Beyoncé fuels a small-business boom

Beyoncé fuels a small-business boom
In an undated image provided by Erin Fritts, a fan by Erin Fritts. When Beyoncé asked fans to wear silver for Virgo season, shops on Etsy and elsewhere saw the collective spending power of the BeyHive. (Photos: Erin Fritts/ New York Times)
When Virgo season dawned, Beyoncé — perhaps the world’s most famous Virgo, who named a track on her seventh album, “Renaissance,” after the star sign — had a birthday request.اضافة اعلان

The performer, now in the last month of her Renaissance World Tour, posted a message on her website and Instagram on August 23 encouraging fans to wear silver to her concerts through Virgo season, which ends September 22. (Beyoncé’s birthday is September 4; this year she turned 42.) “We’ll surround ourselves in a shimmering human disco ball each night,” the message read. “Everybody mirroring each other’s joy. Virgo season together in the house of chrome.”

The tour has already been a fashion show, with attendees wearing bejeweled cowboy hats and more looks inspired by the album’s visuals and Beyoncé’s stage outfits. Still, many fans who had planned their looks months in advance panicked. On TikTok, concertgoers posted videos of their original nonsilver looks set to audio of high-pitched screaming.

Even celebrities have struggled with the dress code. Gayle King posted a video on Instagram of her wandering around a Las Vegas airport searching for silver, while Rosie O’Donnell asked her TikTok followers where she could find silver garments.

In an undated image provided by Rainbow Manier, Rainbow-Renee Manier dressed in a silver-sequined dress and accessories she designed herself. 

So when the BeyHive dutifully placed online orders and ran to the mall, small-business owners also felt Beyoncé’s influence, as TMZ originally reported. Several small businesses told The New York Times that since August 23, they had seen a spike in both searches for and sales of silver clothing and accessories. On Etsy, searches for silver blouses, corsets, tops and “disco hats” — sparkly, mirrored cowboy hats — increased 25 percent in the week of August 21 over the week before, a representative for the company said.

Disco ball earrings, a fixture at the Renaissance tour as well as Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, drew fans to Anna Ferguson’s Etsy shop, OneLoveOneAnna Designs in Newnan, Georgia — and turned her side hustle into her primary source of income this year.

Many fans have placed rush orders for the earrings since August 23, Ferguson said, with some customers stressing that their orders were emergencies. “It’s not life or death; it’s just some earrings,” Ferguson said. “But really, it is so important, because something I realized at Beyoncé’s show specifically — everyone there dresses up as their own version of Bey. The look is 50 percent of the fun. It sets the tone and vibe for the way you feel.”

In an undated image provided by Rainbow Manier, a piece designed by Rainbow-Renee Manier. 

Ellie May Klimczak, founder of Coquetry Clothing based in Olive Branch, Mississippi, said in an email that fans “actually began emailing directly, ‘I need something silver, and I need it fast!’” Her shop specializes in handmade spandex pieces.

“We have literally just been swapping out fabrics and styles to make them all silver holographic,” Klimczak said, adding that her shop had experienced a similar rush for the Eras Tour. Currently, the store’s most popular fabric choices include “silver kaleidoscope” and “prism.”

Some small businesses that make clothing for the festival circuit anticipated a drop in sales after the annual Burning Man festival in late August, said Ilgin Utin, creative director of Utin NYC, which operates out of New York City and Istanbul. Instead, sales at Utin’s shop have stayed consistent as people place rush orders for the Renaissance tour. One of her top sellers is a silver fringe jacket, and orders have poured in from California and Texas — states with Renaissance dates during Virgo season.

Customers have told Erin Fritts, owner of Everwind Creations, that they love using her fans when Beyoncé sings “Heated” onstage because the artist uses her own fan during the song, which draws from ballroom culture.

In an undated image provided by Rainbow Manier, a piece designed by Rainbow-Renee Manier. 

Fritts, who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, opened her shop on Etsy three years ago originally to sell macramé pieces. She added fans because she always got hot and used them at music festivals — and now they’re her No. 1 sellers. She attributed the fans’ popularity to Beyoncé; almost all of her fan orders since August 23 have been silver-colored.

Other business owners were tipped off to the silver fervor by cultural insiders: their children. Rainbow Manier, owner of Soul Chains, a line of vintage jewelry with crystals, recalled, “My Gen Z daughter who’s 22 told me, ‘Mom, you better make a silver post for Beyoncé,’ and I’m like, ‘What?’” The next day, Manier went to her atelier in Seattle and made an Instagram video spotlighting her silver pieces.

Since then, several clients have booked appointments for custom jewelry, Manier said, and she has sold a piece every day; her bestsellers are all silver.

“I have been working 24/7 to accommodate the BeyHive and the lovers of the queen,” Manier said on a video call, while dressed in a silver-sequined dress and accessories she designed herself. “Now I’m looking at my daughter like, ‘What’s next, girl? Tell me what’s coming up.’”

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