Here in Missoula I have not noticed much of a change due to the economy. People are still buying jewelry, cars, and furniture. Everyday at work, I notice shoppers walking around with loaded shopping bags. Perhaps this is due to excellent bargains, or just the need for their purchases.
My business is booming, with people choosing to repair their old jewelry if they feel new jewelry is too extravagant. (Our sales are up from last year as well). Also, I have noticed an increase in custom design, which is more expensive than picking something out of the case. I recently finished a piece two weeks ago, and have one on the back burner, waiting for approval (this one may be due to the economy, however, I think it is more about the relationship). I am sending a wax in for casting this coming week, and when it comes back, I will carve another wax using the new casting as an imprint for his ring (this will be another blog post. I think it is going to be so neat!). Also, last night I took in a large commission for a three ring wedding set. The clients are providing a rather large diamond that takes my breath away. Literally.
I should also point out that custom is what I really love working on. I can only hope that this continues.