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Make Yourself a Destination, Light Your Cases Like an Expert … and More Jeweler Questions for May

How to drive traffic to a free-standing destination, phone calls from blocked numbers, and more.




Make Yourself a Destination, Light Your Cases Like an Expert … and More Jeweler Questions for May


We are a in a freestanding building in an off-the-beaten-track historic community with many rules regarding signage and promotions. How do we drive traffic? We mostly offer custom jewelry.

A few years back, Dunkin’ Donuts ran a campaign under the theme: “It’s worth the trip.” You could do well to use that as inspiration, says Andrew Malis, president of the MGH advertising agency in Owings Mills, MD. “You need to market yourself as a destination store and as the place for custom jewelry in all of your part of your state, not just your town. That requires that you own all the relevant Google search keywords for custom and estate jewelry for that region,” he says. Ellen Fruchtman, president of Fruchtman Marketing in Toledo, OH, advises that you try driving traffic using Facebook advertising and custom-designed pages with special offers and promotions. “You can target age, marital status, etc. in your surrounding area,” she notes. You should also make a point to check with your city’s economic development department and find out where visitors/shoppers to the historic district typically come from and advertise there, not in your town. “Buy billboards on the routes into town to capture those visitors,” adds Malis.


How do you light a case with an upper and lower glass shelf so as not to get shadows?

It’s pretty much impossible. Overhead lighting will invariably light just the top shelf and project some light along with shadows to the second shelf. “The only way to properly light a case with two shelves is to have two separate light sources for each shelf, says Howard Gurock, president of Eco-Lite Products. This can be done in several ways, Gurock says. The first is to have overhead lighting illuminate the top shelf and a horizontal LED fixture attached to the bottom of the top shelf to light the second shelf. Otherwise you could have two horizontal fixtures installed under the top glass and the other fixture attached to the bottom of the top shelf to light the lower shelf. The second option, Gurock says, is to run a vertical LED fixture down both sides of the case to light the shelves. Note, however, that this will not work so well if the case is on the longish side.


I am thinking of not taking phone calls from blocked numbers. It’s always telemarketers. Are there any business risks? 

We think you’re safe, unless you count a lot of publicity-averse A-listers among your customers. According to Jeff Unger, president of B&N Jewelry, no respectable jewelry vendor will block its ID from being shown (unless you owe them money). If you are worried about missing a prospect, carriers such as AT&T provide a service that informs the caller that you don’t accept blocked calls and they should drop the secrecy. Unger cautions, however, that this may cost you the opportunity of chatting with fundraisers during a political year.


We have a customer who purchased a watch for $10,000 about 10 years ago. That model is no longer available, having been replaced by an improved style that sells for $28,000. If the client lost the watch, he would have to pay the $28,000 or buy one on the pre-owned market for $10,000- $12,000 to replace it. How should we establish the value for his appraisal?

The most appropriate response is actually to list both values, says Gail Brett Levine, executive director of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers. The first at “Replacement Value (comparable) at $10,000- 12,000” (giving a range is a really smart thing to do, she adds) and the second for “Replacement Value – New – $28,000.” Says Brett Levine: “You should include a note on the valuation page that the replacement value new is for an updated model. By stating both values, the client and the insurance company can decide which value to insure.”

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.



She Wanted to Spend More Time with Her Kids. She Called Wilkerson.

Your children are precious. More precious than gold? Absolutely! Just ask Lesley Ann Davis, owner of Lesley Ann Jewels, an independent jewelry store that — until the end of 2023 — had quite a following in Houston, Texas. To spend more time with her four sons, all in high school, she decided to close her store. Luckily, she was familiar with Wilkerson and called them as soon as she knew she wanted to move on to bigger, better and more family-focused things. Was she happy with her decision? Yes, she was. Says Davis, “Any owner looking to make that life change, looking to retire, looking to close, looking for a pause in their career, I would recommend Wilkerson. Hands down!”

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