Even as reports say cell phones are doubling as timepieces to replace wristwatches, an enthusiastic interest in watches as jewelry is emerging. One designer riding this fashion wave is Winky Wu of Winky Designs, who says she wants the watch to be a personal statement and conversation starter that just happens to tell time as a practical bonus. Wu recently began designing innovative and non-traditional watches that, for example, replace numerals with icons and swap straps for friendship bracelets.
Winky Designs' whimsical ice cream bracelets are fun and colorful timepieces in genuine leather bands, with names like mint chocolate chip and strawberries & cream. "We are the only company that makes friendship style bracelets, and many of my customers tell me they do not wear watches, but they wear mine because they are like jewelry." Winky Designs is expanding into belts and rings as well, with the launch of recyclable, waterproof and hypoallergenic plastic belts and silicone candy rings, both available in an array of brilliant colors.
Winky Designs sells wholesale and is already in more than 50 stores in New York, Italy, Denmark and Lebanon. "We have had a really good reception,"Wu notes, "people find us and I am not sure how sometimes." Perhaps it is their well organized website, which provides full product images and details, as well as wholesale prices and ordering information. Winky Designs' watches wholesale for $15 to $40, and retail for $40 to $70. Belts wholesale for $10 and retail for $25. The minimum order is $200. "We sell really nice two tiered acrylic watch stands for $15, which are a $30 value, so people can display the merchandise properly,"Wu adds. "Bracelet watches need to have a proper jewelry stand."
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