Sacrificing Style to Support a Friend

Q: My friend sells her own handmade jewelry. She needs the business, but her items aren’t really my taste. What do I do?

A: Since this is a good friend, why not purchase a piece to support her venture? Let her know that while the jewelry isn’t your style, this will be perfect for your niece’s upcoming birthday. That way, you won’t set up an expectation that you’ll be her best customer.


  1. The answer is a very diplomatic one and it might save the friendship. Friends don’t need to be automatically best customer of each other. You might share several mutual interests but don’t need to become a customer.
    Mariette’s Back to Basics

  2. Jerry

    As an initial matter, there is no indication that this is “a good friend,” just a “friend.” Second, what kind of “friend” terminates a friendship over the failure to patronize? (Just Laura, your husband owns a bar — would you terminate a friendship because a non-drinker didn’t patronize it?) If you don’t like the jewelry, you can wish her luck in her business and that offer to refer people who are looking for pieces in that style.

    • We have several friends who do not drink (a few who simply do not drink in public). Heck, my mother-in-law doesn’t drink. No, we have no problem with any of those people.

    • Country Girl

      I agree Jerry. Also the OP doesn’t say this friend has even sought out a purchase from her. I don’t see the need to bring the matter up or offer unsolicited opinion ala “It’s not my style, but..” if friend hasn’t asked.

  3. Vanna Keiler

    I agree with Mariette and Jerry on this one. When it comes to financial matters, including buying and selling, there is no compulsion in friendship to purchase anything. The friendship should survive the girl guide cookies, tupperware parties, and small business endeavors of friends if other friends do not contribute to the financial success. Friendship need not have a price tag with it. If a person does not have a need for what is being sold, a simple friendly smile and support, whether business proves profitable or not, is what friendship is all about. Helping to find “leads” among your own friends and relatives to relieve guilt is also opening up a pandora’s box of trouble unless you plan to follow through as your friend’s sales associate and hit the pavement to get results. Otherwise, you are just wasting your friend’s time and lifting up her hopes. If the friend specifically requested a purchase from the other friend, there is nothing wrong with declining the offer, with grateful thanks but being simply honest and then quickly moving on.

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