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Create New High-Traffic Days By Celebrating Offbeat Holidays

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LIFE IN THIS INDUSTRY tends to revolve around a handful of big days — Christmas, Mother’s Day, birthdays, and anniversaries. But there’s no reason to limit yourself. There are holidays every month, and even if they’re not typically associated with jewelry purchases — well, maybe they could be, if you got on board and ran a promotion or just a clever ad. The more unusual the holiday (Bastille Day? Pi Day?), the more you’ll stand out. (Be sure to read INST ORE’s Calendar page every month for ideas.) Even if someone doesn’t buy something special for Star Wars Day (i.e., “May the Fourth be with you”), they’re more likely to remember you when one of the bigger holidays rolls around.

REMINDER: All of the ads shown here, whether created by the stores themselves or by an outside firm, are copyrighted. So use them for inspiration only. Don’t copy them; make them your own!

A SOUPER SALE

Goldsmith Gallery, Billings, MT

Scott Wickam used to run his “Souper Bowl Sale” only on game day, but it got too busy, so he started spreading it out over four days leading up to the football championship. Shoppers who bring in a can of soup get serious discounts on select merchandise. Wickam got the idea from IJO and says the event has yielded at least 100 cans for the local food pantry each time he’s done it.

WE’LL BE HAVIN’ YER GOLD, MATEY

Sami Fine Jewelry, Fountain Hills, AZ
April’s “Sell Your Booty to Pay Your Taxes” was just the latest pirate-themed event at Sami. The store regularly holds “booty” gold-buying promotions, during which they offer a bit more for cash or trade. There is also food, decor and costumes. “Since we dress up, people love it,” says president Stephenie Bjorkman. “They’re already worried when they come in to sell gold, so it makes it more fun.”

NEED A HOLIDAY? INVENT YOUR OWN

Gems of the Hill Country, Mason, TX
Diane Eames has now celebrated six years of Texas Topaz Day, which she created (and got her state’s governor to officially recognize) to celebrate a gem found only in her region. The two-day festivities feature gem cutting, kids’ events, and seminars — and most of all, draw a lot of attention to the semiprecious stone and her store.

A DOG FOR ALL SEASONS

Wanna Buy a Watch? Los Angeles, CA

Owner Ken Jacobs “rescued” mascot Nipper from a neighbor’s yard sale around 2010. Since then, the canine sculpture has served as the store’s “Watch Dog” and greeter, and eventually became its official spokesdog, too. He’s now a familiar sight to passersby and gives the store a chance to mark holidays throughout the year.

IT’S COOOOOOOLD OUT THERE

Studio 2015, Woodstock, IL

“We’re in a little podunk town,” says Studio 2015’s Bret Dougherty, “but our claim to fame is, this is where the movie Groundhog Day was filmed.” In accordance with that, the store held a promotion in 2010: If it snowed three inches on the holiday, your purchase that day was free. Even Punxsutawney Phil couldn’t have predicted a blizzard would strike — the store gave away more than $60,000 in jewelry.

OUT AND PROUD

Miner’s Den Jewelers, Royal Oak, MI

Miner’s Den runs bimonthly quarter-page ads in the Detroit area’s LGBT newspaper, but for annual pride events, the store goes all out with a fullpage ad, often including a coupon and typically featuring gay couples who’ve purchased rings from the store. The store also operated a booth at the Motor City Pride Fest in 2011 and will appear at the region’s Same- Sex Wedding Expo for the second time this year.

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Downsizing? Wilkerson Is Here to Help

Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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