Mary Mooney — Niche Marketing Wearable Art

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Nashville visual artist and fashion entrepreneur Mary Mooney ( has found a number of unique ways to transform her art into accessories — providing people with the opportunity to wear her abstract images as well as grace their homes in a variety of ways. Recently Mary has also taken her art and her jewelry into new markets, embracing new opportunities to provide value for her customers. For Mother’s Day this year she offered tiered pairs of her pendants — perfect for a mother and daughter to share; connecting them with a unique piece of wearable art. Now she is providing brides with the opportunity to share a similar gift with her bridesmaids. Mary crafts a series of pendants for the bride and her party that come from a single painting are similar without being identical.

This is an excellent example of an artist finding a powerful niche market and building a compelling value proposition. Two things struck me as I perused a study on wedding trends at The Knot — a popular wedding planning website. The first was that the average cost of a gift for a bridesmaid is between $75 and $150 and that a bridal party averages about four bridesmaids. So the average bride is spending between $300 and $600 on gifts for her bridesmaids. Another trend that is highlighted is that couples are looking for more opportunities to personalize their wedding. This is a drop in the bucket of the average wedding which costs over $30,000 according the the Knot.

When Mary and I spoke about these pendants a couple of weeks ago, I started writing a positioning statement in my head — I do that sometimes — that sounded something like this:

For the bride who is looking for a unique and treasured gift for the women in her bridal party, Mary Mooney provides a unique and timeless piece of wearable art for every member of her party Unlike other gifts for bridesmaids, these pendants are similar without being identical, can be worn daily or for special occasions, and are appropriate for the everyone from the flower girl to the mother of the bride.

So why am I rambling about this? Well….it is a great example of something that I work on with my creative clients. Once you understand the problem that you are really solving and the market that you are really serving you can expand into other markets with the same or similar need. In Mary’s case, she started with her BFF necklace and the idea of two people sharing a connection by wearing pieces from the same painting. Asking herself who else might have that same need— to share an intimate connection — and an openness to the same solution — wearable art — she found herself selling the same product (the BFF necklace) to mothers and daughters on Mother’s Day. Tweaking the solution from pairs to sets allowed her to satisfying the need for a similar and possible more lucrative market  — bridal parties.

You never know where your creative expression will take you and what kind of business you will build on it.

I’m looking forward to see more of Mary Mooney’s art and seeing where her business takes her.

You can see some examples of Mary’s bridesmaids pendants here:

Image by Mary Mooney.

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