Gift Shop Plus Summer 2023
Embracing individuality: Custom apparel and accessories are on the rise By Carly McFadden

A common theme Gift Shop® Plus editors have heard from wholesalers and retailers alike in recent months is that 2023 is the year of customization, whether that’s in the products customers shop for, how they decorate their homes or how they dress.

Sky Light Necklaces. Moonglow Jewelry.
Sky Light Necklaces. Moonglow Jewelry.

Wholesalers across the industry are meeting this demand by offering customizable apparel and accessories. Take Moonglow Jewelry, for example, whose jewelry features the moon from a specific date — think a birth, marriage or other milestone.

“At Moonglow, we customize jewelry in the most unique way to honor dates of significance,” said Tara McGowan, director of sales at Moonglow Jewelry. “Our jewelry features a picture of the moon from the date of your choice. Our customization connects people to the moments that matter most.”

Town Pride also offers customization across its apparel, jewelry and more.

“At Town Pride, every item we offer is customized; we offer everything from knitting, embroidery, sublimation, [direct-to-garment], [direct-to-film] and engraving as the decoration elements. Our products span from sweaters and apparel to signs, drinkware, jewelry, home goods and gifts,” said Tamara Moran, president of Town Pride.

Coordinates Cuffs. Bella Vita Jewelry.
Coordinates Cuffs. Bella Vita Jewelry.

While adding personal touches to products has been popular for years, Moran and McGowan agree that they have seen the demand for customization increase.

“Our focus is on made in the USA and customization, which are both trending,” Moran said of Town Pride. “The demand has steadily increased, and that is not going to change anytime in the future. Our assortment and customization options keep getting bigger based on demand.”

Added McGowan: “Personalization and customization has always been popular. Post 2020 though, the demand has soared. Consumers are more thoughtful in purchases, and by customizing something to suit themselves, purchases are justifiable.”

One rising trend in customization at Town Pride is hometown-specific apparel and accessories.

Custom Blanket. Town Pride.
Custom Blanket. Town Pride.

“Although we can put logos and other designs on all of our products, the majority of our items are customized with a city, town, state or location,” Moran said. “There is a growing movement of hometown love, local love and vacation/destination love. Memories and emotions are tied to these locations, and customizing products brings all that emotion front and center. It feels good to look at an object and be flooded with pride, happy thoughts and memories.”

Similarly, McGowan believes that customized products are oftentimes the most treasured.

“The ability to make something uniquely yours adds personal value and connection,” McGowan said. “In the case of jewelry, the consumer is likely going to grab that piece daily because of the meaningful nature of the piece.”

Coordinates Necklaces. Bella Vita Jewelry.
Coordinates Necklaces. Bella Vita Jewelry.
Hand-Stamped State Jewelry. Bella Vita Jewelry.
Hand-Stamped State Jewelry. Bella Vita Jewelry.

Featured photo: Hometown Sweaters. Town Pride.

Carly McFadden

Carly McFadden is the managing editor for Gift Shop Plus, Stationery Trends and a variety of special issue publications, including: The Guide, Holiday Shop, Celebrations & Occasions and Waterfront Living.

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