core items.”
“The price is really low, so it sells well at flea markets,” Mui says, and he has specific advice on pricing. “We sell it for like $1.25 to $1.50 max per piece, and vendors can mark it up to $4.99 or $5.99 easily. There are huge profit margins possible.”
And, according to Mui, who sells a wide range of evil-eye bracelets through his company, Fun 2 Bead Wholesale, demand for the item has not yet peaked. “They are not everywhere in the market yet, but I do see the potential that people are going to start buying it, given the price and attractive designs. I do see a lot of customers asking for them.”
Photo credits, with thanks: Israeli market, from IsraeliKitchen.com, and Kim Kardashian, from zimbio.com.
Oct. 28 Update: Here’s a news item about Bollywood actress Neha Dhupia, who went shopping at a flea market in Turkey and bought evil eye jewelry. She also broke into impromptu song at the market’s open-air karaoke.