By Guest Blogger Lucy Bashforth
What impact could a beaded bracelet have? A lot, when it reads “Fearless” or “Speak now,” and relates to Taylor Swift, provides sales for craft stores, and instills confidence in young girls.
Swiftie Friendship Bracelets
It all started with the release of her tenth studio album, Midnights, when Taylor Swift’s “Swifties” decided to make and trade friendship bracelets. Inspired by the lyrics of “You’re On Your Own Kid,” Swifties “make the friendship bracelets” in order to “take the moment and taste it” as they brought what they made or purchased to the Eras Tour.
Ranging from lyrics to inside jokes, to any Taylor Swift related content that someone can fit on a wrist, the handmade bracelets publicize Taylor Swift and her music. Each bracelet is unique, made by fans who want to connect with other people and remember the Eras Tour and Taylor Swift forever. Worn at home and at school, they help us remember Taylor Swift long after the concert.
Craft Store Impact
Also, the bracelets affected craft store owners, employees, and customers. At Michaels craft stores, they caused a 40% spike in jewelry sales during August 2023. Elsewhere, too, there were 300% to 500% boosts in jewelry revenue because Taylor Swift’s tour was in that city. It all meant that, like Michaels, craft stores had to stock shelves with new beads and bracelets. In addition, as the friendship bracelet trend grew, Michaels hosted friendship bracelet classes and displays in stores.
Young Girl Impact
However, most importantly, the bracelets affect the young girls that wear them. With sayings like “Fearless” or “Bejeweled,” the bracelets’ words can build young girls’ confidence. Then, at the concerts, Swifties look forward to exchanging their own bracelets for others owned by their peers. Not only are many of the sayings empowering, but the excitement to participate in the trades encourages them to step out of their comfort zone and meet new people. Planning to trade with another fan required deciding between the fan in the purple dress and the one in blue. It had young girls pondering the difference between the style or quality of a bracelet. Together, the process required judgements about people and products, skills they could use after the concert.
Connecting seemingly unrelated facts about extra publicity, higher craft store sales, and more confident young women, an economist could say it’s all about externalities. The Swifties’ bracelets have a positive spillover that spreads to third parties that were not involved in their creation. Whether it’s Taylor Swift’s popularity, the benefits of more revenue, or entrepreneurial young girls, the impact of a beaded bracelet can be massive. Made in order to add some extra pizazz and memorability to the Eras Tour outfits, they have become so much more.