Byline: Melanie Kletter Who isn't starting an accessories line these days? Along with high-profile entrants such as Gwen Stefani, the sector is teeming with newcomers looking to eke out some space on already overcrowded retail shelves.
Many view the $30 billion dollar industry easier to enter than apparel, for instance, which requires more technical skills of fabric construction and sizing, and a larger outlay of raw materials. Many think they can start a jewelry business in their living room with just an idea and some gems, and some do just that.
Cynthia O'Connor, president of Cynthia O'Connor showroom, said: "I get 25 calls a day from new people. A lot of people are laid off and frustrated that they are not working now, and think it's easy to string beads at home and start a jewelry business."
Nonetheless, the last four years have been particularly robust for all manner of accessories, causing many stores to increase the amount of space and open-to-buy dollars they give the sector. Handbags, jewelry, watches and scarves have been standout classifications for retailers, and since they usually carry higher margins than apparel, stores often are willing to take more chances on unknown designers. There are …