Why We’re Lovin’ Bourbon, Boweties & Arm Parties

Behold, the arm party. Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Behold, the arm party. Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

The topic of statement jewelry was brought up in our office a few weeks ago. This triggered a ramble from me about my love for Bourbon and Boweties, a wildly popular Plant City-based startup that fashions gorgeously unique bracelets with its “proud southern hands.”

My speech touched on their rise to national obsession and their affiliation with designers Lilly Pulitzer and (according to a recent announcement on their Facebook page) Kate Spade. That’s when the PR light bulb that lives in my head flickered.

These chicks at Bourbon & Boweties know the power of focusing in on a niche market. Founder and Plant City girl Carly Osch made a big splash with a little water by playing into the trends that excited her target customers. (Check out this article from The Plant City Observer to learn more about her awesome story).

In the case of B&B, said market is 20-something southern ladies who fancy monograms, all things Lilly, own at least one pair of Jack Rogers and typically have a Michael Kors watch on their Christmas wish list. Former and current sorority women make up much of this demographic. I can attest; this group gobbles up delightfully chunky statement jewelry that adds to an arm party. Look it up, it’s a thing.

Are there other desirable audiences ripe for target by trendy jewelry designers? Sure. To name a few, there are the David Yurman types, the Pandora crowd and those fashionistas who take a “less is more” approach to their accessories.

B&B prefers to stay true to its southern sassiness by cranking out fresh versions of its signature pieces adorned with bold stones that serve as the base for many a southern belle’s arm party. The ultimate sign of sratty success, they’ve partnered with Lilly Pulitzer (cue singing angels) to hold trunk shows across the country.

Success has come quickly for Carly and her crew. On March 28, B&B announced the company is leaving its original office (Carly’s grandmother’s 950 square foot garage) and moving to a 3,000 square foot warehouse in Plant City. They will employ 152 local women. We adore these feel-good stories!

The lesson? Embarking on world domination isn’t always the best plan of action for growing businesses. Don’t try to be something you’re not for the sake of expansion. Success will come in small yet steady doses by staying true to your identity and keeping your finger on the pulse of your niche market. Remain focused on what you do best and the market that your product or service appeals to most.

Lorrie likes to phrase this advice as a “rifle vs. shotgun” approach. In one slight twitch of a finger, a rifle sends a single bullet to hit the core of its target. Conversely, a shotgun spews multiple bullets that stray in outward directions. We say pick one target, get a clear shot and pull the trigger.