Beyoncé Fuels a Small-Business Boom

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.

The performer, now in the last month of her Renaissance World Tour, posted a message on her website and Instagram on Aug. 23 encouraging fans to wear silver to her concerts through Virgo season, which ends on Sept. 22. (Beyoncé’s birthday is Sept. 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 non-silver 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.

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 Aug. 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 Aug. 21 over the week before, a representative for the company said.

Ms. Manier has sold a piece every day in the past week.Credit…Rainbow Manier
Her best sellers are all silver.Credit…Rainbow Manier

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, Ga. — and turned her side hustle into her primary source of income this year.

Many fans have placed rush orders for the earrings since Aug. 23, Ms. Ferguson said, with some customers stressing that their orders were emergencies. “It’s not life or death, it’s just some earrings,” Ms. 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.”

Ellie May Klimczak, the founder of Coquetry Clothing based in Olive Branch, Miss., 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,” Ms. 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 anticipate a drop in sales after the annual Burning Man festival in late August, said Ilgin Utin, the creative director of Utin NYC, which operates out of New York City and Istanbul. Instead, sales at Ms. 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, the 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.

Ms. Fritts, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., 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 Aug. 23 have been silver-colored.

Customers have told Erin Fritts that they love using her fans when Beyoncé sings “Heated” onstage.Credit…Erin Fritts

Other business owners were tipped off to the silver fervor by cultural insiders: their children. Rainbow Manier, the 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, Ms. 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, Ms. Manier said, and she has sold a piece every day; her best sellers are all silver.

“I have been working 24/7 to accommodate the BeyHive and the lovers of the queen,” Ms. 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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