Sanity Files: Katie and Tyson Taylor

The Sanity Files: Katie and Tyson Taylor

How top jewelers keep their cool in a crazy world

Published in the February 2014 issue


Katie and Tyson Taylor are third-generation siblings working at their family’s store. Katie loves to be out on the floor merchandising and decorating, ordering new lines and managing the front half. Tyson dominates “behind the scenes” as a goldsmith.

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Tip Sheet: February 2014

Tips: February 2014

Fresh ideas to better your business.

Published in the February 2014 issue

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Service Shorts: February 2014

Service Shorts
February 2014

Published in the February 2014 issue

Adwar Casting Co. Ltd. has released its newest catalog, Collection #27. It features designer engagement sets, semi-mount engagement sets, stackable rings, designer collections, earrings, jackets, pendants and more. All of Adwar’s styles are available in 14K and 18K gold; white, yellow, pink and green. Adwar also casts in platinum, palladium and 18K palladium. Adwar’s advanced CAD/CAM modeling department specializes in model outputs and designs.
Information: (516) 678-7755 or

IDD’s newly launched IDDeal Credit Card Program offers solutions for consumer financing. Featuring the broadest credit approvals in the industry, zero participation fees for the retailers, and competitive rates with promotional plans for consumers, the IDDeal Credit Card Program uses a fully integrated easy application process with seamless first and second looks and leasing program options. Information: (800) 621-1162 or

Jewelers unBLOCKed has relaunched its website, showcasing a new look while promoting expanded services to coincide with its partnership within the Robb Report Watch Collector App. The new website is divided into two sections: “Insurance for the Jewelry & Watch Collector” and “Insurance for the Jewelry Industry.” The homepage also displays Jewelers unBLOCKed’s feature story, Twitter feed, and a direct link to the Robb Report Watch Collector App, for which Jewelers unBLOCKed is the exclusive insurance partner.

 Gemological Institute of America has introduced a revised format for its diamond grading and gem identification reports. Upon request, GIA will offer no-cost reissues for reports issued from July 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2013. Reissues of reports dated Jan. 1, 2013 through June 30, 2013 will be available for a nominal fee. The new reports consume less paper and other materials, and they have enhanced security features including a durable proprietary paper. QR codes printed on each report will provide direct access to GIA’s online Report Check service, which allows clients and consumers to easily confirm the authenticity of GIA grading and identification reports with their smartphones.
Information: new-format

 With 2014 being Joseph Blank’s 95th year, the company has announced that Knupfer International Gems (KIG) will be sharing its offices. Both companies will now be able to offer one-stop shopping for loose color and diamond needs. KIG offers retailers, designers and manufactures fine color melee and large singles, matched pair and fine gemstones from around the world.

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Stuff For Your Store: February’s Hot List


Stuff For Your Store: February’s Hot List

February’s hot list of business-boosting products.


Published in the February 2014 issue


1Made of bubinga burl wood with 15 coats of high gloss polyurethane finish, this exotic jewel box from Ragar is practical for men or women — it holds 16 pairs of cufflinks or earrings, four watches or bracelets plus 44 additional cufflinks or rings. The interior lid holds six necklaces.
MSRP: $324


2 Arch Crown earring cards are available in gold, silver, and white plastic with or without printing. Choose from four new styles with die-cut holes or cross hairs designed for pierced earrings. The white promotional cards are pre-printed with “14KT GOLD” in metallic gold or “STERLING SILVER” in metallic silver; while the gold promotional cards are preprinted in black. Promotional and blank cards are available in lots of 250. Pressure sensitive backs for hanging on displays are sold separately in lots of 250.
For a free sample pack, call (800) 526-8353 or visit


3Planon’s pen-sized scanner lets you scan a full page at 600 dpi in four seconds. It also is capable of adding voice notes and sending the scanned material to your computer or mobile device via USB and Bluetooth. The ScanStik SK600V features a MicroSD memory slot that holds thousands of image scans in color or black and white. It comes in a leather carrying case.
MSRP: $249.99


4Swissbacks from Stuller provide security without fuss. No buttons to push. No backs to lose. No fumbling. Simply put the earring in and flip the post upward with one hand. Available in 14K and 18K yellow and white gold.


5Capture the Ford Mustang spirit of freedom, optimism and being true to yourself, without even leaving your desk. This limited-edition, commemorative desktop clock announces each hour with the sound of a 1965 Ford Mustang engine. Mark Feldstein & Associates is introducing the 50 Years of Mustang Desktop Sound Clock Thermometer. The logo, crafted by Ford designer Michael Thompson features the trademark galloping pony in silhouette.
MSRP: $49.95


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On Merchandising: The Gift of Ideas

On Merchandising: The Gift of Ideas

Help your customers — and your sales — with specific gift selections.


Published in the February 2014 issue

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Shane Decker: Expand Your Vocabulary

Shane Decker: Expand Your Vocabulary

Craft a sales pitch worthy of a diamond.


Published in the February 2014 issue.

If you’ve been selling for a while, one of the biggest problems you may face is that your diamond presentations can become monotone, robotic, simple, old, boring, habitual, repeated, and non-enthusiastic. We have to kick the kindergarten vocabulary out (that means words like “pretty,” “gorgeous,” “nice stone” and “beautiful”). These are the words everybody else uses. If you want to be better than everybody else, you have to create enthusiasm and romance the diamond.

Let’s take a moment to recall just what it is that makes diamonds so special and valued across time, space and cultures. The experts tell us they are about 3.4 billion years old. They were first discovered more than 3,000 years ago in India, but diamonds have a history that transcends time. In fact, time’s only enemy — the only thing it can’t break down — is diamond.

When we sell diamonds, we sell feelings and emotions. We sell life, love, forgiveness, time, hope, commitment, trust and memories. When you give a diamond, you don’t have to say a word. It will do all the talking for you. They are treasured, wanted, and timeless. Diamonds are the smallest, purest transportable form of negotiable wealth known to man. In ancient Greece, kings wore diamonds as a status symbol, just as people do today. They also wore them because they are virtually indestructible, a symbol of strength and invincibility. The word diamond comes from the Greek word “adamas,” which means “unconquerable.” Name another product that is worn 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for 40 years and — when worn with a little respect — is still just like it was the day it was purchased. You can’t!

Diamonds also symbolize purity, the chosen stone for the bride. How did diamond become the symbol of matrimony? In 1477, the Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave a ring to Mary of Burgundy with diamonds set in the shape of the letter “M.”

Today, the diamond engagement ring is one of the single largest purchases a person will make in his lifetime. So shouldn’t you know its history and how to romance it? When a customer buys a diamond ring in your store, it should be a day he or she will never forget, and it’s your responsibility to make sure that happens.

As you can see, “pretty” and “nice stone” just don’t cut it when describing diamonds. Over the years, I’ve described diamonds as:

A rare marriage of fire and ice.

A violent collision of light and energy.

It inhales light and breathes fire.

Cut by someone with hands as skilled as a surgeon.

Crystallized intensity.

The epitome of nature and the craftsmanship of man.


Faceted angel dust.

Girl’s best friend and man’s best weapon.


Night light.

They do their best work in dimly lit places.

Mother Nature’s love affair with light.

I hope you are getting the picture. Escape your old vocabulary box and stretch a little. Don’t be a robotic salesperson, and do not get desensitized to all the reasons people come into your store. Make their day extra special. If you don’t sound like everyone else selling diamonds, your closing ratio will rise.

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Shane Decker: Keep That Sale Going

Shane Decker: Keep That Sale Going

How an old-fashion sales slip can help you add on.


Published in the March 2014 issue.

Remember sales slips? Way back before personal computers were invented, we used sales slips to write up sales and repairs.

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Sales Truths : Great Ideas Always Seem to Come After Midnight

Sales Truths : Great Ideas Always Seem to Come After Midnight


Published in the February 2014 issue.

WHY IT IS TRUE: It’s 3 a.m., you are sound asleep, and suddenly you are hit with a brilliant idea. The more you roll around in your mind, the better it seems to get. You commit yourself to remembering it, and immediately store the masterpiece in your memory. Awakening the next morning you not only can’t remember what the idea was, you can’t even recall that you had one in the first place!

PLAN OF ACTION: Place a pen and a pad of paper on the nightstand. Turn on the light, and jot down a few notes. Don’t want to turn on the light? Grab a voice recorder or your phone and briefly record your idea. Don’t want to risk awakening your partner? Duck under the covers and speak softly. Uh-oh... your partner wakes up. Not to worry, remind them of your brilliance, continue to record your idea, and fall back into never-never land. — DAVE RICHARDSON

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Sales Truths: Great Ideas Always Seem to Come After Midnight

Sales Truths : Great Ideas Always Seem to Come After Midnight


Published in the February 2014 issue.

WHY IT IS TRUE: It’s 3 a.m., you are sound asleep, and suddenly you are hit with a brilliant idea. The more you roll around in your mind, the better it seems to get. You commit yourself to remembering it, and immediately store the masterpiece in your memory. Awakening the next morning you not only can’t remember what the idea was, you can’t even recall that you had one in the first place!

PLAN OF ACTION: Place a pen and a pad of paper on the nightstand. Turn on the light, and jot down a few notes. Don’t want to turn on the light? Grab a voice recorder or your phone and briefly record your idea. Don’t want to risk awakening your partner? Duck under the covers and speak softly. Uh-oh... your partner wakes up. Not to worry, remind them of your brilliance, continue to record your idea, and fall back into never-never land. — DAVE RICHARDSON

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Sanity Files: Jason Druxman

The Sanity Files: Jason Druxman

How top jewelers keep their cool in a crazy world

Published in the January 2014 issue

Avenue Jewelers, Appleton, WI
Jason, aka “The Diamond Stud,” is a fourth-generation jeweler originally from Seattle, WA, who migrated to the Midwest in the mid-’90s. Jason didn’t have a chance when it came to another profession …. (All Druxmans seem to be boxers or jewelers, and Jason liked his nose just the way it was.)

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Building the Store: Plateau Jewelers


Building the Store: Plateau Jewelers


Plateau Jewelers

owner: Kelly Jensen / Renovation: 2011 Cost of Buildout: $170,000 / Area: 1,000 square feet / Designer: Keith Kovar of Grid 3 International Contractor: Reid Jensen (no relation to owner)

1,000 square feet of space gets a laundry list of amenities

Retailer Kelly Jensen had been in his first, 1,000-square-foot location more than 10 years when he decided he needed more space for his combination store and shop.

He needed case space, to start with, of course, but he needed much more than that: His staff had nowhere to eat lunch, his office lacked privacy, and sales staff were interrupting bench jewelers all day long because they needed to use the ultrasound in the shop.

The logical solution seemed to be to move.

But, there really wasn’t anywhere else to go in Sammamish, WA, where he had established his business in 1996.

“The city of Sammamish is where we want to be and it is a bedroom community,” Jensen explains. “People commute into Belleville or Seattle. There is very limited retail or commercial space within the city — and the city likes it that way. So we were really limited as to where we could go.”

So Jensen contacted Grid 3 International to see if its store designers could somehow discover more space in his current store.

“When I asked, ‘Can you provide this laundry list of things to me within 1,000 square feet?’ I expected them to laugh,” Jensen recalls. “But when they said ‘What’s off limits?’ And I said, ‘Nothing’s off limits,’ they said they could do it. And they did.”

That laundry list included a shop within the store, an ADA-compliant restroom, a lunchroom, a separate, private office with a view of the sales floor, a workstation on the show room floor, two POS stations, hidden catalog and tool storage, and a cleaning station closer to the showroom to solve the bottleneck in and out of the shop. And, of course, more showcase space.

“You hear about all these things, and you think, ‘What are you smoking? How can you do all that with 1,000 square feet?” Jensen recalls.


But Keith Kovar, a principal of Grid 3, was undaunted. The key, he says, was planning everything down to the last inch, and designing custom cases and other fixtures to fit the space exactly. Sometimes, this meant little tweaks, like shortening a drawer. Sometimes, it meant compromise; although the staff now has a little lunch counter area, it’s not a fullblown kitchen.

It helped that Jensen knew exactly what he wanted.

“People are often unsure as to what they want,” Kovar says. “They know they want to renovate, but they don’t have a sense of where they are going. He understood his business and what he was trying to do, so that list, although a challenge, made it quite easy to pack everything in there.”

The secret was to use the space more efficiently.

“He had some standard-size cases and so he was stuck with how they fit in the store,”

Kovar says. “When we came in to do it, going with custom cases, we did a number of initial layouts and some were angular, and the one he picked was circular. But in both cases, those layouts created more showcase footage, which was one of the main issues.”

Kovar made a serpentine case that created the curves he designed into the almost perfectly square space.

“The circular layout presents a nice flow through the space. We do a lot of things with curves, just because there’s a flow and it’s a bit softer.”

The color scheme was developed around Jensen’s signature color of blue and tied into tones reflecting the landscape — the shades of trees and water — of the Pacific Northwest.

When Jensen first saw the color swatches, though, he wasn’t immediately sold.

“I really stewed about whether those colors and materials were right. Finally, I said these guys are the professionals. I’m going to get out of their way, and I’m so glad I did. It just works!”

Form followed function; the ceiling was designed to accommodate the new lighting to its best advantage.

“The layout and the lighting are two of the most critical things in any jewelry store,” Kovar says. You want to make the merchandise sparkle and the store interesting to be in, and lighting goes a long way to achieving that.”


Kovar says that there aren’t too many inches in the store that could be used more effectively than they are being used now. In all, the project cost around $170,000, including casework and lighting and cabinets.

The color scheme was tied to the store’s signature blue and was meant to reflect the Pacific Northwest.

“It’s not just a box anymore; it’s an environment now,” Kovar says. “There’s a flow and a rhythm to it that really wasn’t there before. That’s part of what the whole store-planning business is about, creating an environment where you want to be.”

Jensen has been completely pleased and more than a little surprised with the results.

“Because we are a shop and a manufacturer, we take in a lot of jewelry for rework or repair, and so we were also able to station the tools of our trade in four separate locations around the store,” Jensen says. “They are in drawers underneath showcases and organized in a way that makes them easy to get at. So we’re not scrambling around looking for a loupe, like a chicken with its head cut off. We’re able to more efficiently help clients.

“I think from our clients’ perspective, we look like we know what we’re doing. We look professional. The jewelry shows extremely well, and as a result, that lends credibility.”


FRESHEN UP: Kovar recommends a refresh every five years and a major overhaul every 10 to 12.

BEFORE YOU KNOCK DOWN WALLS: If you need more merchandise space, look at how you display what you have now, Kovar says. “We’ve had clients who have reduced their inventory and seen increases in sales because sometimes there’s just too much in the case and the customer gets really confused.”

CONSIDER SELLING STYLE: Fixtures that accommodate side-by-side selling, where the customer and the salesperson are walking around a showcase together, are becoming popular, Kovar says. “But that only works if you’re committed to it. If you’re used to selling over a showcase, you may not be comfortable doing it that way and you’re not going to be successful.”

STRIVE FOR A COHERENT LOOK: Although designers and watch companies may want shops within your shop and branded space within your store, consider the overall look of your store before committing to such demands, Kovar says.

BE INVOLVED:“Kelly was involved,” says Kovar. “He really cared about what was happening. Any time that happens, those people get the best projects and are consequently the most successful.” Says Jensen, “I thought I was overwhelming Keith with emails and suggestions and changes, but he said, ‘The more you can tell me the better the design will be.”

CONSIDER: WHERE CAN YOU GO? Jensen made arrangements with his landlord to move to another location for nine weeks, which was three doors down from his store that was under construction. “It was a difficult nine weeks, in a space that wasn’t made for us and without adequate ventilation for manufacturing,” Jensen says. “But we put in some track lighting, and had to move our safe and put in an alarm system. We were closed in all for just four days.”

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Know It All: January 2014

Know It All
January 2014

Published in the January 2014 issue

Color of 2014? It’s Radiant Orchid

1 Move over, emerald. The color watchers at Pantone say the “It” color of 2014 is a pinky purple known as “radiant orchid.” — Wall Street Journal, 12/5/13

Skip the Turkey and Pass the phone

2An estimated one in seven shoppers forwent the turkey to go shopping on Thanksgiving as the holiday continued its transformation into a significant sales date. Still, the “Black” weekend’s big winner appears to have been online retailers. Cyber Monday sales were up 17.5 percent while Black Friday spluttered. — Bloomberg, 11/29/13

Court Rejects Challenge to Online Tax

3 The Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from and in their fights against a New York state law that forces them to remit sales tax as their brick-and-mortar peers must. The rebuff leaves it to Congress to craft a nationwide approach to the sales-tax issue. — BusinessWeek, 12/2/13


4The figures were staggering: $83 million for the 59-carat Pink Star and $36 million for the 14.8-carat The Orange. Sure, the stones were rare but investors looking to diversify their portfolios with tangible assets were another factor pushing significant diamond prices above $1 million per carat. — New York Times, 11/18/13

Yellow Shines for Tiffany’s

5While pink and orange diamonds were grabbing the headlines, Tiffany & Co. partially credited yellow varieties for a 50-percent on-year jump in third-quarter profit. — Bloomberg, 11/27/13

Stuller CEO retires

Stuller CEO Jay Jackson, a 17-year veteran of the firm, retired at the end of 2013. Chief merchandising, marketing and sales officer Danny Clark was named as his successor. — INSTORE , 11/18/13

John Hardy ‘Up for Sale’

John Hardy Ltd. is attracting bidding interest from a number of private equity firms including Catterton Partners and TSG Consumer Partners as investors turn their focus to mid-range jewelry brands. The brand is expected to fetch as much as $400 million. — Reuters, 11/29/13

Girard- Perregaux Watch Takes Top Honors

Girard-Perregaux’s Constant Escapement LM took the top prize, or Aiguille D’or, at horology’s “Oscars” in Geneva for its “revolutionary concept addressing the holy grail of watchmaking: constant force.” — The Telegraph, 11/20/13

Employee Steals $800,000 in Jewelry

9A reminder that blind faith is a bad business strategy: An employee at Security Jewelers in Duluth, MN, was arrested for stealing nearly $800,000 worth of merchandise from the store over a two-year period. She pawned the pieces for $60,000. — Duluth News Tribune, 11/25/13

Try these on for size

10 A.F. Vandevorst, a Belgian fashion label, presented a pair of diamond-studded ankle boots valued at $3.2 million during Business of Design Week in Hong Kong. The size 8 boots were bejeweled with 39,083 colored diamonds and took 30,000 man-hours to produce. — New York Daily News , 12/6/13

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Sales Truths : There is no Romance in a Diamond.

Sales Truths : There is no Romance in a Diamond.


Published in the January 2014 issue.

WHY IT IS TRUE: Romance is not a measurable commodity. Romance is fundamentally in the mind and heart of the customer. What the diamond will do for them, how it will help them to achieve their specific goals and objectives, and how to make that occasion very very special.

PLAN OF ACTION: Forget about romancing the stone and examine ways you can find romance in the customer’s heart. How is he really planning to propose? How will he make this anniversary or birthday gift one she will remember for a lifetime? If he doesn’t have an idea, help him come up with one. Make sure your sales staff all have several great proposal, anniversary, birthday, as well as other celebrated holidays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day etc. stories they’re prepared to share. The chances of losing the sale through price negotiation will be significantly reduced. — DAVE RICHARDSON

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Creating from Scratch

Shane Decker: Creating from Scratch

Start putting something beautiful in their hands to generate unexpected sales.


Published in the January 2014 issue.

OK, Christmas is over. You don’t have 200 clients coming in today to throw money at you, which means it’s time to get back into good selling habits.

During the holidays, it’s easy to fall into bad habits because customers are going to buy regardless. It’s also easy to start taking certain clients for granted, like repair and battery clients — the ones you think aren’t going to spend much. You have to take professional advantage of every selling opportunity you have. And the truth is, people buy on impulse all the time — just like we all did during the holidays.

Salespeople often gravitate toward diamond clients because they’re thinking about making the big sale, but consider the difference in mindset between this client and a service client. When a diamond client comes in, he may have shopped three stores already and have all kinds of objections ready. On the other hand, the service client goes to one store: The one he trusts. This client should feel as special as somebody spending a million dollars and it should be an honor to wait on him. After all, there are a lot of other jewelry stores he could have chosen, but he chose yours.

Your New Year’s resolution should be that every client coming in for a battery or dropping off or picking up a repair should have a “wow” item in their hands before they leave. This should be one of your store’s absolutes. Use a lead-in line like “Guess what’s in the vault?” or “Gotta show you my favorite” or “Wait until you see what just came in.” In 1983, I made it my goal to show a 1-carat diamond to every battery client I waited on. I tracked this for one full year. Sixty-two clients waiting for a battery bought a diamond while they waited, all created from scratch. If you get it in their hand, the rest happens by itself.

Don’t overthink this and make something so easy be so hard. Keep doing this until you succeed. It’s a numbers game; sooner or later, you’ll win.

At the very minimum, your clients will leave your store saying, “Did you see that?” or “Man, you guys are awesome.” Don’t practice ho-hum salesmanship and just let a client stand there and do nothing while someone changes his battery. Instead, knock his socks off with a really cool piece of jewelry and let him go out and tell his friends about it. When referrals come in who have never been in before, they have high expectations. If you meet or exceed those expectations, the closing ratio is over 90 percent. Not only that, but you are planting seeds with each service client you wow. He’ll come in next year and say, “You know that diamond you showed me last year? Tomorrow’s my anniversary and I’d like to buy it.”

Always wow with a diamond because last year, approximately 63 percent of all jewelry sold by value in the United States was diamond jewelry. So, take a more professional advantage of every selling opportunity you have. I’ve never had a client walk out mad because I put something gorgeous in his hand. Wow everyone. You buy on impulse, and so do your clients.

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Woulda Coulda Shoulda: “Apparently you!"


Woulda Coulda Shoulda: “Apparently you!"


Published in the January 2014 issue.

... to that groom-to-be who asks, “What’s the cheapest thing in here?”

Woulda Coulda Shouldas are provided anonymously by INSTORE’s Brain Squad.

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Sanity Files: Heather Hanst

The Sanity Files: Heather Hanst

How top jewelers keep their cool in a crazy world

Published in the December 2013 issue

Hanst is a former professional figure skater and a lover of outdoor sports. She represents the work of more than 100 jewelry artists in her gallery, which was named 2013 America’s Coolest Store in the “Big Cool” division.

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Tech For Your Store: Instagram: Tell Stories With Pictures

Tech For Your Store: Instagram: Tell Stories With Pictures


Published in the December 2013 issue

In its early days — way back in 2011 — Instagram was described as “Polaroid on steroids.” It’s quickly become much more than that.

While the photo-sharing site’s original cohort of early adopters — teens looking to swap “selfies” — still accounts for a big slice of its user base, the service is being deployed as a communications channel by companies and organizations as large and staid as GE and the White House. And in early November, it carried its first ad — a sponsored image for a Michael Kors watch no less.

According to AdWeek, 15 percent of U.S. Internet users now have an Instagram account, sharing an average of 55 million photos per day. Among jewelers, the take-up rate is even higher, with 18 percent saying they have an Instagram profile, according to our Brain Squad surveys.

Still, if you’re among the solid majority who have yet to download the app on to your smartphone and are a little confused about what the big deal is, it probably helps to think of Instagram as Facebook stripped down to its photos with a distribution format that tips its hat to Twitter (yes, there are hashtags, shares and likes in the form of “hearts”). From a business standpoint, there are three things to know about Instagram:

1. It’s image-based, which means it’s great for telling stories visually and, as a result, for building emotional connections with your followers.

2. While you can view Instagram profiles on a desktop computer, hardly anyone does. It’s designed for cellphones— which combined with the fact that it’s essentially a stream of photos — means people interact with it at great speed.

3. While Instagram has yet to demonstrate a hard sales use, there are a multitude of ways you can deploy it to boost your business (although it works best when you adopt a fun, “non-business” mindset).

Here are examples of a few things you can do with it:

Engage with customers. Instagram’s focus is on sharing experiences and good times via images and video. This makes it especially suitable for jewelry, given that the industry is about beauty and fun, and because customer relationships are basically everything.

Expose people to your merchandise. Use Instagram to give customers sneak previews of new lines, to show the nicer pieces you are working on, and to highlight popular colors, designs and styles.

Get feedback. Followers can scroll through images and with just a touch “heart” the ones they like, providing almost instant feedback on what pieces are creating a connection with jewelry lovers.

Provide customers insider access by sharing pictures of trunk shows or buying trips to trade shows.

Host a contest that invites your customers to share their photos on a theme.

Use it as a research tool to follow jewelry designers and other retailers you admire.

Like Pinterest, Instagram is all about visuals that pop. Its filters can turn even the most mundane photo into something evocative, but it’s still smart to edit wisely and post with restraint, unless it’s for a campaign.

The final and possibly most important thing to know about Instagram — it’s a lot of fun. Open a profile today and experiment by sharing photos with your family and friends.


Two-click 3D Scanning

Jumpstart the modeling and prototyping process with the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner, which takes a real-life object, scans it using a camera and two “eyesafe” lasers, and creates a 3D digital file that can be uploaded to a 3D printer — without any need for design or 3D software experience. MSRP: $1,400 | Information:

Shine a Lightbox

The MODE360° Photo Box is a semi-automatic lightbox for taking professional pictures called packshots with a maximum product size 15 x 15 x 15cm. It is equipped with a built-in shadowless turntable that can be used to compose 360-degree animations. Lighting is provided by a high quality LED system with optimal color temperature of 6500K. MSRP: $4,495 | Information: or (800) 877-7777

Grind It Out

Turn even the smallest scrap into a usable resource with Dura-BULL Lighted Grinding Box with Locking Catch Tray. Sized to fit a polishing motor with a spindle height of 7 inches, the box encloses your spindle, wheel and workpiece to capture all the debris created by your tasks. MSRP: $565 Information: or (800) 545-6566

Sort with Ease

No longer do you need to hold a pair of tweezers in one hand and a gauge in the other. The Gemlogis SAFFRON sorting gauge provides a direct digital readout as you pick up loose stones with ease. Gemlogis says it is the most convenient way for sorting gemstones of various sizes. MSRP: $79.38 | Information: or (800) 877-7777

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Know It All: December 2013

Know It All
December 2013

Published in the December 2013 issue

Brace for a Late Holiday Rush This Year

1 Retailers should expect to see more shoppers making last-minute purchases this holiday season, with four of the 10 busiest shopping days of 2013 to occur between Dec. 20 and 24, according to analytics provider ShopperTrak. The projected late rush is being compounded by a shortened shopping season this year, as there are only four weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas. — INSTORE, 10/29/13

Rapaport Issues Alert on Melee

2The Rapaport Group has issued a trade alert amid persistent reports that large amounts of lab-grown diamonds are being mixed with natural diamonds in melee parcels. “Insist the phrase ‘natural, untreated diamonds’ be included on all invoices,” the firm said. — Rapaport Tradewire, 10/17/13

Jewelry firm Closings slide

3 After hitting more than 900 a year during the recession, the number of jewelry businesses that are shutting down or consolidating has plunged, with just 144 closing their doors in the third-quarter, according to JBT data. — National Jeweler, 10/25/13

Beware, Here comes Gen Y

4By 2017, the millennial generation will be outspending baby boomers, however most retailers aren’t prepared for this demographic changeover with many employing business strategies that do not apply to Gen Y customers, says a study by Berglass+Associates. — INSTORE, 10/24/13

Diamond Prices set to take off

5With global demand increasing at roughly twice the rate of supply, diamond prices are likely to surge from 2018, according to a study by Bain & Co. This is likely to prompt more retailers to seek to lock in supply by either buying mines outright (a la Harry Winston) or tie up with miners, as Tiffany’s has done. — Forbes, 28/10/13

Second Wives Get Bigger Rings: Survey

Second wives typically get engagement rings that cost more than twice as much as their predecessor’s ($3,294 vs. $1,395), according to a survey of British consumers by — JCK, 11/4/13

When It’s not Forever

Online retailer is offering rings, necklaces and earrings that celebrate the end of a relationship. Hearts pierced by a line of gems are a recurring motif. — PR Web, 10/30/13

Neiman Offers 3-D Printing

3-D printed jewelry has quietly penetrated the luxury market with a $295 heart pendant recently added to the Neiman Marcus online catalog. When a customer places an order, the item is printed and shipped by Shapeways, a marketplace for 3-D printed goods. —, 11/4/13

Personal Data for a price

9While consumers are increasingly unhappy about retail use of their personal data, a study suggests they’re OK with it if there’s something in it for them — a little cash or credit, for example, according to a report by IPG Mediabrands. —, 11/7/13

Doris Payne in trouble again

10 Eighty-three-year-old Doris Payne, whose rap sheet includes some $2 million of robberies over 50 years, has been arrested again on suspicion of stealing a $22,000 ring from El Paseo Jewelers in Palm Desert, CA. — NY Daily News, 10/30/13

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Service Shorts: December 2013

Service Shorts
December 2013

Published in the December 2013 issue

Kim International Introduces 2014 Catalog
Kim International has published a hardbound catalog that showcases its designer collections Romance 18K Diamond Bridal, LaVie 14K Diamond Bridal, Tesoro Diamond & Gemstone Fashion, Eleganza 18K Gold & Sterling Silver Fashion and Elan Contemporary Sterling Fashion. With retail priced at 2.5 times markup, it makes an ideal counter sales tool. Most items are in stock for same-day shipping.
Information: (800) 275-5555 or

Stuller Releases Two Catalogs
Stuller has launched two comprehensive catalogs: Mountings 2014-2015 is 992 pages of best-sellers, up-to-date styling and flexible designs, each shown at actual size. The 128-page companion to the mountings book, Diamonds and Gemstones, showcases an extensive stone inventory.

Overnight Covers All Bases
 Overnight Mountings has issued four catalogs covering bridal, silver, monogram and colored gemstones. The bridal catalog, with 100 new engagement rings, highlights popular styles. The monogram catalog includes rings and cufflinks, and the silver catalog features a silver and diamond collection. The Sophie Marie Collection of colored gemstones features rings, pendants, earrings and ensembles.
Information: (888) 731-1111 or

Consignment Program
 White Pine Jewelry Solutions, a division of White Pine Trading LLC, has launched a consignment program that aims to help independent retailers drive traffic to their stores and build market dominance with value-priced jewelry tailored to their needs. Categories include bridal, fashion, colored gemstones, basics and men’s jewelry.
Information: or

Gabriel & Co.’s New Showroom
  Gabriel & Co. recently unveiled its New York headquarters and showroom with an event attended by customers, press and industry insiders. The company turns 25 next year and is in the process of revamping its website to provide easier navigation.

B2B lending
Monterey Financial Services Inc. has initiated a business-to-business lending program for jewelry wholesalers and retailers, offering them the ability to acquire short-term loans from an established financial institution to help them grow their businesses.

mobile MaeVona
Because mobile users now make up 70 percent of  MaeVona’s website visitors, a reinvented mobile site presents the entire product catalog. It also includes a find-a-store function. A “Search by Story” function allows consumers to “Find Their Dream Ring” using the designer’s Celtic-inspired history. And they can view every style using 360-degree mobile animations.

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Sanity Files: Paolo Salamone

The Sanity Files: Paolo Salamone

How top jewelers keep their cool in a crazy world

Published in the November 2013 issue

Paolo Salamone, Paolo A Modern Jeweler Cincinnati, OH
Retailer and jewelry designer Paolo “The Jeweler” Salamone trained under Master Jeweler Ezio Oliverio. His business was recognized in Cincinnati Magazine’s “Best of City” awards.

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Know It All: November 2013

Know It All
November 2013

Published in the November 2013 issue


1 The board of the GIA has named Susan Jacques as the institute’s new president and CEO. Jacques, currently CEO of Borsheims Fine Jewelry in Omaha, NE, will take up her new post on Jan. 1.
SOURCE:, 10/7/13


2 One in four affluent Americans plans to buy jewelry as a gift these holidays, according to a survey by American Express Publishing and Harrison Group. Overall holiday spending of wealthy households is expected to increase by 8 percent on-year, the survey found.


3 Black Friday may not be on its deathbed, but it is in decline, with less than 25 percent of consumers now venturing out to shop on the day. Industry experts cited the growing holiday season and the availability of specials throughout December as reasons for its drop in popularity as a shopping date:
SOURCE: Time, 9/26/13


4Ending an 80-year tradition, De Beers was due to hold its last sight in London in October before moving the sales meetings to the Botswana capital of Gaborone.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, 10/4/13


5More than half of all Internetrelated shopping is now done on smartphones or tablet devices, compared with just 45 percent for desktop computers, according to a report by comScore.
SOURCE: IDEX Online News, 10/1/13


Anglo American has walked away from the huge Pebble gold mine in Alaska, losing an estimated $541 million, amid a rising environmental campaign against the project.
SOURCE: Businessweek, 9/23/13


The New York State attorneygeneral’s office, which has been on the warpath against fake raves on review sites such as Yelp!, has announced far-reaching consumer protections that may become a national model.
SOURCE: New York Times, 9/25/13


Pantone unveiled its spring 2014 Fashion Color Report at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, naming “Placid Blue” as the top hue of the season for both men and women.


9 The Pink Star, a 59.6-carat, internally flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond that Sotheby’s is touting as the “most valuable diamond ever offered at auction” will go on the block in mid-November.
SOURCE: Rapaport TradeWire, 25/9/13


10 Women crave luxury gifts because such items serve as a signal to other women that their male partner is devoted to them, contends a study in The Journal of Consumer Research. Because men often don’t understand the brand code, gift cards make good presents, the authors say.
SOURCE: JCK, 9/13/13

Hits: 386

Woulda Coulda Shoulda: “Then why are you wasting my time?”


Woulda Coulda Shoulda: “Then why are you wasting my time?”


Published in the November 2013 issue.

To the customer who says, “I know the markup in jewelry, and I can buy wholesale from a friend.”

Woulda Coulda Shouldas are provided anonymously by INSTORE’s Brain Squad.

Hits: 416

Sales Truths : Ownership is the Smorgasbord of Insecurity

Sales Truths : Ownership is the Smorgasbord of Insecurity


Published in the November 2013 issue.

WHY IT IS TRUE: If you are the owner of your business, you constantly worry about sales, worry about costs. You worry about your store, employees, vendors and customers. If you didn’t, you would be out of business or at best working for someone else. Owners worry... employees work.

PLAN OF ACTION: Sit down by yourself with a nice glass of Chardonnay and make a list of the worries, concerns or real challenges that keep you up at night. If the answer you come up with is “Gee, I don’t have any,” you’re probably not being totally honest with yourself. Take a sip of the wine, close your eyes, and dig deep, very deep. Make a list and check it twice. If Santa can do it, so can you. Develop two or three specific action steps you can take that are practical and economically feasible. Share your thoughts with your best employees, other retailers, jewelers in noncompetitive markets or anyone whose counsel and confidence you completely trust. The worries won’t totally go away overnight, but you sure can make some powerful strides forward. — DAVE RICHARDSON

Hits: 322

Shane Decker: Integrity Salesmanship

Shane Decker: Integrity Salesmanship

If the client doesn’t trust you, you’ll never get past the greeting


Published in the November 2013 issue.

As consumers, we’ve all had bad experiences with salespeople who would stop at nothing to sell their product. A salesperson can kill a brand, a dealership or a store by hiding the truth, “shading” the truth, and outright lying.

The American Dictionary definition of integrity is “Soundness of character, honesty, perfect condition.” The dictionary defines professionalism as “Conduct, character, or aims and/or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person.” As you can see, the two are close relatives. Is your character in perfect condition? What conduct or qualities mark you as a salesperson?

Before you sell your product or your store, you have to sell yourself. If the client doesn’t trust you, you’ll never get past the greeting. Your entire sales team is only as good as each individual’s integrity. So not only do you have to sell with passion, you have to sell with sincerity, humility, and a level of professionalism that is unmatched by anyone else.

If the client has been in another store first, your professionalism has to surpass the professionalism of the last presenter. If the client asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, tell them, “I don’t know, but I will find out and get you the correct information immediately.” Never make up an answer that’s not truthful. What if you have to remember it later, and what if they find out it wasn’t the truth?

I was in a store years ago when a sales rep from a diamond line walked in. I was with the owner, who told one of his salespeople to tell the rep he wasn’t in the store today. Not only did that owner lie in front of me, but he also told his employee to go lie on his behalf.

If you want a superlative sales team, you have to lead by the right example. Your word must be your bond. Always tell the truth. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you tell a client you’re going to follow up on something, do it. If you make a promise, keep it. Clients trust you with their secrets, their feelings, and their emotions. Those are fragile and precious things and must be protected responsibly.

Clients also trust us with the knowledge we give them. If a diamond is an SI1 or an I1, call it correctly. If it’s an F or a K, call it correctly. Make sure that what is perceived is the truth. Don’t make it look like it’s a better deal than it is. That actually shows a weakness in selling skills. And shading the truth is the same as lying.

Professionalism, honesty, conduct, and integrity — these are the most important sales tools you have, and you have to guard them with your life. These qualities build the client’s self-confidence in your ability. When you sell with character, your clients will always trust you, and you will always be their salesperson.

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Spiff of The Month: November 2013

Spiff of The Month: November 2013


Published in the November 2013 issue.


DANGLE INCENTIVE in front of your sales staff in the form of ornaments hanging from the store Christmas tree. Inside each ornament (best if they’re plastic balls that pull apart), place a slip of paper that identifies a prize.

THE SET UP At the start of December, come up with a list of sales goals or daily targets. For example, salespeople might be required to sell 10 percent over their daily sales goal to earn an ornament. Successful associates claim an ornament by tagging it with a small, initialed sticker.

To get staff excited, build a display featuring the prizes in the back room.

Come the end of the holiday madness on Christmas Eve, don a Santa hat, collect all the ornaments, open them up, and reveal who won what. Make it a party with music, drinks and snacks. Distribute the prizes.

SOURCE: Taken from Harry Friedman’s The Retailer’s Complete Book of Selling Games and Contests.
Information: or (310) 590- 1248

Hits: 466

5 Things We Never Knew About: Zaven Ghanimian

 5 Things We Never Knew About: 

Zaven Ghanimian

Published in the September-October 2013 issue

1I love to restore antique cars.

2I play the drums.

3I worked at the American Red Cross.

4I am a pilot.

5I have been to every state in the USA and have traveled extensively internationally.

Hits: 2060

My Favorite Things: Tara Silberberg

My Favorite Things: Tara Silberberg


Brooklyn retailer touts Alex Woo, Lisa Jenks, and her collection of opera CDs.


Published in the September/October 2013 issue

1ALEX WOO INITIAL PENDANTS The Little Letters pendants we’ve carried for about a year-and-a-half are so popular that they’ve kind of replaced the old-fashioned lockets. A lot of husbands buy them as gifts for their wives, choosing an initial charm for each of their kids. So a 14K gold ball necklace with two “letter charms” averages around $200.

2ALTERNATIVE BRIDALGiven our very urban clientele, half of the bridal rings we sell have raw diamonds or diamond slices from artists like Todd Reed, Anne Sportun, and Jennifer Dawes. I explain to customers that, because of the stones, no two rings are ever exactly alike, and they can buy something very special for as little as $500 — or up to $10,000 or more, of course.

3I, THE PHOTOGRAPHER I taught myself photography years ago, so I take all the pictures for our website and ads. It’s great because the jewelry never has to leave the store, I have complete control over styling, all the images on our site look uniform because the lighting is consistent, and I’m able to shoot a piece as soon as it comes in and then immediately activate the product online.

4OPERA CDS When I’m working on projects in my office, listening to a CD of opera music helps me focus. I like Tosca and La Traviata, but my favorite is The Marriage of Figaro — it kind of brings me back to a nice experience, when my boyfriend and I went to that opera for my birthday. I don’t understand Italian, but opera singing is so good and it makes me happy — I play it pretty loud, too!

5LISA JENKS SILVER This designer has an amazing following by women collectors. But 50 percent of what we sell is to men, who respond to the weight and graphicness and love to purchase it as gifts. Earrings between $300 and $500 sell best, then bracelets and necklaces. If someone is unfamiliar with the line, I tell them about Lisa and her career and point out how she handmakes and details every element of a piece.

6“HIPPIE” PARENTS’ PIX On the wall in our bridal area is a framed photo from 1969 of my parents in front of the original store. Looking at it helps me power through the tough moments of running a business because I’m reminded of how they struggled and created this shop out of nothing, yet now it’s a neighborhood institution! And, yes, in the window is a handmade sign my mother made. My parents are ex-hippies... total hippies!

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Floor Plan: Kevin’s Fine Jewelry

Floor Plan: 

Kevin’s Fine Jewelry, Totowa, NJ

Tuscany comes to New Jersey in a showroom featuring Venetian plaster, vaulted ceilings and a mural of the Ponte Vecchio.

Published in the September-October 2013 issue

When Kevin Seele began designing a showroom to replace his previous store of 28 years, he did it with exotic locations in mind. “When people walk in, they feel like they’re in Italy or Las Vegas, not Totowa, NJ,” says Seele. In addition to a Tuscan feel — including Venetian plaster, vaulted ceilings, and a mural of the Ponte Vecchio — Kevin’s Fine Jewelry features a spacious environment designed to get salespeople and customers on the same side of the showcases. “I was very interested in having an environment where we would be standing next to the customer. Not only is it more comfortable — more like having someone in your home — but it makes better use of the linear footage in the store. It makes the store feel bigger and gives you the ability to have wider aisles.” With the help of Ruth Mellergaard of GRID/3 and RAD Construction, Seele’s concept was transformed into a store that ultimately surpassed the limits of his own imagination.


FRONT LOUNGE:“It’s designed so that someone can sit down and read a magazine if they like. We have a big flat-screen TV there. It makes the store feel like home. And everything is movable, so when we have an event, we can set up tables for serving in that area.”

AQUARIUM:“We had a tropical fish tank in our previous location, and we have always gotten a lot of positive feedback from it. A couple of the fish are celebrities, like Schwartz, who’s been with us for 15 years. He reacts when people walk up. It gives people something to look at, especially kids. It’s a great distraction for them — they’ll stand in one spot rather than tearing around the store and interrupting mom and dad. The feng shui of having water in the store is positive as well.”

ROLLBACK WINDOW CASES:“According to our insurance regulations, if the glass in the showcases is within 18 inches of the glass of our front windows, you can’t leave product out overnight. So, we designed these four front window showcases on a little track. At night, we just slide them back so they’re farther than 18 inches away. They look beautiful, and we can leave them lit up at night to attract the interest of our fellow retailers’ customers as they leave the restaurant or bar. People come in and say, ‘My wife saw this in the window last night, and I’m here to buy it for her.’”

“When people walk in, they feel like they’re in Italy.”

MURAL: ““We had a short, wide space above the cash/wrap area. As we were building the store, it occurred to me it would be a great spot for a mural. A bridge came to mind because it’s long and skinny. The Ponte Vecchio came to mind because it’s Italian and most of the shops along the bridge are jewelry stores. I’ve had an Italian salesman come in from Florence and say, ‘See that storefront three from the end? That’s my grandfather’s jewelry store.’ We carry a brand of pens called Visconti that each have a piece of that bridge.”

BRAND ZONES: “We carry probably 15 brands in the store, and each showcase features its own brand. I love the photographs with the light shining on them, versus a lightbox — I feel like the photos look more modern. The larger showcases can hold a brand in the center and a brand on each end. The branding tends to be very effective because each company has its own image, and the photograph helps bring the whole spirit of the line through. And again you’re looking at the brand with the customer, from the same side of the showcase, rather than taking something out and handing it across the counter.”

ISLAND OF DIAMONDS: “I think it was Ruth Mellergaard who called it ‘The Island of Diamonds.’ It doesn’t necessarily lend itself to Tuscany or Italy or anything, but it’s the only place in the store where the salesperson is behind the counter and the customer is on the other side. We’ve used it in a couple of ads, but it does buck that Italian theme a little bit. But I’m weird and critical about things like that. It has hand-painted clouds above it, which is really cool, and they stay lit up at night.”

Hits: 585

Selling Design: Sally Furrer September/October 2013

Selling Designs
Sally Furrer


Published in the September/October 2013 issue

HERE IS THE SCENARIO I OFTEN SEE:We go to a trade show, see a line we love, pick an assortment, put it in our showcases and do some marketing. Sales associates are excited and show the line to everyone who walks in the store. Sales are brisk and the line is off to a good start. Fast forward to one year later: Sales have dropped off, sales associates are excited by other new products, and you start to think about discontinuing the line by putting it on sale. This is a costly cycle, and there are things we can do about it:

Be committed When you bring in a new line or brand, be prepared to be committed to it. When a piece sells, reorder it without fail. You will never know the full potential of a line unless you keep the assortment strong. Also, continue to support it with marketing — not just for the launch.

Be proactive Every six months, contact the vendor to review the assortment and determine if SKUs need to be discontinued (not eligible for reorder) or stock balanced back for fresh product. If you have been filling in every week and paying your bills on time, they should be receptive. It is extremely important that the line is infused with fresh, new product. At the same time, find out if there are new displays, marketing initiatives, or collateral.

Develop a clientcentric culture It really should be all about our clients! Our role is to find the perfect piece of jewelry for them — their taste, their lifestyle. Our preferences and tastes are of little consequence. This neutrality should extend to our products and lines. There is no reason why a line cannot continue to flourish (given that it has been re-merchandised) for many years.

Sally Furrer is a merchandising consultant with 20-plus years of jewelry industry experience. (

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Brand New World


Jewelry brands blaze fresh trails to earn conversations with consumers


Within each category of measurement (print advertising, editorial placements, website visitors, and Facebook), the total number of calculated impressions for each brand was divided by 100,000 in order to generate an index figure. The index figures were then added together to generate a total visibility score.

Print Advertising — Based on total advertising pages purchased in national consumer magazines between July 2012 and June 2013, as reported by Kantar Media on behalf of Magazine Publishers of America. The number of pages purchased by each brand was multiplied by the circulation of each magazine to generate a number of impressions created by each brand.

Editorial Placements — Based on editorial mentions in the following magazines from August 2012 through July 2013: Elle, Harper's Bazaar, InStyle, Town & Country, Vogue and W. The number of mentions was multiplied by the circulation of each magazine in which they appeared, then divided by two in order to account for size.

Website Visitors — Based on total unique visitors calculated over the 12-month period from June 2012 through May 2013 by In cases where a score of "0" is shown, did not receive a statistically relevant sample from which to calculate a measurable figure.

Facebook — As measured on Sept. 9, 2013, for each brand, the total "Likes" were multiplied by three and the total "Talking About" number was multiplied by 12, then those two figures were added together. (This formula was based on the conclusion that the average casual fan may encounter the brand 25 percent as often as the most engaged fans who "talk about" it.)

20 YEARS AGO, "contents" were something you read at the front of a textbook or on the side of a cereal carton. Today, "content delivery" is the buzz-phrase on every businessperson's lips as companies attempt to leap on the right vehicles for delivering their messages to consumers. Increasingly more targeted methods for reaching different groups of consumers continue to grow in popularity, resulting in a proliferation of such content delivery vehicles in both number and variety.

But many jewelry brands are ahead of the curve, joining pioneers in the realms of video, social media, digital content and e-commerce platforms to engage consumers more effectively than ever. And print has yet to go the way of the dodo. In fact, the overall circulation of consumer magazines was relatively unchanged from 2012, even as some customers have begun to switch to digital subscriptions; people still look to these magazines to find out what's new in the world of jewelry.

The most successful brands are finding ways to reach customers through a variety of media, and they're crafting campaigns that take advantage of each medium's specific advantages.

2. Pandora
visibility index: 1,869.93
advertising: 1,758.64
editorial: 19.70
website: 34.07
facebook: 57.53

While the mythical Pandora was responsible for letting loose evil on mankind, the Pandora jewelry company has been far more fortunate in what it unleashed on the world: The jewelry bead craze. While the company felt a brief lull in demand two years ago, it recently announced a 53 percent increase in revenues for the second quarter of 2013, its fourth straight quarter of growth.

Pandora's message is the same across all channels, says public relations/consumer affairs associate Margaret Nam: "With more than 600 charms to choose from, our mission is for consumers to capture all of life's unforgettable moments and treasure them forever." The brand targets women aged 25-55 with a message of "affordable luxury" and the ability to express individual style and tell stories through charms bracelets.

Most recently, the company has become very active in social media, with over 25,000 Twitter followers and nearly two million Facebook fans. "We receive numerous questions, product suggestions, and compliments every day. We try our best to respond to all of our consumers so they know that we appreciate their business and their love for our brand. In addition, we try to alert everyone of new deals, product launches, and styling tips."

1. Tiffany & Co.
visibility index: 2,264.05
advertising: 1,630.53
editorial: 413.70
website: 71.84
facebook: 147.98

3. Hearts On Fire
visibility index: 1,613.78
advertising: 1,583.96
editorial: 19.70
website: 1.89
facebook: 8.24

4. Tacori
visibility index: 1,413.51
advertising: 1,348.86
editorial: 39.40
website: 4.91
facebook: 20.34

5. Bulgari
visibility index: 1,255.63
advertising: 855.15
editorial: 339.83
website: 3.71
facebook: 56.9

6. Cartier
visibility index: 1,173.55
advertising: 713.88
editorial: 398.93
website: 10.85
facebook: 49.90

7. David Yurman
visibility index: 1,068.13
advertising: 800.64
editorial: 251.18
website: 9.52
facebook: 6.79

14. Jennifer Fisher
visibility index: 2,264.05
advertising: 1,630.53
editorial: 413.70
website: 71.84
facebook: 147.98

A former wardrobe stylist for some of the biggest names in Hollywood, Jennifer Fisher took an unlikely turn into jewelry design when she created a dog tag charm hand-stamped with the name of her first child, Shane, and hung it on a long, thick link chain. Today, her client list includes celebrity moms like Gwyneth Paltrow, Liv Tyler, and Sarah Jessica Parker, and her jewelry is featured on film and television. Most importantly, her jewelry resonates with women across the country, to the point that editorial coverage for her brand has overtaken even Tiffany.

8. Le Vian
visibility index: 958.87
advertising: 925.57
editorial: 29.55
website: 1.17
facebook: 2.58

9. Forevermark
visibility index: 882.94
advertising: 876.17
editorial: 4.93
website: 0.26
facebook: 1.58

10. Dior Fine Jewelry
visibility index: 588.09
advertising: 59.62
editorial: 128.05
website: 6.79
facebook: 393.62

11. Chanel Fine Jewelry
visibility index: 565.75
advertising: 63.20
editorial: 172.38
website: 33.78
facebook: 296.40

12. Simon G.
visibility index: 560.14
advertising: 519.94
editorial: 29.55
website: 1.54
facebook: 9.12

13. Van Cleef & Arpels
visibility index: 514.36
advertising: 197.50
editorial: 310.28
website: 0.68
facebook: 5.90

According to Fisher, her jewelry appeals to both consumers and editors because it is both made to order and affordable: "The pieces are on trend but not too trendy, and can be worn in multiple ways — day or night, high and low." The brand offers editorial a "classic with an edge" look, she says, which is also why celebrities respond so well. And the launch of the brass line has allowed the company to capture a much younger demographic.

In October, look for a rebranded website from Fisher. She also plans to unveil "new collaborations" in the near future.

Leave it to a photographer to know a thing or two about visibility.

After all, Monica Rich Kosann's first passion was photography, and she trained classically in Salzburg, New York, Rhode Island and Paris before embarking on a career that includes being published in two books and various magazines. Her jewelry line was originally conceived as a way to display photos, but the line has broadened to include many ways for women to tell their own personal stories.

31. Monica Rich

visibility index: 158.97
advertising: 94.35
editorial: 64.03
website: 0.08
facebook: 0.52

CEO Rod Kosann says that the brand's current goals include expanding its customer base to a younger demographic. "One of our key messages the past two years has been that lockets are not just for mom anymore; they are young, cool and sexy." Because the line offers collections in both silver and gold, it crosses age and style barriers.

In addition to a streamlined advertising message in print (which will see a new campaign in October), Monica Rich Kosann was one of the first to start an online magazine, called MRKSTYLE, to communicate the brand's style to consumers. The company's biggest recent news is a renovation and expansion of its shop at Bergdorf Goodman, "a truly complete presentation for the brand," which allows the company to test new ideas and strategies.

(Above) Nashville actress Hayden Panettiere flashes a Monica Rich Kosann necklace in Glamour magazine.

15. Harry Winston
visibility index: 467.50
advertising: 207.09
editorial: 251.18
website: 1.52
facebook: 7.71
16. Roberto Coin
visibility index: 409.38
advertising: 295.57
editorial: 113.28
website: 0.28
facebook: 0.26
17. De Beers
visibility index: 407.60
advertising: 311.16
editorial: 93.58
website: 1.53
facebook: 1.33

18. Ippolita
visibility index: 339.42
advertising: 169.17
editorial: 167.45
website: 1.40
facebook: 1.39

19. H. Stern
visibility index: 291.91
advertising: 84.51
editorial: 206.85
website: 0.11
facebook: 0.44
20. Swarovski
visibility index: 288.98
advertising: 165.87
editorial: 44.33
website: 25.20
facebook: 53.59
21. David Webb
visibility index: 280.82
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 280.73
website: 0.03
facebook: 0.06
22. Eddie Borgo
visibility index: 265.95
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 265.95
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.00
23. Palladium Alliance

visibility index: 250.47
advertising: 247.55
editorial: 0.00
website: 0.33
facebook: 2.60
24. Robert Lee
visibility index: 246.47
advertising: 98.55
editorial: 147.75
website: 0.06
facebook: 0.10
25. Fred Leighton
visibility index: 241.42
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 241.33
website: 0.04
facebook: 0.06
26. Verdura
visibility index: 232.08
advertising: 64.49
editorial: 167.45
website: 0.10
facebook: 0.04
27. Persona
visibility index: 207.96
advertising: 68.34
editorial: 0.00
website: 139.52
facebook: 0.10
28. Alexis Bittar
visibility index: 198.08
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 197.00
website: 0.69
facebook: 0.40
29. Chopard
visibility index: 169.66
advertising: 47.12
editorial: 103.43
website: 0.91
facebook: 18.20
30. Marco Bicego
visibility index: 164.44
advertising: 110.02
editorial: 54.18
website: 0.10
facebook: 0.15
32. Pomellato
visibility index: 158.32
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 157.60
website: 0.22
facebook: 0.49
33. R.J. Graziano
visibility index: 152.71
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 152.68
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.04
34. Irene Neuwirth
visibility index: 147.88
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 147.75
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.13
35. Alex Sepkus
visibility index: 140.81
advertising: 140.70
editorial: 0.00
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.11
36. Coomi
visibility index: 140.21
advertising: 105.70
editorial: 34.48
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.04

A Kara Ross necklace graces this model from Town & Country's
most recent issue.
37. Kara Ross
visibility index: 138.22
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 137.90
website: 0.16
facebook: 0.16

Every so often, a jewelry designer soars into public and industry consciousness like a flare in the night. In 2013, that brand is Kara Ross.

To be fair, the GIA-trained designer founded her line a decade ago and immediately earned industry street cred when she debuted it at Bergdorf Goodman. Her jewelry collection melds precious metals and gemstones with organic materials like ebony and maple, while her handbags feature exotic skins and gemstone clasps. Her client list is a who's who of Hollywood A-listers and even includes the White House.

The line's sudden fame has much to do with Ross's efforts at visibility, which include an editorial-quality ad campaign and revamped website, both of which launched in September. The company also created a 30-second video featuring the company's first full fine jewelry collection in five years, The Petra Collection, which ran on Taxi TV in New York City. Additionally, the first Kara Ross store will be unveiled in November.
Regarding the brand's editorial coverage, Ross says, "We constantly work with the media and see value in not only print editorial, but also in digital coverage. We love working with online media and bloggers. We also have a strong celebrity following, which drives additional exposure in the press."

One other initiative that could drive press exposure? A handbag created through 3-D printing, coming sometime in the near future.

top 10 unique website visitors

Tiffany & Co.



Barneys NY


Alex & Ani


David Yurman



top 10
(likes x 3 plus talking about x 12)



Tiffany & Co.






Roberto Cavalli


38. Monique Péan
visibility index: 137.95
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 137.90
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.05
39. Stephen Webster
visibility index: 129.53
advertising: 60.35
editorial: 68.95
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.23
40. Erickson Beamon
visibility index: 128.50
editorial: 128.05
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.45
41. Alex and Ani
visibility index: 128.32
advertising: 80.05
editorial: 19.70
website: 14.55
facebook: 14.02
43. Melinda Maria
visibility index: 119.62
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 118.20
website: 0.23
facebook: 1.18
44. Tom Binns Design
visibility index: 118.43
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 118.20
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.23
45. Verragio
visibility index: 115.68
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 0.00
website: 7.04
facebook: 108.63
46. Bellarri
visibility index: 114.36
advertising: 114.35
editorial: 0.00
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.01
47. Giles & Brother
visibility index: 113.55
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 113.28
website: 0.10
facebook: 0.18
48. Piaget
visibility index: 113.44
advertising: 35.39
editorial: 64.03
website: 0.74
facebook: 13.28
49. Solange

visibility index: 113.36
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 113.28
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.09
50. Effy
visibility index: 112.43
advertising: 106.01
editorial: 0.00
website: 2.56
facebook: 3.86
51. De Grisogono
visibility index: 111.18
advertising: 21.85
editorial: 88.65
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.67
52. Kenneth Jay Lane
visibility index: 108.55
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 108.35
website: 0.06
facebook: 0.14
53. Kameleon
visibility index: 107.16
advertising: 105.17
editorial: 0.00
website: 0.86
facebook: 1.12
55. Kimberly McDonald
visibility index: 103.27
advertising: 4.60
editorial: 98.50
website: 0.04
facebook: 0.13
56. Paul Morelli
visibility index: 101.27
advertising: 101.27
editorial: 0.00
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.01
57. Patricia von Musulin
visibility index: 98.50
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 98.50
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.00

42. Honora
visibility index: 126.89
advertising: 121.26
editorial: 4.93
website: 0.47
facebook: 0.24

In July, the freshwater pearl brand Honora, family owned and operated for over 60 years, was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway's Richline Group, which bills itself as "the USA's foremost fine jewelry manufacturer and marketer."

Richline president Dave Meleski said that a key goal of the acquisition is "the utilization of our financial support and collaboration to fully champion Honora, as a brand, for domestic and international growth."

While the results of the new ownership are yet to be seen, the brand continues to grow in visibility, earning the highest ranking for a pearl brand on our index.

Honora's messaging strategy, according to Richline Group social media/PR manager Michael Schechter, is to position pearls as affordable, trend-worthy fashion, and to "push the boundaries of how pearls were meant to be worn, when they should be worn and who wears them." Honora's most recent magazine campaign features a lifestyle shot with the phrase, "Pearls Just Want to Have Fun," a clever take-off on the Cyndi Lauper anthem to the bold, fun-loving female spirit. The brand's website engages consumers in a more in-depth education process and connects them with retailers in their markets.

What does the future hold for Honora? The telling of "a bigger, more ambitious story," Schechter says. "We want to make it even easier for every woman to find her luster."

58. Graff
visibility index: 94.18
advertising: 34.43
editorial: 59.10
website: 0.16
facebook: 0.48
59. Gillian Horsup
visibility index: 93.60
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 93.58
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.02
60. Elizabeth Locke
visibility index: 91.67
advertising: 42.42
editorial: 49.25
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.00

61. Neil Lane
visibility index: 89.36
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 88.65
website: 0.71
facebook: 0.00

63. Elsa Peretti
for Tiffany & Co.

visibility index: 88.71
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 88.65
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.06
64. Carelle
visibility index: 86.83
advertising: 56.91
editorial: 29.55
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.38
65. Shourouk
visibility index: 84.01
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 83.73
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.28
66. Lulu Frost
visibility index: 79.63
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 78.80
website: 0.10
facebook: 0.73
67. Jennifer Meyer
visibility index: 79.02
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 78.80
website: 0.03
facebook: 0.19
68. Cathy Waterman
visibility index: 78.87
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 78.80
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.07
69. Loren Stewart
visibility index: 78.82
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 78.80
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.02
70. Carrera
Y Carrera

visibility index: 78.39
advertising: 58.06
editorial: 19.70
website: 0.07
facebook: 0.56
71. Kwiat
visibility index: 76.30
advertising: 36.43
editorial: 39.40
website: 0.35
facebook: 0.12
72. Barneys NY
visibility index: 75.58
advertising: 25.20
editorial: 4.93
website: 27.80
facebook: 17.65
73. Frey Wille
visibility index: 74.21
advertising: 63.05
editorial: 9.85
website: 0.00
facebook: 1.31
74. Vita Fede
visibility index: 74.11
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 73.88
website: 0.04
facebook: 0.20
75. Camilla Dietz Bergeron
visibility index: 73.88
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 73.88
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.00
76. Munnu/
The Gem Palace

visibility index: 73.88
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 73.88
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.00
78. Amedeo
visibility index: 69.42
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 68.95
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.47
79. Vhernier
visibility index: 69.28
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 68.95
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.33
80. Ben-Amun
visibility index: 69.09
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 68.95
website: 0.08
facebook: 0.06

54. Vahan
visibility index: 103.99
advertising: 97.76
editorial: 4.93
website: 0.10
facebook: 1.21

While Vahan's jewelry style may be classic, the brand's marketing efforts are decidedly cutting-edge.

The company's website includes a redesigned celebrity gallery, new features for the latest collections, a multitude of retailer-dedicated resources, and "much more in the pipeline," says Greg Der Calousdian, vice president of design. "The changes being made to Vahan's Web platforms, including both the public features and those reserved for retailers, will allow us to spotlight products and collections through a multitude of channels as we never have before."

Vahan has expanded its social media efforts as well to push beyond Facebook, including forays into Pinterest, Twitter, and a soon-to-be-released blog. In addition, Vahan has launched its own social network dedicated to its retailers.

The brand's message remains the same as it's been in years past, showcasing the intricate design work in 14K gold, silver and diamonds that's made Vahan so successful, with a special focus on its popular bracelets.

62. JB Star
visibility index: 89.25
advertising: 89.23
editorial: 0.00
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.02

A heritage of exceptional quality and careful craftsmanship has made JB Star one of the most respected brands in the industry since its inception in 1979, with each piece handmade in the company's state-of-the-art New York City factory. The brand's motto — "A passion for precision, a labor of love" — is an apt one, as every creation uses only the finest materials and gemstones.

The JB Star campaign has appeared in high-end magazines since 1982. Last year, the advertising appeared in Harper's Bazaar and Departures, as well as luxury hotel publications like Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons. Online, the website is "extremely active," says vice-president David Abuloff. "It has an emphasis on our authorized retail jewelers and driving end consumers to their stores to see our collections. It's very comprehensive, featuring a professionally photographed product line that's deep in all categories."

81. Auden
visibility index: 68.96
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 68.95
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.01
82. Roberto Cavalli
visibility index: 68.37
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 29.55
website: 1.05
facebook: 37.77
83. Scott Kay
visibility index: 66.86
advertising: 55.09
editorial: 0.00
website: 0.47
facebook: 11.30
84. House of Harlow
visibility index: 66.46
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 64.03
website: 0.24
facebook: 2.20>
85. A Peace Treaty
visibility index: 64.15
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 64.03
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.13
86. Shaun Leane
visibility index: 64.15
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 64.03
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.12
88. Lorraine Schwartz
visibility index: 59.75
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 59.10
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.65
89. Anzie
visibility index: 59.66
advertising: 29.97
editorial: 29.55
website: 0.06
facebook: 0.08
90. Lele Sadoughi
visibility index: 59.14
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 59.10
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.04

77. Gemfields
visibility index: 103.99
advertising: 97.76
editorial: 4.93
website: 0.10
facebook: 1.21

You won't find many — or any — other colored gemstone mining companies on our Brand 100 ranking. And there's a reason for that, says Gemfields U.S. marketing and communications director Randi Molofsky. "We place a high value on being environmentally and socially responsible and totally transparent in everything we do. I'd like to think we are setting a new standard for how the industry should operate."

Social responsibility is incredibly important to a new generation of consumers, and Gemfields timed its first global advertising campaign to capitalize on this sentiment. The company teamed with 37 international jewelry designers to showcase its gemstones both in print and at industry shows, and hit a home run with brand ambassador Mila Kunis, one of Hollywood's foremost actors, who has appeared in Gemfields advertising and editorial placements. "We implemented a very targeted international strategy and we have been quite pleased with the response thus far," Molofsky says.

87. Paige Novick
visibility index: 64.05
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 64.03
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.02

Ageless, on-the-go, worldly, urbane. These are the words used by designer Paige Novick to describe her brand's customer, and they're equally fitting when characterizing the unique aesthetic of her jewelry collection. "From an editorial perspective, our pieces have adorned brands from Gucci to Helmut Lang in equal measure and panache," Novick says.

Novick is no stranger to fashion, having studied art history at The Sorbonne and worked directly with Karl Lagerfield; her experience also includes a stint at Cotton Incorporated, where she forecasted color and fabric trends. Her line's hallmark has been sliced stones, which have most recently been paired with 14K gold in various colors in Novick's new Phyne collection, which "speaks to a new fine jewelry audience that appreciates the brand's core aesthetic but would not necessarily wear costume jewelry."

Like its core message, the brand's marketing is on the leading edge, with consistent communication through Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook, as well as a soon-to-be-revamped website. Paige Novick has also joined the Web-based sales and marketing platform Joor.

91. Pebble London
visibility index: 59.11
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 59.10
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.01
92. Janis
by Janis Savitt
visibility index: 59.10
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 59.10
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.00
93. Loree Rodkin
visibility index: 59.05
advertising: 39.31
editorial: 19.70
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.04
94. Michael M
visibility index: 58.94
advertising: 44.58
editorial: 9.85
website: 0.46
facebook: 4.05
95. Faraone Mennella
visibility index: 58.93
advertising: 9.14
editorial: 49.25
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.53
96. Gilan
visibility index: 58.39
advertising: 33.60
editorial: 24.63
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.16
97. Sydney Evan
visibility index: 55.14
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 54.18
website: 0.14
facebook: 0.82
visibility index: 54.86
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 54.18
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.69
100. ILIAS Lalaounis
visibility index: 54.51
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 54.18
website: 0.00
facebook: 0.33

99. Melissa Joy Manning
visibility index: 54.65
advertising: 0.00
editorial: 54.18
website: 0.35
facebook: 0.12

When designer Melissa Joy Manning says that her company is committed to protecting Earth's environment, she means it. Not only is her jewelry made of 100 percent recycled precious metals, but also her studio, where every piece is handmade, is certified green.

"For us, leveraging our power as a company to create change in our community is central to our brand ethos," Manning says. "We strive to improve our sustainable practices and, through beautiful and responsible design, hope we can encourage our consumers to do the same."
The company has been able to garner press coverage through editorial relationships built at press previews, which Manning holds three to four times a year. And while the brand's website has featured e-commerce since 2005, it will re-launch with an entirely new platform and design in January. A new logo and marketing program will also launch that month.

Another new development, which will allow Manning to engage customers in a whole new way, is the opening of the company's second retail store. Located in New York's Soho district, it will feature a new wholesale showroom as well as design and development studios.

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Brand Ambassadors: Susan Robinson

Brand Ambassadors: Susan Robinson

Texas store owner talks about why Lika Behar’s collection is “a breath of fresh air.”


Published in the September/October 2013 issue

Susan Robinson Fine Jewelry, Tyler, TX


Susan Robinson has carried Lika Behar’s line since discovering it at the JCK show in 2011 — she bought it then for the same reason her own clients buy it: “I walked past the booth and was really captivated. Lika really had me at hello. There was no hard selling; her jewelry was a breath of fresh air, and the designs were broad enough to entice my customers.” Robinson bought the line immediately, and soon after, the Turkish-born Behar came to the store to educate staff and customers about the pieces; she’s been back several times since. “Customers love to be around her,” Robinson says. “I think Lika has a great future in our industry. Her spirit comes out in her jewelry, and customers want something unique and different.”

CUSTOMERS LOVE IT BECAUSE: “The line is very wearable, and they can dress it up or down. They love the richness and purity of 24K yellow gold. And it works with their personalities. It’s not terribly bohemian, but unique enough to stand out from other jewelry lines. Many of my customers are well traveled, and they like the creative style of the Turkish master jewelers.”

IT'S EASY TO SELL BECAUSE: “It catches their eye when they walk past the case. It’s also a highly collectible line, and the price points are great for the value they deliver. The pieces work well with each other. The bracelets stack well but also work with other aspects of your wardrobe. Once you become a Lika Behar customer, you’re a Lika Behar customer for life.”

THE MOST POPULAR PIECES ARE:“All her pieces are popular, but her color is fabulous. She uses turquoise and opals mixed with vibrant designs that have a slightly unfamiliar look. And she uses big stones, yet her line is not a ‘big’ look. Honestly, it’s rare for a customer not to buy more than one piece during a visit.”

I LIKE WORKING WITH THEM BECAUSE:“One of the most important things about any line is your relationship with the people. Lika’s people are energetic because she’s so energetic. They’re charming and engaging, and they fill our orders very quickly. And Lika is very humble and sincere and has a wonderful kindness about her.”

I’D RECOMMEND IT TO ANOTHER RETAILER BECAUSE: “It doesn’t sit in the case. You don’t have to stand over the counter — people stop and look and buy it. And when you see it on the customer, after they’ve put it on, they just have this silly smile on their face. Beyond that, the price points are great and Lika gets behind her product.”

“Susan and her staff are hands-down the most profess ional, knowledgeable, kind, and pass ionate jewelers I know. it is no wonder she is so success ful in launching new designers in her community.”- Lika Behar

{igallery id=6386|cid=1116|pid=6|type=category|children=0|showmenu=0|tags=|limit=0}

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Sanity Files: Amy & Alissa Noshie

The Sanity Files: Amy & Alissa Noshie

How top jewelers keep their cool in a crazy world

Published in the October 2013 issue

Amy & Alissa Noshie, Almaza Jewelers, Houston, TX
Sisters Amy and Alissa are studying to become graduate gemologists at the Gemological Institute of America. Amy studied consumer science and merchandising at the University of Houston, and Alissa studied business management and entrepreneurship at Louisiana State University. They enjoy marketing, changing showcase displays, designing jewelry, making jewelry and spending time with clients. “Working with our mom, dad, and José (who has been with the family for over 30 years) has been a true pleasure and rarity!” Amy says.

Hits: 429

Service Shorts: October 2013

Service Shorts
October 2013

Published in the October 2013 issue

Jewelpop Inc.’s Kameleon Jewelry is offering Poinsettia and Gift JewelPops to retailers who participate in the holiday trunk show program. Starting Nov. 1, Kameleon retailers can also participate in the “Make the Season Pop” gift set promotion. Promotional
MSRP: $89.
Information: (866) 431-4484 or

Allison Kaufman’s 2013 “Your Holiday, Your Way!” program is a customizable marketing option that includes multi-page catalogs, try-folds, gate-folds and three sizes of postcards. Retailers can choose from more than 60 concepts and five covers to create a custom look.

 Stuller and Gemvision have released CounterSketch Studio 4.0 — an update to the 3-D jewelry design software launched in 2009. Enhanced features include: Freehand Mode, which allows for options such as halos and patterns; fresh styles; photorealistic images; and more than 150 new gemstone choices.
Information: (800) 357-6272 or

 The Silver Promotion Service is a sponsor of the exhibition LOOT: Mad About Jewelry at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, Oct. 1-5. The annual event allows 50 jewelry artists from around the world to showcase and sell one-of-a-kind pieces to an audience of fans. Proceeds from LOOT will benefit the museum’s programs.

 Rhythm of Love is GemsOne’s version of a patented mounting that allows a diamond to vibrate inside a frame, creating a dancing-diamond effect. GemsOne has prepared a marketing plan for what George Prout, VP of sales and marketing, predicts will be the next big thing this holiday season.

 White Pine Jewelry Solutions, a unit of White Pine Trading, provides consulting and other services to retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers. Services include inventory evaluation and appraisals, guidance on running on-premises sales events and quick sale programs.

 Gelinabaci has added Palladium500 to the Amore Wedding Band Collection, having earlier introduced it to the Tension Collection. Palladium offers lightweight durability and low density.

 Jewelry’s Shining Stars by Beth Bernstein is a 128-page hardcover book, with an introduction by Stephen Webster. The book celebrates the artistry of 38 jewelry designers who are crossing the boundaries of art, function and wearability, and influencing the direction of contemporary jewelry design.
MSRP: $65.

Hits: 614

Service Shorts: November 2013

Service Shorts
November 2013

Published in the November 2013 issue

rembrandt’s Holiday Supplement
Rembrandt Charms has released a supplement catalog featuring more than 200 charm styles, including an engravable filigree disc, animal charms and travelthemed charms. Digital versions of the catalog and supplement are available, allowing for interactive browsing, a zoom feature and printable pages.
Information: (800) 828- 7840 or

Arch Crown Technology
Arch Crown’s 48-page Fall 2013 Tag & Label plus Bar Code Technology Catalog features more than 100 styles of pre-printed and custom tags and labels. . Packages include everything needed to print tags using your own computer.
Information: (800) 526-8353 or

Kameleon Jewelry’s Fall Harvest
 Kameleon Jewelry has released a fall-themed package to keep its customers on trend with Pantone colors for fall 2013. This package gives Kameleon retailers an easy way to order to ensure they have the color choices their customers want. Visit JewelPop Inc.’s Blog “Pop Culture” jewelpopinc.wordpress. com.
Information: (866) 431-4484

Gesswein Marks 100 Years
 Gesswein Co. marks its 100th anniversary with a full color, 624- page tools, equipment and supplies catalog including more than 10,000 items for jewelry and metal working. Catalog No. 100 is available for download as a PDF at
Information: (203) 366-5400 or

Popping the Question
 Propose, Celebrate, Delight: Romantic & Fun Ideas for Marriage Proposals, Birthdays & Anniversaries offers ideas for memorable marriage proposals (on YouTube, via a fortune-cookie, etc.), and includes tips for celebrating other occasions. Published by the Little Red Guide and Jeanne Johngren, past president of the Contemporary Jewelry Design Group. Available in 20, 50 and 100 packs at (800) 279- 1529 or as a paperback ($4.95) at

Rotational Videos
 Jeweler James Allen and WR Cobb, a manufacturer and seller of loose diamonds, are adding rotational videos to their online shopping packages, a technology increasingly expected by shoppers.

Stonesetting Guide
 Guide to Stonesetting is designed to help jewelers improve their stonesetting skills. Fundamental as well as advanced techniques for setting gemstones in gold and platinum jewelry are detailed. Short tips and full-length articles are featured. MSRP: $39.95.

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Shane Decker: Close Naturally

Shane Decker: Close Naturally

Know which of the 7 types of closing lines works for you


Published in the October 2013 issue.

I am often asked, “How can I know whether my selling profile is serpentine, missile, or sneak?” While all salespeople will use more than one of the seven types of closes, the type that’s most natural will help define your selling profile.

To recap, the missile is the most direct selling profile; his presentation is just about the jewelry. He doesn’t get off track or off subject. The serpentine, on the other hand, will talk about the jewelry, then her vacation, then jewelry, then fishing, then jewelry, then shoes and shopping, and so on. The serpentine is great at building relationships. Finally, the sneak is like a chameleon. She’s very good at matching client personalities. The sneak’s clients are glad they bought but are left trying to figure out how it happened!

Serpentines make up about 70 percent of the sales force, missiles are 20 percent, and sneaks are 10 percent.

You will sell most effectively when you sell profile-correct, and much of that has to do with the closes you use. There are seven types of closes: Direct, compliment, whisper, indirect, reassurance, question, and assumption.

EXAMPLES: “Just do it,” “Go for it,” “Now’s the time,” “Buy it,” “Sold,” “Give me your credit card,” “You know you want to do it.” Description: A missile can use a direct close all the way through the presentation, and it doesn’t seem pushy because it’s natural for them. Serpentines and sneaks might use this close at the end, but they need a lot of self-confidence so that it doesn’t come across as out of character. If they use it at the wrong time, it can come across as pushy.

EXAMPLES: “You’re going to love wearing that,” “That’s beautiful on you,” “You’re going to get compliments on this every day.” Descripti o n : This is a serpentine-dominant close. Clients love compliments when they’re genuine. Most male missiles do not use this close, although some female missiles do. Because I am a missile, if I worked in your store and you heard me say, “The blue in the sapphires will match the blue in her eyes, and she’s going to love wearing it,” you’d think I was ill. It doesn’t match my personality. But if it works for you, the more sincere compliments you give, the more comfortable the client will be in making the purchase.

EXAMPLES: “I can tell you’re ready to buy,” “How did you want to take care of this?” “We can do check, cash or card,” “How did you plan on giving this to her?” “She’s gonna love this.” Des cripti o n : Sneaks use the whisper close to make it more private. Their style is to draw the client in. Some missiles use it too, and I personally love it. Most serpentines don’t whisper because they’re so conversational. When you whisper, the client leans in.

EXAMPLES: “You know, it’s time to do what your heart’s telling you,” “Trust your instincts,” “Is this what you had in mind?” “By what you are telling me, I believe this is the one. What do you think?”

DESCRIPTION: This is serpentine or sneak dominant. These used to be called “trial closes.” You use the indirect close to see where your client is and if she’s ready for the close at the end of the sale.

EXAMPLES: “She’s gonna love wearing this,” “She’s not gonna believe you did it,” “She’ll never take this off,” “This will tell her you’d marry her all over again,” “Your only regret will be you didn’t do it sooner,” “Every woman dreams of wearing one of these,” “Every time she looks at this, she’ll think of you.”

DESCRIPTION: This is a close every profile and both genders can and should use for all clients. This should be used all the way through your presentation (except at the end) and is probably the most important close of all. There is no push or threat. Clients get their self-confidence from your ability to give them reassurance that it’s OK to spend the money. The ask-listen-paraphrase close is also a type of reassurance close. Everyone needs to become natural at using this close.

EXAMPLES: “While we’re wrapping this up, how did you want to take care of this?” “Do you want a four or six-prong head?” “When are you giving this to her?” “What size does she wear? I’ll have it for you today,” “Are you surprising her with this as soon as you leave?”

DESCRIPTION: The question close can be used by all profiles but is missile-dominant. This close is often used incorrectly and can become a sale killer if asked in “yes or no” fashion. Never say, “Can I wrap this up for you?” The client can say no. The words “can I, may I, would you, let me” should all be stricken from your vocabulary. Salesmanship is not about asking permission; it’s about telling and timing. If you ask and your timing is off, the client will not only think you’re pushy, they’ll think you’re not listening to them.

EXAMPLES:“She’s gonna love wearing that beautiful diamond,” “You are going to be very happy wearing that ring every day.”

This close is sneak-dominant. This close assumes that the client is buying. You do this through the use of pronouns that show ownership, such as “you” or “yours” and “his” or “hers” — or you can just use the client’s name. Because sneaks are very good at designing the presentation to fit the client’s personality, they make the customer feel they can afford the piece and buy it. Work out your profile and memorize some of the corresponding closes. The more you know, the higher your closing ratio will be, and the more your associates will turn to you to help them close sales.

Because I’m a missile, if you heard me say, “The blue in the sapphire will match her eyes,” you’d think I was ill.

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On Sales Strategies: Right Person, Right Seat

On Sales Strategies: Right Person, Right Seat

Get your staff on board with your vision through planning


Published in the October 2013 issue.

Remember the last time you got on an airplane? Before they push back from the gate, a flight attendant gets on the PA system and reminds you where the plane is going and if your travel plans didn’t include that destination then you better get off the plane.

In today’s economy of peaks and valleys where the only certainty is uncertainty, we as business owners better make sure the right people are in the right seat and everyone is going to the same destination.

In 2007 I looked at my business and began to analyze every position and then every person on my team. I made an organizational chart, then job descriptions, and then expectations for every person and position on my staff.

Once that detail was done, it was on to rolling it out to the team. I can’t stress enough about communication: keeping the vision and mission in front of them, showing them the expectations of the position even if they have been there 30 years.

Once the team knows the new expectations, it is time to inspect on a weekly or monthly basis how they are measuring up To do that, we use a Management By Objective (MBO) plan individualized for every position on the team. An MBO plan uses a point system attached to each expectation. Each team member first grades himself, then the manager grades him, and they both sit down to compare notes in order to help that teammate grow in his place on the team. He should be meeting your expectations and helping you achieve your vision. If he’s not, then perhaps it’s time to move the employee to another “seat.”

An MBO plan makes it easy to see after a period of time when you have a team member in the wrong seat in your organization. You may have known it all along but never knew how to remove a family member or a person your father hired 30 years ago. I know: I have been there with family and employees who were hired before me. Since 2007 I have turned over my entire team, and we have 14 new employees, all sitting in the right seat, all moving in the same direction.

Dealing with your team should be like dealing with aged inventory. You have a choice: Do nothing and hope an item sells, or be proactive in moving it out the door because you have an aged inventory plan. Your team is no different: You can do nothing and hope they change their ways, or you can be proactive in getting everyone on the same vehicle, in the right seat and heading the same direction because you have a plan.

You may have known it all along but never knew how to remove a family member or a person your father hired.

On the facing page is an example of a section in the sales manager’s MBO plan dealing with leadership meetings. Each section of an MBO plan should hold the employee accountable to a specific task, and a plan is tailored to every position in the organization. After a period of time, if the employee continues to fail, move them out of the position. If the employee exceeds your expectations, you can tie bonus dollars to this plan, which we do.

SECTION 4:Conduct Weekly Leadership/Touch Base Meetings with each member of the Sales Team

SECTION 4 OBJECTIVE: Develop the Sales Staff & Support Them Communication with the sales team is perhaps one of the most important roles of the Sales Manager position. The expectation is that the manager will have a scheduled weekly meeting with each member of the Sales Team in which they discuss the key accountabilities and performance measurements including sales and selling opportunities in a manner that reinforces the high pay-off activities of the CRM Culture and eliminates low-pay-off activities. A record of each meeting is to be maintained with the date and time of the meeting along with the action items. Excused meetings are only when a Team Member is out an entire week on vacation or ill. Store Manager to keep a log of meetings held in addition to formal notes from each session that are copied to ownership and turned over to Tom the first Monday of the following month.

25 Points Awarded if 100% of Meetings Held (less excused meetings)
15 Points Awarded if 90-99% of Meetings Held
10 Points Awarded if 80-89% of Meetings Held
5 Points Awarded if 70-79% of Meetings Held

Sherry 13          
Diana 13          
Linda 13          
Brenda 13          
Total Mtgs. 13          

Tom Duma is the president of Thom Duma Fine Jewelry in Warren, OH, and a retail consultant in the areas of management, inventory and marketing. Contact him at (330) 393-4696, ext. 107.

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Sales Truths : Life is 80% Perception and 20% Reality

Sales Truths : Life is 80% Perception and 20% Reality


Published in the October 2013 issue.

WHY IT IS TRUE: The reality: A couple married for 40 years comes into the store and announces that they would like to trade in their wedding set on something much “nicer.” After 20 productive minutes they make a selection, make the trade and prepare to walk out of the store. With a smile on your face, you wish them the very best. Hmmm.

PLAN OF ACTION: The reality: The woman just traded in one of the most prized possessions in her life, her wedding set. Yes, they are happy, but could you make them even happier? Consider suggesting that you could create a pendant from the wedding set that would make a beautiful heirloom for one of their children or grandchildren. It would be an heirloom they would treasure forever. Got multiple children or grandchildren? Could be a great opportunity to create multiple heirlooms they would treasure forever. Never — DAVE RICHARDSON

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Know It All: October 2013

Know It All
October 2013

Published in the October 2013 issue


1 Samsung Electronics beat fierce rival Apple to unveil the first mass market digital watch. But the reception to the $299 device was subdued, raising questions as to whether this category will take off with consumers.
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, 9/4/13


2 GE, one of the leaders in providing in-store financing at jewelers, reportedly wants to exit the creditcard business. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are said to be “sniffing around” the possible acquisition.
SOURCE:, 9/3/13


3 Gay marriage is a potential goldmine for jewelers, but one designer warns against stocking up on rainbows and other symbols of the gay rights movement. Instead, Rony Tennenbaum urged jewelers to make a point of warmly welcoming same-sex customers who might be feeling a “bit of discomfort.”


4Zales took a big step in its turnaround, reporting its first annual profit since 2008. CEO Theo Killon said the key to the rebound was product: “I firmly believe that when the product is wrong, nothing else matters.”
SOURCE: Dallas Morning News , 8/28/13


5 One of jewelry e-commerce’s early stars,, is up for sale. Recent years have been tough on Ice. com, with sales falling from a 2007 high of $83 million to $45 million in 2012.
SOURCE: Internet Retailer, 8/21/13


Rocksbox, a jewelry subscription service allowing members to borrow $300 worth of new jewelry a month for a $15 fee, is getting good reviews.
SOURCE: New York Magazine, August 2013


Blue Nile’s customers are “regularly” buying $100,000 diamonds through their smartphones, the company’s CEO Harvey Kanter said. “The older folks may still look at the PC as the No. 1 place to go, but younger folks today go to a mobile device first,” Kanter explained.
SOURCE: Motley Fool, 8/16/13


A 118-carat gemstone described by Sotheby’s as the “greatest white diamond ever” will go on auction in Hong Kong on Oct. 7. The diamond, an oval D-flawless, is expected to sell for $28-$35 million. The winning bidder will get naming rights to the stone, which was unearthed in 2011.
SOURCE: AP, 9/3/13


9 Amazon and Overstock plan to take their fight over New York state’s online sales tax all the way to the Supreme Court on the grounds it “violates the Constitution.”
SOURCE: JCK, 9/3/13


10 Take those mail security tips seriously. A Rochester, NY, man has admitted stealing $128,000 in diamonds, gold, jewelry and other items early this year while working as a U.S. Postal Service mail handler.
SOURCE: AP, 8/28/13

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Fan Club: Lene Vibe

Fan Club: Lene Vibe

Megan Thorne praises the witty, enchanting designs of Lene Vibe.



Published in the September-October 2013 issue

Danish designer and goldsmith Lene Vibe’s collection, called Vibe’s, offers an edgy take on the childhood memories of fairies, exotic flowers and the creatures one might find in the most enchanting of tales. She translates this with elegance and wit into wearable one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry in which the golden, magical motifs are surrounded by sumptuous handpicked South Sea, keshi and freshwater pearls, as well as antique and rough-cut natural colored diamonds. Vibe started as an apprentice at Georg Jensen in 1995, and in 2002, she opened her own store and wholesaling business in Copenhagen. Her work is sold throughout the U.S. by fine retailers, and she has recently expanded the collection to include colored gemstones.


“FROM THE MINUTE I SAW one of Lene’s pieces, I was awestruck. It was a pearl ring with the most delicate three-dimensional floral motif, and as I looked at it from different angles, I kept discovering new things: A snail climbing up the side, a diamond bezel underneath with a mix of white and yellow gold in the tiniest of flowers. The combination of the metalsmithing and detail and the wearability of it was something that only a true artist could accomplish.”

“Lene’s talent and rare ability come through in each and every piece she designs.” “I particularly love the way she offers an irreverent and witty take on feminine pieces. Her pieces are pretty but are the opposite of girly or sweet. Their beauty lies in the unexpected, like mixing skulls and guns with intricate flowers, snails, leaves and thorns. It is this juxtaposition that gives her pieces their distinctive character.”

“I didn’t meet Lene until about a year after I began seeing her pieces. After meeting her and getting to know how lovely, straightforward and charming a person she is, her jewelry became even more special, if that could be possible.”

“Working with different types of pearls and imbuing them with something that felt so new, original and modern is yet another part of Lene’s sensibilities that sets her apart and has created a unique identity for her as a designer.” “I also admire the way she can take both classic materials, such as pearls, and materials that are more on-trend, such as rough and rose cut diamonds, and never waver from her vision or perspective. Yet, with that said, when a customer puts on one of her pieces, it becomes about them and their style. As clear as her vision is, there is a subtlety that allows the wearer to tell their own story.”

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ABOUT MEGAN THORNE: Megan Thorne’s jewelry has become synonymous with feminine designs that recall the delicacy and graceful fluidity of her first career as a fashion designer. After discovering and mastering the art of metalsmithing, Thorne launched her jewelry collection in 2007. Her intimate knowledge of working hands-on with each piece — from the model through fabrication and finishing and setting each style — has created a loyal following among retailers and consumers alike. Thorne’s bridal line has emerged as the go-to collection for today’s women who desire engagement and wedding rings that exude the character, presence and fine details of heirloom pieces, while also allowing the wearer’s personality to shine through.

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Tech For Your Store: Paying Off the Gatekeeper

Tech For Your Store: Paying Off the Gatekeeper


Published in the September 2012 issue

In contrast to the hype that usually accompanies a new Facebook product, promoted posts have attracted relatively little attention. But marketers who work with small jewelers believe they are in the early stages of becoming a valuable tool for mom-and-pop store owners.

“For the price of your lunch, you can be sure to extend your Facebook reach. It’s definitely cost-effective when compared to, say, direct mail,” says Howard Cohen, who through his blog-writing service, The Jeweler Blog, helps dozens of jewelers with their Facebook campaigns.

The service is simple to use: When you’re ready to post an announcement of a new product or event, simply hit the “Boost” button and choose your desired “reach.” This extends your viewership to all your “likes” as well as their friends. The numbers can be staggering based on the number of “likes” that your Facebook page has attracted. A jeweler with 1,500 “likes,” for example, may have a reach of 25,000 Facebook accounts, while a jeweler with 8,000 “likes” could reach more than 125,000. A new demographic filter allows the user to target recipients by location, age, gender and language. Through Facebook’s Admin Panel, it is also possible to see how many people saw your post.

Part of what makes promoted posts so powerful is also what rankles with a lot business owners. Facebook’s proprietary algorithm, known as EdgeRank, determines how or if a regular post on your business page appears in your followers’ timelines. And EdgeRank is a very discerning gatekeeper. For example, if you have 1,000 Facebook likes on your page and you post an announcement about an upcoming store event, you’ll be lucky if 15 percent of them see it.

Promoted posts change that, at a price, of course. Still, starting at $5 a shot, it’s not going to cost you much to experiment.

Cohen suggests starting with one to two promoted posts a week. Facebook recently lowered the threshold for how many “likes” you need before you can start using promoted posts to only 50, meaning just about anyone can now use them.


The EyeSpy Security system utilizes advanced GPS tracking technology and innovative “bait” packaging to track and recover stolen goods within minutes of it being taken. “Our technology is completely enclosed within a jewelry display so that it blends in seamlessly with your existing inventory,” says company founder Jerome Reilander, a jeweler who was inspired to develop the system after being held up for the fourth time.

MSRP: Bait tracking devices are $395 each, charge pad is $95-$145 while the VantagePoint Tracking Portal subscription starts at $24.95 per month


New SuperStretch silicone jewelry molding rubber from Castaldo offers amazing tear strength — the rubber stretches 900 percent — allowing jewelers to mold difficult designs easily. SuperStretch is easy to pack, easy to cut and requires no silicone mold release sprays.

MSRP: $40.05-$44.50 at

Information: www.

The B9Creator 3D printer enables jewelry designers and retailers to build high-quality, easily castable models up to five times faster than comparable technologies, its makers say, with only a modest investment.

MSRP: Under $5,000 for a fully assembled model or $3,000 for a kit.


The Cognitive TPG A798 POS receipt printer delivers unrivalled reliability, with easy loading and set up, fast print speeds, and dual motors. It boasts the highest knife life in its segment at 3 million cuts, 72 million printlines, and a 242km printhead life. It also comes with a threeyear warranty.

MSRP: $265

Information: or

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True Tales: September 2013

True Tales: September 2013


Published in the September 2013 issue.


A woman recently called and asked if we sized rings and the conversation went something like this:

CUSTOMER: “Do you guys size rings?”

ME: “Yes, we sure do.”

CUSTOMER: “How long does it usually take?”

ME: “Our normal turnaround time is 10 days, but we can put a rush on it if need be.”

CUSTOMER: “How much does it cost?”

ME: “Ring sizing starts at $25 and goes up from there.”

CUSTOMER: “Do I need to bring the ring in to have is sized?”

ME: “Excuse me?”

CUSTOMER: “Do I need to bring the ring in to have it sized?”

ME: “Yes ma’am, we size all rings here in the store.”

CUSTOMER: “OK, well, I’m gonna check with another jeweler.” And she hung up the phone.

Travis Piper, Piper Diamond Co., Vincennes, IN


My father once had a young man come in the store with a 14K yellow gold rope chain. We had sold him the chain and it was tarnishing.

WALT FREEMAN: “You may have a high concentration of acid in your system, and that may have turned the chain dark.”

CUSTOMER: “Hey man, I haven’t done acid in years!”
Susie Freeman, Freeman Jewelers, Fort Wayne, IN


CUSTOMER: “I know you don’t have this, I’ve been looking for it for years. I want a 14K Coke bottle charm.”

ME: “I have exactly what you’ve’ been looking for.”

CUSTOMER: “WOW! I can’t believe it. After all these years you actually have one!” I reached into the showcase and pulled out a 14K yellow gold Coke bottle charm.

CUSTOMER: “Oh, I wanted an 8-ounce bottle; this one is a 16-ounce style.”
Don Delano, JL Jewelers, Tampa, FL

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Sanity Files: Stephenie Bjorkman

The Sanity Files: Stephenie Bjorkman

How top jewelers keep their cool in a crazy world

Published in the September 2013 issue

Stephenie Bjorkman, Sami Fine Jewelry, Fountain Hills, AZ
Stephenie, the “Queen of Marketing,” knows plenty about hard work and isn’t afraid to go after what she wants. Secondgeneration jeweler/owner of Sami Fine Jewelry, she brings determination, true grit and creativity to everything she does. Known for her crazy events and unique marketing style, Stephenie keeps Sami Fine Jewelry’s customers coming back for more.

Hits: 725

Service Shorts: September 2013


Service Shorts
September 2013

Published in the September 2013 issue

Overnight Mountings has launched a new website. Designed to be user-friendly and retailer-driven, the website features rapid and secure online ordering, access to inventory positions and account information, up-tothe- minute pricing, image downloads, frequent style updates, and Overnight’s search by stone feature. Users can view all in-stock variations — including diamond qualities, finger size, and metals to help close sales. The website is triple key priced for your customers’ viewing, or so store owners can log in with a password to access their true retailer costs. or (212) 807-2120

Rio Grande’s Saul Bell Design Award Competition has added an alternative metals/materials category to the 2014 competition in recognition of the work jewelers are doing with non-precious metals and materials. Designers in this category may use any non-traditional metal or material not covered in another category, including base metals, resin, glass, wood, found objects and textiles. Initial design concepts are due Sept. 27. Finalists will then be notified and must submit completed pieces by Jan. 31, 2014.

 Loose diamond wholesaler M. Geller has entered into an agreement as authorized distributor for Gemesis, which distributes gem-quality colorless and fancy color lab-created diamonds. “There’s a lot of interest building out there about lab-created diamonds,” says Michael Chernick, Gemesis director of operations. “Jewelers can now offer customers more options to consider when shopping for a real diamond, especially when the customer’s budget is a factor. We think M. Geller is the ideal fit for us in our efforts to build awareness and opportunities for the sale of lab-created diamonds.”

 Entries are now being accepted for the Sixth Annual Centurion Emerging Design Competition. Two winners will receive a showcase and exhibit space at the Centurion Scottsdale show in Arizona, Feb. 1-5, 2014. The competition, sponsored by Stuller, is open to any jewelry designer who has never before exhibited in a U.S. fine jewelry trade show. Entrants must submit designs that are suitable for a luxury jewelry store and be capable of both exhibiting at a trade show and fulfilling wholesale orders. Entry deadline is Sept. 30.
Information: 2014_Emerging_Designers_ Form.pdf

 Rand & Paseka has introduced Volume 3 of its catalog. This 300-page book contains a comprehensive collection of religious jewelry completely made in the United States, and die-stuck for quality.

Hits: 485

Line Time: “I don’t know, but I can find out.”

“I don’t know, but I can find out.”

WHY SAY IT? It’s OK not to know everything. But it’s also OK to tell someone that their question is important enough that you will go out of your way to find the answer for them.— SOURCE: Scott Ginsberg, The Nametag Guy

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On Sales Strategies: Managing Expectations Key to Managing Staff

On Sales Strategies: Managing Expectations Key to Managing Staff

Remember: Employees have a different idea of what ‘work’ means


Published in the September 2013 issue

The longer I live the more I become a believer in what I refer to as “expectation management.” Expectation management is the science and art of controlling what someone might expect from any situation. It might be a store where we expect shelves that are filled with merchandise and employees who are attentive to our every need. We learn how to wow our customers by exceeding their expectations. The difficulty occurs when we try to determine what exactly the customer expects. If we think something is a wow but they just saw it in two different stores, it is no longer a wow to that customer.

The same rules apply to employer/employee relationships. Employees need clearly defined tasks, goals, and even ways that they can wow their bosses. Can an employer be too good? Yes, they can be good to a fault. How does that occur? It is when the manager overdoes praise for every little thing and gives the employee a false sense of job security or an attitude that “I don’t have to kill myself — they already love me here.” Then when the performance drops, the constant flow of praise ends and creates negative feelings and friction among the entire staff.

There is another area that creates friction between the manager and employee. That is when you deal with contrasting belief structures. The most common contrasting belief structure is when a store owner has a natural attitude toward entrepreneurship, and the employee lacks any type of entrepreneurial thinking. The entrepreneur says, “Let’s make it happen and if we have to put in some extra time, let’s do it.” However, if he is working with an employee who is rigid in his thinking and believes he must start work at a certain time and end work at a certain time, take his breaks without any regard to what is happening in the store, this situation can create tension and friction for all.

The problem is both sides believe they are right. The employee believes he is doing the right thing because he doesn’t think like an entrepreneur. The employer is frustrated because his beliefs and goals are to make it work regardless of what it takes.

What’s the solution? How do we get the most out of all of our employees? First, create clearly defined and attainable goals. Spell out the tasks that have to be done. Reach an agreement on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis of things that must be done, should be done and could be done. This way you will get the employee involved in the decision-making process. It sounds sensible and fair, right? But it doesn’t always work out because you are trying to change the belief structure and make your employee more entrepreneurial.

Instead, what you may have to do is create a simple task list that you will then need to follow up on and check off. For years I believed this was an archaic way of thinking and even degrading to the worker. That was because I think like an entrepreneur.

So if you want to be a great boss, recognize the workers who can handle self-direction and those who require a structured environment. Instead of training our employees, maybe it is time we re-train ourselves to get the most out of every employee we have.

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On Jewelry Services: Repairs to Rave About

On Jewelry Services: Repairs to Rave About

Here’s one service your competitors likely don’t offer


Published in the September 2013 issue

Many stores spend years building their business relationships to be able to provide every service their customers could request. If your location does not have a bench jeweler, you surely work with (or recommend) a local jeweler for basic repairs. If you have a jeweler, your store may not be able to do custom design or casting on site. Whatever the case, you find alternatives to make your business valuable to your customers so they will return time and time again.

So, how do you service customers with gemstone needs?

One example almost all of us have encountered is the customer with a vintage ring that they want to restore. The ring is in good condition except that the prongs should be re-tipped and the colored stone in the center is heavily abraded. What service do you offer to perform in this scenario? Many locations can only provide re-tipping, and once completed, the customer is happy to be able to wear the piece without the worry of losing her heirloom gem.

What if you could be the exception? What if you could offer to fully restore the ring to its original glory? Your customer would go from being simply happy to being overjoyed. You could be the hero by not only giving your customer confidence in wearing the ring again, but restoring the brilliance and polish to the center stone. She will rave to all of her friends, and you will have a client for life.

The best part is that you do not need to ship her heirloom overseas to have gemstone services performed. There are lapidary artists all around the United States. It takes some research and time to find a specialist near you, but it is time well spent and is a relationship worth building. If you cannot find someone through an Internet search, call jewelers you trust and ask about their connections.

The benefit to working locally (or domestically, at least), is the underlying fear over whether you will receive the same stone in return is greatly diminished. Our industry is tightly knit, and reputations are built on credibility and integrity. Sending stones out of the U.S. means the accountability goes only as far as the package you ship, and often those on the receiving end know they will never meet you face-to-face.

Taking a creative approach to your business will keep your doors open for years to come. Seek out new repair services to offer your clients that your rivals may not be able to compete with. Stay a step ahead. Let your customers know that if you cannot provide a certain service, you are keeping it within your community or within the U.S. Additionally, by returning pieces that exceed expectations, your referrals will grow by leaps and bounds.

Jennifer Farnes is the owner and master faceter at Revolution Jewelry Works in Colorado Springs, CO.

Hits: 545

Shane Decker: The Coconut

Shane Decker: The Coconut

What to do when a sale falls into your lap


Published in the September 2013 issue.

There are three types of sales: The one that knows what they want when they come in, the created sale that you make from scratch, and the coconut.

This last one happens when you’re standing in exactly the right spot, and the client walks up and says, “How much is that diamond ring?” You say “It’s $4,995.” The client says, “I’ll take it.”

Obviously that’s great, but don’t be so surprised that your jaw drops off the counter or say, “You’re kidding, right?” These sales usually happen in around 30 to 90 seconds, and obviously you weren’t prepared.

First of all, when a sale happens that easily, make sure some other sales associate hasn’t already waited on them and spent hours doing an awesome presentation. Sometimes, the client goes home and thinks about it then comes in the next day to make a purchase. So say something like, “You sure knew what you wanted” or “Did someone else show you this before?” and get that sales associate for them. Be a team player, not someone that your fellow salespeople can’t trust.

If they say no, here’s where this sale gets very interesting.

The reason I call this sale a “coconut” is because it fell out of a tree into your lap. These are very unpredictable — you may get three or four a year, and they’re extremely fun. They happen at all price ranges. This happens because the client has always wanted the item and they decided today was the day, or it’s because it’s the ultimate last-minute purchase surprise for someone else, and they’ve gotta have it right now. They’re in a spending mood. They’re having fun and spending money, and this usually is the easiest of all tickets to add on to.

Don’t say, “Was there anything else?” or “Do you want to see any other items?” or “Is there anything else on your list?” They can say no to all of these. And don’t be so surprised by how easy the first sale was and so caught off guard that you can’t sell anything else.

What you say is, “Who is this for? She would love to have the matching (blank) that goes with this,” or “Gotta show you my favorite,” or “Wait until you see what matches,” or “Remind me to show you what else goes with this before you leave” (this works well especially with men).

Remember: They quit buying when you quit selling. You’ve got to keep the sale going.

These sales are fun, but usually the client is in a hurry, so have a team member wrapping while you’re still selling. They love to see that you’re trying to get them out quickly while still being very professional. And remember to give them an experience they cannot get anywhere else but in your store.

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Sales Truths : To get milk from a cow, you don’t send her an email.

Sales Truths : To get milk from a cow, you don’t send her an email.


Published in the September 2013 issue.

WHY IT IS TRUE: Because it is very quick and easy, and most of all non-threatening, we are quick to send a reminder email to a customer regarding an upcoming anniversary, birthday, or another important date in his life. And then we wonder why he never comes into the store.

PLAN OF ACTION: Considering the fact that the majority of your customers probably receive well over 100 emails every day, the probability that he will carve out time to read yours could be pretty slim. You have two options: Pick up the telephone and give him a call, or send him a very nice, personalized card. If he is considered to be a “great” customer, then a telephone call might be the best. For hard-to-reach customers, send him a card personalized with photos and text that will capture his imagination. Photos of your store and staff, of you on a hike, a vacation, at the gym, with your feet up on your desk, your eyes closed, whatever. The stronger your relationship with the customer, the more imaginative this card can really be. If he chuckles when he reads it, he will not throw it away, and just maybe, just maybe, he will make a beeline for your store. — DAVE RICHARDSON

Hits: 359

Know It All: September 2013

Know It All
September 2013

Published in the September 2013 issue


1 A lone gunman pulled off the world’s biggest-ever diamond heist in late July, snatching $136 million worth of jewelry from an exhibit being staged by Israeli diamantaire Lev Leviev at the Carlton International Hotel on the French Riviera. That hotel, ironically, was featured prominently in the Alfred Hitchcock classic, To Catch a Thief. Source: Bloomberg, 07/29/13


2 President Barack Obama extended a ban on the import of rubies and jade from Myanmar, due to concerns about that country’s military’s involvement in the gems industry and human rights abuses despite recent democratic reforms. Source: Rapaport Tradewire, 8/8/13


3 Fourteen years after founding revolutionary online retailer Blue Nile, Mark Vadon will leave the firm, giving up his positions as chairman and director of the board at the end of the year. Source: Forbes, 8/1/13


4Gold supply from recycled materials may fall by as much as 25 percent this year as lower prices deter holders from selling the metal, according to the World Gold Council. Source: Bloomberg, 7/24/13


5 Auctioneer Christie’s held its first online-only sale of jewelry, including over 100 lots from contemporary jewelers such as Olivia Wildenstein and Marina Bulgari. Source: Source: IDEX Online News, 7/25/13


A new study suggests that visually oriented social media like Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube are 18 to 48 times more effective at generating sales and website traffic than social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Source: Mobile Marketer, 8/5/13


A rising number of hotels are offering programs in which they lend jewels out to brides. Typical of the packages is the one offered by The Westin Beach Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale, FL, which allows brides to borrow up to $100,000 worth of gems from nearby Levinson Jewelers. Source: New York Times, 7/31/13


8 Rony Tennenbaum Jewelry, which specializes in jewelry celebrating same-sex marriages, has landed its first major chain-retailer account, appearing in bridal cases at two Ben Bridge Jeweler locations in Washington state. Source: INSTORE, 8/5/13


9 A federal judge handed merchants a small victory when he tossed out a Federal Reserve rule on debit card “swipe” fees, saying the Fed didn’t do enough to curb the levies. Source: Wall Street Journal, 7/31/13


10 A study from researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has concluded that gold is likely produced by cataclysmic star collisions that occur once every 10,000 years. Source: JCK Online, 7/18/13

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Sanity Files: Worthmore Jewelers

The Sanity Files: Worthmore Jewelers

How top jewelers keep their cool in a crazy world

Published in the August 2013 issue

Worthmore Jewelers, Atlanta, GA
The crew at Worthmore Jewelers, led by Harris Botnick, does everything together, including traveling to JCK Las Vegas every year to shop for jewelry en masse. Most important, they stay sane together, each in their own expressive way. Worthmore was an honorable mention winner in the 2012 America’s Coolest Store Contest. First row, from left, Juliana “Boo” Berry, Katy Reichert, Peggy Rainbow, Geri Botnick, Joan Wasser; second row, from left, Harris Botnick, Glenn McElroy, Beth Stutzman, Olya Girard Decatur.

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Service Shorts: August 2013


Service Shorts
August 2013

Published in the August 2013 issue

ARTCARVED sent six retail-sales associates to Paris recently as part of the Art- Carved in Paris promotion. Lindsay Soquet of Crescent Jewelers (Chatham, NJ) and Mechelle Yates of Yates & Co. Jewelers (Modesto, CA), each sold the most ArtCarved bridal product within a six-month timeframe and were each awarded a VIP trip to Paris for two. Four additional sales associates were randomly selected from hundreds of participating retailers, with Robert Mushro of JR Jewelers (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Roberto Martin of Fey & Co. Jewelers (Naperville, IL), Jenna Rickards of Ben Bridge (Austin, TX) and Donna Montalvo of Earth Treasures (Eatontown, NJ) all winning trips to Paris for two. ArtCarved Bridal is a division of Frederick Goldman Inc.
Information: or (212) 807-2120

THE TOUCH is celebrating the fact it has been producing American-made jewelry since 1977. An educational page at lets users scroll through images of jewelers at work, doing everything from pouring liquid metal to polishing finished pieces. Some of the most popular pieces can be seen in this new online outlet.

 MJSA will hold the Jeweler’s Bench Conference and Trade Fair on Sept. 12-13 in Providence, RI. The conference focuses on all aspects of bench work — from traditional techniques to technological advancements — as well as business strategies. The event will feature two educational programs: “Better Business Strategies” and “Better Bench Work.”

 The GEMOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF AMERICA is accepting scholarship applications online through Oct. 31 for its 2014 Gemology and Jewelry Manufacturing Arts programs, courses and lab classes. Scholarships are available for distance education e-learning courses and for classes at the institute’s campuses in Bangkok, Carlsbad, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, New York and Taiwan; and at the GIA branch in Dubai.

 The entry deadline is Oct. 1 for the 2013 GRUNBERGER Jewelry Design Competition. Intended to showcase the Grunberger Precision Cut in new creations from the world’s best jewelry designers. The competition is open to all jewelry designers, manufacturers, and bench jewelers.
Information: www.grunbergerdiamonds. com/contest

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Know It All: August 2013

Know It All
August 2013

Published in the August 2013 issue


1 The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act has analysts predicting a boom for businesses that cater to same-sex marriages. In California, a research study estimates that nearly 40,000 same-sex couples will marry in the next three years, adding close to a half-billion dollars to the state’s economy. has already seen traffic to its gay weddings page more than double since the June 26 ruling. Source: CNN/Money, 7/3/13


2 More commercials with lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender themes are appearing in the mainstream media, notes the New York Times. Companies that have recently created LGBT advertisements include Amazon, American Airlines, Google, Kraft Foods, Mastercard, Microsoft, and J.C. Penney. Source: New York Times, 6/26/13


3 A former Tiffany & Co. vice-president in charge of product development was arrested for allegedly stealing 165 pieces of jewelry worth more than a million dollars from the company. Source: Wall Street Journal, 7/3/13


4 The American Gem Society grading lab has decided to no longer issue reports for lab-grown diamonds, citing the “miniscule amount of business” in the category. Source: JCK, 6/21/13


5 Nordstrom has started marking its “most-pinned” products from Pinterest with little “P” logos as it seeks to leverage its 4.5 million followers on the social network — the most of any chain store — into increased in-store sales. Source: Bloomberg, 7/2/13


It’s a mere six seconds of video, but fashion vendors like Marc Jacobs, Urban Outfitters, and French Connection are all doing eye-catching work with Twitter’s new video app, Vine. Often, the most striking work uses stop-motion photography. Source:, 6/29/13


Better keep your restroom clean. A new survey from Harris Interactive shows that 50 percent of patrons who encounter a dirty, smelly restaurant bathroom will tell their friends, and even post photos of the said loathsome lavatories on social media. Source: USA Today, 7/3/13


8 Would you have passed this test? A visitor to the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair found a bag containing $32 million worth of diamonds in the show’s cafe. She guarded the bag for two hours until the Israeli dealer who left it there came sprinting back into the room. Source: IDEX Online News, 6/27/13


9 Just three years after purchasing silver jewelry home-party company Silpada for $650 million, cosmetics giant Avon has sold it back to the original founders for $85 million. Source: CBS News, 7/6/13


10 One of Russia’s biggest cosmetics chains, Ulybka Radugi, is testing new checkout counters that feature facial-recognition technology to track customers’ emotional states — and offer them customized discounts. Source: Fast Company, 7/8/13

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Talent Show

Talent Show

Top Emerging Designers of 2013 Showcase Imagination & Definitive Styles


Published in the July/August 2013 issue


For INDESIGN’s fifth edition of this story, which annually features the year’s best independent emerging designers, our esteemed panel of retailer judges has chosen creators who share a common thread: They stay true to their brands. Whether the signature style is one-of-a-kind or whimsical, exuberant or trendsetting, each of these creative women sticks closely to her own sensibility to create jewelry that is just as impressive as a collection as it is by individual piece.


While Hong Kong native Wendy Yue’s designs are flamboyant and fantastic, the artist herself is a private person who seeks to express herself through her jewelry while allowing her designs to convey her worldliness and sensibilities. At a young age, Yue traveled from Asia to Europe on a journey of self-discovery. She began to record her travels with coloredpencil drawings, which prompted her beginnings in jewelry. The idea of creating pieces to be worn daily seemed like the most enduring monument to remember her travels. Today, the collection embodies three-dimensional glimpses of nature’s wonders and a panorama of flashbacks into landscapes, sounds, and scents that delve to touch the depths of our imaginations. “Art is up to the interpretation of the beholder,” Yue says. “It may be an emotion, an atmosphere, a melody, or a memory that a piece evokes. Bounding my work with any narrow categorization or precise definition dilutes the essence of it.”

“The attention to detail in this line captures my attention. The incredibly intricate design and creativity give the feel of wearing a piece of art. No matter what jewelry a client has in her jewelry box at home, she does not have a piece like one in this collection. The only suggestion I would make is to add some smaller opening price-point pieces — pieces those who love the line can start with and then grow to the grand statement styles.” JAIMIE GELLER

“Absolutely love the individuality of each piece. There is so much movement and a three-dimensional feel. Wendy’s choice in color combination is sophisticated but yet very playful. Also, there is the beauty of contrast with opaque stones. Smart! The versatility of being able to wear the rings in different ways with the multiple components is a true selling point.” JANICE BLUMBERG

“Wendy’s jewelry has the ability to transport you to a place where both the animate and inanimate come to life. At first glance, you are drawn to the incredible colors. Then, upon a closer look, you see the impressive amount of detail involved in that same piece. It’s apparent that Wendy draws from her Asian heritage. A woman who wears a piece of Wendy Yue jewelry is experienced with jewelry — definitely a sophisticated customer who is more interested in the depth and intrigue that a one-of-akind, special piece of jewelry can hold.” RADA SAHNEY

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Carolina Bucci creates jewelry that transcends fleeting fads with a unique spirit that makes her designs a favorite among celebrities and fashion press alike. Her own collection is a vibrant reinvention of her rich history, which dates back to her great-grandfather, a jeweler in Florence. Her individual taste and sense of style asserted itself at a young age, and she traveled to New York to obtain the education that provided her with the technical know-how necessary to execute her vision. Afterwards, Bucci returned to Florence and worked alongside local goldsmiths, encouraging them to push the boundaries of their traditional practices to create her first collection, named Woven. Using a centuries-old Florentine textile loom to weave gold and silk threads, the collection has become her trademark.

“Carolina’s pieces are so easy to layer and collect. All of the groups within the collection can be worn together. It also appeals to a wide range of women, from the woman who loves her bling to the understated hippie. I love that so many of the pieces have meaning behind them. Carolina has made sure to have a great entry level price point without diluting the value of the higher end pieces.”JAIMIE GELLER

“I met her and her family in New York and was immediately impressed by the vitality and originality of her work. The pieces reflect her awareness of the world around her, culminating in her classic woven friendship bracelets. We have many clients who tie them on once and never take off the bracelets even through daily showers and hurricanes. Not too many designers that I know have their work in the permanent collection of the Palazzo Pitti Museum in Florence!”MARIE HELENE MORROW

“With her namesake line, Carolina has been able to reinvent Italian-style jewelry. Her mix of delicately woven silks with gold pavé diamond hardware is a perfect blend of what women want: Bold yet casual luxury. The Florentine finish on her pieces reminds me of the Old World fine jewelry one would find on a trip to Italy years ago. Her Mirador collection is a tribute to the rich Florentine heritage and the pieces are so versatile that a woman would reach for them every day.”RADA SAHNEY

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In describing her work, Los Angeles-based Zoë Chicco, a trained goldsmith, says she looks for inspiration in her friends: Dynamic and fashionforward women who know how to mix styles, colors and textures together to create a unique statement. Chicco’s look is delicate, sexy and feminine, yet distinctively edgy. Her latest designs, with their playful shapes and tiny sparkling diamonds, have created a cult following among celebrities and trendsetters. Her pieces have been featured on the hit TV shows Glee, Parenthood, Happy Endings and CSI, and star clients include Cameron Diaz, Demi Moore, Penelope Cruz, and Rachel Bilson, among others.

“One of my favorite contemporary fine jewelry designers today. There is something for everyone. Often, a store has hesitations bringing in trendier lines for fear that the minute you bring it in, the trend is over. That would not be the case with Zoë’s collection, which is filled with designs that can layer and work together and also mix with other pieces you may already own.”RADA SAHNEY

“I carry this line in my store and it always sells out! The designs are simple, clean, beautiful, on trend and affordable. Zoë is always designing new pieces, so the line never feels tired or boring. It’s so important to have this price range available in my store because it isn’t intimidating and brings clients in for gifts and guilt-free shopping!”JAIMIE GELLER

“Zoë Chicco is very on trend. I like her clean, contemporary aesthetic; there is a growing audience for this style of jewelry. You see many important directions within the collection: rose gold, oxidized metals, charms worn around the neck — all items that can be personalized and put together in a manner that suits the wearer. The ability for a customer to imprint their own style or make an aesthetic contribution to what they’re buying is big today. I also like that the collection tends to have a little edge and attitude in terms of how personalized items like initial pendants are arranged in unexpected ways.”MATTHEW ROSENHEIM

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It is not surprising that jewelry designer Alexandra Mor was born into a family of French fashion couturiers. (In fact, as a child, everything young Mor wore was one-of-a-kind clothing made by her mother, right down to the fabric, cut and texture.) Mor has developed her own aesthetic expression and style within the rarified world of haute couture jewelry, where every piece is an individually tailored, handcrafted work of art. Her signature and one-of-a-kind collections are distinguished by her unmistakable details: Simplicity and perfected symmetry centered around striking diamonds and gemstones. Her affinity and understanding of the inherent intimacy of jewelry is much of what makes each of her pieces so uniquely compelling.

“Alexandra’s pieces are simple, beautiful and exquisite. While it is understandable that most of the price points are expensive due to the materials, thoughtfulness and workmanship, I would like to see a price point that doesn’t limit the customer or only play to an extremely exclusive audience. It would be wonderful to reach a still sophisticated clientele but with some entry level pieces they can start to collect.”JANICE BLUMBERG

“Alexandra Mor brings back memories of a young Henry Dunay. It is amazing that such a young woman has the eye for quality and workmanship that produce her magnificent limited editions. They are masterpieces that reflect the elegance and quality of fine jewelry. When we speak of lasting value and handing down from generation to generation, it is work like Alexandra’s that we refer to. It’s what the world of couture jewelry is all about.”MARIE HELENE MORROW

“When you first see Alexandra Mor pieces, you can feel the emotion and a certain confidence that makes you want to dig deeper. Mor has taken some of her best designs and eliminated the excessive bells and whistles that seem to attract a lot of buyers in her native France. This strong sense of editing is the design ethos that makes Alexandra Mor stand out. I think there is a real ability to apply these design principles into different scales and price points that could diversify this collection and broaden out the potential client base while remaining true to its design aesthetic.”MATTHEW ROSENHEIM

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Brazilian-born designer Mary Esses has been enamored of the arts since childhood. Her first creative foray after embracing both ceramics and painting in college was to run her own arts and crafts school in Brazil. There, a former H. Stern executive spotted her talent and encouraged her to translate it into jewelry design. She moved to New York and launched Mary Esses Jewelry in 2004. Each handcrafted piece has its own character and identity, inspired by the gems and influences that define Esses’ style, from her vibrant Brazilian roots to the urban landscape she now calls home. The line melds old-world romantic looks with sleek, modern details.

“Color! Color! Color! Mary is delightful and is so passionate about what she does, and it comes across in her designs. And, women love the versatility of being able to create different looks with the earring charms that have become a big part of her collection.”JANICE BLUMBERG

“Mary is one of the most versatile designers I know. She captures the spirit of her native Brazil and mixes it with the energy of New York City where she lives. Her sense of color is infectious as she experiments with one pattern or another. Her eye for stones is key in selecting the best colors to project the exuberance of her style. I am always impressed by her commitment to her craft and desire to search new paths and techniques to develop her brand.”MARIE HELENE MORROW

“Mary Esses has developed collections that really have some distinctive elements to them, from the open airy nature of the Cage collection to the Knot collection built around a very distinctive folded gold knot element. There is also a certain ‘joie de vivre’ in Mary’s line consistent with her Brazilian roots. I would love to see more of that in her designs as they move forward.”MATTHEW ROSENHEIM

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<tdalign="left" bgcolor="#FFFFFF">JANICE BLUMBERGBe On Park, Winter Park, FL“We enjoy working with our independent designers because we find we can develop a more one-on-one relationship. They get just as involved in a project as we do, and this also helps our clients to be even more excited. We love to display unique pieces all around the store so there is always an unexpected feeling or surprise when you look into a case. Relationships with the designers and clients are built on trust and nurturing and time, and we give it all of that and more. In addition, we purchase what we love and what we would wear.” MARIE HELENE MORROW Reinhold Jewelers, Puerto Rico“Independent designers, at least the ones that we carry, have what I call ‘jewelry with soul.’ This is why the translation of our artists’ language is so important. Each designer we represent has her or his own message. We are the facilitators. Being responsible for passing on someone’s dream is crucial. It is not always easy, but we never stop trying. It’s not about the sale; it’s so much more. It’s in our DNA.”RADA SAHNEY Zaver & Mor, Berkeley, CA“Part of the joy of being an independent store is having the opportunity to support other small and emerging artists. But it goes beyond the idea of ‘shop local and buy local.’ There is tremendous talent out there, and we are lucky that most of it is right in our own backyard. These artists are designing and making amazing jewelry and that’s what we all want — to wear something that is beautiful and makes us feel special.” MATTHEW ROSENHEIM Tiny Jewel Box, Washington, DC “We were one of the first retailers in the country to bring in Alex Sepkus, John Hardy, Marco Bicego, Penny Preville and Stephen Webster, all of whom have now obviously developed way beyond ‘emerging’ status. Part of what continues to make the store interesting is that balance between established brands where we’ve built a following and collections that people have never seen or heard of. The emerging designer or new collection is what will continue to make a store fresh and position you as a market leader and trend setter.” JAIMIE GELLER Jaimie Geller, Pacific Palisades, CA “When I bring a new designer into my store, I am bringing in an energy that has to mix, on every level, with what is currently in my cases. Some designers have a lower price level, others high, some modern and edgy, others whimsical. I make sure not to overlap on any level of price or style, but they still have to blend together aesthetically so as not to create a museum-like atmosphere. I love introducing new designers, and mostly I try to bring new and different ones in because I do have a small customer base and it’s so important to keep them on their toes. It’s a tricky process and there is something to be learned every day.


Our expert retailers talk about their affinity for new talent and why they bring emerging designers into their stores


Be On Park, Winter Park, FL

“We enjoy working with our independent designers because we find we can develop a more one-on-one relationship. They get just as involved in a project as we do, and this also helps our clients to be even more excited. We love to display unique pieces all around the store so there is always an unexpected feeling or surprise when you look into a case. Relationships with the designers and clients are built on trust and nurturing and time, and we give it all of that and more. In addition, we purchase what we love and what we would wear.”

Reinhold Jewelers, Puerto Rico

“Independent designers, at least the ones that we carry, have what I call ‘jewelry with soul.’ This is why the translation of our artists’ language is so important. Each designer we represent has her or his own message. We are the facilitators. Being responsible for passing on someone’s dream is crucial. It is not always easy, but we never stop trying. It’s not about the sale; it’s so much more. It’s in our DNA.”

Zaver & Mor, Berkeley, CA

“Part of the joy of being an independent store is having the opportunity to support other small and emerging artists. But it goes beyond the idea of ‘shop local and buy local.’ There is tremendous talent out there, and we are lucky that most of it is right in our own backyard. These artists are designing and making amazing jewelry and that’s what we all want — to wear something that is beautiful and makes us feel special.”

Tiny Jewel Box, Washington, DC

“We were one of the first retailers in the country to bring in Alex Sepkus, John Hardy, Marco Bicego, Penny Preville and Stephen Webster, all of whom have now obviously developed way beyond ‘emerging’ status. Part of what continues to make the store interesting is that balance between established brands where we’ve built a following and collections that people have never seen or heard of. The emerging designer or new collection is what will continue to make a store fresh and position you as a market leader and trend setter.”

Jaimie Geller, Pacific Palisades, CA

“When I bring a new designer into my store, I am bringing in an energy that has to mix, on every level, with what is currently in my cases. Some designers have a lower price level, others high, some modern and edgy, others whimsical. I make sure not to overlap on any level of price or style, but they still have to blend together aesthetically so as not to create a museum-like atmosphere. I love introducing new designers, and mostly I try to bring new and different ones in because I do have a small customer base and it’s so important to keep them on their toes. It’s a tricky process and there is something to be learned every day.
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Style Conversation

Style Conversation

A panel of social media jewelry savants — and one INDESI GN editor — parse the latest in jewelry trends


Published in the July/August 2013 issue

Take five jewelry bloggers who are passionate about their subject matter— add one editor/ blogger who has also been dubbed a “jewel-a-holic” (that would be me) — and you wind up with six women who can’t stop chatting about trends, items, motifs, shapes and gems seen at the recent Couture and JCK shows in Las Vegas. The conversation between Monica Stephenson (, Danielle Miele (, Robyn Hawk (thedailyjewel.blogspot. com) Natalie Bos ( and Jean Z. Poh ( and yours truly ( and began in a press room at The Couture Show, then, a few days later, continued on a six-way Skype chat.

When we met during the shows, we started off in agreement about what the big stories in jewelry trends included:

BODY JEWELRY: Jewelry for the hands, single rings that decorated multiple fingers and chains that wrapped around the body.

OPAL-ESSENCE: Opals of many variations made an appearance. Some shapes were cut to fit the wing of a butterfly or petal of a flower, while others were rough-hewn and free-form.

TECHNICOLOR: Many designs included a vibrant palette in inverted-set gems and a mix of cuts, all in one piece.

GEOMETRY RULES:The return to the art deco trend in the more fluid “Gatsby”-inspired pieces evolved into looks that were architectural, streamlined and geometrical.

PURE FANTASY: Fanciful flora and fauna and ornate pieces that have a fairy-tale presence and a larger-thanlife scale.

ONLY ONE FOR ME: One-of-a-kind pieces have grown in popularity and were a big draw at the shows.



MONICA: So this is just a chat, not a video call? Darn I got all dressed up.
BETH: Monica, you can send us a photo. 
ROBYN: Ha! I just ran and brushed my hair.

BETH: Let’s take one trend at a time. I want to start with what we are calling “Body Jewelry.” Do you think it will sell in fine and which designers and categories?

JEAN: Mid-knuckle rings are coming on strong.

ROBYN: Two-finger rings as well as full-finger rings that bend with the knuckles.

NATALIE: Ear cuffs. Wendy Yue had a really cool bird motif.

MONICA: Jacquie Aiche body chains.

DANIELLE: Yes, her chains were drapey and lovely.

ROBYN HAWK: Danielle, you are too young, but those chains were huge when I was a teen! Belly chains and anklets in the summer.
MONICA: We need more body chains! Why did they go out of style?

BETH: I wore them once back in the ’90s. Mine were very simple and never came off. Women “of a certain age” once draped them around our waists and now wear them as long chains around our necks. But maybe that is the idea: To sell as interchangeable pieces. A diamonds-by-the-yard chain for the waist that also doubles as an elongated necklace? But let’s talk a little more about rings. Colette had full-finger rings like those that Robyn is talking about as well as climb-up-the-ear earrings. Will this trend translate into sales in the fine market?

NATALIE: Women are looking for unconventional ways to wear jewelry, so I definitely think the body jewelry will sell.

MONICA: Wendy Yue’s and Colette’s designs are pretty major — and really high priced, but the smaller versions will sell well.

ROBYN: It will sell if more designers continue to do it and it is publicized enough. But, of course, with body jewelry you have more metal and therefore the price-point issue.

JEAN: I think body jewelry will have limited success in the fine jewelry market, but once it trickles down into the mainstream costume jewelry market, it will sell well.

NATALIE: I agree with Jean’s point. I’ve already seen some of the ear-cuff-type pieces at lower price points featured in fashion magazines and online.

BETH: Yes, that is why I think the simpler, the better to start with. Show the high-end trend (as in Wendy Yue and Colette) and then how it translates into more wearable versions like Zoe Chicco and Jacquie Aiche and others who have both been selling these designs at more self-purchase price points.

MONICA: People are looking for unique ways to express/adorn themselves. Body jewelry is less permanent than tattoos!

ROBYN: Good point, Monica!

BETH: I think the rings are great because if you don’t want to invest in a lot of stacking rings, you want a cool look to save time and you can have it done for you, it’s a great purchase.

MONICA: For body jewelry, my trend prediction is that the Zoe Chicco, Jemma Wynne and slightly less dramatic multi-finger rings will make their way into some fashion-forward wardrobes.

NATALIE: I agree that the rings will be the best-sellers in the body jewelry category. They’re the easiest to wear.

JEAN: They are more versatile and women are already comfortable experimenting and pushing the limits as far as rings are concerned.

ROBYN: I think we are in agreement that rings are definitely the most saleable.

"For body jewelry, my trend prediction is that the Zoe Chicco, Jemma Wynne and slightly less dramatic multi-finger rings will make their way into some fashion-forward wardrobes." MONICA STEPHENSON



BETH: Moving on to our next trend: Opals. Everywhere and every type!

NATALIE: Yes, big bold opals in unusual designs.

DANIELLE: I’m seeing them everywhere — fire opal, boulder opal, black opal....

ROBYN: Seeing many free-form. Very few calibrated sized and shapes.

JEAN: Wendy Yue for opals, definitely!

BETH: And Katey Brunini. And, I also loved Katherine Jetter’s rings.

MONICA: I saw tons of opals last year, but they are having another moment. Boulder and fire opal, mostly. I saw them at almost every designer’s booth I stopped by.

ROBYN: Erica Courtney had stunning boulder opal pieces.

DANIELLE: We are seeing a lot of opals in antique jewelry as well.

NATALIE: Goshwara also had some fabulous white opal rings.

BETH: They are also being cut to form the petals of a flower or more free-form and organic shapes such as those in Jamie Joseph’s line.

JEAN: Yes, in terms of trends, free form, lots of asymmetry.

BETH: I also loved the opal designs when mixed with moonstones — it’s very magical how the rainbow moonstone and the opals shift in color. Like those at Lauren Harper.

DANIELLE: I just think designers and retailers sometimes forget to stress the limited durability of opals and how they shouldn’t be worn every day.

MONICA: Yes Danielle, those very large, slab-style stones don’t seem totally safe to me.

BETH: Interesting that opal and emerald (the Pantone color of the year) were everywhere, yet are the two gemstones that are the least durable and also two of the hardest to set.

NATALIE: Good point, Beth.

MONICA: I thought that large, free-form, one-of-a-kind gemstones in general were everywhere, not just opals. I saw stones that defied description and definition. Very unusual specimens, but used in fantastic finished jewelry — not just for rock hounds.

I saw tons of opals last year, but they are having another moment. Boulder and fire opal, mostly. I saw them at almost every designer’s booth I stopped by.” MONICA STEPHENSON



BETH: I think we are moving on to our next trend: Color! I think there is a “happier” palette this year. And there is every type of cut imaginable. I love when they are all mixed together.

JEAN: I saw a lot of kunzite. Paraiba tourmaline and emeralds are still quite popular, but most designers at Couture were using slices.

MONICA: I’m sliced out.

BETH: I am totally sliced out too! I will never be rosed out....

JEAN: I adore rose-cut diamonds!

DANIELLE: Lots of opaque or semi-translucent stones.

BETH: Cabochons mixed with faceted mixed with rose cuts. Combining cuts and shapes is definitely where the action is in gemstones.

JEAN: Sylvie Corbelin mixed rough and cut stones, diamonds and colored, all colliding into a stunning effect.

MONICA: Lauren Harper and Pamela Huizenga used mixes of cabs and rose cuts.

DANIELLE: Round full-cuts, set upside down! And, spiky!

NATALIE: The spiky trend is going around.

BETH: Also the inverted set gems.

MONICA: I’m a big fan of spikes, even in stone culets.

ROBYN: I believe that those “upside down” gems are actually a specific cut where the cutter is just faceting from the girdle down with a flat bottom.



BETH: What about geometric shapes that are actually art deco inspired, just not in the same way “Gatsby” jewelry has been done?

DANIELLE: Octium! They use octagons in their designs, which look incredible

MONICA: Lots of negative space with this trend — very open, which I am really hearing about now.

JEAN: Which is a savvy way of also keeping cost of materials down.

BETH: Yes, I do like the use of negative space. Anyone see Ileana Makri’s new geometry line? Fantastic!

ROBYN: Not necessarily geometric, but several pieces that were assembled with repetitive shapes also worked!

BETH: Nam Cho’s earrings that were all baguette cuts worked great with this trend. Also in gems, the streamlined, linear movement in emerald, baguette and Asscher-cut stones looked great, particularly when all these types are mixed together.




BETH: Let’s segue into the world of fantasy motifs. Many were made from incredible gemstones, taking the shape of everything from flowers to butterflies to snakes and even monkeys.

NATALIE: Loved the work by Paula Crevoshay — I’m a sucker for orchids, and her jeweled ones were breathtaking.

BETH: I am also an orchid person and every single version she showed me seemed to be more dreamy than the last.

ROBYN: This is my favorite trend: Nature, from organic to grotesque. Love the bugs, snakes, flora and fauna. All huge.

JEAN: Dragons too!

DANIELLE: Great mini snake rings at Ileana Makri.

NATALIE: I love her snake rings; they make serpent motifs look super cute.

DANIELLE: I know! I hate snakes but love snake jewelry.

MONICA: I’m an equal opportunity animal jewelry lover.

BETH: I hate spiders, bugs and snakes in real life, but I let them crawl all over me in jewels and gold anytime! I actually collect antique snake motifs, in rings mostly.

MONICA: Wendy Yue’s monkeys — their expressions were all completely unique.

NATALIE:I love Yue’s monkey ring with the opal belly.

This is my favorite trend: Nature, from organic to grotesque. Love the bugs, snakes, flora and fauna. All huge.” ROBYN HAWK



BETH: We haven’t talked about one-of-a-kind yet.

DANIELLE: Women are loving exclusivity!

MONICA: Yes, this is a time of total self-expression.

JEAN: Being that my business is bespoke jewelry, I think one-of-a-kind is what consumers are craving after too many mass-produced pieces in the market.

DANIELLE: Once all women had to have a Cartier Love bangle to be in with their friends and to show their status. We’ve changed to desire something no one we know owns or wears.

JEAN: Clients want less commercial; they want personalization, something that reflects their own aesthetic. High-net-worth individuals don’t just want exclusivity, they want the one and only!

BETH: Personalization, exclusivity, self-expression, anything that allows you to be who you are — not who your friends and peers are — or aspire to be. I am all for having my own style, although I wouldn’t mind mixing in a Cartier Love bracelet.

DANIELLE: Well said. Same for me.

NATALIE: I think this is partly why opals may be so popular among jewelers at the moment. No two opals are exactly alike and they can more easily create one-of-a-kind pieces with them.

MONICA: Yes! Personally, I love what Monique Pean is doing with mammoth ivory and dinosaur bone as well as other fossilized materials. One-of-a-kind and super cool.

BETH: Did anyone see Bibi van der Velden in JCK’s Rising Stars? She had some incredible mammoth ivory as well as really beautiful fantasy garden motifs.

Clients want less commercial; they want personalization, something that reflects their own aesthetic. High-net-worth individuals don’t just want exclusivity, they want the one and only!” JEAN Z. POH


Natalie Bos’ journey into fine jewelry is a colorful story. Originally from Florida, she studied economics at the University of Pennsylvania and trained as a professional figure skater for Ukraine. A social media enthusiast, Natalie took on a few consultant positions to help jewelers promote their brands online. This early working experience ignited her passion for all things jewelry and inspired her to build, a website devoted to sharing her passion and helping her audience discover important historical and contemporary jewelry.


Robyn Hawk (a.k.a. @AFly- OnTheWall on Twitter) is a 20-plus-year veteran of the jewelry and gem industries. An early adopter of social media, she has consulted in the field for the last seven years and is employed by several companies as social content curator. She writes eight blogs on topics from the Tucson Gem Show and celebrity jewelry to educating her readers on historic gems and jewelry. (Daily -; Historic gems -; Celebrity jewels -; Gem shows -; Reviews -


Danielle Miele launched her career in the jewelry business in 2008 when she began her successful blog, gemgossip. com. A self-proclaimed “collector since she was 4,” Danielle’s blog focuses on jewelry trends, antique and period jewelry, celebrity jewelry, and exclusive designer interviews. It is also a hub for gemstone and jewelry education. Danielle’s full-time job consists of appraising jewelry for Walton’s Antique Jewelry (Franklin, TN), where she has been under the apprenticeship of Michael Walton for three years.


Jean Z. Poh is director of strategy and design for Jean & Alex (, a fine jewelry atelier that specializes in bespoke jewelry. Each one-of-a-kind piece is designed specifically for the client and is handmade in the company’s studio in Manhattan. Jean also writes a jewelry blog called Deliver Me Diamonds (delivermediamonds. com) that covers topics relating to costume and fine jewelry, styling tips, trends and collecting.


Since 2008, Monica has been writing about jewelry from an insider’s perspective on her blog She began in the industry working for guild-level independent jewelers buying, selling and appraising precious jewelry. She was a key member of the leadership team that launched the Amazon. com jewelry store. She is passionate about telling the stories of fine jewelry designers, illustrating trends in the market, and emphasizing the significance of adornment to readers. Monica is also the editor of the Contemporary Jewelry Design Group’s website,

Hits: 3210

Media Barometer: July/August 2013

Published in the July/August 2013 issue

Star photographer Michael Thompson and stylist Paul Cavaco team up to capture supermodels in old Hollywood style in the super-brand’s latest ads.

The new app allows iPad and iPhone users to take a picture of their own hand and virtually “try on” every ring in the Jeff Cooper catalog, as well as find the nearest retailer via GPS and share the image via Facebook or email.

Bold statement pieces and bright props feature in the Spanish jewelry brand’s new campaign, which stars model Lulu Robert and Pomeranian Tito.

Brazilian fashion brand Vivara Jewelry’s new campaign features top Brazilian model Isabeli Fontana sporting gems and flowers in beautiful hues.



BELOW SHOWSbelow shows the top jewelry companies receiving editorial publicity in the last 12 months in the following magazines: Brides, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, Town & Country, Vogue and W. Figures indicate the number of times the brand was mentioned.



“Jewelry on the beach is always a hot topic, and the allure of yellow gold in sunlight endures as a universally acknowledged truth.” Town & Country, June/July 2013, p 58

“Channel a transcontinental traveler in luxe leathers, wood accents, and bold tribal patterns.” ELLE, July 2013, p 114

“STAR GEMS: Turn heads with the season’s mean green stunners.” W Magazine, June/July 2013, p 17

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Star Power: Dramatic Drops

Star Power: Dramatic Drops

Celeb stylist Michael O’Connor examines drop earrings on the red carpet and how they can make your customers look fabulous.


Published in the July/August 2013 issue



The event was entitled “Punk: Chaos to Couture.” However, most attendees steered away from chaos and veered to the couture side of the tracks. When it came to jewelry, the hottest trend shown wasn’t the hard-edge safety-pin and spike inspired pieces of the ’80s, it was a look back to a more recent and glamorous trend: Dramatic and dangling drops reminiscent of styles from the beginning of this millennium.


Drop earrings are a vital part of every woman’s jewelry wardrobe and can serve several purposes in terms of styling. Short drops create sparkle and movement around the face, which can be very flattering and feminine. Drops that stop at the jaw line augment the natural frame of the face and are perfect for women with softer jaw lines. Mid-neck-length drops can give the illusion of a longer, leaner neckline and add height to women with shorter necks, while very long drops will add drama to women with longer necks and minimize the need for a necklace.


1 Amanda Seyfried:Terminating just below the jaw line, Amanda’s darkened metal and gemstone earrings picked up both the colors in her gown while giving the illusion of length to her neck and space between them and the neckline of the gown.

2 Blake Lively: The lines and powerful size of Blake’s earrings mimicked the organic-inspired embroidery pattern on her dress, while the extreme length complemented the long train of the gown. No necklace was needed for this choice that added height and a flirtatious feel to the outfit.

MICHAEL O’CONNOR president of Style & Substance Inc., a marketing and communications agency offering services and consultation to the jewelry and luxury industries. Additionally, O’Connor is a celebrity stylist and television commentator seen on a variety of national television programs.
For More Information: styleandsubstance. com

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My Favorite Things: Joseph Maio

My Favorite Things: Joseph Maio

Adornments Fine Jewelry, Sag Harbor, NY

Adornments Fine Jewelry owner lauds Lauren K, pearl lariats and the versatility of the iPad Mini.


Published in the June 2013 issue

1HIGH-KARAT HOOPS These 24K or 22K earrings are an easy sale: Simple hoops — larger than a quarter — starting around $1,800. (Those pictured are by Gurhan.) I compare them to the classic little black dress: Sophisticated and something they can wear any time of year, any time of day. Women love the rich color next to their skin. And men, who often buy them as gifts, feel the gold weight and immediately understand the value.

2LAUREN K COLLECTION Because we’re in the Hamptons, many customers are well-traveled and sophisticated, so they love this designer’s distinctive 18K yellow gold-and-coloredgem pieces, especially rings and earrings. Younger customers prefer delicate and feminine styles, but more established women want bold one-of-a-kind designs, which they tend to buy right away, realizing a piece may be sold if they wait.

3PEARL LARIATS In a beach town like ours, people love the casual look of freshwater pearls on leather cord, sometimes with semiprecious stones, which usually run under $200. I keep the necklaces on top of the counter, and customers always ask me about them. We have fun, non-sales-y conversations as I show them how to loop the strands, adjust the length, and wrap them.

4iPAD MINI With customers I know, I use this to give them a little sneak peak of jewelry I’ll soon be getting in — especially if someone’s in the store and I’m aware of a particular designer they like or if they’re looking around and don’t see anything that excites them. I was doing this with my iPhone, but the iPad Mini’s larger screen lets customers see the jewelry at a larger size.

5COMPOSITION NOTEBOOK I use it every day to keep track of customer orders, special requests, jewelry fill-ins, stone re-orders, gem colors I want to look for — lots of things. I date each entry and, once I’ve done the job, I cross it out. They’re easy to take everywhere — home, to appointments and trade shows, and on trips. And because of that recognizable marbled black-and-white cover, when I can’t remember where it is, it’s always easy to find!

6MOOD MUSICPlaying music from my personal CD collection helps get me through the more mundane tasks when the store is closed and I’m there alone. It can lift me up, calm me down, or inspire me to work faster and better, like when I’m redoing a showcase. I play Craig David and Linda Eder — and some of Christine Ebersole’s Broadway showtunes bring me back to the good memory of a show I’ve seen.

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Face Front: "Holiday Gift Ideas”

 Face Front: "Holiday Gift Ideas”

Facebook promotions that work

Published in the July/August 2013 issue

James O. Poag Jewellers Strathroy, ON, Canada

CONCEPTThe store promotes three attention-grabbing offers for the holidays: Gifts Under $500, Gifts Over $500, and a Winter Wonderland Sweepstakes. Affordable gift ideas are promoted daily in Facebook page posts to drive interest and sales. 

EXECUTION A custom catalog was developed by Fruchtman Marketing with items for the two gift categories, and the sweepstakes featured a chance to win one of five jewelry gifts. The promotion was pushed in email blasts, website, direct mail and print as well as Facebook. 1,200 local targeted fans were added and thousands of dollars in sales made based on the 35-day promotion.

FRIEND COUNT 4,060 (as of 7/1/13)

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Brand Ambassadors: Amy Logan

Brand Ambassadors: Amy Logan

Colorado retailer explains why ila&i is a perfect fit for customers seeking feminine and beautiful gold jewelry.


Published in the July/August 2013 issue

Squash Blossom, Vail, CO


For Amy Logan, ila&i was just a perfect fit. “We were looking for a new gold line, something at a certain price point with a unique look, and we were immediately attracted to the aesthetic of the line,” says the Squash Blossom manager and buyer. “The designs have a basis in traditional Indian style, but there’s a modernness about them.” She and store owner Patti Cogswell liked sister-and-brother team Ila and Vikas Sodhani’s warmth and design philosophy too. “We represent over 40 designers, each with a distinctive point of view,” Logan says. “One of the things our customers are looking for is non-typical jewelry — things they don’t see at home in the mall or a traditional jewelry store.”

CUSTOMERS LOVE IT BECAUSE: “There are customers out there looking for pieces that are feminine and beautiful, but on a smaller scale, and ila&i really fulfills that. Our customers these days are also very into sourcing and materials; they like that the line uses recycled metals and that the jewelry is all made in the United States. Ila&i handpicks each stone for every piece. People also love that it’s a small business run by a sister and brother.”

IT'S EASY TO SELL BECAUSE: “The price point is really appealing. We carry a lot of higher-karat gold lines, and their line being 14K — and they also have a silver line — keeps it at a really approachable price point, especially for a self-purchasing woman.”

THE MOST POPULAR PIECES ARE: “Since we started carrying the line, they’ve done this little slice diamond with pavé around it — the design is called Scarlett. We’ve always sold that really well, in both earrings and necklaces. They just came out with a line of leather bracelets with diamonds that are casually elegant. We’ve done really well with them. The price point is just a few hundred dollars, and it’s a great look, especially layered with other bracelets.”

I LIKE WORKING WITH THEM BECAUSE:“We sell through our website too, and one of the things that always makes our life easier is when the designer can provide us with professional-quality images of their jewelry, and as much as possible ila&i provides that for me. And if I need a piece, they get it to me as quickly as possible. They’re just great and really easy to work with.”

I’D RECOMMEND IT TO ANOTHER RETAILER BECAUSE: “It fills a niche in our store. There’s a certain consumer who’s looking for things that are petite, beautiful and well made. They also have a great price point for a self-purchaser, for a husband looking for a gift, or for somebody who wants gold jewelry but doesn’t have a $2,000 budget.”

“Amy appreciates the attention to detail in our pieces. She sells ila&i to a broad range of consumers of different age groups as staple pieces to add to their jewelry boxes.”- Ila Sodhani

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True Tales: July 2013

True Tales: July 2013


Published in the July 2013 issue.

We once had a gentleman in our store who was visiting from Texas. He was saying to us (and other customers in the store) how things were so much grander in Texas. He claimed that back home if he drove his car at 9.00 in the morning, it took him almost to 1.00 in the afternoon before he got to the end of his expansive property. Another gentlemen who was here at the time looked at him and said. “Well my property is about 100 yards in either direction and you know what? I had a car like that once!” – Alex Weil, Martin’s Jewelry, Manhattan Beach, CA

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Service Shorts: July 2013


Service Shorts
July 2013

Published in the July 2013 issue

UNIQUE SETTINGS of NEW YORK has introduced its PD500 Wedding Band Collection, designed in Palladium500, a platinum-group metal made up of 50 percent Palladium and 50 percent silver. It’s tough, durable and hypoallergenic, and weighs less than gold, which means it’s less expensive. Wedding bands are available in styles ranging from vintage to traditional and modern.
Information: (718) 247-4500

THISTLE & BEE, a designer collection of fine sterling silver jewelry, recently announced the launch of its enhanced website, which includes a retailer-dedicated e-commerce portal with a complete shopping cart function, enabling Thistle & Bee retailers to place orders directly online. Registered retailers can also view wholesale and suggested retail prices, create wish lists and reference their order history.

 STULLER is now the exclusive distributor of BlingWraps and BlingDots from BLINGGUARD to the retail jeweler. These invisible ring guards and earring supports are designed to help keep jewelry from twisting, turning and pulling. “These are versatile, valuable selling tools for our customers,” says Nathan Button, director of findings for Stuller. “Jewelers can use them during the sale while working with the customer, as an upsell with ring or earring purchases, as an atthe- counter impulse buy or even as a gift item.”
Information: or

 WR COBB ONLINE is offering the e-book, Social Media 2.0 for Jewelers — Tips for Maximizing Your Online Efforts, which is a follow up to its popular 2012 offering, Social Media 101. WR Cobb Online, a division of W.R. Cobb Co., specializes in bringing customized Web technology, diamond search programs, social media programs and expertise to retailers.

 INTERNET 4 JEWELERS has a new marketing service; Mobile 4 Jewelers. This service provides retail jewelry stores with communication to consumers’ mobile devices, including both text messages as well as; coupons, text-to-win promotions, auto-responders, loyalty programs, keyword campaigns and lead-generation promotions. Plans start at $37 per month.

JEWELERS UNBLOCKED INSURANCE has launched an Employee Dishonesty Program. The policy provides employers with coverage for theft and forgery by employees, and covers money, securities, money orders and stock, including jewelry, precious stones and metals.
Information: (800) 526- 8353 or

SIDNEY SCHLUSSELBERG is merging with Global Diamonds of Chicago. The companies provide diamond services to independent jewelers. The new firm, Schlusselberg- Global will be based in El Paso, TX.
Information: (800) 351-0099

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Sanity Files: Steven Reiner

The Sanity Files: Steven Reiner

How top jewelers keep their cool in a crazy world

Published in the July 2013 issue

Reiner’s Fine Jewelry, Houston, TX
Steven Reiner is a graduate gemologist and native Houstonian. Over the past 30 years, he has personally overseen the creation of thousands of engagement rings.

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Know It All: July 2013

Know It All
July 2013

Published in the July 2013 issue


1 Donna Baker, the Gemological Institute of America’s longtime president and CEO, has abruptly resigned “due to differing views on the direction of GIA,” the institute announced in a press release. Source: INSTORE, 6/6/13


2 U.S. demand for gold jewelry jumped 6 percent in the first quarter of 2013, the first time it has risen since 2005, according to the World Gold Council. The Council’s report attributed the surge in demand to a decline in the gold price, which has prompted mass-market retailers to re-introduce gold offerings at key price points. Source: National Jeweler, 5/20/13


3 The Las Vegas shows attracted an estimated 36,000 buyers and traders this year, with vendors reporting clear signs of improving demand, especially for high-end goods, on the back of rising consumer demand in the U.S. Buyers focused on traditional American goods — round shape diamonds in HIJ colors and VS-SI clarities in 0.50-2 carat sizes, traders said. Source: IDEX Online News, 6/4/13


4 Richline Group, the jewelry maker owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has agreed to buy the family-owned Honora brand to boost its pearl sales. Source: Bloomberg, 6/1/13


5 Police in Belgium, France and Switzerland arrested 33 people and recovered a large quantity of diamonds allegedly stolen in a $50-million heist at Brussels airport in February. Source: AFP, 5/8/13


Russian mining giant Alrosa expects to overtake DeBeers and become the world’s largest diamond mining company by 2018, its president, Igor Sobolev, told IDEX Memo. Source: IDEX Online, 5/22/13


Australian mining company Argyle announced that it would offer three ultra-rare red diamonds in its upcoming Pink Diamond Tender — the most it has featured in its 30-year history. Among them is a 1.56-carat I2 fancy red dubbed the Argyle Phoenix. Source: INSTORE, 5/20/13


8 California retailers may expose themselves to consumer lawsuits if they falsely advertise that their products are on sale, an appeals court has ruled. “Price advertisements matter,” Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote in a statement that revives a revived a potential class-action lawsuit against Kohl’s department store. Source: Los Angeles Times, 5/22/13


9 JCK Events has taken over the GLDA Tucson Show, which has been a part of the Arizona city’s famed colored-stone show for more than 30 years. JCK Events said GLDA will now cover the finished fine jewelry segment and feature luxury exhibitors. Source: JCK, 5/24/13


10 Libyan investigators believe they are close to repatriating $1 billion in gold and diamonds stashed in a South African bank by late dictator Muammar Qaddafi. Qaddafi is believed to have amassed an astonishing hoard of precious metals and gems during his 42-year reign. Source: Fox News, 6/3/13

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Tech For Your Store: 3-D Printing

Tech For Your Store: 3-D Printing


Published in the June 2012 issue

Over the last 12 months, 3-D printing has moved from being the subject of breathless newspaper stories predicting it will spark a new Industrial Revolution, to actually appearing in small jewelers’ workshops.

And among some early adopters, there is a sense that it really will be a game changer. “3-D printing is going to be as big as the invention of the steam engine!” says Joseph Delefano, whose store, Regency Jewelers in Rotterdam, NY, has made the technology a point of differentiation in its market.

For jewelers, the main benefits of 3-D printing are the time and cost savings (anywhere from 10 to 40 percent), vastly improved accuracy and ease of implementing design changes. Delefano says that using a printer, his store can turn out a custom design in as little as 48 hours.

Gary Dawson, owner of Gary Dawson Designs in Eugene, OR, has been experimenting with 3-D printing since last year and recently used it in the creation of a Masonic ring that demanded “amazing precision and detail.” Before long, he believes, 3-D printers will be as ubiquitous as laser welders in jewelers’ workshops.

While the concept of “press-button” jewelry manufacturing sounds fantastical, the technology really does work like a digital printer. Instead of sending a “letter” to an inkjet printer to be sprayed on a piece of paper, 3-D printing technology sends instructions in the form of digital slices of a computer-aided design. The 3-D printer then deposits the material, which could be resin, or titanium or gold powder, in layers until a solid object emerges. Prices for entry-level models such as EnvisionTEC’s Perfactory Micro and Asiga’s Pico line start at $14,999 and $6,990, respectively.

Dawson, like many of his peers, is currently using 3-D printing to make waxes and prototypes and continues to cast using traditional methods. Regency Jewelers offers a full 3-D production service to jewelers as well as regular customers.

By most accounts, the learning curve for 3-D printing is not hugely demanding.

As for the threat that 3-D printing could make anyone a jeweler, custom designers who have investigated the technology aren’t too alarmed. Jonathan McCoy, who left a career in tech to join his father’s custom jewelry store, McCoy Jewelers in Dubuque, IA, says the danger is “no greater than my local hobby store selling silver findings and beads to wanna-be jewelers.”

“The reason people continually come into our shop; and not buy online or from a catalog, or simply make it themselves is that what we do is not easy,” he says.

Dawson believes 3-D printing will actually help custom designers and “old-time” goldsmiths. “There has already been a ‘first wave’ of computer jewelry design done by people who knew nothing about quality control, or structural and design integrity. Some of it is cool ‘looking’ stuff but it simply can’t hold up to the abuse that jewelry takes as it is worn on the body.”

This Midas stainless steel six-station bath-plating system is ideal for e-coating (especially larger pieces), electro-plating and electroforming processes. Its design features six 3-liter beakers, which can be set up for three operations: electrocleaning, acid dip, and plating, with the remaining three stations left free to handle distilled-water rinsing between each step.
MSRP: $1575.

Ever worried that gold dust is being lost to the wind? The Quatro NEW SPU utilizes a three-state filtration system that promises to capture all your precious metal dust. Equipped with a two-speed double-spindle polishing motor and two tapered spindles, the Quatro NEW also has two Clearview hoods that fully enclose the buff areas, trapping precious-metal dust inside in a prefilter, bag filters and HEPA filter (as small as 0.3 micron).
MSRP: $2,570.

CardCharge Calculator is a new technology from Energy Advantage that calculates the processing cost of individual credit or debit card transactions, enabling merchants to either recoup some of their costs or pass the savings along to customers. Card- Charge Calculator is due to be rolled out later this year.
Information: (203) 857-9200 or

This Kerr Ultra Waxer set with two bonus tips delivers excellent carving results at a special promotional price. The Kerr Ultra Waxer 2 features two independently controlled hand-piece stations, which doubles the capacity of the device, making you even more productive. This special set includes two quick-release Ultra-Spatula hand pieces as well as four tips (one small and one large PKT tip, one long needle tip and one large denture tip).
MSRP: $299.

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The SMART Jewelry Show Chicago 2013: It's a Wrap

The fifth-annual SMART Show ends with record attendance

The fifth-annual SMART Show Chicago from INSTORE and INDESIGN was an amazing success, and we have you to thank. With a record number of retailers in attendance and an incredible vibe on the show floor, everyone who came to learn, buy, and mingle deserves credit for helping us bring this magazine to life at Navy Pier.

During the pre-show education conference on April 12, the usual excitement was ratcheted up with the introduction of our new SMART Friends sessions. In addition to our business, gem and appraisal, marketing and bench education tracks, our partners from GemWorld, Gemvision, Edge Retail Academy and Gemfind also offered their own training. Combined, attendees had more than 40 ways to learn — plus onsite testing for Jewelers of America’s updated Sales and Management Professional Certification.

Since we focused on sales at the 2012 Chicago show, marketing seemed like the natural next step for 2013. Hence, our “Master of Marketing” series, featuring a keynote presentation from branding guru Martin Lindstrom. There’s no way to retell the brilliance of Lindstrom’s message in a way that does him justice, but it’s safe to say that his popularity in the jewelry industry went off the charts that morning.

Newly inspired, attendees hit the show floor ready to meet people and discover products — while picking up even more business know-how along the way.

A first at this year’s show, the INDESIGN Pavilion had its own dedicated education area, allowing attendees to learn the business of selling fine jewelry then shop for new designer lines.

Other new features included a Gem and Appraisal Experience Area, an award chosen by selected retail judges for the Generation Next designer who best captured the spirit of that pavilion and a totally redesigned Town Square that made it even easier to get the face-to-face time that is the heart of The SMART Show.

A big thanks to everyone who supported The SMART Show Chicago this year, and we’re especially grateful to the vendors and sponsors who make this happen. We look forward to seeing you at our second get-ready-for-the-holidays Dallas show on Aug. 24-26 and back in Chicago on April 5-7, 2014. (As always, the education conferences begin one day prior to the shows.) In the meantime, check out the photos, videos and updates at

   SPECIAL SESSION NOW ONLINE!. Watch the entire “If I Owned a Jewelry Store” Q&A with Martin Lindstrom and INDESIGN’s Trace Shelton at

A fantastic opportunity to blend education, strategy and retailer support with the products, tools and vendors we are in partnership with.

- Megan Cooper, Blue Heron Jewelry Compan y, Poulsbo, WA

T The show provides us with some wonderful face-to-face time with vendors. Memorable and great.

- Lois Wacholtz, Christopher’s Fine Jewelry Design, Champaign, IL





Challenge I: Erik Stewart (Erik Stewart Jewelry, Tucson, AZ)

Challenge II: Tomas Wittlesbach (Green Lake Jewelry Works, Seattle, WA)

Overall CAD Challenge Champion: Tom Linenberger (Goldworks, Fort Collins, CO)


Palladium Challenge: Jimmy Butts (Sissy’s Log Cabin, Little Rock, AR)

Engraving Challenge: Jimmy Butts (Sissy’s Log Cabin, Little Rock, AR)

Continuum Silver Setting Challenge: Harry Caldwell (Green Lake Jewelry Works, Seattle, WA)

Overall Bench Challenge Champion: Jimmy Butts (Sissy’s Log Cabin, Little Rock, AR)

Cassandra Erin Studio 

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Cool Website: Jewelry By Design

Cool Website: Jewelry By Design

Published in the June 2013 issue

Jewelry By Design serves the suburban Washington community of Woodbridge, VA. While carrying such big brands as Hearts On Fire, Pandora and Tacori, the 4,200-square-foor store owned by Jenny and John Caro also has its own custom department.


1UPDATED ROTATOR  The homepage has a rotator updated (in early May, near our press time) with Mother’s Day messages. Too many stores put up a website and forget about it. Moreover, the images rotating are bold with few, easy-to-read words.

2GOLD PRICES  Right there on the gold-buying page are up-to-date precious metal prices and photos of gold being tested. Every store that buys gold ought to think about having the prices on its site.

3-D GALLERY The site’s 3-D Jewelry Gallery is super cool, allowing the shopper to view renderings of jewelry at any angle.


1JEWELRY IMAGES  While the 3-D images of the store’s custom designs are impressive, the photos on each manufacturer’s page fail to wow the browser and give no idea of prices.

2DESIGN While easy to use and view, the overall site design, colors and font choices appear a bit dated — oh so mid-aughts. As aggravating as it may be to stay current with this stuff, the impression your website gives is going to affect the impression of your physical store.

3 EXTERIOR PHOTO It would be nice to see a photo of the store’s exterior. While people might use the helpful Google Map on the Get Directions page, not everyone is going to use Street View, and it would be nice to know what to look out for when driving there to buy that special gift!

Cool Websites are selected by judges and INSTORE editors from among the topranked entries in the 2012 America’s Coolest Stores Contest. The 2013 contest is now closed to new entries. Look out for Cool Websites based on 2013 entries beginning in September. And be sure to enter the 2014 America’s Coolest Stores Contest!

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Know It All: June 2013

Know It All
June 2013

Published in the June 2013 issue


1 Specialty jewelers in the U.S. surrendered a little more market share in 2012, with their slice of the finejewelry and watch pie slipping to 43.2 percent from 43.3 percent in 2011, according to initial Commerce Department data. Source: IDEX Online News, 4/11/13


2 BaselWorld, the world’s largest jewelry and watch exhibition, opened amid complaints that big fashion conglomerates such as the Swatch Group and LVMH were dominating the show, driving up costs and sidelining independents. Show organizers said the changes merely reflected the evolution of the industry. Source:, 4/24/13


3 The diamond engagement ring market in the U.S. is expected to remain more or less flat at about 2 million units a year for at least the next decade, as the number of weddings stagnates, due to slowing population growth, fewer people getting hitched and fewer second marriages. Source: IDEX Online News, 4/30/13


4 Pandora Group named Allan Leighton, a career supermarket executive, as its new CEO, replacing Björn Gulden, who left the bead maker after just 16 months to take the helm at sportswear company Puma. Bloomberg, 4/18/13


5 The “Princie,” a 34.65-carat fancy pink Golconda diamond, smashed the record for most expensive diamond ever sold at auction in the U.S., fetching $39,323,750 (or about $1,135,000 per carat) at a Christie’s event in New York. The buyer remained anonymous. Source: AP, 4/17/13


Swarovski U.S. Holdings has agreed to acquire 100 percent of bead maker Chamilia. Chamilia will operate as an independent unit within Swarovski, and keep its Minneapolis base. Source: JCK, 5/03/13


Gemesis Diamond Co. unveiled what it called the world’s largest, whitest lab-created diamond. The stone weighs 1.29 carats and comes with a price tag of $7,633.64. Source:, 4/25/13


8 Giovanni Feroce, the CEO of fast-growing jewelry brand Alex and Ani, says he plans to transform the company into a lifestyle brand on the scale of Ralph Lauren. “At the end of the day, I’m building a department store,” Feroce said, explaining the company would make plates, chairs and maybe even cars., 4/15/13


9 Armed men stole more than $4 million worth of jewelry from Lenox Jewelry in Fairfield, CT, after kidnapping the manager and another employee in a home invasion. The two employees were gagged and taken at gunpoint to the store, where the robbers cleaned out the vault. Source: AP, 4/29/13


10, an online jewelry retailer is seeking to distinguish itself by allowing men to order up to six engagement ring styles made of sterling silver and cubic zirconia for use in their proposal. The idea is that the target of the man’s affection gets to pick her dream ring (and then Ocappi sends over the real thing). Source: 4/11/13

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True Tales: June 2013

True Tales: June 2013


Published in the June 2013 issue.


We once sold diamond studs to a gentleman for his blowup doll.— Brian Berger, First Pennsylvania Precious Metals, Warrington, PA

Dental Diamond

I had a customer come in who wanted to buy a flat diamond he could glue to the front face of his tooth. — Josh Rider, Dylan Rings, Montgomery, AL

Ursa Major

An older woman came in with a large stuffed bear. She requested we measure the bear’s wrist and neck to make a matching charm bracelet and pendent in sterling. We did. — Stew Brandt, H. Brandt Jewelers, Natick, MA

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Sales Truths : It’s all in the eyebrows

Sales Truths : It’s all in the eyebrows


Published in the June 2013 issue.

WHY IT IS TRUE: If your customers or your staff don’t get it, they won’t want it. And if they don’t get it or want it, you won’t get what you want — their attention, respect, performance, money, or the sale. It’s all in the eyebrows... if they don’t move, you are not reaching them, and they are probably not interested. On the other hand, if their eyebrows go up, that means you are getting through. Great! If their eyebrows however, furrow or knit, then you are somehow missing the point.

PLAN OF ACTION: Check it out. Lift your eyebrows, you are very interested. Furrow your eyebrows, you are possibly interested but need more information. Now test it out: watch your sales staff as they make a presentation. Where are the customers’ eyebrows? Up, furrowed or not moving at all? Right away, you get a clear indication as to where this sale might be going. Check out the eyebrows on your staff when you are conducting a sales meeting. Good salespeople, eyebrows are up, or furrowed if you are not getting through. Mediocre salespeople, eyebrows are not moving all. Hmmm. This is a great technique for validating your success and the success of your business. — DAVE RICHARDSON

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My Favorite SMART Show Jewelry

My Favorite SMART Show Jewelry

A photo story featuring 10 SMART Show retailers and the jewelry they chose to show off their own individual senses of style.



Published in the June 2013 issue

As a jewelry retailer, you help your customers to look like stars every day — but how often do you get to be a star yourself? Our answer at IN - DESIGN and The SMART Show was: “Not often enough!” So, we recruited some of our retail attendees to choose and model their favorite fine and designer jewelry from the show.


Wearing Naomi Blumenthal . Suzy Landa and Holly Dyment

Jewelry to me is like frosting on a cake. It makes me feel complete, confident and finished. I love wearing jewelry that is sophisticated, yet edgy and reflective of my personal style.

Thursday skull ring with enamel, yellow sapphires and diamonds set in 18K yellow gold by Holly Dyment MSRP: $7,560

Stud cuff in gold by Naomi Blumenthal
MSRP: $9,000 gold, or $11,000 with diamond studs

Ring with 18K yellow gold crown setting for 40-carat faceted cabochon white topaz center stone with diamonds (0.24 TCW) in prongs and gallery by Suzy Landa
MSRP: $5,000

Small Confetti circle pendant in 18K yellow gold with diamonds (0.12 TCW) by Suzy Landa
MSRP: $1,760

Knife-edge oval pendant in 18K yellow gold with diamonds (0.37 TCW) by Suzy Landa
MSRP: $3,080

Handmade 34-inch chain in 18K yellow gold with knife-edge marquise shaped links, and 18K yellow gold round birdcage enhancer with center ring of diamonds by Suzy Landa
MSRP: $13,000 (chain); $3,700 (enhancer)

Wearing Just Jules, Page Novick, Lika Behar, Anthony Lent, Elizabeth Garvin and Suzy Landa

Ilike a mix of designers and typically don’t like to be ‘matchy-matchy.’ I love the layering look on a thin neckline and think rockin’ out several bracelets is such a cool look! Not to mention the tassel earring — in my opinion, there is nothing like the feel of tassels on your ears! Simply, they just feel good!
Assortment of bangles, all with rose-cut diamonds by Just Jules
MSRP: $1,600-$5,000

Coco cuff in 14K white-gold-plated black rhodium with white diamond in labradorite inset by Paige Novick
MSRP: $9,600

Viper Ring in 18K yellow gold, sterling silver, diamonds and green tourmaline by Anthony Lent MSRP: $9,600 

Vortex Earrings in oxidized silver, 18K gold and yellow diamonds, with removable tassel by Elizabeth Garvin
MSRP: $3,700

One-of-a-kind 60-inch chain in 18K gold with matched set of oval chrysoberyl (45.00 TCW) and removable pendant in 18K gold with a 26.57-carat rosecut green sapphire surrounded by diamonds and green sapphire melee and diamonds in the bale by Suzy Landa
MSRP:$11,000 (chain), $6,100 (enhancer)

Assorted 24K gold and oxidized sterling bangles by Lika Behar
MSRP: $100-$1,490

Wearing Jayden Star

This is fun, fashionable jewelry at a great price. The necklace gives you that look of high fashion that’s so popular right now without spending $5,000. It’s a nice way to go with happy, yellow gold jewelry!
Earrings, necklace and bracelet from the 1AR by UnoAerre branded collection from Jayden Star, manufactured in Italy and made of brass (lead-, nickel- and cadmium-free) and clad with a heavy 18K gold
MSRP: $90 (earrings); $170 (necklace); $120 (bracelet)

Wearing Elements and Alloys and Lauren Harper

This necklace speaks to two major trends for 2013 in terms of color — the Pantone color of the year — and design, a great geometric shape. Love it! Then, these simple, clean bracelets lend themselves to stacking with other colors and designs. The price points are super for that young working woman.
18K gold chrysophase and diamond double pyramid necklace by Lauren Harper
MSRP: $9,780

Revolve and Iris stackable bangles in sterling silver and oxidized sterling silver by Elements and Alloys
MSRP: $175 - $195

Button earrings in sterling silver by Elements and Alloys
MSRP: $185

Wearing Rebecca Hook

connected with the organic style and delicate feeling of Rebecca’s work. Rebecca’s jewelry has a nice, quality, handcrafted feeling.
Sterling silver Flower Cup earrings with turquoise by Rebecca Hook
MSRP: $270

Sterling silver Leaf Dangle bangles with freshwater pearls by Rebecca Hook MSRP:
MSRP: $245

Sterling silver Dragonfly necklace with turquoise and amethyst by Rebecca Hook
MSRP: $220

Wearing Robin Rotenier

The combination of the hammered finish with the matte finish of the lapis gave the cufflinks a rich but ‘casual sophistication’ look. Paired with the sterling Deauville bracelet, it was a complete look that was very comfortable to wear.
Hammered square cufflinks set with rough cut lapis lazuli by Robin Rotenier
MSRP: $595

Sterling silver brushed Deauville link bracelet by Robin Rotenier
MSRP: $995

Wearing William Levine Fine Jewelry

The beautiful diamond necklace from William Levine reminded me of the one that Jennifer Lawrence wore at the Oscars, only I wore it the traditional way (not trailing down my back). This would be my go-to necklace that would look fabulous with whatever I would be wearing (Hint, hint — even jewelers like getting gifts of jewelry!) I was also thrilled to be wearing the shimmering diamond stiletto earrings and diamond ring uniquely set east to west — all from William Levine. The diamond jewelry improves even a bad hair day.
Asscher cut diamond ring (J/ VVS1, 5.01 carats) in a platinum mounting with full-cut diamonds (0.50 TCW) by William Levine Fine Jewelry
MSRP: $120,000

85-inch diamond necklace with 300 full-cut diamonds (36.03 TCW) by William Levine Fine Jewelry
MSRP: $90,000

18K white gold earrings with four rose-cut diamonds (1.04 TCW) and 76 rosecuts and full-cuts (2.85 TCW) by William Levine Fine Jewelry
MSRP: $9,000

Wearing Just Jules

selected this jewelry because I am in love with the modern spin Just Jules puts on vintage jewelry, and I love gold! Just Jules is a new designer to Eliza Page, so we are excited to be carrying her work.
Rose-cut diamond pendant (approx. 3-carat center stone) with pavé diamonds by Just Jules
MSRP: $4,000

Vintage inspired ring by Just Jules with rose-cut diamonds (approx. 4.00 TCW) and pavé diamonds by Just Jules
MSRP: $7,000

Wearing Lauren Harper

I chose the jewelry I wore because they were absolutely the most beautiful and innovative designs I saw! I love Lauren Harper’s jewelry because it is ever-evolving. The yellow gold rings I chose because they looked so great layered and were just the right amount of understated sparkle. The earrings were the perfect complement to the necklace and rings. And then there was the white gold and rosecut diamond pear ring. There was no way I was leaving the building without putting that piece on!
18K gold Arabesque earrings in aquamarine, diamond micropavé and mother of pearl by Lauren Harper
MSRP: $4,665

18K gold chains necklace with larimar, chrysophase, London blue topaz and green amethyst set with diamond micropavé by Lauren Harper
MSRP: $19,970

18K white gold ring with rose-cut diamonds and diamond micropavé by Lauren Harper
MSRP: $43,000

Rose-cut blue and white sapphires set in 18K gold square ring
MSRP: $4,520

Rose-cut diamonds set in 18K yellow gold eternity band
MSRP: $5,740

Wearing Lika Behar and Paige Novick

There’s nothing more fun than playing dress up with jewelry! I chose two rings from Lika Behar. I really love her rings. They’re bold and often feature unique elements like glass cameos, sapphire slices or simply stunning gemstones. The bracelet I’m wearing is Phyne by Paige Novick. I saw this collection for the first time at The SMART Show. This bracelet has two gorgeous labradorites and a cool geometric shape. The clean lines make this a piece that feels fresh but whose design will stand the test of time.
Coco cuff in 14K yellow gold with white diamond in labradorite inset by Paige Novick
MSRP: $9,600

18K yellow gold Venetian Scroll knuckle ring with rose-cut diamonds (0.52 TCW) by Lika Behar
MSRP: $4,070

24K gold and boulder opal (188.43 TCW) reversible necklace by Lika Behar
MSRP: $11,990

24K gold small chunky hoop earrings by Lika Behar
MSRP: $2,040

24K gold and oxidized silver Rosalie ergonomic ring with smoky gray sapphire (21.28 TCW) and light gray diamonds (0.56 TCW) by Lika Behar
MSRP: $2,150
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Brand Portfolio: Leaving The Mall Behind

Brand Portfolio: Leaving The Mall Behind


Published in the June 2013 issue.

Perry’s Fine, Antique & Estate Jewelry
Charlotte, NC

When Hadley Perry Pacheco joined her dad, Ernest Perry, in his jewelry store in December 2010, it was a pivotal time in the 35-year-old business. Pacheco, who says her parents never pushed her into the business they founded before she was born, worked as an attorney in Boston before returning home.

The partnership could not have come at a better time for Ernest, who had been contemplating big changes. Pacheco, as VP and general counsel at Perry’s, launched a bridal campaign, increased the company’s involvement with regional charities, and brought her father’s long-time vision to fruition by launching and designing a new store location. She also manages Perry’s national TV shows.

“Our main focus has been and still is antique and estate jewelry.” That means 60 to 100 people every day visit the store to sell jewelry or gold or coins. The company re-sells what it can in the store, as well as via the TV show and eBay.

For much of its existence Perry’s was located in a popular mall even though it was a destination business that didn’t require mall traffic. “When we first moved there 25 years ago it gave us a lot of exposure to customers but over the years we outgrew that whole concept,” Perry says.

“When Hadley came aboard I challenged her and she challenged me to put a new focus on our bridal business and it’s really been paying off for us,” he says. “But we didn’t have the room to market ourselves as a bridal store in the mall.”

So, they moved across the street and expanded into the first floor of an office building. Now their business is divided into separate areas; one side for buying and the other for selling. “The whole idea in the new showroom was to be able to have a lot more intimate contact with our customers, especially bridal customers,” Perry says.

Dad and daughter brainstormed with their ad team to promote both the new focus on bridal and the big move across the street and received a National Gold MarCom Award for the resulting marketing campaign.



They’ve run ads in Carolina Bride and The Knot’s North Carolina edition for the first time.

“Because we’re mostly an antique and estate business, you’re not going to find things here you find in other stores.” Because their competitors focus on bridal brands, Perry’s emphasizes the unique and the antique rather than try to compete directly with the same brands. “The message is, “come check us out because you’re going to see things here that you’re not going to see anywhere else.” They’ve also added a house brand for basic semi-mounts.

RING IN THE RAIN The response to the Ring in the Rain promotion has been terrific, Perry says.

PACKAGING AND BUSINESS CARDS“We wanted to totally reinvent ourselves,” Perry says. “Even our business card is totally different from a traditional business card. It’s square rather than rectangular. And our packaging is totally different. We contracted with an Italian firm and I had to close my eyes when I paid the bill. But it sets us totally apart.”

THE TAGLINE “We want everyone to have a wow experience, whether coming in to sell, buy or have something repaired,” Pacheco says. “‘Wow, what a find!’ has been our tagline on all our print advertising. We also implemented wow cards, pre-stamped for customers to make comments. We enter them all into a drawing and both a customer and the associate who helped the customer wins a $100 gift certificate to a steakhouse.”

MOVING ADS “We had been associated with the same location and hadn’t done a lot of changes with our image in a while,” Pacheco says. “We are able to do things differently in this location: take out multiple pieces, offer beverages, etc. We changed our business concept, updated our color scheme and our marketing plan. It was all intertwined.”

THE MOVE: BILLBOARDS AND DIRECT MAIL“The mission for our campaign was to ensure that everyone in the Charlotte area knew we were moving and to get them excited about what we were doing. We focused on direct mail, which we hadn’t done much with before, and billboards.

PERRY'S HOLIDAY BILLBOARDS “We ran 12 billboards for the grand opening, and every single day people were saying ‘We love your billboard.’ We got a tremendous response from that, so we did one for Christmas as well in a high visibility location,” Perry says.

THE CELEBRATIONThey had a weeklong celebration in 2012, beginning with a preview for employees and their families. On Wednesday, they invited vendors and anyone who had worked on the project — architect and contractors — as well as the Charlotte media, which helped promote the store. Then, on Thursday night, they invited about 200 top customers to the catered grand opening bash. “It was an action-packed week,” Pacheco says.”

TV COMMERCIALS Perry’s has come up with texting-style TV commercials without any sound. All you hear is beeping back and forth between a couple on two smart phones. The modern take on the TV commercial was the result of a quarterly brainstorming session with Spark Publications and Don Jeffries, who handles video creative.

NEW WEBSITE They hired a full time employee with a journalism degree to handle social media duties and tend to the recently re-launched website,

DIRECT MAIL For Perry’s big annual sale in June, they decided to advertise only through direct mail and were overwhelmed with the response from that.

Perry’s colors were updated from dark green and gold to lighter green and a platinum color.

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Fact Sheets: Rebecca

Fact Sheets: Rebecca


Published in the June 2013 issue


Bold Italian design that appeals to a style-savvy, price-conscious customer. The company’s proprietary 18K gold plating process, augmented with semiprecious gems and crystal accents, gives new dimension to fine fashion jewelry.

The warm hues of rose gold over bronze take center stage, elevated by shimmering crystal accents that create a subtle diamond effect. Geometric shapes — whether lines, circles or squares, add a modern touch.

Q&A with Alessandro Testi

Q: What are five words that describe your brand?
A: Luxury, fashionable, glamorous, elegant, affordable.

Q: What type of woman wears Rebecca?
A: We don’t cater to one type of client. We want to appeal to all ages, from the young girl to the well-established woman who cares about fashion and style.

Q: Why is now the right time for a valueoriented price point?
A: Women want it all: flawless design and an affordable cost. We’re able to offer that with a bonus — hand-finished, innovative collections — with new styles constantly available for every season or taste.

TOP RETAILERS: Guzzetta and Company Fine Jewelers, Sacramento, CA; Montalvo Jewelers, McAllen, TX; Maurice Jewelers, New York, NY; Julie’s Fine Jewelry, Ketchikan, AK

RETAILER REVIEW: “Even though Maurice Jewelers is a self branded retailer, I couldn’t resist bringing in such a beautiful line of jewelry. Rebecca is a fantastic way for us to offer our clients a well-rounded jewelry experience.” - Eli Assoulin, Maurice Jewelers, New York, NY

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Fact Sheets: Christopher Designs

Fact Sheets: Christopher Designs


Published in the June 2013 issue


Signature to the brand is the Crisscut Diamond, developed by Christopher Slowinski — crisscrossed facet arrangements that redefine just how brilliant a diamond can be.

Two collections will launch: Dancing Crisscut, which is fashionforward, delicate, full of movement, and youthful; and new designs in the company’s Signature Crisscut Collection, including styles with less pavé and bigger accent stones.

Q&A with Christopher Slowinski

Q: Tell us about the Crisscut and what makes it so special.
A: The unique patented facet configurations of the Crisscut maximize the diamond’s overall beauty. Seventy-seven facets for emerald, cushion and Asscher Crisscut, 109 facets for round brilliant Crisscut. Compare that to generic diamonds in those cuts with 46, 48 and 58 facets, respectively. Crisscut Diamonds face up two color grades better.

Q: How do you help jewelers succeed with Christopher Designs?
A: We carefully select authorized jewelers to ensure distribution is geographically moderated and not available to online diamond retailers. Equally famous for our settings, Christopher Designs offers our retailers an enormous selection of finished jewelry, custom design work and special orders and sizing and repair services. We also provide merchandising and marketing support, co-op advertising and strong presence on Facebook and Pinterest.

TOP RETAILERS: Borsheims, Omaha, NE; Diamond Cellar, Dublin, OH; Hyde Park Jewelers, Denver, CO; Blakeman’s Fine Jewelry, Rogers, AR

RETAILER REVIEW: “Christopher Designs jewelry and branded Crisscut is unique and offers a great value that the competition cannot! The company has excellent customer service. We sold the largest Crisscut cushion (10.74 carats) and the largest Crisscut round (6.64 carats) in the world.” - John Ravenstein, Juniker Jewelry, Jackson, MS

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Fact Sheets: Harry Kotlar

Fact Sheets: Harry Kotlar


Published in the June 2013 issue


The Kotlar Cushion — which combines the classic silhouette of a cushion cut with the fire and sparkle of a brilliant cut diamond — has 61 facets and is sold as “The World’s Most Brilliant Cushion Cut Diamond.”

Discerning brides choose Kotlar Cushion diamond rings in platinum with artisan pave: A design hand-carved into the metal that secures melée in a sculpted setting.

Q&A with president David Wiener

Q: Any tips for retailers selling your jewelry?
A: Customers need to hear the Kotlar story and touch the jewelry to get a full appreciation of the quality and craftsmanship inherent in handcrafted jewelry. Every piece is created around its center stone, which means every piece is a unique expression of that particular design. Providing manufacturer- direct custom or modified designs enables the retailer to convert a “not quite what I want” into a “that’s exactly what I envisioned.”

Q: Who is the brand’s customer?
A: A more demanding consumer looking for heritage quality craftsmanship and enduring value.

Q: What’s the best thing about being part of a family owned business?
A: Our 65-year heritage of integrity, honesty, and craftsmanship that is embodied in our products and celebrated by our retailers and our customers who wear our jewelry every day.

TOP RETAILERS: Tivol, Kansas City, MO; Lee Michaels, Baton Rouge, LA; Bachendorf’s, Dallas, TX; London Jewelers, Manhasset, NY

RETAILER REVIEW: “The Harry Kotlar jewelry collection, including the Kotlar Cushion, is a brilliant modern expression of timeless Old World style. Very romantic, beautifully handmade and original.” - James Orloff, Orloff Jewelers, Fresno, CA

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Fact Sheets: Hera

Fact Sheets: Hera


Published in the June 2013 issue


One woman, two ways: The HERA customer can choose precious metals and the casual wear of sterling silver, or a touch of 18K gold accented by diamonds and uniquely-cut gemstones. Mix-and-match baubles with an edge.

Bold statement pieces in sterling silver, 18K gold, gems and diamonds with feminine accents. Inspiration stems from exotic travel destinations as well as the colors and beauty of the earth.

Q&A with Hera Arkarakas

Q: What makes your silver finishes unique?
A: I prefer to use a combination of different precious metals with interesting textures in each piece, accented with blackened and natural finishes.

Q: What is the brand’s signature style?
A: Hera is all about layering jewels to create a personal style easily worn from daytime casual to elegant evenings.

Q: Who is the brand’s customer?
A: Our customer is a fashion forward woman who can choose to wear her jewelry in either a classic or an edgy-chic way.

Q: What is the brand’s signature style?
A: Hera is all about layering jewels to create a personal style easily worn from daytime casual to elegant evenings.

Q: Who is the brand’s customer?
A: Our customer is a fashion forward woman who can choose to wear her jewelry in either a classic or an edgy-chic way.

Q: What materials/colors/stones are inspiring you this year?
A: I have been inspired with different hues of blues and greens this year, as well as new textures in our metals. Both will be prevalent in our new collections for this year.

TOP RETAILERS: CUPIDO, Toronto, ON, Canada; Isaac Jewelers, Scottsdale, AZ; Blue Diamond, San Juan, PR; Solomon’s Mines International, Nassau, Bahamas

RETAILER REVIEW: “Our HERA display instantly became a primary focal point for customer attraction. Intrigued by the combination of contemporary and traditional styling, this unique and desirable collection has peaked as a top seller every month. We are very pleased with its continued success.” - Frank Isaac, Isaac Jewelers, Scottsdale, AZ

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Fact Sheets: Jolie B. Ray Designs

Fact Sheets: Jolie B. Ray Designs


Published in the June 2013 issue


The organic texture juxtaposed with sheen and unique gemstones combine to make these pieces move seamlessly from day to night.

Necklaces, earrings, and rings with beautiful color and the company’s signature texture. Also, long layering pieces with fun elements.

Q & A with Marjorie Troob

Q: Do you feel jewelry designed by women has a distinct appeal?
A: If we like to wear it, we know other women will too. We also have a sense of what is comfortable to wear for all occasions.

Q: How do you add meaning to your designs?
A: We love creating an element of surprise. We carefully select stones that have great spiritual meaning and healing properties as well.

TOP RETAILERS: Peek of Chic, Ohio; Sanford Smith Fine Art, Barrington, MA; Covet, Aspen, CO; Talisman Collection, El Dorado Hills, CA

RETAILER REVIEW: “Jolie B. Ray is fun, energetic and very refreshing. They cater to a range of styles and ages with a great sense of wearable jewelry.” - Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX

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Fact Sheets: Anne Sportun

Fact Sheets: Anne Sportun


Published in the June 2013 issue


A desire to encourage an intimate exchange between each jewel and its wearer, nurtured by a universal language of shapes, symbols and form.

For 2013, the designer captured the “bigger is better” trend in one-of-a-kind statement ruby pieces with beautiful low profiles; quiet luxury at its finest. Each ruby is hand selected.

Q&A with Anne Sportun

Q: Describe some best-selling designs.
A: Our Wrap Collection is our most versatile. Customers buy multiples, they’re affordable, and, as always, casual yet elegant. They can be worn in the shower or swimming, even to bed.

TOP RETAILERS: Art & Soul, Boulder, CO; Kiss & Makeup, West Vancouver, Canada; Max’s, St. Louis Park, MN; Magpie Jewellery, Ottawa, Canada

RETAILER REVIEW:“Anne’s designs are so beautiful and easy to wear — any day, every day! The collection is so deep, yet so cohesive, that our customers have no problem finding new things that work perfectly with the jewelry from Anne that they already own.” - Ellen Hertz, Max’s, St. Louis Park, MN

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Fact Sheets: Gellner

Fact Sheets: Gellner


Published in the June 2013 issue


The essence of modern pearl jewelry for women and men. Dynamic designs create the unique juxtaposition between classic materials and modern silhouettes.

New favorites include tension-set pearl rings with subtle colored diamond accents, unisex macrame bracelets suited to stack or mix-and-match, and layered, asymmetrical Tahitian necklaces that play with scale.

Q&A with Randy and Biggi Pavlow

Q: Tell us about your latest line.
A: We have something for every consumer type: from high-end to fun-inspired pieces. Materials vary as well: We are not afraid to pair 18K gold with silver, plastic and leather. Pearls take center stage but are accompanied by diamonds and colored stones.

Q: What’s inspiring you this year?
A: We have introduced more color. In our Pearl Style line we have mixed in just about every colored stone under the sun.

TOP RETAILERS: Von Bargen’s Jewelry, NH and VT; Moretti’s, San Antonio, TX; Turgeon Raine, Seattle, WA; Hamilton Hill, Durham, NC

RETAILER REVIEW: “We used to sell pearls, but it wasn’t a big category for us; they seemed to be too formal for our market. These are edgier, and they’ve done phenomenally well.”- Julie Thom, Von Bargen’s Jewelry, NH and VT

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Fact Sheets: Holly Dyment Fine Jewelry

Fact Sheets: Holly Dyment Fine Jewelry


Published in the June 2013 issue


Tongue-incheek dark humor with a generous pinch of over-the-top embellishment and pull-out-the-stops color.

Luxe hues of hand-painted enamel with a signature mix of brightly colored, precious and semi-precious gemstones. Elements of movement, 3-D effects and tactile surfaces abound.

Q&A with Holly Dyment

Q: What did you learn about jewelry design from interior design?
A: I’ve always had a more-is-more approach to color and design. My jewelry is informed by the same aesthetic.

Q: What materials and motifs stand out for 2013?
A: Colorful tsavorite, tanzanite and oversize mandarin garnet are new. Circus-big-top striping and punkish, inverted gem settings create small works of wearable art sculptures.

TOP RETAILERS: Artwork Gallery, Toronto, ON, Canada; FABRICE, Toronto, ON, Canada; 108interiors, Milan, Italy; Lissa Fine Jewelry, New York, NY

RETAILER REVIEW: “Beautiful jewelry with fabulous use of color! But most important, so much fun to wear!” - Elissa, Lissa Fine Jewelry, New York, NY

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Fact Sheets: Just Jules

Fact Sheets: Just Jules


Published in the June 2013 issue


Julie Romanenko works with organic shapes, textures and themes to create naturalistic works of art in gold.

Mixed blend of emeralds and rose-cut diamonds priced from $1,500 wholesale. This collection was introduced prior to emerald green being ranked Pantone’s Color of the Year.

Q&A with Julie Romanenko

Q: Describe some best selling designs in your line.
A: Some of our best-selling designs come from our Celebrity Rox collection featuring rose-cut diamond bridal rings and large, natural emerald slice pieces for customers looking for amazing color, size and one-of-a-kind jewelry.

TOP RETAILERS: Curate, Millburn, NJ; Max’s, St. Louis Park, MN; Sedoni Gallery, Hunting

RETAILER REVIEW: Julie’s jewelry is a modern, flirty twist on the art deco style. It’s easy to wear — each piece stands alone, yet it layers so well. Each line in her collection represents consistent design elements, so it’s easy to merchandise in a cohesive way. Her enthusiasm for her work shines through.” - Ellen Hertz, Max’s, St. Louis Park, MN

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Fact Sheets: Alishan

Fact Sheets: Alishan


Published in the June 2013 issue


Fusion of contemporary and classical bursts in colors and textures of precious metals adorned with a radiant cast of gemstones.

Mixes precious metals with new and fresh elements that continue the company’s existing collections, all inspired by life.

Q&A with Alishan Halebian

Q: Describe some bestselling designs in your line.
A: Mixed metal pieces with gemstones, rose cut and fancy cut diamonds have been the best sellers for the last year — a couture look with affordable price points.

Q: What materials do you like designing with and why?
A: I have been working with sterling silver lately, mixing it with 18K gold, platinum and palladium.

TOP RETAILERS: Deva, Winston-Salem, NC; Jewelry Art, Hudson, OH; I Gorman, Washington, DC; The Gem Collection, Tallahassee, FL

RETAILER REVIEW: “Alishan is ever-evolving and always aware of the trends. If you, as a jeweler, appreciate Alishan’s designs, and if you have a customer who appreciates unique designer jewelry, then you’ll have no problem selling it.” - Barbara Johnson, Jewelry Art, Hudson, OH

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Fact Sheets: EMCO Gem

Fact Sheets: EMCO Gem


Published in the June 2013 issue


Emco is a prime source for fine Colombian emeralds, with expertise in gemstone cutting and polishing and unique highend jewelry manufacturing. With a focus on exceptional quality, they maintain a diverse inventory able to meet year-round demand for stones of all qualities, shapes and sizes.

A vast selection of loose emeralds in fine singles, pairs and layout sets from 1 to 100 carats. Emco’s emerald and diamond jewelry designs are timeless — modern, simple takes on classic styles of the 20th century.

Q&A with Yaron Nhaissi, President, Emco Gem

Q: How can you help jewelers profit from emeralds?
A: Emeralds give better margins than diamonds. Since every stone is unique, retailers can focus on carrying competitive price points without having to stock a variety of colors and clarities as is done with white diamonds. Promoting emeralds, as well as other color stones, helps distinguish a store from retailers that only promote diamonds.

Q: How can jewelers more effectively market emeralds?
A: The best way to market emeralds is to stock emeralds. Showing emeralds — particularly the finest, well cut stones — leads to requests for custom work or other pieces, sizes and price points. As a prime source, Emco partners with our retailers on creative models tailored to help them promote and sell emeralds.

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Fact Sheets: Symmetry Margoni

Fact Sheets: Symmetry Margoni


Published in the June 2013 issue


Hand-fabricated one-offs include gemstones cut in-house, perfecting an organic feel. Bold abstract minimalism is the pervasive sensibility of every piece.

Our latest collection showcases a broader variety of quality gemstones in exciting color combinations starting at $950.

Q & A with Mary Margoni

Q: Who is the woman that wears Symmetry Margoni?
A: The Margoni woman loves colored gemstones first of all, and she’s looking to make an out-of-theordinary statement.

Q: What do you most enjoy about the design process?
A: Most of all, we enjoy the cutting process of the stones in an effort to retain the natural shape/morphology of the rough crystal and to best showcase it into wearable jewelry.

TOP RETAILERS:I. Gorman Jewelry, Washington, DC; Hummingbird Jewelers, Rhinebeck, NY; Skyline Gallery, Tucson, AZ; Spectrum Art & Jewelry, Wilmington, NC

RETAILER REVIEW: “The Margoni line offers a bold, colorful, and dramatic look while at the same time being very wearable.”— Adam Gorman, I. Gorman Jewelry, Washington, DC

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Fact Sheets: Pamela Froman

Fact Sheets: Pamela Froman


Published in the June 2013 issue


“Crushed” textured 18K gold, scroll motifs, and innovative blends of special gold colors with unique natural gems and diamonds.

Adding to popular one-of-a-kind collections of opal and platinum rutilated quartz with more unique pieces.

Q&A with Pamela froman

Q: With such a strong signature style, how do you evolve to always be fresh?
A: I look for interesting natural stones that you don’t usually see and combine them with my different colors of 18K gold to create singular styles. Unique gems have been a big inspiration for me the past few years.

TOP RETAILERS: Lux Bond & Green, Westport, CT; Max’s, St. Louis Park, MN; McCaskill & Co., Destin, FL; Cotton Club, Houston, TX

RETAILER REVIEW: “Pamela Froman’s jewelry makes your heart smile. Her stone choices, her mixing of gold colors and her designs all blend perfectly in the right styles for my clients’ jewelry boxes. Her crushed finish and scrollwork is contemporary and different from anything in the market.”- Lisa Spain, Cotton Club Collection, Houston, TX

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Fact Sheets: K. Rosengart

Fact Sheets: K. Rosengart


Published in the June 2013 issue


More than just a diamond dealer, Karen Rosengart is a trusted diamond source providing superior customer service rooted in firsthand experience in jewelry design and manufacturing, bench work, and stone setting. Her clients consider K. Rosengart their company’s in-house diamond department.

K. Rosengart specializes in diamond melee of unrivaled quality and consistency, with an incredible depth of diamond inventory in a large range of qualities and price points.

Q&A with Karen Rosengart

Q: How can diamond melee add value for jewelers?
A: More difficult to price out than a 1-carat GIA graded stone, melee adds more than just sparkle. The value of the melee allows for greater flexibility in profit margin.

Q: What trends are evident in diamond jewelry that you see in client requests?
A: Our clients have started to produce jewelry in alternative metals like silver, titanium and steel and continue to use diamonds to add value. The trend of consumer focus on price and immediacy has not eroded their desire for quality.

Q: How can you help jewelers succeed with diamonds?
A: We work directly with our customers merging our expertise with their needs and goals, from customized bagging and cataloging styles to overnight shipping.

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Fact Sheets: Somers Jewelry

Fact Sheets: Somers Jewelry


Published in the June 2013 issue


SOMERS Jewelry is born in three dimensions as soapstone sculpture, carved by master sculptor Somers Randolph, then cast in fine metals and handfinished.

The company’s emphasis on line and form is complemented by a colorful array of exquisite leathers, with more than 40 different combinations available. SOMERS enjoys evolving and creating a consistently strong series of designs.

Q&A with Hillary Randolph

Q: What materials do you like designing with?
A: Somers’ favorite material for creating original pieces for jewelry is soapstone, which, although fragile, carves with exquisite detail. His miniature stone sculptures are then cast into silver and gold, the alchemy of the SOMERS collection. 

TOP RETAILERS: The Laughing Dog Gallery, Vero Beach, FL; The Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; Reinhold Jewelers, Puerto Rico; Borsheims Fine Jewelry, Omaha, NE

RETAILER REVIEW: “I find SOMERS Jewelry fresh and modern. I love the mix of metallic leathers that help transform their look with every changing season.”— Amy Dudzik, Borsheims Fine Jewelry, Omaha, NE

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Fact Sheets: Sholdt

Fact Sheets: Sholdt


Published in the June 2013 issue


A refined, organic style is defined through its perfect engineering. The designs are sexy, savvy and sophisticated.

The Lynden Collection was inspired by the common maidenhair fern — its finish has an organic look that shimmers in the light, reducing the need for excess diamond adornment.

Q&A with Brian Sholdt

Q: Do you have any tips for merchandising your jewelry?
A: When you buy a Sholdt design, you’re assured you are purchasing a piece made in the United States.

Q: Who is the brand’s customer?
A: Our customer understands the balance of pure aesthetics. The designs have a cool factor, rather than shouting out with glitz.

TOP RETAILERS: I. Gorman Jewelers, Washington, DC; Steve Quick Jewelers, Chicago, IL; Greenwich Jewelers, New York, NY; The Wedding Ring Shop, Honolulu, HI

RETAILER REVIEW: “They create original designs, fabricate them in their own shop using high quality methods, examine each piece to insure perfection, have a staff that listens and bends over backwards to accommodate, and price all of this very, very fairly.” — Ivan Gorman, I. Gorman Jewelers, Washington, DC

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Fact Sheets: Dawes Design

Fact Sheets: Dawes Design


Published in the June 2013 issue


Dawes Design elements can be combined and layered to create an individual look. Customers tend to be conscientious, thoughtful people interested in sustainability and bespoke jewelry made by the artist.

Mineral is a one-of-a-kind collection using ethical stones that are half-faceted and half-natural mineral, sourced from mine to market.

Q & A with Jennifer Dawes

Q: How did your respect for the environment evolve?
A: The birth of my first child launched a profoundly spiritual experience that changed my body of work, business and design.

Q: What about your love of metals and gems in their organic state?
A: The intrinsic natural qualities of a stone makes it beautiful and magical; it speaks to the nature of life.

TOP RETAILERS: D & H Sustainable Jewelers, San Francisco, CA; The Clay Pot, Brooklyn, NY; Sundance, Park Meadows CO; New Twist, Portland, OR

RETAILER REVIEW: “Clients favoring an urban lifestyle with environmental awareness are drawn to Dawes Design.”— Shawn Higgins, D & H Sustainable Jewelers, San Francisco, CA

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Fact Sheets: Elizabeth Garvin

Fact Sheets: Elizabeth Garvin


Published in the June 2013 issue


Self-taught designer Garvin hails from an artistic family and her artful approach is evident in each original piece she produces in-studio.

Elizabeth Garvin Fine offers a new departure, inspired by worldly elements and a technical curiosity. The bold collections are thematic and their concepts are architecturally rendered. Priced from $450 to $6,800.

Q & A with Elizabeth Garvin

Q: How do you maintain that tension between simplicity and distinction?
A: My creative thread weaves natural geometry and urban industrialism in metals and gems, refining scale and defining through proportion.

Q:What inspires you?
A: My inspiration is a vibe taken straight from the 1950s: weighty yet playful, simplified to its essence.

Q: What are your major influences for launching a new collection?
A: After nearly 20 years designing a minimal, modernist silver line, gold and diamonds started calling to me.
TOP RETAILERS: DeNovo Gallery, Palo Alto, CA; Z Folio Gallery, CA; Skyline Gallery, Tucson, AZ; Topeo Gallery, New Hope, PA

RETAILER REVIEW: “Elizabeth’s strong, almost exaggerated textures in many of her pieces create a nice balance between these strong textures and the subtle matte finishes. Her work has a down-to-earth elegance.”— Cherry LeBrun, DeNovo Gallery, Palo Alto, CA

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Fact Sheets: Cassandra Erin Studio

Fact Sheets: Cassandra Erin Studio


Published in the June 2013 issue


Cassandra Erin Studio involves its clients in the process of creating individualized pieces from keepsakes like letters, baby footprints or children’s art.

The From the Heart collection drew inspiration from a client requesting a special Father’s Day present that no one else had. Prices for similar pieces start at $200.

Q & A with Cassandra Erin

Q: What have you made into custom pieces?
A: Each piece is custom made. We work with everything from a newborn baby’s footprints to written memories of a loved one.

Q: What is your preferred metal?
A: We work in Argentium silver because it’s a higher quality, lowtarnish and lower fire scale silver than sterling. Also 18K gold.

TOP RETAILERS: Ylang-Ylang, St. Louis, MO; Eliza Page, Austin, TX; Victoria Marie, Parker, CO; Howard’s Jewelry, Parma Heights, OH

RETAILER REVIEW:“Cassandra Erin is one of my favorite collections. Since every piece is truly one of a kind, the customer can create their story and share a message through the jewelry. It’s so unique and timeless and unlike other personalized collections.” - Elizabeth Gibson, Eliza Page, Austin, TX

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Fact Sheets: Bez Ambar

Fact Sheets: Bez Ambar


Published in the June 2013 issue


Superbly refined lines and expert craftsmanship combines with innovative couture jewels.

New collections concentrate on unique diamond cuts like The Blaze diamond cut that produces dramatic bursts of fire and scintillation. The Blaze starts at $2,200.

Q & A with Bez Ambar

Q: What should jewelry collectors know about The Blaze cut?
A: I developed this bold cut with fewer but larger facets that disperse reflected light into exciting flashes of color.

Q: What gemstones interest you currently?
A: At the moment it’s still diamonds, since I’m focusing on the effect that faceting arrangements have on the overall look of a piece.

TOP RETAILERS: Maurice Badler, New York, NY; Eiseman Jewels, Dallas, TX; Razny Jewelers, Chicago IL; Alson Jewelers, Cleveland, OH

RETAILER REVIEW: “Bez Ambar’s artistry and innovative technology has transformed the jewelry industry.” - Jeffrey Badler, Maurice Badler Jewelry, New York, NY

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Fact Sheets: Vahan

Fact Sheets: Vahan


Published in the June 2013 issue


A sense of history pervades the collections at Vahan; no wonder, since the company has been producing classic 14K gold and sterling silver pieces since 1968. Highly detailed motifs, including fleurs-de-lis, granulation and open scrollwork, are de rigueur.

The company’s most coveted style — Moiré Beaded stacking bracelets — lets women mix-and-match to their heart’s desire. Envisioned to be piled on, the expertly crafted pieces are perfect for collectors.

Q&A with Leon "Sacha" Der Calousdian

Q: From where do you draw inspiration?
A: We aspire to create timeless classics using historic elements from art and architecture. Since trends come and go, collections are designed with longevity in mind, so that a woman can enjoy her jewelry for life.

Q: Why is the two-tone look a good selling point?
A: It creates contrast and gives a design dimension. We started experimenting with two-tone designs in the ’60s, during a time when all-gold jewelry was the standard. We recognized the appeal of this style immediately, but in truth we had no idea the enthusiasm for two-tone would grow to such heights!

Q: Who is the brand’s customer?
A: Vahan is known for being a versatile brand and is worn just as comfortably on women in their day-to-day lives as it is on the red carpet. Our bracelets are custom-sized to fit comfortably on any woman’s wrist.

TOP RETAILERS: McCary’s Jewelers, Shreveport, LA; Jerry’s Occoquan Jewelers, Occoquan, VA; Koerber’s Fine Jewelry, New Albany, IN

RETAILER REVIEW: “Vahan is our best-selling designer. Their beaded designs and craftsmanship are backed by a company that understands marketing, support and promotion of their product. Vahan ensures exclusive territories, fair profit margin, great quality control and ecstatic repeat collectors.” - Brenda Root Monn and Patricia Lyons, Jerry’s Occoquan Jewelers, Occoquan, VA

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Fact Sheets: Todd Reed

Fact Sheets: Todd Reed


Published in the June 2013 issue


Using sustainable materials like recycled metals and raw diamonds, Todd Reed creates aesthetically minded jewelry that is unique and exquisite. He pulls inspiration from the endless beauty found in nature, echoing the elemental forces and challenging the common perception of luxury jewelry as wearable art for the true individual.

This year, Todd is focusing on one-of-a-kind designs, returning to his core value, his great design sense. His team has been busy producing more than 100 new pieces that will show at Couture in Las Vegas.

Q&A with Todd Reed

Q: Describe some best-selling designs in your line.
A: We’re streamlining our collections, focusing on our best-sellers like our eternity bands in bridal, and the top percentage of pieces in our four main fashion directions: our vintage rose cut grouping, oxidized silver with white diamonds, raw diamonds, and Bubble Collection. For us, bridal is a core component of our mix.

Q: What inspirations are most significant to your creations of late and why?
A: Personal pursuit, not worrying about price, more experimental. Lately, I’m accessing different inventory of unique raw material, and I’m not shying away from really big, really cool stuff.

Q: How do you help jewelers succeed with your designs?
A: We are very hands on in working with our retail partners. We conduct a lot of in person training, do special events, partner in advertising, and we’re big on social media: Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and blogs.

TOP RETAILERS: I Gorman Jewelers, Washington, DC; Ylang | 23, Dallas, TX; Gumps, San Francisco, CA; Mitchells, Westport, CT

RETAILER REVIEW: “We seek designers who have a distinct point of view, a soulful voice, and Todd’s collection certainly speaks to our clients. Todd’s jewelry is more than just beautiful — his designs are intelligent and sophisticated. Plus, the exceptional staff at Todd Reed is committed to giving us the highest level of service.” - Serena Ramsey, Gumps, San Francisco, CA

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Fact Sheets: Sethi Couture

Fact Sheets: Sethi Couture


Published in the June 2013 issue


A design aesthetic that blends an Old World charm with modern flair through the use of antique cuts of diamonds accented with beautiful natural color diamonds.

Inspired by the lavish costume design and cinematography of romantic dramatic films like Anna Karenina and the Great Gatsby. The style takes one back to those historical periods fascinated with detailed apparel and accessories.

Q&A with Pratima Sethi

Q: Describe some best-selling designs in your line.
A: Our best-selling designs are our variety of color diamond stackable bands. The novelty in the design is the subtle details and accents, whether a scalloped border, signature engraving, or hints of color diamond accents. Across our collection, it is these delicate details that make our best-sellers intriguing.

TOP RETAILERS: Tiny Jewel Box, Washington, DC; Sid Potts, Shreveport, LA; Ylang | 23, Dallas, TX; Mansoor Gore, Palo Alto, CA

RETAILER REVIEW: “Pratima Sethi has grown up in a well-known diamond family and has an inherent knowledge of how to use rustic, rose-cut briolettes and fancy colored diamonds. The result is a strong yet feminine aesthetic in her line, with the additional allure of offering many one-of-a-kind pieces.” - Joanne Teichman, Ylang | 23, Dallas, TX

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Fact Sheets: I. Reiss

Fact Sheets: I. Reiss


Published in the June 2013 issue


A unique manufacturing technique highlights creative yellow gold handcrafted styles designed in 14K matte and hammerfinish, enhanced with diamonds and semi-precious gemstones.

Inspired by nature’s beauty, the Lilypad Collection features a charming play on alternating matte and polish finished petals individually handcrafted and assembled to duplicate the sophistication and motion of the flower.

Q&A with Isaac Reiss

Q:With a strong signature style, how do you evolve your brand to always be fresh?
A: Staying true to my aesthetic, my love for the bold and chunky yellow gold look is left to morph naturally as the times and fashions change.

Q: What inspirations are most significant to your creations and why?
A: Nature always has inspired me and by extension my art and is an ever present stamp in my work.

TOP RETAILERS: Shelle Jewelers, Northbrook, IL; Jay Roberts, Marlton, NJ; Clodius & Co., Rockford, IL; Jewelers Touch, Placentia, CA

RETAILER REVIEW: “Isaac is a creative designer at very saleable prices for today’s market. He remains aware of the fact that consumers are price-conscious and value-oriented. His after-sales service is excellent. He’s there to handle any issues that come up, and he’s a pleasure to deal with!”- Jake Spigel, Jay Roberts Jewelers, Marlton, NJ

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My Favorite Things: David Friedman

My Favorite Things: David Friedman

Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers, Westwood Village, CA

California store owner sings the praises of designer sterling silver, routing slips, and a specimens spectrum.


Published in the June 2013 issue

1HOOPS Most of our customers want everyday jewelry, so we often show them hoops, which are generally a casual earring style, very appropriate for Martha’s Vineyard. I sell hoops in all metals and all different gems. And all price points — from $25, up to a few thousand. With the college campus close by, we sell a lot of hoops to young women, who especially like the big 2-inch ones.

2MOHAIR BEAR When I was about 8 years old, my mother bought me a small teddy bear — one of those wool mohair plush toys from Steiff. When I got older, I put it in a flannel bag and in my purse, so I could always carry it with me as a kind of good luck charm. It’s comforting to have a little pal along, especially when things become stressful. HUGGIES I carry many different styles and brands because women in every age group love them. They really like when I point out that they can leave on their huggies when they go to bed at night because the back won’t poke into their neck when lying down. A typical huggy sale for us can easily be a $70 all-silver pair from a brand like Zina or a $1,500 18K gold-anddiamond design from Lauren K.

3BLUE-GEM JEWELRY Because summer is our primary season, we particularly sell a lot of colored stone earrings and bracelets — about 60 percent is self-purchase. I make sure I have a big variety of blues, like blue topaz, aquamarine, chalcedony, moonstone and labradorite. People love buying blue gem jewelry because we’re near the water.

4ANTIQUE MIRRORS Our stores are furnished with lots of showcases, cabinets and tables dating back to the 1800s. All the unusual antique mirrors scattered throughout are especially great because, as customers browse, the mirrors kind of invite them to try on the jewelry. People always ask if they’re for sale, and I tell them, “No, but all the jewelry is!”

5A BOOK Gems of Wisdom by Charlene Whitaker is a book I like to bring out when I’m working with customers buying gemstone jewelry. It lists different gems and is concise and easy to use. Each gem’s color is described, as are the psychological properties and healing benefits imparted by that colored stone.

6HUGGIES  I carry many different styles and brands because women in every age group love them. They really like when I point out that they can leave on their huggies when they go to bed at night because the back won’t poke into their neck when lying down. A typical huggy sale for us can easily be a $70 all-silver pair from a brand like Zina or a $1,500 18K gold-anddiamond design from Lauren K.

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Star Power: ‘Backlace’ & Blackened


Star Power: ‘Backlace’ & Blackened

Celeb stylist Michael O’Connor explains the return of necklaces to the red carpet and your customers’ necklines.


Published in the May 2013 issue



Here’s a new trend that takes a classic, infuses it with today’s daring and creates a sexy new style statement. If you think you knew the “right” way to wear a necklace, think again! Wrong may be the new right. Now introducing what has been christened by fashion media as the “backlace!”


Simply defined, the “backlace” is a necklace that has can be worn in reverse to draw attention to a beautiful back, a plunging dress backline or detailing on the back of a gown. This can be achieved with an opera (or other appropriate length) strand of beads or gems worn down the back of a low cut, strapless or backless gown. Structured necklaces can also be worn as a “backlace” but with a couple of considerations. The piece must sit at the base of the front of the neck without choking the wearer or interfering with the front of the dress. Additionally, the longer portion worn down the back should mirror, but stay within, the backlines or straps of the dress.


1 Anne Hathaway:Supposedly Anne’s Prada dress was a last minute swap from her original Valentino choice. The pale pink column style was a great color choice for her, drawing attention to her dark hair and eyes. She framed those features perfectly with her Tiffany & Co. “backlace.”

2 Jennifer Lawrence: The classic Chopard diamond strand was the perfect proportion to allow her to wear larger drop earrings for presence. From the front, the “backlace” created a light sparkle at the base of the neck. The drama happened when she turned around to reveal that the diamond choker was, in fact, an opera length necklace that cascaded down the back to draw attention to the train on her gown.


There’s been a lot of interest lately in television shows and movies set in romantic eras — think The Great Gatsby or Downton Abbey. Additionally, darker-themed shows like The Twilight Saga have captured the imaginations of many. Consequently, vintage and gothic fashion elements are finding a place in modern fashion. In the jewelry category, blackened and/or antiqued metal has been gaining popularity.


Blackened metal can give jewelry an antique or “found treasure” feel. In some designs, the darkened metal provides an edgy or gothic look. A darkened background makes gemstones and diamonds pop in their settings. For styling purposes, blackened metal works beautifully with all of today’s fashion colors and is available in a variety of classic jewelry metals such as platinum, gold and silver, as well as today’s modern metals like titanium and steel. The benefit? These fashionable looks can be offered to your customers at a variety of price-point options, in a plethora of colors and across many designer aesthetics.


3 Kristen Stewart: In a pale ivory Reem Acra gown, chock full of intricate embroidery and a flurry of tulle insets, she balanced the look perfectly with a classically simple 19th century Riviera necklace by Fred Leighton that helped bring attention to her face.

4 Jennifer Garner: The vivid plum color of her Gucci gown was striking, and from behind the detailing was reminiscent of a more old world approach. This feel was flawlessly carried throughout by adding a gorgeous antique style collar by Neil Lane in blackened platinum with approximately 200 carats of diamonds.

MICHAEL O’CONNOR is president of Style & Substance Inc., a marketing and communications agency offering services and consultation to the jewelry and luxury industries. Additionally, he is host of “MovieStyle with Michael O’Connor” on Reelz Channel.

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Outside The Box: ELLE Magazine Women in Television

Outside The Box: ELLE Magazine Women in Television

Published in the July/August 2013 issue

Hearts on Fire

ELLE’s second annual “Women in Television” event, hosted by ELLE editor-in-chief Robbie Myers, featured 100 of the television industry’s top actresses, actors and industry executives. As a premier sponsor, Hearts On Fire provided more than $25 million worth of Hearts On Fire diamonds as jewelry centerpieces for the dinner tables, allowing the celebrities to touch and try on the brilliant designs throughout the evening.


How successful was the event?
We had two objectives for this event and both well exceeded our expectations. The first was to have a personal, high-touch brand experience for a select group of TV and film stars and executives; the second was to generate as much publicity as possible for our brand and create images and video of celebrities wearing Hearts On Fire jewelry that we can share online and in social media.

How was this event unique?
ELLE was looking to create a different type of experience and use diamond jewelry in a way that has never been done before. We have the opportunity to sponsor many events, but most are typical experiences with jewelry behind a glass case too far from sight. Everyone knows how powerful it is when a woman picks up and tries on a beautiful piece of jewelry. We wanted to bring that feeling into the event.

How did the celebrities respond?
All 100 women were influencers and Hollywood celebrities that we hope to dress in Hearts On Fire in the future. So, we chose to bring all of our biggest and best diamond designs and make the jewelry the centerpieces of the dining tables, where women could try them on throughout the evening.

How did you handle security?
The room at the SOHO house in LA was spectacularly designed with two long 50-foot farm tables and the jewelry was displayed along the tables. We had plenty of guards around the perimeter of the room who were unobtrusive while having their eyes on every piece the entire night.

What advice do you have for independent retailers interested in putting on a similar event?
I would focus on events designed for women in small manageable numbers, as they are the ones who truly get excited by this premise. I would not publicize it in advance, so no one is aware of the set up. Consider a lovely dinner in a private dining room or a kitchen’s wine cellar with private hired security.

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Outside The Box: Kick Up Your Heels Party

Outside The Box: Kick Up Your Heels Party

Published in the May 2013 issue

Reis-Nichols Jewelers , Indianapolis, IN

Since 1919, Reis-Nichols has been a well-known jewelry name in Indianapolis, but more recently, the store has become famous for its groundbreaking holiday parties and events. The “Kick Up Your Heels” theme drew a record crowd by featuring burlesque dancers flown in from Las Vegas, a drink server whose “dress” carried the wine glasses, and a special appearance by Penny Preville.



How successful was the event?
Honestly, our goal for this annual holiday event is to thank and entertain our top clients. We measure our success by how much fun people have and the buzz it creates in the community. It takes a lot of guts for an owner to commit $50,000-plus to throw a party where the ultimate goal is to just show ’em a great time, but we’ve never failed to see the return on investment yet.

Who is invited?
The We typically invite our clients with the highest spends in the past three years. It is so much fun that if a customer happens to fall off the list one year, we usually get a call from them wondering where their invitation is.

What did having Penny Preville at the event add to the experience?
Penny’s line was new to our store just a few weeks before the party, so we invited her to attend. Honestly, there was such a big crowd and so much food, drink and entertainment that it was hard to make her stand out there, so six months later, we held a private special event off-site in a vintage tea room space. She is terrific with clients one-on-one, and when you present her jewelry collection in a venue that reflects her persona, it really resonates.

Why was the concept of the burlesque used?
We pushed the envelope with that party and — I’m not gonna lie — we offended a few. It was risky, but people are drawn to sexiness, whether they admit it. We hired a professional burlesque dance team and they tamed things down for us. All in all, customers enjoyed it, even if it made them blush... I didn’t see anyone offended enough to leave! We certainly had everyone’s attention!

Were incentives were offered to attend?
There are no incentives to attend; in fact, our invitations read more like teasers — date, time and entertainment featured. We tend to cut our invite list back a bit each year and require guests to RSVP to avoid overcrowding. We do offer some tiered discounts on the night of the event, but they are never announced ahead of time and have lots of exclusions since we carry so many designers that prohibit discounting.

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Selling Design: Amanda Tropila

Selling Designs

Amanda Tropila

Published in the May 2013 issue


In my position at PGI, I have the opportunity to speak with a range of designers about their work in platinum. They use words like “passion,” “love” and “timelessness.” The message is clear: Platinum inspires emotion.

Today’s consumer is savvy and is looking for value. Value is not communicated through a price tag, it is communicated through what the price tag has to offer. As the price of gold and platinum have never been more comparable, it is important to clearly define the difference to consumers seeking a white metal and why platinum represents the better value.

The words malleability and ductility rarely ignite the same enthusiasm in a consumer when discussing jewelry. However, these are the very qualities of platinum that render it an ideal metal for jewelry design. Danhov founder Jack Hovsepian designs each platinum piece by hand, making a truly special experience for the consumer. “Platinum is a wonderful metal to work in,” he says. “Its ability to be drawn out into a thin wire allows me to craft it into such intricate and unique designs.”

Vintage-inspired styles are always in fashion, and as many of the original art deco pieces were made in platinum, the consumer often feels a connection to tradition through these designs. Phyllis Bergman of Mercury Ring has created several detailed pieces that invoke a vintage spirit and are reasonably priced for stunning pieces that will last a lifetime without changing color, fading or wearing away.

Steven Kretchmer’s more contemporary approach uses platinum to craft chunky geometric shapes that often hold colored gemstones and diamonds, highlighting the metal’s secure setting and natural white color that won’t cast color into gemstones.

The range of skilled artistry in platinum design is broad and there is truly a platinum piece to speak to every customer. The key is knowledge, communication and variety.

THIS MONTH'S EXPERT: Amanda Tropila, Public Relations Coordinator, Platinum Guild International USA

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Selling Design: Sally Furrer

Selling Designs

Sally Furrer

Published in the July/August 2013 issue


One of the key reasons consumers purchase designer products is because they feel that they share an aesthetic with the designer. In other words, they fall in love with a line or product.

I know, for instance, that I can find the shoes I want from Via Spiga, and it keeps me coming back again and again. And, I am willing to pay more knowing that I’ll be saving time and buying a quality product that will last. This is a powerful dynamic that can also apply to your store.

This connection can be even stronger if your clients are introduced to the designer. The more vividly we paint the picture, the more our clients feel as if they know the person.

Shopping is still one of the top forms of recreation. And, we like to talk about our purchases, especially is there is an interesting story to tell. Oftentimes retailers know quite a bit about our lines — the country it was manufactured in, the specific manufacturing techniques, the design inspiration, the unique materials or gemstones. But, we fail to effectively communicate this to our clients.

Here are six tips:

Don’t just rely on marketing materials given to you. Call the designer to see what other information you can glean.

Display a framed image of the designer with a short bio/design philosophy.

Put together a features/ benefits, design inspiration, designer bio and facts sheet for each sales associate.

Role-play sales presentations in a team meeting until every associate is well versed in the line.

When marketing the brand, include the aspects that differentiate the brand, not just the product.

Have “Meet the Designer” events in your store. Always have a staff breakfast training with the designer prior to the event.

Sally Furrer is a merchandising consultant with 20-plus years of jewelry industry experience. (

Hits: 797

Media Barometer: May 2013

Published in the May 2013 issue

 Designer Eddie Matthew Scrivens, photographer of Armani’s primary fashion campaign, returns with Brazilian model Marlon Teixeira, who sports a variety of men’s jewelry looks.

Italian beauty Bianca Balti stars in the fashion brand’s nostalgic outdoor campaign shot by Giampaolo Sgura.

2011 Sports Illustrated cover model Irina Shayk stars in the Italian jewelry brand’s spring/summer ads.

Model Annemara Post evokes a sophisticated vintage look, as photographed by Mario Schmolka.



BELOW SHOWSbelow shows the top jewelry companies receiving editorial publicity in the last 12 months in the following magazines: Brides, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, Town & Country, Vogue and W. Figures indicate the number of times the brand was mentioned.



“Inner Circles: The hoop earring once again makes its way round.” Town & Country, March 2013, p 69

“With references spanning the farflung reaches of the Far East and the gritty streets of NYC, the accessory world leaves no stone unturned.” Elle, March 2013, p 276

“Chain Chokers: Serious linkage is still in vogue and you can add punch to the simplest top. Remember bold is always better.” Harper’s Bazaar, April 2013, p 134

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Brand Ambassadors: Tommy Aucoin Jr.

Brand Ambassadors: Tommy Aucoin Jr.

Louisiana retailer touts the reliability and uniqueness of Robert Demeglio.


Published in the May 2013 issue

Aucoin Hart Jewelers, Metairie, LA


Aucoin Hart started carrying Roberto Demeglio late 2012, but the store’s relationship with the Italian line’s exclusive American distributor, Beny Sofer, goes back more than three decades. “They know exactly what we like, so as long as it stayed true to Beny Sofer’s high standards, we were very interested,” says Tommy Aucoin Jr. When he laid eyes on the line in Las Vegas last summer, he says, “It was one of those ‘wow’ moments, because there’s nothing like it in the U.S.” Despite its newness here, the jewelry has quickly taken off with clients. “I feel like it’s a whole new category. We knew it was going to be a hit, but it’s gotten bigger and bigger. And I think it’s going to grow.”

CUSTOMERS LOVE IT BECAUSE: “The first thing that they see is that it’s unique — it totally stands out in the case, no matter where we put it. Plus, they realize it’s a beautifully made piece of jewelry, but the durability is incredible. The high-grade ceramic is scratchresistant. It stretches and slides on very easily. So that it’s casual jewelry that also dresses up great.”

IT'S EASY TO SELL BECAUSE: “You don’t see it a lot of places in the U.S. Another thing is the quality. It’s handcrafted by skilled artisans in Italy. And we know from our relationship with Beny Sofer that the quality is excellent.”

THE MOST POPULAR PIECES ARE: “Last fall, the huge hit was a small black bracelet, 11 millimeters, with a single station of diamonds. We bought a few of them, thinking they’d do OK. We didn’t realize how strong it was going to be. But it goes with everything — you can stack it, it goes with diamond line bracelets and won’t get scratched. It’s around $3,200 and is a great introduction to the line.”

I LIKE WORKING WITH THEM BECAUSE: “We’ve had to specialorder some things, and you’re always a little concerned about delivery: Customers don’t mind waiting for something to be handmade in their size, but if you tell them it’ll be three weeks, it has got to be three weeks. Beny Sofer has been wonderful about making sure they deliver on time.”

I’D RECOMMEND IT TO ANOTHER RETAILER BECAUSE: “If you’ve got a fashion customer — either a self-purchaser or someone who wants you to recommend things to her husband or boyfriend — this is a nobrainer. It’s just been a hit, because of the uniqueness, the fashion, and the value. There’s not instant brand recognition right now, but you need to take a hard look at it, because after it does catch on, then it’s going to be hard to get into the line.”

“Aucoin Hart Jewelers has earned an amazing reputation both with its customers and within our industry setting the standard for quality and style. Their enthusiasm for our brand, along with their incredible sell-through, is a humbling compliment for us.” Amit Sofer, Beny Sofer

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My Favorite Things: Claudia Canerdy

My Favorite Things: Claudia Canerdy

Claudia Jewelry, Edgartown and Vineyard Haven, MA

Martha’s Vineyard store owner lauds Gems of Wisdom, a mohair bear and the enticing power of antique mirrors.


Published in the May 2013 issue

1HOOPS Most of our customers want everyday jewelry, so we often show them hoops, which are generally a casual earring style, very appropriate for Martha’s Vineyard. I sell hoops in all metals and all different gems. And all price points — from $25, up to a few thousand. With the college campus close by, we sell a lot of hoops to young women, who especially like the big 2-inch ones.

2MOHAIR BEAR When I was about 8 years old, my mother bought me a small teddy bear — one of those wool mohair plush toys from Steiff. When I got older, I put it in a flannel bag and in my purse, so I could always carry it with me as a kind of good luck charm. It’s comforting to have a little pal along, especially when things become stressful. HUGGIES I carry many different styles and brands because women in every age group love them. They really like when I point out that they can leave on their huggies when they go to bed at night because the back won’t poke into their neck when lying down. A typical huggy sale for us can easily be a $70 all-silver pair from a brand like Zina or a $1,500 18K gold-anddiamond design from Lauren K.

3BLUE-GEM JEWELRY Because summer is our primary season, we particularly sell a lot of colored stone earrings and bracelets — about 60 percent is self-purchase. I make sure I have a big variety of blues, like blue topaz, aquamarine, chalcedony, moonstone and labradorite. People love buying blue gem jewelry because we’re near the water.

4ANTIQUE MIRRORS Our stores are furnished with lots of showcases, cabinets and tables dating back to the 1800s. All the unusual antique mirrors scattered throughout are especially great because, as customers browse, the mirrors kind of invite them to try on the jewelry. People always ask if they’re for sale, and I tell them, “No, but all the jewelry is!”

5A BOOK Gems of Wisdom by Charlene Whitaker is a book I like to bring out when I’m working with customers buying gemstone jewelry. It lists different gems and is concise and easy to use. Each gem’s color is described, as are the psychological properties and healing benefits imparted by that colored stone.

6HUGGIES  I carry many different styles and brands because women in every age group love them. They really like when I point out that they can leave on their huggies when they go to bed at night because the back won’t poke into their neck when lying down. A typical huggy sale for us can easily be a $70 all-silver pair from a brand like Zina or a $1,500 18K gold-anddiamond design from Lauren K.

Hits: 570

Sanity Files: Kas Jacquot

The Sanity Files: Kas Jacquot

How top jewelers keep their cool in a crazy world

Published in the May 2013 issue

Kas A Designs, jefferson City, MO
A gemologist and award-winning designer, Kas Jacquot says her passion for colored gemstones has fueled her business for 38 years. Because love is always in the air, her focus has recently shifted to diamonds.

Hits: 979

Service Shorts: May 2013


Service Shorts
May 2013

Published in the May 2013 issue

IDD has released its 2013 Bridal Catalog of new and best-selling bridal styles. Displays and marketing materials are available.

 Trollbeads has issued a spring catalog inspired by summer and the beach, with 40 new items crafted in sterling silver, Italian glass, semiprecious stones and 18K gold.

 When Unique Settings of New York has released its Forever Brilliant Moissanite Catalog. Each Moissanite jewel is guaranteed to retain its white color and comes with a certification of light performance, laser inscription and certificate of authenticity.

 Through its Change A Band, Change A Life program, Speidel is donating a portion of the proceeds from any Speidel product sold in 2013 to Operation Homefront. The nonprofit provides support to members of the American armed forces and their families.

Jewelry Information Center has launched an insider’s guide to fine jewelry style with a blog called Oh My Jewelry! To address jewelers’ growing need for content that will excite and engage their customers online, the image-centric posts are designed to be easy for jewelry brands and retailers to share on their own social media networks, like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

 In addition to large catalogs featuring new releases in January and June, Kameleon Jewelry will now publish mini-release catalogs in March and September. The latest catalog contains a new pendant and ring as well as nine JewelPops that have all been named by Facebook fans.
Information: or

Jewelers of America now features an online jewelry jobs board designed to connect employers and talent in the jewelry industry. The service is free for jewelry professionals seeking open positions.
Information: and

On May 30 in Las Vegas, participants can sign up to bike, run or walk their choice of two courses — 5K or 15K — to benefit Jewelers for Children charity partners.

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Know It All: May 2013

Know It All
May 2013

Published in the May 2013 issue


1 In a mostly symbolic move, the Senate endorsed the draft Marketplace Fairness Act, which would require retailers in all 50 states to collect sales tax on online transactions. The resolution was non-binding and intended to attract support for the bill, which has so far stirred little interest in the House. Source: BusinessWeek, 3/26/13


2 The number of crimes against jewelers increased last year to 1,538, up 4 percent from 2011. But most of them were less serious “three-minute” burglaries or “grab and runs,” according to the JSA. The combined value of industry losses fell 29 percent to $60.2 million while the number of homicides declined to two, from seven in 2011. Source: INSTORE, 3/15/13


3 U.S. regulators are scrutinizing whether prices are being manipulated in the world’s largest gold market, London, where a handful of banks meet twice daily to set the spot price for a troy ounce of physical gold. Source: Wall Street Journal, 3/13/13


4 Dubai is seeking to replace Antwerp as the rough diamondtrading center of the world by offering generous tax breaks and other benefits to traders. Located between source countries in Africa and India’s polishing factories, it has been drawing trade away from the Belgian city, which saw its diamond trade drop 8 percent to $52 billion last year. Source: Idex Online News , 3/21/13


5 Google and Samsung have reportedly joined Apple with plans to introduce smart watches, seen as the next frontier in consumer electronics. Source: Financial Times, 3/19/13


Getting down on bended knee is no longer enough. In the age of YouTube, grooms are under pressure to produce a theatrical event that can cost more than the engagement ring. Source: New York Post , 3/19/13


Etsy, the world’s biggest marketplace for arts and craft goods, is abandoning fine jewelry. The e-tailer added the category in January but it proved unpopular with shoppers. Source: ecommercebyt, 3/28/13


8 Google is developing a data-encrypted ring that may eventually replace passwords as a hacker-resistant way for users to access their email and other online accounts. Source: New York Daily News , 3/13/13 Mouawad Sets Record With $55m Necklace


9 Austrian jeweler Thomas Hauser has won a prestigious Red Dot Design Award for a series of rings made of palladium and one of the world’s least precious materials — spraypainted concrete. They look stunning regardless. Source: Wired Magazine, 3/23/13


10  A $55 million necklace unveiled by luxury jeweler Mouawad at the Doha Jewelry and Watch Show has been certified by Guinness Records as the world’s most valuable. Source: INSTORE, 3/21/13

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Cool Website: The Polished Edge

Cool Website: The Polished Edge

Published in the May 2013 issue

The Polished Edge opened its second location in 2010 in the Kansas City, MO area, specifically in the newly renovated Power & Light District. The store has added to the vitality of the area by offering such events as flamenco dancing classes when launching a new Spanish line. The new location has also provided the store an opportunity to experiment with hip new brands that are highlighted on its website.


1DISCOVER  With one simple word choice, The Polished Edge turns its website into a place of learning and wonder. Instead of the typical “About Us” page, the store uses the word “Discover” to draw a visitor into the site and the story behind the store. It’s almost irresistible — you have to click on it.

2COLLECTIONS  Pages that describe each designer show examples of the designer’s work, often feature a video and tell a bit of the designer’s back story. This sort of storytelling plays into what the 21st century consumer is looking for.

BUSINESS PARTNERS  To select local businesses and their employees, The Polished Edge offers discounts such as 10 percent off with a company ID or 20 percent off on the anniversary of one’s date of hire or birthday. The store also offers discounts on gift cards bought in bulk.


1BLOG TIMELINESS  When viewed in April, the latest blog post mentioned an upcoming event on Aug. 23. Hmm. Is that 2013? Or was it last year? As the previous post touted the fall ad campaign, it seems blog updates may have been forgotten recently.

2EVENTS While it’s great the site contains an updated events calendar, the events seem as if they are civic meetings in which the store is involved. Nothing wrong with that, but further explanation would help — as would a few events that are about the store and jewelry.

3 RESOURCES  A central “Resources” page has a lot of links to interesting sites that contain information on buying jewelry. Trouble is, will someone return to The Polished Edge after visiting them? Don’t give a visitor that opportunity to leave!

Cool Websites are selected by judges and INSTORE editors from among the top-ranked entries in the 2012 America’s Coolest Stores Contest. Have a cool website? The 2013 contest is now closed to new entries, but be sure to enter the 2014 America’s Coolest Stores Contest.

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Brand Portfolio: Eugene Glam

Brand Portfolio: Eugene Glam


Published in the May 2013 issue.

H Boutique
Eugene, OR

These days, Vegas, New York and LA have got nothing on Eugene, OR, when it comes to stylish fun. At least that’s the marketing message behind the hip new H Boutique brand.

Tobey and Sean Ritchie, third-generation owners of Harry Ritchie’s Jewelers, an Oregon-based family chain founded in 1957, recently took a detour from tradition to open their first H Boutique in the lobby of the hot new Inn at the 5th Hotel.

“We focus on keeping the H accessible, relevant, fun, personal — just completely different from any typical jewelry shopping experience most people are familiar with,” says Tobey Ritchie, VP of marketing for Harry Ritchie’s. “At the essence of everything we do to promote the H Boutique, we strive to convey our brand personality and love for fashion, jewelry and art — and how they can all come together in this shopping experience that we believe is unlike anything else in Eugene or the jewelry industry.”

H Boutique staff, called “stylists,” provide a concierge-style shopping experience, offering espresso and champagne, styling services and advice (including makeup touch-ups at the Belle Bar), tips for surprise proposals, and spa-like treatments for guests’ jewelry at the Sparkle Bar.

From their rooms, hotel guests can call the H and charge purchases to their rooms, browse in-room service menus and jewelry previews, and use branded H Boutique jewelry pouches to store jewelry while at the hotel.

The Ritchies have emphasized events and social media in their marketing campaign while also employing traditional advertising, such as magazines (including airline magazines), billboards and direct mail.


H Boutique’s minimalist advertising clearly reflects the elegant and artistic boutique ambience of its interior. “We want to give Eugene a place where you can get both accessible fashion jewelry and fine jewelry in a fun and approachable space,” Tobey says.


“To us, jewelry and fashion are an art form,” Tobey says. “We tie this philosophy into our marketing by using the unique themes from our store design and custom-made watercolors in our print advertising and our website, Rather than pushing a sales-driven message, we focus on the message that jewelry fashion is accessible and fun.”


Other retailers in the shopping center adjacent to the hotel provide gift cards and gifts for special events. “We’ve had a good relationship so far with the neighbors,” Tobey says.


Since opening its doors in August 2012, the H has specialized in throwing in-store VIP events, complete with a red carpet, gift bags and DJs. The grand opening Block Party drew 600 people to an adjacent courtyard space set up with DJs, outdoor bars and a Carlo Viani trunk show; no one left until they had to — at 10 p.m. — to let hotel guests sleep. “We had VIPs, jewelry try-ons, professional models. We wanted to bring a little Hollywood, a little New York, a little Vegas — an exciting cosmopolitan feel — to Eugene,” Tobey says.


The company uses its Facebook page to promote events while offering a chance to win a $500 gift card. H Boutique adapts to ever-evolving social media opportunities, including Pinterest and Instagram. “Our goal with H Boutique’s social media presence is to build a community of fashionistas that love jewelry and accessorizing and who want to celebrate their own unique sense of style,” Tobey says. “We also strive to keep our fans and followers in the know on what’s hot and inspire them to bring their friends to the H to enjoy a unique shopping experience.”


TV spots and social media offer style tips. “No one’s really focusing on style tips and there’s a real need for that here,” says Tobey. “We created actual segments that are running on cable and network TV, that were shot in the boutique with models.” Tobey is also featured in the ads: “It puts a name with a face, a personality with H Boutique.”


H Boutique serves free H macaroons (made in the store’s colors of teal, pink and gold) every day. They also partner with a local restaurant and serve a signature sparkler, espresso or hot cider every day. Customers can order food in the boutique, too.


H Boutique is known for its glitzy gift bags given away at events, which often include gifts from its retail neighbors, such as a gift certificate for the hotel spa, Gervais. During one H Boutique promotion, spa gift cards of $25 were given to those who spent $250 or more and $50 for purchases of $500 or more. Clients of Gervais, on the other hand, are offered a “spa treatment” for their jewelry at H Boutique’s Sparkle Bar.

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Spiff of The Month: Win the Lottery!


Spiff of The Month: Win the Lottery!


Published in the May 2013 issue.

In this retail version of the ever-popular state lottery, salespeople earn a store lottery ticket for each goal they meet. If no one wins the day or week’s prize, it’s added to the jackpot for the next drawing.

1. Buy lottery tickets, a drum to hold the lottery balls, and a results board.

2. Set the goals — first sale of the day, add-on, biggest sale, etc. — that will earn staff a ticket.

3. Designate a certain time of the day when you’ll draw the winning number. Make a big show of it with whistles, horns or gongs.

SOURCE: Taken from Harry Friedman’s The Retailer’s Complete Book of Selling Games and Contests.
Information: or (310) 590- 1248

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Sales Truths : Put a Fork in Me ... I’m Done!

Sales Truths : Put a Fork in Me... I’m Done!


Published in the May 2013 issue.

WHY IT IS TRUE: You survived Christmas, went through Valentine’s Day, made it nearly to Mother’s Day, not to mention numerous birthdays and anniversaries... and you keep telling yourself: Get a Life!

PLAN OF ACTION: The only way to really get a life is to get away. Get away from everything, your store, your great staff, your marketplace, your customers etc. Forget researching diamonds and gemstones online. Instead, research great vacation destinations that would help you dramatically relieve the tension, which is certainly manifesting itself in you and your great staff. Get away from your store, your business, and everything that at this moment is really important in your life. Grab your spouse or a good friend (preferably not both), check out some desirable vacation destinations, and do something you haven’t done in years. Go, get away, relax, smell the flowers, recharge your batteries and come back prepared to attack the upcoming season with a vengeance. You will be glad you did. — DAVE RICHARDSON

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Woulda Coulda Shoulda: “Who’s Cheap?”


Woulda Coulda Shoulda: “Who’s Cheap?”


Published in the May 2013 issue.

To the guy who said: “This place has gotten cheap. Now you charge me for the battery that used to be free.”

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Know It All: April 2013

Know It All
April 2013

Published in the April 2013 issue


1 It may not have felt like it, but 2012 was close to being a record year for American specialty jewelers with domestic sales reaching $30.7 billion, just $23 million shy of 2007’s all-time high, according to preliminary data from the Department of Commerce. Source: IDEX Online News, 3/4/13


2 Apple has a team of about 100 product designers working on a wristwatch-like device that may perform some of the tasks now handled by the iPhone. It could, according to some observers, revolutionize the timepiece market. Source: Bloomberg, 2/15/13


3 Belgian police are looking for eight men who cut a hole in a security fence at Brussels international airport, drove onto the tarmac and stole an estimated $50 million worth of diamonds from the hold of a Switzerland-bound plane. Source: AP, 2/20/13


4 The median age at which men and women in America marry for the first time hit a record high in 2012 — 28.6 for men and 26.6 for women. For jewelers, this is good and bad news. While older consumers have more money to buy jewelry, they are putting off marriage, which is slowing growth of the bridal market. Source: IDEX Online News, 2/20/13


5 Customer satisfaction with retailers is at an all-time high, according to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, hitting 76.6 percent for brick and mortar stores and 82 percent for online retailers. Source: 24/7, 3/11/13


According to a survey by the David’s Bridal chain in Texas, 57 percent of newly engaged women would change something about their engagement ring if they could. What they want most is a ring they won’t see on someone else’s hand. Source: Houston Chronicle, 6/03/13


Nordstrom will soon sell products sourced from Etsy, according to officials of the online craft site’s wholesale arm. Source: PSFK, 2/28/13


8 Costco Wholesale Corp. has asked a New York federal judge to rule that Tiffany setting is a generic term, not a trademark of the legendary retailer. The motion comes in response to a Feb. 14 lawsuit from Tiffany & Co., which had claimed that Costco was selling rings falsely identified as Tiffany’s. Source: JCK, 3/11/13


9 The Gemological Institute of America has revamped its global-standard gem grading and identification reports to make them lighter, more environmentally friendly and more secure. QR codes printed on each report will verify the document via direct access to GIA’s online Report Check service. Source: Rapaport tradewire, 3/8/13


10 Nielsen Holdings NV is selling its conference unit, which organizes the JA New York and Couture shows. Source: Wall Street Journal, 3/9/13

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Sanity Files: Marcy Feldman

The Sanity Files: Marcy Feldman

How top jewelers keep their cool in a crazy world

Published in the April 2013 issue

Heartwear Designs, Birmingham, MI
Fascinated by the simplicity of the cube since childhood, Feldman started making geometric jewelry in 1970. Her jewelry is known for simplicity and balance. Dare we say “feng shui?”

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Cool Website: Maurice’s Jewelers

Cool Website:  Maurice’s Jewelers

Published in the April 2013 issue

Owned by the Koppel family since 1935, Maurice’s Jewelers has been a growing fixture in Miami, moving to its most recent 4,000-square-foot location in 2011. To this day, there will often be three generations of Koppels working the sales floor.


1BRACELET BUILDER  Just like the big blue boys of the ’Net, Maurice’s has a diamond tennis bracelet builder. Independents can play that game too!

2HOW-TO  Although heavy on text, here is a page that’s overlooked on too many sites. Instead of assuming customers know everything about the Internet, this page tells them how to place orders and answers such questions as what happens to credit card information.

JEWELER’S LIBRARY  From spring fashion tips to a holiday buying guide, the site contains information in 23 categories that a consumer is going to find exceptionally useful.


1DOUBLE-CHECK  In our most recent visit to the homepage, using both Safari and Chrome, the main image of six striking bridal rings overlapped three smaller images below, rendering those images unreadable. Always double-check your homepage. Give it a look every day. Crazy HTML things happen.

2MORE PHOTOS If photos illustrated all the articles in Maurice’s Jewelers Library, this site would hit a home run.

3 UPCOMING EVENTS  In mid-March, the upcoming event listed was a promotion for the previous December. Boy, do we ever know it’s tough to stay on top of this, but expired promotions under the heading “upcoming” aren’t going to cut it with the Web shopper.

Cool Websites are selected by judges and INSTORE editors from among the top-ranked entries in the 2012 America’s Coolest Stores Contest. Have a cool website? Enter the America’s Coolest Stores Contest at Deadline is April 15.

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Service Shorts: April 2013


Service Shorts
April 2013

Published in the March 2013 issue

 The 2013 edition of Angelique de Paris’ annual look book presents the designer’s signature colorful creations in sterling silver, 18K gold vermeil and silver-plate fashion. Favorite styles — including Veranda, Bamboo and Contessa — mingle with new favorites Oasis, Bel Fiore and Amalfi. Angelique de Paris creates high quality resin jewelry and gemstone-intense creations.
Information: or (610) 782-7227

 When Baselworld 2013 kicks off on April 25, the show will do so in its new hall complex. The 1.5 million square feet of show floor will better accommodate the more than 2,000 exhibitors and 100,000 attendees.

 Parcel Pro Inc. has developed new tech solutions for jewelers. A shipping widget, for example, can be added to a jeweler’s e-commerce website. And an API solution automatically creates shipping labels.
Information: or (888) 683-2300

Preferred Jewelers International held its first conference for retail members in February. Andie Weinman, CEO, and her husband and co-founder Joe Murphy are the owners of Continental Buying Group. Weinman says the new organization is in the process of testing and marketing a “Preferred Diamond” to be offered exclusively through Preferred Retailers. A Preferred Jewelers Institute cruise is scheduled Sept. 27-30.

 WR Cobb Online has partnered with David’s Bridal as the platform provider of Design Your Own Bridal and Fine Jewelry. DavidsBridal. com shoppers can access the platform through the “It’s All About You” banner ads appearing throughout the website. Visitors will be guided to a local jeweler to receive their custom-designed ring.
Information: or (800) 428-0400.

Five dollars from the sale of each Karma Pop from Kameleon Jewelry’s Karma Collection will help an organization called KLEO — Karen Learning and Education Opportunities, which assists young ethnic Karen people of northern Thailand. The funds will be used to help students living in remote villages to complete middle and high school.
Information: and

Leo Ingwer Inc. is now offering loose diamonds. Every shape stone will be offered from half a carat to 3 carats, D-I color and SI2-IF clarity. The diamonds are GIAcertified, conflict-free, based on personal knowledge and/or written guarantees provided by the supplier.
Information: (212) 719-1342 or leoingwer. com.

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True Tales: Dreams Fulfilled

True Tales: Dreams Fulfilled


Published in the April 2013 issue.

Two things — both happening within 15 minutes of each other:

1A customer came in who had been dreaming about a silver ring for quite a while. Unfortunately, it was vintage, one-of-a-kind and sold. She decided to consider a pair of earrings and said that she would come back in. She came back later that day, and behind her walking in was the person who had purchased the ring several months before. I said, “And here is the person who bought the ring!” This person, who was wearing it, asked the woman why she liked it so much and she answered that it was a special gift for her mom. The person who bought it offered it for sale and accepted the offer the other provided. All left very happy.

2About 15 minutes later, another client, whom I had not seen in 10 years, came in and said that the ring she had purchased from me and returned 10 years ago had been in her dreams for the last several months. It was a platinum, star sapphire and diamond Edwardian ring. She came in on a lark to see if I still had it. Oddly, the person who had purchased the ring for his fiancée a while ago, had recently brought back the ring to trade for another. The person who had been dreaming about it wrote a check immediately and left the store elated. A very strange day indeed! — Donna Soodalter- Toman, DIVA (Donna’s Infinite Variety of Adornments), Newtonville, MA

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Spiff of The Month: Profitmaker


Spiff of The Month: Profitmaker


Published in the April 2013 issue.

This is a game for stores where the staff has the discretion to offer discounts. The contest runs for one week with a prize presented to the sales associate who ends the period closest to a perfect ratio, meaning 100.

 Set a minimum number of sales transactions that staff must meet to become a contender. 5 Track sales and keep a running total. Each sale is worth 100 points, so a 15 percent discount will leave a score of 85 points.

At the end of the week, add up all the points and divide them by the number of transactions, and, voilà, you’ll have your winner. (She’s the one with the highest number of points.)

 Hand out a prize. Also. use the opportunity to mention the perils of discounting. (For more on that subject, see page 92.)

SOURCE: Taken from Harry Friedman’s The Retailer’s Complete Book of Selling Games and Contests.
Information: or (310) 590- 1248

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Sales Truths : Check and Evaluate Job Applicants’ Skills and Composure Under Fire.

Sales Truths : Sales Truths : Check and Evaluate Job Applicants’ Skills and Composure Under Fire.


Published in the April 2013 issue.

WHY IT IS TRUE: Thinking on your feet is a critical sales skill. Measure your candidate’s ability by asking her one or two challenging and unexpected questions.

PLAN OF ACTION: Ask questions such as: “Tell me about your last performance appraisal. In what areas were you most disappointed?” and “How would your previous manager rate your ability to cope with last-minute changes?” Listen carefully to her answers, probe her responses, and fairly evaluate what you are hearing, and seeing in the way of body language. It’s not your job to like the candidate, but rather it’s her job to make you like her. — DAVE RICHARDSON

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Woulda Coulda Shoulda: Uggghhh!!!


Woulda Coulda Shoulda: Uggghhh!!!


Published in the April 2013 issue.

When a guy comes in and says, “The old lady is a little bit angry with me because I bought a $20,000 fishing boat. So, what do you have for $100 to put me in her good graces?”

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Media Barometer: March/April 2013

Published in the March/April 2013 issue

 Designer Eddie Borgo tabbed supermodel Anja Rubik for his spring 2013 campaign (above).

The London-based colored stone producer’s spring 2013 campaign features megastar Kunis in emerald-and-ruby jewelry by six renowned designers.

A high-tech ad allows viewers to “build” the newest iteration of the storied watch by scrolling their cursor, which is followed by a high-energy video.

Model Josephine Skriver wears bright, handmade beaded jewelry by sisters Danielle and Jodie Snyder in the company’s new ads.

Time Top-25 blogger Leandra Medine — a.k.a. “The Man Repeller” — flaunts designer Rebecca Minkoff’s spring 2013 jewelry in a campaign video.



BELOW SHOWS the top jewelry companies receiving editorial publicity in the last 12 months in the following magazines: Brides, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, Town & Country, Vogue and W. Figures indicate the number of times the brand was mentioned.



“Retro Mod Squad staples go bold with eyepopping, high-contrast geometric prints.” Elle, February 2013, page 100

“SHAPE UP WITH GEOMETRIC EARRINGS.” Harper’s Bazaar, February 2013, page 67

“Put a pinky ring on it. Your smallest finger is about to get big attention.” InStyle, March 2013, page 186

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In Demand: Green with Envy

In Demand: Green with Envy

The Pantone color of the year begins to hit runways, red carpets and jewelry showcases.

Published in the March-April 2013 issue

Ever since Angelina Jolie dazzled us at the 2009 Oscars with her long emerald teardrops, most red carpet events have seen a new celebrity — or two — turn green when it came to earrings. Yet, as popular as the color has been for the past four years, the trend exploded in 2013 when Pantone named emerald its color of the year. Designers are greening up their collections with regal gems and various other stones that have the same rich, deep hue, including apple green and nephrite jade, green tourmaline, malachite and tsavorite garnet.

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Brand Ambassadors: Barbara Johnson

Brand Ambassadors: Barbara Johnson

Ohio retailer extols the individuality, reliability and saleability of Alishan jewelry.


Published in the March-April 2013 issue

Jewelry Art, Hudson, OH


Barbara Johnson wasn’t looking for anything specific when she and her mother and partner, Georgianna Bojtos, met Alishan Halebian and his wife, Lydia, about a decade ago at the Couture show. “I was completely taken with the beauty and uniqueness of his pieces,” Johnson says. “It was different from everybody else’s line.” As her store specializes in designer lines with individual personalities, the style fit. More to the point, she fell as much in love with the designer as with the designs. “We spent hours and hours talking to him. I really have to believe in whatever I carry, and we were just drawn in.” Since then, Jewelry Art has been a valuable partner to Alishan. “It sells itself, really,” she says.

CUSTOMERS LOVE IT BECAUSE:“It’s contemporary and Old World at the same time. It has such a dimensional richness, with the unique textures and finishes Alishan implements. The originality of his designs is such a refreshing departure from the mainstream. And they appeal to all ages.”

IT'S EASY TO SELL BECAUSE: “If somebody appreciates beautiful art, they feel a bond with it. There’s a depth to the design. A lot of people who come to my store are looking for things that are different; they want jewelry that serves as a bit of a representation of who they are. Alishan’s designs are in style; however, his signature look is always there.”

THE MOST POPULAR PIECES ARE: “His new oxidized silver collection is wonderful for today’s economy. And we continue to do well with the bridal line. The thing with Alishan is that he’s always very sensitive to the times. When the bottom fell out of the economy, he created more affordable pieces without compromising the look.”

I LIKE WORKING WITH THEM BECAUSE: “Alishan and Lydia are just the nicest people in the world. They make doing business very easy. Lydia is very organized; she will go to all ends to meet a deadline. They’re always open to accommodating the customer. And they understand we’re working to make a special piece for somebody. Some companies forget what jewelry is about: It means something to somebody.”

I’D RECOMMEND IT TO ANOTHER RETAILER BECAUSE:“Alishan is ever-evolving and always aware of the trends. It is high quality; they stand behind their work. If you, as a jeweler, appreciate Alishan’s designs, and if you have a customer who appreciates unique designer jewelry, then you’ll have no problem selling it.”

“Barbara Johnson’s success at Jewelry Art is a result of her passion and love for creative designer jewelry and her spirited personality. She constantly markets and advertises designer brands and keeps her collections fresh and diverse. It has been a pleasure to work with her and her staff over the years.” Lydia Tutunjian, Alishan

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My Favorite Things: Beau Staley

My Favorite Things: Beau Staley

DOLCE, Telluride, Colorado

Dolce owner lauds Simon Alcantara earrings, Stephen Webster and the vintage poster above his desk.


Published in the March-April 2013 issue

1SIMON ALCANTARA EARRINGS  The signature hand-woven hoops sell great, especially in sterling silver for $400 to $500. We encourage people to hold a pair in their hand so they’ll understand how lightweight they are, even though they’re large in size. We also tell customers the designer previously collaborated with fashion houses like Oscar de la Renta and Balmain.

2SCULPTURE BY KEVIN BOX We’ve had these for six years, and they bring in a lot of customers. They’re made of bronze, using a lost wax casting technique. The artist began his career in printmaking, so all of his sculptures have that delicate nature of paper, with many inspired by origami, which customers are especially drawn to.

3STEPHEN WEBSTER MEN'S This sterling silver collection is the only men’s we carry, and our younger clientele, age 30 to 50, really likes it. They’re attracted to the edginess and the playful themes — thorns, tattoos, bulldogs — things like that. Cufflinks do very well, selling mostly around $700, with half bought as gifts and the other half by men for themselves.

4VINTAGE POSTER Above my desk is a poster from Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. It’s a reminder of the importance of high standards of craftsmanship and design. A goldsmith who had those standards gave it to me years ago as a gift. When we’d talk about my dream of one day opening a store, he’d say, “You want ‘la dolce vita’— ‘the sweet life.’” That’s how I got my store’s name, too.

5PAMELA FROMAN STACK BANDS I sell them as fashion and bridal. Women start with one or two— typically ones with diamonds sprinkled throughout—and often buy up to five. Customers usually say they haven’t seen anything like them before. They’re very fine, yet have that craft appeal due to Pamela’s special hand-hammered Crush technique.

6THE VIEW From the front of our store, you look up and see the Rocky Mountains. The dramatic valleys and peaks draw tourists back year after year. For me, the view is both calming and inspiring. I live 6 miles from the store, so looking at the Rockies during my drive sets a meditative tone for my day ahead, and then driving through the tranquil mountain range at night helps me wind down.

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Star Power: Important Necklace

Star Power: Important Necklace

Celeb stylist Michael O’Connor explains the return of necklaces to the red carpet and your customers’ necklines.


Published in the March-April 2013 issue



Hurray for Hollywood and the return of important necklaces! For too many years, celebrities and stylists seemingly shunned this jewelry staple. Over the past year, however, we’ve seen a steady increase in the number of celebrities sporting important necklaces.


Necklaces offer the wearer a variety of style statements. Shorter important necklaces help frame a face, add focus to the area or complement the neckline of a gown or top. Longer necklaces can add length to a look, provide versatility and add drama to an outfit. Less important longer styles can be wrapped and layered to give an important feel without a huge price tag. Additionally, necklaces can be collected over time and worn together for a signature look.


1. AMANDA SEYFRIED: Her choice of the deep blue Zac Posen slenderizes her already petite frame while contrasting with her fair features. She augments the lengthening effect with a deep V line down the center of her body to her waist.

2. JESSICA ALBA: The classic old Hollywood lines of Oscar de la Renta simply highlight Jessica’s curves. The simplicity of the look is revved up with an amazingly important chevron shaped diamond necklace that mirrors the line along the top of her strapless gown while drawing attention up toward her face.

3. JESSICA CHASTAIN: Keenly attuned to the subtlety of color combination, Jessica often wears brighter colors that contrast with her hair and skin. Here, her red hair, red lips and red Alexander McQueen gown create the perfect frame to showcase a sparkling necklace.

MICHAEL O’CONNOR is president of Style & Substance Inc., a marketing and communications agency offering services and consultation to the jewelry and luxury industries. Additionally, he is host of “MovieStyle with Michael O’Connor” on Reelz Channel.

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Style Counsel: All In The Wrist

Style Counsel: All In The Wrist

INDESIGN’s trend experts debate cuffs versus bangles for spring 2013.


Published in the March-April 2013 issue

WWhile watching the Oscars, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards, I noticed some celebrities were up to their elbows in bangles and others showed bare arms with bold cuffs. So, I asked our Style Counsel which bracelet style will win out as the No. 1 trend this year. Personally, I believe in mixing a little of everything: Cuffs, bangles, thin flexible diamond bar bracelets and iconic motifs are the key to personal style as well as multiple sales. Nevertheless, our panel weighs in on preferred metals and gemstones and gives its take on cuffs versus bangles.

THERE IS A LOT OF FUN WRIST-WEAR happening right now. The bangle craze is sweeping the nation this spring. Designers couldn’t get enough of the layered look for their runway collections: Cynthia Rowley featured chunky gold bangles paired with her signature floral frocks, while Elizabeth and James used dark wood and ivory. Lulu Frost blew me away with an explosion of colorful elbowdeep bangles in a variety of tribal designs.

“Wonder Woman” cuffs are still a go-to look for many on fashion’s A-list (Michael Kors, Diane von Furstenberg) and statement cuffs abound from fashion jewelry companies and designers. Ben Amun, Erickson Beamon and Alexis Bittar are making a huge splash on the sartorial scene. In a bangle versus cuff matchup, I think the “clink” of the bodacious bangle comes out on top this season.

AWARD SHOW SEASON began with images of celebrities gracing the red carpet with short stacks of gem-studded bangles or sophisticated, elegant cuffs, all giving a nod to old Hollywood glamour with rose-cut diamonds, art deco styling and high carat wattage for diamonds. Diamond styles in platinum and white gold provided chic and effortless grace for stars like January Jones, Amy Adams and Jessica Chastain, while Sarah Paulsen evoked a youthful glamour with blackened metal. Halle Berry, Connie Britton and Nicole Kidman chose yellow gold to warm up their bold strokes of fashion.

Other fashion divas touted the “go bold or go home” theme, including Debra Messing piling gem-crusted bangles up both arms and Julianne Moore opting for one large statement cuff for her Golden Globes gown.

PERSONALLY, I like the bangle concept because it is easy to wear, you can stack at your own pace (read: what you can afford) and you can add to and change styles around. Whether you wear three or 12, bangles continue to have a place on the wrists of women this coming season. With that said, big cuff bracelets abounded on the runway this spring. Fashion designers showcased their colorful spring clothing by adding serious statement-making cuffs. However, one could see them translating easily to women of all ages.

In terms of styles for cuffs, look for sterling silver and oxidized sterling silver with rose gold details, pavé diamonds or colored gemstones to become increasingly popular.

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Fan Club: Naomi Blumenthal

Fan Club: Naomi Blumenthal

“Naomi Has a deep appreciateion for nature, which come through in the way she interprets her floral elements .”



Published in the March-April 2013 issue

Naomi Blumenthal’s educational background is in sculpture and garden design. In 2002, after the birth of her son, Blumenthal opened a garden design consultancy and started making jewelry for herself as a hobby. Her clients asked if they could buy her pieces, wearing them to charity balls and some to red carpet events. In 2008, with the help of her husband, Ron, she launched the Naomi Blumenthal collection, and it has since blossomed to include all her passions — the natural world combined with the art of sculpture into a alluring, feminine and completely wearable collection.


“I FIRST SAW Naomi Blumenthal’s jewelry briefly at the Summer JA show. Her feeling for organic textures and motifs that were all hand carved completely intrigued me. She has a true eye for detail but understands completely how to translate this into wearable jewelry.”

“The jewelry is, at the same time, sculptural and feminine. You can tell the workmanship that goes into each style and how well thought out every single piece in the collection is.” “I especially like the flow of her designs. My sensibility has always been not to overdesign, so I am always attracted to simple yet strong shapes and visions.”

“A good design also lies in the correct use of space for proportion and scale, and Naomi seems to execute that with a simple elegance.”

“It is clear that Naomi has a deep appreciation for nature, which comes through in the way she interprets her floral and sea life elements. She explained that she does farming and that connection is vivid in her work.” “As her work evolves, it will be exciting to see how her new pieces layer and complement her stunning original collection.”

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ROBIN ROTENIER: A third-generation designer, and the first in jewelry, Paris-born Robin Rotenier founded his namesake line in 1993. Rotenier attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Gemological Institute of America. In 2006, FIT awarded him the Mortimer C. Ritter Award, one of the highest honors given out by the alumni association. Rotenier carves all his models, and each piece is finished by hand and produced in New York City. His passion for design and attention to detail give each piece a distinctive character. Objects and architectural details are at the core of each new design, and his creations range from tongue-in-cheek and fun to ultra sophisticated and elegant. His attention to his retailers’ needs is unparalleled and a testament to his business acumen.

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Tech For Your Store: Twitter’s Vine

Tech For Your Store: Twitter’s Vine


Published in the March 2013 issue

Why does Twitter set a limit of 140 characters for any single tweet? Because when it launched, the microblogging service was very much an SMS-based system and text messages had 160-character limits... so the rule was born.

The regulated brevity has become the soul of Twitter, forcing users to strip their messages down to the minimum: “Four more years” was the most re-tweeted post of 2012. But what more needed to be said? So when Twitter in January launched Vine, a new feature that allows users to create and share looping videos with their followers, it was no surprise the company set a limit of 6 seconds.

“Like Tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine inspires creativity,” Twitter said on its blog on launch day.

It didn’t take long for marketers to start thinking of ways that Vine could be used to help businesses communicate with their customers. Among them are threedimensional “before, during and after” shots of custom-designed products, quick personal introductions for staff, super fast store walk-throughs and how-to demonstrations. (To see how jewelers are already using Vine go to and search “jewelry” and “#vine”.)

These initial marketing efforts of early adopters aren’t particularly encouraging. But the feature may yet find a purpose no one has dreamed of (similar to the way no one saw Twitter one day becoming a tool of political change in the Arab world.)

The advantage Vine seems to have over Youtube is that viewers know they won't have to invest much time. In a world of constant distraction and declining attention spans, that may become a big deal.


Of the major social media platforms, Twitter is arguably the one that least excites jewelers, whose sedatepaced world can seem in contrast to the shortcut ethos of microblogging. Indeed, when we asked the Brain Squad about how members employed Twitter, 73 percent said they didn’t use it at all in their marketing mix. And even among those who do, most use it simply to broadcast updates from their Facebook page. Others turn to Twitter to announce events or the arrival of new merchandise. “We use it mostly to promote events and talk to clients who reach out to us. We don’t get a lot of response, but it helps keep our name out and helps SEO,” said Tonia Ulsh of Mountz Jewelers in Harrisburg, PA.

The best-practice advice for Twitter mostly echoes that proffered for Facebook: Don’t be too promotional, be prepared to spend time engaging with followers and reciprocating retweets, and lean towards being funny or ironical, especially if you try the paid promotion service. (“He speaks reindeer” was Dos Equis’s “Most Interesting Man in the World” comment on the holiday season.)


GemEx Systems has introduced an iPad App to support sales-floor presentations of its diamond Light Performance Certificates. The company says the Retailer iPad App keeps the focus of any sales transaction on the beauty of your diamonds while reducing the need for paper certificates in the sale.
MSRP: Free | Information: certification/gemex-apps

Thermo Fisher Scientific’s new Niton DXL desktop X-ray lab allows users to quickly identify gold-plated items. The company says the countertop device is more accurate than nitric acid test methods and offers more comprehensive analysis than fire assay, all with the simple push of a button.

Bluebird Soft’s Pidion MT760 mobile terminal can accept payments from any type of credit card as well as contactless payments. It is rugged, has a built-in printer and features a bright 4-inch capacitive touch screen using Bluebird’s patented Eyelluminate display technology.
Information: (631) 849-4414 or

Fancy building an active wall of sound and marketing fury in your store? You now can, one block at a time with Samsung’s new UD22B display, which provides 21.6 inches of screen real estate with a bezel of just 5.5mm. Samsung says the display is designed to help users create “artistic video walls,” daisy-chaining up to 100 separate units together.
MSRP: $2,104.99

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True Tales: No Right Answer

True Tales: No Right Answer


Published in the March 2013 issue.

e had a gentlemen come in with a Movado Museum watch in the box. He said it did not work. I smiled and said that it was probably the battery. Sure enough, the battery had been replaced over two years ago! I brought the watch back out front and said, “Wow, you got two years out of that battery,” thinking that he would be at least a bit grateful. Instead, he said, “I only wore it a few times!” Then went on to tell me that he will never shop in my store again. — Karen Fitzpatrick, Harris Jewelers, Rio Rancho, NM

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Service Shorts: March 2013


Service Shorts
March 2013

Published in the March 2013 issue

 Kameleon Jewelry has released Volume 13, a spring catalog featuring four Vegas-themed JewelPops, as well as designs in mother of pearl, enamel and Murano glass. Facebook fans chose names for 10 of the JewelPops including Tuscan Sun, Spellbound and After Midnight. Information: (866) 431-4484 or


 Stuller and Gemvision have combined their sales teams into a single organization, including 11 regional sales directors. “Combining these two expert teams means more personalized, convenient service for our customers,” says Bob Cox, vice president of business development.
Information: (800) 877- 7777

 Robb Report has launched an iPad edition of Robb Report Watch Collector, its annual magazine devoted to watchmaking. Robb Report Watch Collector’s iPad edition — a free download from Apple’s app store — has enhanced its content through video, image galleries and interactive components. Within the app, partner Jewelers un-BLOCKed offers expertise on insuring timepieces, in addition to information on purchasing, documenting and valuing watch collections.

Chelsea Taylor sterling silver and Swarovski crystal necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings are featured in a new catalog in styles ranging from big and bold to simple and sweet, as well as retro ’70s and ’80s looks, animal motifs and more.

The L.A. Antique Jewelry & Watch Show is scheduled March 22-24 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. It features rare and unique jewelry and watches from brands including Cartier, Rolex, Tiffany & Co., David Webb, Suzanne Belperron, Harry Winston, Patek Philippe and Van Cleef & Arpels. Signed pieces, previously owned by celebrities and royalty, will also be available, as well as cameos, rings, necklaces, brooches, gemstones and pendants in a timeline dating from the Renaissance to the art deco era. 
Information: (239) 732-6642 or

The Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, which is undergoing a $20 million renovation, will be the venue for the 70th anniversary edition of the Mid-America Jewelry Show (formerly known as the Columbus Jewelry Show), scheduled Aug. 17-18.

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Cool Website: Lagniappe Jewelry Studio

Cool Website:  Lagniappe Jewelry Studio

Published in the March 2013 issue

In 2012, Jimmy Butts took the customer service skills he learned at the legendary Sissy’s Log Cabin to open his own store in Ballston Spa, NY, becoming the only JA Master Jeweler in the area. Lagniappe offers an interactive experience, with jewelry-making classes for adults and children. All the jewelry sold in the store is handmade by Butts or other local artisans.


1ELEGANT SIMPLICITY  Like the interior of the store itself, the website is extremely simple in its design and easy to navigate.

2ST ORYTELLING  Photos that mix finished jewelry with the tools that created the product help tell the custom story that is the core being of this store.

BACKGROUNDS  No white backgrounds in photos of jewelry here. While counterintuitive (white backgrounds typically make jewelry speak for itself without distractions), in this case, the richly hued backgrounds give character to the jewelry and highlight its uniqueness.


1NO FLASH The site requires Flash to view anything on it. The result? Try pulling it up on your iPhone or iPad just to get the phone number or hours, and you’re out of luck. A huge no-no!

2CONTACT INFO Click on the contact link, and you get a page with a form to email the store with your inquiry. Fine. But where’s the phone number and address? At the very bottom of the about page. Not where most would look for it.

3HOURS The main reason anyone is going to visit your website is to look for the hours, phone or address. Put them on every page.

Cool Websites are selected by judges and INSTORE editors from among the top-ranked entries in the 2012 America’s Coolest Stores Contest, or they are nominated by readers. Have a cool website? Send us an e-mail to let us know about it:

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On Customer Service: Ensure Event Success

On Customer Service: Ensure Event Success

Planning involves more than what’s on the menu


Published in the March 2013 issue.

The key to a successful trunk show goes beyond the basics of decorations and catering. For yours to really succeed, you have to put in the hard work beforehand to ensure people will come, be ready for them with the right merchandise when they do and, of course, be prepared for them to buy.

Here are a few ways to get you working well before the balloons, streamers and canapés come out:

First, set a sales goal and determine how many customers you will need to achieve it. An easy way to estimate this is the 50 percent rule, which goes like this: 50 percent of those clients who express interest will make an appointment; 50 percent of those who do actually will show up; and 50 percent of those who show up will buy.

You can work backwards to determine how many confirmed appointments you will need to achieve your desired goal. If your average sale is $1,200 and you want to have a $15,000 show, you will need 12.5 people to buy: 15,000 ÷ 1,200 = 12.5. So, you’ll need 25 people to walk in your door and you need 50 confirmed appointments from 100 customers.

When a customer makes an appointment with you, does it occur to you that she is doing so simply to get you to stop talking? She tells you, “yes,” you write her name on the appointment sheet, you give her your card with the time and date, she leaves, and proceeds to throw away the card. Anything to escape!

To help ensure this doesn’t happen, send her a note thanking her for making the appointment. Also include a pocket calendar with your event marked along with the RETAILER PETER CANNELLA On customer service Peter Cannella is a 27-year veteran in the jewelry industry. He is currently the fine jewelry manager at Belk’s in Atlanta, GA. time you expect her.

If you have the resources, schedule the customer to be picked up and driven to and from the store. This is a very nice touch and ups the chance the customer will follow through on her commitment.

When a customer makes an appointment with you, does it occur to you that she is doing so simply to get you to stop talking?

Ensure the vendor coming to your store has exactly what your client is interested in. If she is interested in buying a 2-carat round natural pink diamond, you had best have at least two or three for her to see, along with workable mountings per the customer’s specifications. Additionally, this customer needs to be prequalified on price, and you likely should have financing arranged to make it easier for her to buy.

Flowers are a nice touch. Give a rose to every woman who keeps her appointment when she walks in the door. Introduce her to your vendor representative, but leave some time for chit-chat before diving into the sale.

At an event I planned years ago, I brought in a piano player. Soft background music creates professionally intimate surroundings.

At this event, a husband and wife impromptu requested “their song” be played. We had a video camera and we encouraged them to dance. We sent the videotape of them dancing to their home a few days later, along with a thank you letter and a gift certificate for them to use at a nice local restaurant.

I know you are thinking: All of this costs money. Yes, it does, but more important, it works!

Peter Cannella is a 27-year veteran in the jewelry industry having held positions in sales, store and district management. He is currently the fine jewelry manager at Belk’s in Atlanta, GA.

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Design Online: Simon G. Jewelry

Design Online: Simon G. Jewelry

Published in the January/February 2013 issue

After immigrating to the United States from Lebanon as a young man, Simon Ghanimian launched Simon G. Jewelry in 1981. Today, his jewelry is sold in more than 900 locations worldwide.

1 WHY IT'S EXCEPTIONAL:The product gallery steals the show. As viewers move the cursor over each large, beautiful jewelry image, it rotates to show another perspective of the product. Browsers can also view matching products, as well as post the jewelry to their favorite social media site and see how many people have already done so.

2WHY IT WORKS FOR THE BRAND: The company’s signature tongue-in-cheek ad campaign is seamlessly integrated into the site so that viewers get a single powerful brand impression. The site is easily navigated and puts the beautiful jewelry front and center.


3MORE GREATNESS HERE: Simon G. makes it easy for customers to move toward the purchase by directing them at multiple points to their local retailers. The site also includes a ring sizer, online wish list, and iPhone/iPad app.

Have a website you’d like to see featured here? Contact us at


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In Demand: Snake Charmers

In Demand: Snake Charmers

A symbol of eternal love and wisdom, the serpent motif slithers back into showcases in 2013.

Published in the January-February 2013 issue

2013 marks The Year of the Snake in the Chinese Zodiac and coincides with the resurgence of Victorian jewelry and its sentimentality and symbolism. To the Romans, the serpent meant eternal love; Prince Albert took a page out of their book when he gave Queen Victoria two serpent rings entwined to represent an eternal life together. Throughout time, these sinuous forms with their intricate textures have represented fertility, immortality, wisdom and transformations. Snakes are slinking back into designers’ collections and slithering around necks, wrapping around arms and coiling around fingers.

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Face Front: Facebook Ring Experiment

 Face Front: Facebook Ring Experiment

Facebook promotions that work


Published in the January/February 2013 issue

Andrew Geoghegan, Leeds, England

CONCEPT The store owner/designer queries his Facebook audience regarding each step of the custom creation process of a ring. The fans vote, and one lucky respondent, chosen at random, receives an iPad. 

EXECUTION Fans voted on the ring design through 10 phases between April and September, beginning with a simple choice (cocktail or diamond ring?) and moving through color, shape, configuration, metal choice, setting, setting form, band style, profile/width, accent stones, and finally, a name (fans appropriately named the ring “Chosen”). Proclaimed “The World’s First Facebook Ring,” the process is described on the designer’s blog (blog.andrewgeoghegan. com).

FRIEND COUNT 2,991 (as of 1/3/13)

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Outside The Box: Palladium Collection Launch

Outside The Box: Palladium Collection Launch

Published in the January-February 2013 issue

Founded more than 25 years ago, Jacob & Co., the luxury timepiece and diamond jewelry house, launched its New York City flagship store in 2004. When owner/designer Jacob Arabo was approached by Palladium Alliance International about creating a new collection in the metal, he not only designed the collection with his signature flair, he also threw a red-carpet launch party to match, complete with celebrity guests and co-hosted by W Magazine.



How successful was the event?

We were not open for selling that evening, so we were not measuring in dollars, but it was a great opportunity to use the store as a showcase for our new palladium collection, as well as entertain many friends and clients. It gave us brand awareness, recognition and media exposure, all of which are key components for our business.

What did co-hosting with W add to the event?
The W Magazine support and backing of our event, brand, and new palladium collection set the tone for an influential group of people. Because working in palladium was new to us, we wanted to use the evening and Claudia Mata, W’s jewelry and accessories director, to help educate guests and showcase beautiful pieces.

What did having celebrity guests add to the evening?
We live in a celebrity-driven world, so having celebrity guests like Stacy Keibler, Carla Gugino and Kim Kardashian attend was an added bonus. Since these girls are very fashion-forward and always walking a red carpet, we wanted to have them be the first to see the difference in pieces in palladium having great shine, luster, movement, but with about 30 percent less in weight.

Why did you design this collection in palladium?
Initially, we wanted to learn how to work in palladium to focus on weight and cost perspective with some key pieces in our collections. The Palladium Alliance approached us on working on an expanded collection and the launch event to showcase the pieces. We really loved the idea of making a big statement. The partnership worked out perfectly as our signature lace pattern earrings were easily translated into palladium because of the intricacy in the design, which benefits from being more lightweight for the woman wearing them.

What can we expect to see of the new line in 2013?
We hope to produce more large-scale earrings for our red carpet collection, which have gotten the best notice so far, and I want to introduce engagement rings and wedding bands as an overall collection. It is as ideal to set larger stones in palladium as it is for pavé diamond pieces, and its durability and comfort would work really well for both men’s and women’s rings.

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Fan Club: Adel Chefridi

Fan Club: Adel Chefridi

Anne Sportun raves about Adel Chefridi’s fresh take on old-world styles.



Published in the January0-February 2013 issue

Adel Chefridi launched his jewelry collection in 1998 in New York. Born in Tunisia, he increasingly draws inspiration from his multicultural background, resulting in an attempt in his work to reconcile past and present, nostalgia and hope. His designs are crafted with natural gemstones and recycled metals, and they emphasize simplicity, wearability and durability. Regarding his collection, he explains, “The colors of natural gemstones are the best complement to the natural beauty of people. My work attempts to present the innate beauty of both the gemstones and the wearer.”


“I MET ADEL CHEFRIDI at a trade show and noticed almost immediately that his work is not only well designed but well finished, with just the right amount of details and nuances and that made it truly stand out for me.”

“There exists an element of old-world uniqueness to his work that is presented in a fresh, easy-to-understand and easy-to-wear way, which is a winning combination!”

“I respect Adel’s goldsmith training background; it shows in the quality of his workmanship.”

“Many of the designs in the various groupings are well merchandised so that they can cross over. They can be worn layered, or a woman can wear a ring from one line and a pendant from another, and it all coordinates beautifully.”

“Retailers can shop his designs at the price point best suited for their store. He offers sterling silver, high karat gold, and a combination of the two. All are finished with the same attention to detail.”

“Having spent time talking with Adel, I am further impressed with what a warm, kind and generous person he is.”

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ANNE SPORTUN: In 1987, Anne Sportun launched Experimetal Jewellery Works, which grew into a retail store in Toronto in 1992 with the help of business partner Barbara Kelly. A second store opened 12 years later, and today, the Anne Sportun Collection has a staff of 25. Sportun describes jewelry as “not bound by words, geography, or ethnicity, but nurtured by a universal language of shapes, symbols and form.” In 2003, she had the honor of having the image of her hands on a Canadian 65-cent postage stamp.

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Sketchbook: Hummingbird Necklace


Hummingbird Necklace
Spirit Animals Hummingbird Necklace by K. Brunini

Published in the January-February 2013 issue


“The hummingbird represents a messenger, a stopper of time, optimism, swiftness, healing and the ability to roll with punches. It’s a petite visit by a bird with a message, and I think the planet needs some of its spirit animal energy!” — Katey Brunini

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Floor Plan: Sather’s Leading Jewelers

Floor Plan: 

Sather’s Leading Jewelers
Fort Collins, CO

Published in the January-February 2013 issue

Asavings-and-loan building constructed in 1965 might not seem like the ideal place for a jewelry store. But when Julie Sather-Browne saw it, she knew it had to be the new location of Sather’s. “It had rock pillars throughout the building, both on the inside and outside against the glass. We loved that. And then it had these huge wooden beams going across the vaulted ceiling. It was very lodge, very Colorado. We are Colorado natives, so we thought it was a natural fit.” A redesign by GRID/3 transformed a stodgy bank building into a gorgeous jewelry store that fits the personality of its community.


CASE LAYOUT:“We had the natural columns that couldn’t be moved, and three out of the four walls are floor-to-ceiling windows. So it was difficult to create different environments within the store. We also wanted wider aisles and some sit-down cases for bridal, but we didn’t have any solid walls to back the sit-down cases to. It took three renditions to get the case layout just right.”

MIDDLE ISLAND: “This area features our diamond fashion and Tacori lifestyle jewelry, which is bright, fresh, and fashion-forward. People may walk in for a battery and stop right there. It gives us an entry point to getting merchandise out of the showcase and onto the customer.”

SHOWROOM FLOW: “Our showroom is designed to keep people moving in a circle. There are no hard corners. You bump against a case and end up at the next one, like a pinball machine.”

DIAMOND ROOM: “We suspended Lumicor panels from the ceiling to create privacy in our diamond room and yet allow for an open, airy sense of space. You can see light through the panels, but you don’t feel trapped or pressured while you’re in there. Ruth also brilliantly integrated the space from the bank’s former drive-thru area into the diamond room.”

LOUNGE: “We wanted to create something inviting that would feel like a nice lodge in Vale or Aspen. We used warm colors throughout to achieve that feeling, including chocolate, gold, beige, and pops of ochre and rust, mahogany and cherry. It’s a look that says ‘quality,’ but you can also relax and sink into a leather chair in front of a fire.”

FIREPLACE: “The building only had electricity — no natural gas — so we had to bring a gas line in from the street because we wanted a fireplace. When the fireplace is on, it’s great because the floor-to-ceiling window is right next to it. You can see the snow falling.”

BRIDAL SHOWCASE: “As we show the bridal jewelry, our backs are to the window, which is great because the landscape is really pretty behind us. Customers have natural light to view the diamonds. We’ve hung boutique signs that create environments within each brand, and we created a false wall for Hearts on Fire.”

CHILDREN'S PLAY AREA:“The kids’ room was a godsend. It has a chalkboard wall that the kids love, as well as a mural of the mountains. It’s glass, so it’s easy to watch the kids, but it keeps the sound muffled.”

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My Favorite Chuck Rosenblum

My Favorite Things: Chuck Rosenblum

Neal Rosenblum Goldsmiths Gallery, Worcester, MA

Massachusetts retailer extols the virtues of Mark Patterson, Chris Ploof, and his Bausch & Lomb microscope.


Published in the January-February 2013 issue

1MARK PATTERSON BRIDAL When men ask for direction buying an engagement ring that has value, we tell them this line is beautifully made and classic yet fashion-forward at the same time. Probably 95 percent purchase platinum, and micropavé is very popular. We explain that this designer lets us customize, so they can usually get a style we show them but with any cut they want.

2CHRIS PLOOF MEN'S WEDDING BANDS Typically, our brides and grooms don’t buy matching bands. Men love the unusual contemporary metals this designer uses, like meteor and Damascus steel. They’re also attracted to the looks, simplicity, sturdy weight and atypical textures that have a kind of ancient appeal. Purchases run between $2,000 and $4,000.

3ED LEVIN SILVER It’s a great self-purchase, with most sales from $200 to $500. We can show a customer something for every age because the brand makes pieces small enough for a baby and large enough for a big guy. Customers like when we demonstrate how the handmade bracelets open and close, often telling us they’ve never seen such inventive construction.

4TWO-WAY WINDOW Located between my office and the showroom, it’s a backup to our security system. It enables me to work in the back, yet still keep an eye on everything in the store as well as who’s at the front door, because the door is in my line of vision.

5SUPER-SIZED WALL CALENDAR About 3 feet long and 2-1/2 feet tall, it’s the biggest thing in my office! Our gemologist/ sales associate is the only one who writes on it, using it to communicate with me about everything from appointments and holidays to special occasions for customers. It really works for me because, when I sit at my desk, it’s always right in front of me.

6GEM SCOPE I encourage customers to look at gems through it, to help them understand what a quality stone is about. Through the years, as I’ve gotten more involved in the business of diamond trading, my Bausch & Lomb microscope has become essential because I need an instrument with great resolution and quality. So it’s always on my desk, an arm’s length away.

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Line Time: Just Give Her Half Your Stuff Now ...

A male customer is checking out engagement rings and is balking at the prices. He says he thinks he can get a better price on the kind of diamond he wants on the world’s biggest auction website.

You say:

“You’d make one of the most important purchases of your life on eBay? You’re going to tell her that you bought the symbol of your love on eBay? Just give her half your stuff now, man...”

Why? This is a humorous way to hammer home the very important message that romance is a big part of the engagement ring-buying process.

Source: Paul Dodds, Paul Dodds Jewelers; Lee’s Summit, M

This story is from the October 2004 edition of INSTORE

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Line Time: If This Doesn't Get You Great Sex


[h4][b]A male customer is dithering on a purchase for his wife (or girlfriend). You ‘ve gotten to know each other a bit, and you know he’s not too prudish for a little off-color humor. So, when he’s holding the item in his hand, you laugh and say:[/b][/h4]

“If this doesn’t get you an evening of great sex, I’ll refund your money.”

Why? The joke makes a tense decision easier. And, while definitely not appropriate for everyone, it’s an earthy, guy-to-guy way of expressing the very real fact that a jewelry purchase is a terrific relationship- and romance-enhancer. As for the refund offer, you’re no more likely to give a refund with this pitch as you would with any other sale.

Source: Lauri and Bruce Lipsey, The Jewelry Studio; Encino, CA

This story is from the September 2004 edition of INSTORE

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Spinning the Perfect Web

Spinning the Perfect Web

From mobile websites to e-commerce and video, discover what the latest Internet technologies can add to your bottom line.


Published in the January-February 2013 issue

Even though the information superhighway is about two decades old, we still don’t necessarily have a very good road map for it. That’s especially true in the jewelry industry, where many independent retailers and wholesalers have been slow to adapt to new technology. For many of these businesses, just getting (and regularly checking) an email account was a major advance.

But there are outliers — jewelers who are not only familiar with the latest online tools, but who have even used them to increase sales and awareness of their brands.

“The business has really changed just in the last year,” says Sylva Guiragossian, owner of SN Queens Jewelry in Los Angeles. “The generation that’s shopping out there is very computer-savvy. It’s not just brick-and-mortar anymore. Everybody’s clicking.”

The good news is that there are multiple ways to capitalize on our cultural obsession with digital media. INDESIGN has talked to jewelers and consultants throughout the industry about how to make use of some of the best new technologies affecting the Web today. And then it’s just a matter of finding those methods that — ahem — click with you.

“I still have hopes that people are going to stumble across our site and see that we’re not a mega, faceless place, but the kind of place they’d like to do business with if they were here,” says Andy Koehn of Koehn & Koehn in West Bend, WI. He added a shopping cart to the store’s website about two years ago and has so far seen only “a handful of sales” come directly through the website.

Koehn has a pretty good idea why his e-commerce business hasn’t yet taken off: Though he’s invested in the site, he hasn’t yet spent the time and money to truly ensure it reaches eyeballs all over the Internet.

“A shopping cart is just the tip of the iceberg,” says John Dorsey, owner of Ideal Brand Marketing, which specializes in online marketing for jewelers. Installing such software might cost a few thousand dollars. “What the real money goes to is marketing,” he adds.

The Web is vast; to actually sell jewelry online, you need to get your site onto consumers’ screens. Ylang | 23 in Dallas, TX, which ships pieces to 100 countries, has invested “obscenely” in its e-commerce business, says owner Joanne Teichman. In part, it’s about getting the store’s name out there; but much more important is trading on the well-known names of the designers they carry.

“They are people who are searching for Cathy Waterman, Jennifer Meyer,” Teichman says of her faraway customers. “They see the designs in the magazines or in the press, and when they search for them, we come up.”

SEO — search engine optimization — is important no matter what, because you want people who Google “jewelry stores in [your town]” to know about you, but it’s essential if you want online customers located elsewhere.

It’s also a good idea to set up filters so shoppers can easily select the jewelry they want to see, based on what it is (earrings, bracelets, etc.), what metal it’s in, and what the price range is. This is especially worth doing if you have a lot of inventory online. “Good navigation is definitely one of the top things a retail website needs,” says Dorsey.

Even if you aren’t reaching customers in foreign lands (or just the next state over), having an e-commerce component on your website can still add value, as Koehn has discovered. “The primary way it’s used in our case is, people within a 30-mile radius will shop the site, print it out, and come in with a picture,” he says. “So I can tell you it was worth the investment.”

According to a recent study by Google, the number of people with an Internet-capable mobile device has surpassed that of desktop or laptop computer owners. So whether you use your website as an advertisement to draw people into your shop, or as a selling medium itself, it’s increasingly necessary that it looks as good on a mobile device as it does on a desktop or laptop computer.

There’s been some debate over the last few years over whether businesses should concentrate on reaching mobile shoppers by creating apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, or if they ought to just focus on making their website mobile-ready.

Ylang|23 decided to go the latter route and upgrade its site with “responsive design” — i.e., to make it so the site could tell what size screen you’re viewing it with and adapt its layout accordingly.

Web developers are increasingly choosing responsive design over maintaining a separate mobile site. Though it can be tricky to implement, responsive design means viewers will see the same version of your website whether they view it on a full-size computer or a smartphone. Some sidebars or menus might be shifted below other content to accommodate the smaller screen. But computer and mobile viewers won’t be looking at two different sets of files, which means you can make updates more efficiently and not worry about computer viewers getting routed to mobile pages and vice versa, or mobile viewers not having access to some pages or features.

“We always try to be early adopters and try different things,” says Anthony Ahee of his store’s decision to develop and release a mobile app in early 2011. “Of course there were millions of apps out there, but for a local business like us, it was reaching outside the box.”

With the software, users can browse some of the inventory at Ahee, in Grosse Pointe Woods, MI. They can also watch videos and learn about the store.

“It wasn’t created as ‘This is going to take our business to the next level,’” Ahee says. “But at the same time, it’s important to stay current.”

Louisiana-based Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry took a different tack with the app they released in fall 2011 to guide shoppers through their “5 Cs.” (The fifth is “confidence.”)

“Obviously it’s also for customers to download, but the main purpose was for sales associates to have an interactive tool to really help with bridal sales,” says Amy Graham, the company’s advertising manager. “It helps show first-time customers why this one-carat is more expensive than that one-carat; they can see the color ranges and different clarities. And it helps some of the newer associates who might not have as much experience selling bridal.”

Each of the company’s eight stores has a specific iPad designated for its bridal counter (“It has a little holder and everything,” Graham says), and customers can also download the app to their own personal devices using the in-store Wi-Fi.

“It’s been very well received by customers,” Graham says. “It gives them that hands-on experience where they can drop and drag. It’s just a lot easier than trying to read a lot of research on how to buy a diamond.”

All the other technological solutions discussed in this story depend on a more old-fashioned art for their effectiveness: photography. “Any type of virtual product, you put your best foot forward when you show a great photo of it,” says Ideal Brand Marketing’s Dorsey. According to his company’s research, a good image makes it three times more likely you’ll sell a product, he says. “I’m always a little shocked by some of the photography of jewelry that gets out there,” he says. “Because it’s a product that really deserves a good image.”

Whether your product images are on an ecommerce site, an app, your Facebook page or another social media account, or just on your website, what’s of chief importance is that they’re shot with a consistent look against the same background, clear, of high resolution, and visible from different angles.

Consistency and clarity are self-explanatory; you want your inventory to look like it’s all of a piece, not thrown together. Having high-res pics is important because customers will want to zoom in on them; it’s also helpful because then the same image can be repurposed for print campaigns. A good photographer will also retouch your images to maximize effects like the sparkle of gemstones.

A number of companies are also offering 360-degree, or even 1,080-degree, product shots for the Web. By either stitching together a set of images taken from various angles or using 3-D rendering software, they can create images that viewers can grab and spin and see from a variety of perspectives, almost as if they were actually holding the ring.

“You want to see things move,” says Ofer Rubin of RealeyeZ 3D, which uses proprietary technology to generate revolvable images of jewelry. The pictures start out as short videos when you open the page, to eye-catching effect, and stop moving on their own after a few seconds while still allowing visitors to spin the pieces around. Users can see realistic views of the jewelry on a hand to give a better sense of scale. “What we try to create is the experience of the consumer being in a jewelry store.”

And if you’re running an e-commerce operation, RealeyeZ’s Raya Wasser notes research showing that interactive video images are linked to a steep increase in sales conversion rates. “Once the visitor starts manipulating the ring, the casual browsing converts to buying mode — it’s an important step toward clicking on the shopping cart,” she says.

If you are doing e-commerce, you’ll also want whoever handles your website to tag your images for SEO purposes, so they come up in image searches.

“I think, for lack of a better word, it makes our sales process more sticky,” says Eric Robertson, who handles marketing for Green Lake Jewelry Works in Seattle, WA of Green Lake’s online custom design service. Visitors to the store’s website can pick out a basic ring and modify it, choosing everything from the stone they want to the shank style and filigree. If they proceed with a design, the site keeps them updated on the process, from “sketch to CAD to completion.”

Green Lake has a programmer in-house who writes all the code for the custom design feature and keeps the website humming. (“We’re very, very stubborn in terms of just doing it yourself,” Robertson says.) And the investment has paid off: About 30 percent of the store’s business is online only.

The store also provides the option to chat live with a designer during certain hours. And the ongoing electronic updates keep clients engaged and give the store a reason to check in if someone has started a design but not hit the button on it.

Ahee also has a custom design feature on their site, and although shoppers can’t create and then purchase a piece directly, it does engage them and bring them into the store.

“It’s a really great tool for someone to just be creative. They can grasp what a piece will ultimately look like and email it to their friends and spark conversation,” says Anthony Ahee.

“People talk about videos, and whenever you can get people talking, they’re thinking about you,” says George Fritz, owner of Mills Jewelers in Lockport, NY, of his videos. “They’re coming in the store and mentioning them, so I call that a success.”

Fritz, who’s been toying with video since he got a Super 8 camera as a kid, keeps his videos short and fun. Some are of events at the store, like a contest win; some are micro-interviews of his own staff; some are informational, like a recent two-minute spot about the impersonal experience of buying jewelry online, compared with the warmth of stopping into his shop.

“It’s just another avenue that really doesn’t cost anything except a little effort,” Fritz says. “I think our personality comes out a bit more in the video, too.” 

A good video can generate a lot of interest, but it’s a tough thing to harness. Certainly just putting your regular TV ad on YouTube won’t do it. Northeastern Fine Jewelry, with stores in New York and Vermont, struck gold in 2009 by sponsoring a half-court shot during Siena University’s basketball season. When a guy made the shot, video of it showed up on ESPN and elsewhere, and the You- Tube video, prominently featuring the store’s logo, got thousands of views.

“You can’t pay for that type of advertising,” the store’s Gregg Kelly says.

But as Northeastern’s example demonstrates, video is hit or miss. While gemologist Deborah Hecht believes retailers should be making YouTube videos, she has found another way to engage customers.

Hecht’s V-By system uses live, streaming, two-way video and audio to allow you to present jewelry to a customer online almost as if they were in the store with you.

“My goal is to allow the retail store to continue having a relationship with the consumer,” she says. “If they’re not walking in the door, they’re on the computer, clicking on a picture at Blue Nile.” 

“It’s way better than email,” says Robin Johannes at Johannes Hunter Jewelers in Colorado Springs, CO. “You still get all the enthusiasm and the excitement when you say, ‘Oh, your wife will love that.’ If you say the same thing in an email, it’s not the same.”

 Ah, social media. The term encompasses everything from sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to video sites like You- Tube and traditional blogs. Though it’s perhaps the most talkedabout technology of the last few years, it still remains something of a mystery from a business perspective. But we’re beginning to crack the code. Here are a few tips, which mostly apply to Facebook, the social medium of choice for American jewelers:

PLAIN PRODUCT SHOTS GET THE MOST LIKES.“We’ve done a lot of research. Celebrities don’t work. Pictures of it on your hand don’t work,” says John Dorsey of Ideal Brand Marketing, which handles social media specifically for jewelers. “A simple picture on a white background has the best effect.”

KEEP IT TO ONE POST PER DAY. “The biggest reason people unsubscribe is too many posts,” Dorsey says. And according to his firm’s research, two in a day is one too many.

HIRE A PRO. Especially if you’re using social media to promote your e-commerce business. If you constantly adjust your strategy to adapt to the site’s ever-changing set of parameters, Dorsey notes, Facebook will charge you considerably less for your ads there. Your employee who “knows computers” can’t keep up the way an expert can.

USE YOUR POWER TO PROMOTE. “Jewelers who have more than 400 likes have the opportunity to promote one post on a daily basis,” says Howard Cohen, social media consultant and editor of The Jeweler Blog. You may not realize it, but Facebook isn’t showing your posts to everyone who follows you anymore; you’re reaching only 20 to 25 percent of them, Cohen says. But a promoted post hits all of them. Promoting costs money (the amount varies depending on a number of factors), but you’ll reach far more fans — and have a chance to be shared with all their friends, too.

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Brand Ambassadors: Heather Ingraham

Brand Ambassadors: Heather Ingraham

Borsheims’ diamond buyer explains why working with Precision Set is a perfect fit.


Published in the January-February 2012 issue

Borsheims, Omaha, NE

Precision Set specializes in being the perfect fit, and that’s been the case at Borsheims, which has carried the bridal line since 2002, says diamond buyer Heather Ingraham. It has a timeless look matched with excellent American-made quality. “Precision Set is on top of trends; however, they always give it their own twist,” Ingraham says. Pieces sell from $850 to $8,000 at Borsheims, she says, appealing to a wide range of consumers. And since the store began including Precision Set as a vendor at the annual Berkshire-Hathaway shareholders’ meeting, bridal sales at the event have gone up. “There are so many great companies in the industry,” says Ingraham, “but I’m really proud we’re partners with Precision Set.”

IT'S EASY TO SELL BECAUSE: “They’re a good Midwest partner because while they stay on top of the trends, they don’t go too far out there — which is exactly right for a ring you’re supposed to be wearing for the rest of your life. Plus, they have really great marketing materials, so it’s very easy to learn to sell it and to explain to a customer.”

CUSTOMERS LOVE IT BECAUSE: “It’s easy for the male customer. When they come in, it can just be so overwhelming. With Precision Set, we can guarantee that pretty much any woman is going to like the style. So it’s a safe choice when he doesn’t know exactly what she wants. And they’re much less likely to go somewhere else for a band, because we have all the coordinating bands.”

THE MOST POPULAR PIECES ARE: “Their FlushFit solitaire is so easy to sell. Any girl is going to like it, and any band in the collection will line up with it perfectly. The Petite solitaire and their New Aire collection are popular, too.”

I LIKE WORKING WITH THEM BECAUSE: “If they do a three-stone ring, they’ll take the time to match the side stones to the quality of the center we sold, and a lot of vendors don’t necessarily do that. They always have something to send us on memo if we need something, so we use that quite a bit. And they are very quick with turnaround on special orders. Some couples come in a week or two before the wedding, and Precision Set will work with us and get it done.”

I’D RECOMMEND IT TO ANOTHER RETAILER BECAUSE: “I’ve actually done that several times! It’s so easy for sales associates to sell. I can have product in the case that’s absolutely beautiful, but if the company is difficult to work with, it just isn’t going to work. Precision Set makes it very easy. I don’t know that they have ever said no to me!”

“Heather is a great ambassador for Precision Set. She is an expert salesperson with an excellent eye for buying quality product. We feel extremely fortunate to be a part of Borsheims’ success!” Buzz Jopling, owner, Precision Set

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Publisher's Note: Ask Yourself the Dreaded Question



Ask Yourself the Dreaded Question

Published in the January 2013 issue

“How can i help you?” These have become the five most dreaded words in retail. Many shoppers hate the phrase, even though it’s often meant with heartfelt sincerity and, in fact, they do need your help. To many of your customers, the phrase can sound more like “Can I help myself?” So what’s better? Hard to say. But a story that popped up this week might give you a place to start.

Recently a photograph of a New York City police officer and a homeless man with no shoes went viral. Here’s how the story was explained in the New York Times: On a cold November night in Times Square, Officer Lawrence DePrimo was working a counterterrorism post when he encountered an older, barefooted homeless man. The officer disappeared for a moment, then returned with a new pair of boots, and knelt to help the man put them on.

An Arizona tourist caught the act in a photograph and posted it on the NYPD Facebook page. The Internet lit up with excitement because it was a joy to see such a spontaneous act of kindness. As of this writing there have been millions of views, over 500,000 likes, 195,000 shares and 41,458 comments.

So why do I bring this up? Simple. A retail jewelry store should be about acts of kindness. Of course, you are there to make a profit and there is nothing wrong with that. But, essentially, people come into your store dreaming about making a loved one happy yet having deep concerns about getting that done. And every day, you have the opportunity to ease their concerns and fulfill their dreams.

Officer DePrimo didn’t ask the homeless man “Can I help you?” — he simply acted. He understood the need and filled it. Nothing more and nothing less. “It was freezing out and you could see the blisters on the man’s feet,” he said in an interview. They started talking; he found out the man’s shoe size: 12.

So as you emerge from what was, hopefully, a successful and joyous holiday keep the spirit of the season and the spirit of Officer DePrimo’s actions in mind. Rather than ask your customer that dreaded question, ask yourself, “How can I help this person?” What you do next will take care of itself.

Wishing you the very best in business!

Dan Kisch

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On Running Your Shop: Pickup Tricks

On Running Your Shop: Pickup Tricks

Know What you can and can’t do with abandoned repairs.


Published in the January 2013 issue.

Every jeweler has repairs no one has bothered to collect. I’ve known jewelers who had them going back to the ’50s! But getting customers to pick up their repairs increases cash flow, and holding onto repairs can actually cost you money. So, let’s look at what to do with old repairs legally as well as from the standpoint of good customer relations.


Your attorney may not even know what the law is in your state. Typically your state attorney general’s office or local sheriff’s office will know what you need to do.

Requirements vary from state to state, and your city or county might have its own ordinances. For the sake of discussion, this is the law in Georgia as I investigated it:

You are required to hold a customer’s piece of jewelry for one year.
After a year you are allowed to sell the customer’s item to regain the repair charge, but before doing so, the customer must be notified.
You must give the customer 10 days notice to pick up the item.
My county said to give the customer notice, all you had to do was to post such notice on the sheriff’s bulletin board (really!). We decided to be nice, and we sent the customer a letter via certified mail with return receipt. If we got the return receipt back and they didn’t come in after 10 days we were legally OK to unload it.
If the customer still did not come in, we saved the job envelope and letter or return receipt forever. In the POS system, we put notes about what we did and where the letter/envelope was being stored and what we did with the jewelry. If we scrapped or sold it, details were added to their history in case the customer ever came back in.


Citing Georgia again, if we repaired a bracelet and we charged the client $50, then we could sell it for $50 even if it was worth $400 to recover our labor costs.

Conversely, if we scrapped it and got $400 for the scrap value, only the $50 we “earned,” was ours to keep. We could deposit the whole $400 but had to keep a record, and if the customer ever came back, we are required to give him back the $350 difference.
If this occurred, we put this information into the POS system in the customer’s history records.
One time a customer came back three years later and was very upset her jewelry was taken apart. But we had sent out “come get your jewelry postcards” every few months, made phone calls and sent the return receipt letter. It’s not like we didn’t try. We gave the customer the difference, as we were obligated to do.


For items with little value, insist on prepayment for repair jobs.
We offered all customers a 5 percent discount to prepay.
When we took in a watch for a repair estimate, we usually requested a $20 deposit. We preferred cash because we paper clipped the 20-dollar bill inside the envelope. If he didn’t get the watch repaired, the customer would come back to get his 20 bucks!
Always get name/address/two phone numbers/email address. Don’t just write the customer’s name! You want complete contact info on all job envelopes.

Today with email and text messages, you should be able to keep up with your customers, but it’s still good to know the laws and have a policy for when this sort of thing happens.

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Tech For Your Store: A Window into the Future

Tech For Your Store: A Window into the Future


Published in the December 2012 issue

There was a time when every major update of the Windows operating system required small business owners to rush out and buy the new version, because of security issues or simply to keep pace with the changing technological landscape.

That is no longer the case, as operating systems have become more stable and computer users have shown they are comfortable with their existing setup (indeed, according to some estimates, 20 percent of U.S. small businesses are still using Windows XP, which was released in 2001).

So how about the recently launched Windows 8, which Microsoft is trumpeting as its most revolutionary product launch in two decades: Is it worth making the change?

To be sure, Windows 8 offers some interesting benefits, including:
Improved security, both in terms of recovering data and in protection against viruses.
Greater access to your data across a wide number of devices thanks to heavy integration with Microsoft’s cloud service.
A slick new touch-control interface, featuring constantly updating apps that can show you your next appointment, the latest post on your social networks and — depending on how you configure your widgets — your store’s latest financial data. And the downside?
A fairly steep learning curve. Early users have complained the new tile interface is confusing. Gone are the tray along the bottom of the screen and the Start menu, with navigation conducted by swipes and taps on the screen or on a trackpad.
A dearth of apps. Microsoft has come late to the tablet/smart phone game and so there are few developers producing applications for its Windows 8 Store.

All the jewelry software companies we approached said their systems were already compatible with Windows 8 (see sidebar) but most advised against quickly upgrading, saying it made more sense for jewelers to wait until they needed to buy new computers, which should come preinstalled with Windows 8 and feature the hardware required to support a touch-based OS.

“There is no good reason to upgrade an existing PC” said Joe Shapiro, co-founder of Abbott Jewelry Systems, which produces the popular EDGE POS program.

One final consideration especially for those diehards still clinging to XP: Microsoft has said it will stop all support for the old OS come April 2014. So sooner or later you are going to have to upgrade, at least to Windows 7.

RECOMMENDATION: Wait at least 90 days so
Microsoft has fixed the first round of bugs.

MAKER: DTIC Corporation
WINDOWS 8 COMPATIBLE: Yes RECOMMENDATION: No need to upgrade at this time, Windows 7 is a very good stable OS. Or, consider a Mac.

MAKER: Applications Systems Corp. (ASC)
RECOMMENDATION: Upgrade based on your need or the benefit you would get from the new technology, not just because it is available.

MAKER: MPI Systems
RECOMMENDATION: Wait. Reviews on Windows 8 have not been favorable.

MAKER: Jewelry Computer Systems
RECOMMENDATION: Wait since most Microsoft releases take at least six months to iron out issues.

MAKER: Bejeweled Software Company
RECOMMENDATION: Purchase a new machine that comes with the new OS.

MAKER: Compulink
RECOMMENDATION: Don’t upgrade an existing computer to Windows 8. Stick with Windows 7 if you’re familiar with it.

MAKER: Logic Mate Corp.
RECOMMENDATION: Gradually change over so as not to become overwhelmed with the financial burdens of buying new equipment or training requirements.

MAKER: JewelerProfit
RECOMMENDATION: If you’re using XP, buy a computer with Windows 8 installed. Get at least 6 GB of RAM on the computer — these new systems are resource hogs.

MAKER: Octahedron
RECOMMENDATION: Be sure your IT support is ready, that peripherals such as tag printers can also support any upgrades.

MAKER: Abbott Jewelry Systems
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Tale End: Smooth Seller

Tale End: Smooth Seller

Published in the December 2012 issue

Christmas eve, 1967: I was a part-time Christmas employee. Our manager held a store meeting earlier in the month about discounting: No more discounts! So, I was showing a man a $1,000 watch, and he asked how much for cash. I replied, “That is our cash price.” He wanted to think about it and left. The manager approached and wanted to know where he went. When I told him the customer wanted to think about it, the manager yelled at me and told me to go find the customer and bring him back. I rushed out of the store and almost ran into the man as he was counting his money. Surprised, he looked up, and all I could say was, “I forgot to tell you... we have free gift wrapping.” He followed me back into the store and paid cash for his watch. — Don Delano; JL Jewelers, Tampa, FL

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On Retail: Tell the Story of Your Store

On Retail: Tell the Story of Your Store


Published in the December 2012 issue.

Find your store’s story and success finds you.

My jewelry store experienced a 90 percent increase in sales from 2010 to 2011. I attribute that extraordinary leap to two primary changes: One, I hired a business coach, and two, I began to tell a story.

Here are three methods I use to tell my customers a story.

1Your content goes here! A brochure that tells your entire story. A customer of mine is a storyteller, and she had the idea to create a unique brochure.

The first part contains my life story, interwoven with my unfolding career as a jewelry designer, family man and spiritual seeker. Also, there are lovely black and white shots of me and my family. This was a very personal and emotional brochure. Next are pages with copy of some of my best sketches, then photographs of finished work, and finally a credits page to all the key contributors. 40 pages in all!

Customers have been inspired by this booklet and have gotten to know me at a much more rapid rate than ever before.

2 Your store itself. Fragrance, décor, music and amenities! Every morning before opening I burn a type of incense called Holy Cat. It has a cinnamon-based scent, and is immediately calming. I strike up my surround sound system, and it plays a beautiful buffet of music, from Boz Scaggs, to Al Dimeola, to Serge Gainsbourg, to Burt Bacharach. Music is my true love, and I pride myself on what is playing in the store for my customers to enjoy. I offer a cappuccino to every customer and have wine and cheese Wednesdays from 4 to 6.

My store’s décor is comfortable and welcoming, featuring an inventory that consists of 20 percent of my own designs and the rest unique selections from two main suppliers. Customers tell me my store has a unique selection not found in others and they feel at ease in the store’s great vibe — it encompasses all the senses!

Through the distinct world created within my store, individuals are encouraged to find their own sense of style. I offer my customers a relationship and an experience, and they relay that “story” to their friends and colleagues!

3 The works of local artists. Every two months, I introduce a new artist and feature his or her work in the store. It lends a helping hand to local artists, while keeping the interior of the store fresh, new and unexpected. Through our website, emails via Constant Contact and our opening night celebration, we introduce the artist to the local community and invite people to experience the fine artwork. The work of each artist changes the story of my store with unexpected twists and turns and adds a dose mystery and suspense.

Justin Bortz owns Justin Bortz Jewelers and Midnight Swan Designs in West Reading, PA.

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David Geller: St. Nick of Profits

Once upon a time in a jewelry store on Main
Stood a jeweler we all know, let's just call her Jane.
She learned her craft going back a generation or two
And shared her excitement with her customers
Who loved her, and her trinkets too.

The store was clean.
The store was new.
That’s the reason business was good
Or at least that’s what she thought she knew.
When her father ran the store the old fashion way,
It made enough money for his family
And sent Jane to an Ivy League school
Which gave her skills so she’d be under-way.
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Cool Website: Perry’s at SouthPark

Cool Website: Perry’s at SouthPark

Published in the January 2013 issue

From 50 coffee cans of one-of-a-kind jewelry accumulated at estate sales 35 years ago to a 4,000-square-foot showroom and one of the most trusted organizations in Charlotte, NC, Perry’s at SouthPark has come a long way. Its e-commerce-enabled website reflects the prestige the store has earned over the decades.


1AWARD The homepage rotator included the expected jewelry items and (in December) extended holiday hours, but it also contains kudos to a Perry’s employee for winning an international Gold Stevie for Women in Business Award. That stands out, as apparently do Perry’s employees.

2CAUSES The site devotes a page to list the 50-plus charitable organizations the store supported in the previous year with donations totaling $115,000. The page doesn’t shout about the donations. Rather, the facts are there for anyone who wants to see.

EDUCATION Most sites contain the standard four Cs spiel. This site has great tips on cleaning, an explanation of jewelry eras, birthstone facts and legends and a particularly interesting page on what it means to be a graduate gemologist.


1SITEMAP When clicking on the sitemap link, all that came up was a bunch of html gobbledygook. Better get that looked at.

2SEARCH Type in “bridal” in the search box, and it comes up with “No items found.” Hmm. Granted, the bridal category is extremely easy to find straight from the homepage.

3HOLIDAY NOD In mid-December, the only nod to the holidays on the homepage was a rotator item mentioning extended hours. When the holidays mean so much to the bottom line, a website should get more into the holiday spirit, perhaps with a special holiday homepage skin.

Cool Websites are selected by judges and INSTORE editors from among the top-ranked entries in the 2012 America’s Coolest Stores Contest, or they are nominated by readers. Have a cool website? Send us an e-mail to let us know about it:

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4-Hour Workweek, The

Danger! Approach with extreme caution! This amazingly alluring title is definitely not a book to read if you’re driving to build your business.
Hits: 546

TKO Sales!

Ever wonder if you’ve wandered into the wrong occupation? This book could be a godsend.
Hits: 420

Number, The

Retirement... and what you need to enjoy it free from fears of running out of money.
Hits: 270

Smart Is Not Enough

Making the case for hiring not the most academically gifted candidates, but those with the most determination and street smarts.
Hits: 369

Great Employees Only

Dale Dauten’s formula for success? Hiring the right people, and “de-hiring” the wrong.
Hits: 294

Small Is The New Big

Small Is The New Big

Hardcover, August 2006, 352 pp, price: $16.35 
If you live in a tourist area, how about you create your own walking tour of the city for an iPod? If one already exists for your town, consider advertising your store on it. 
Lord & Taylor promotion: Buy $100 and you get a free gift certificate for $20. The secret is customers didn’t know they were going to get the gift certificate until they had already bought the first item. Many were so pleasantly surprised that they immediately went back to use the unexpected gift certificate, with many of those ending up buying additional products to earn additional gift certificates. What would be the correct numbers for a jewelry business? A $100 gift certificate for a $500 purchase? 
Having recently submitted jewelers to what was probably the most extensive survey in industry history (INSTORE, April), we’re probably not the best magazine to present this tip. But Seth Godin says that if you survey your customers, take it easy on them. He was recently offered a five-dollar incentive by AMAZON.COM to answer a survey, but bailed out when he realized that it had 63 questions. He would have suggested only a single question: “Tell us the three things you like most (or least) about our program and how you would improve it.” 
Your goals: “Turn strangers into friends; turn friends into customers; and then, do the most important job... turn your customers into salespeople.” 
Fog City News in San Francisco, an otherwise ordinary newsstand, is famous for offering 100 different kinds of chocolate. If your average customer has a sweet tooth, this could be a way of getting him or her into your store. Or, offer a dozen different types of chocolate, complimentary of course. 
Another way to turn your store experience from average to amazing is through announcements over the store PA system. Here’s an example of from ultra-friendly JetBlue Airlines: “JetBlue, your snacks are being handed out by Tom, who’s single and looking for love! Hey, if you marry him, you can fly for free!” 
Oxymorons get attention. For example, virtually every feature article on Google mentions that its cafeteria manager had worked as a chef for the Grateful Dead. Definitely attention-getting. An example in our industry would be rock ’n’ roll jeweler Ga