Monday, November 26, 2012

Biker dudes and jewelry...


My wife wears lots of jewelry.  Many other women and girls wear jewelry.  And bikers do too.  And I'm talking the male of the species.

The first man I ever saw with an earring, outside of some pirate in a movie, was my badass biker friend Steve.   He showed up at my dad's funeral adorned with a small gold cross in his left earlobe.  Now Steve is about as badass a man as ever walked the earth.  Steve's mom had more tattoos than most men and she road a Harley long ago, and when my brother and I greeted Steve at the airport upon return from his second tour in Vietnam he was wearing a necklace of a dozen dried leathery shruken ears around his neck.  Ears that he had cut off from dead Viet Cong figthers.  No kidding. 

For a long time about the closest thing to jewelry that a biker wore was the chain on his wallet or a plain neck chain.  Today, it's not uncommon to see a biker wearing rings on several fingers, earrings, (although noticeably fewer than not too long ago), and neck chains with intricate pendants. 

And this trend has not gone without notice.  Several jewelry companies have found success in meeting the needs of the biker.  One of the more recent and very successful makers of biker jewelry is NightRider Jewelry of Phoenix, AZ.  It's an American company, something all American bikers want.  I have followed NightRider's progress for several years, and I have purchased a few of their pieces.   The picture below shows the style of ring I purchased from NightRider a couple of years ago.  Exceptional quality, but not inexpensive.  But as the old adage goes: you get what you pay for. 


I also recently took a trip to Prescott, AZ where I stopped in at a small shop named Newman Gallery located along this Old West town's infamous Whiskey Row.  Donna, owner of the shop with her husband David carried one of the better sets of biker jewelry I have seen in most any ecclectic shop in Arizona that I have visited.  Most pieces are made by regional and local artisans, so the unique designs are apparent.

More shops and manufacturer's need to 'see' the large market of bikers out there, and like NightRider and Newman, focus their energies on taking care of that market's desires.  NightRider attends most of the big biker rallies with an up-scale display, well worth a visit, but other companies too need to recognize the potential market and begin to respond to the growing demand.   There are millions of bikers roaming the roads of America.  All seem to want to wear items that reflect their passion for the ride, and jewelry is a growing and fashionable way to make that statement.

Jewelry is not just for your momma anymore.  Do you wear biker jewelry?  What kind? 

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