Connect with us

Best of The Best

Best of the Best: Cooperation Among Competitors

Richmond, VA, jewelers band together to help the community.

Published

on

Fornash Jewelers

Richmond, VA

In November 2014, 10 community-minded jewelers from Richmond, VA, gathered at the 51st Children’s Hospital Foundation Ball to raise more than $9,000 for the Children’s Hospital at Virginia Commonwealth University. Raising money as a group for a chosen charity has become a tradition for Richmond’s jewelers. In five years the group has raised a total of $70,000 for two causes.

IDEA

Working with Other Jewelers

Cheryl Fornash of Cheryl Fornash Jewelers in Richmond, VA, began the “Jewels” raffle in 2009, when she was volunteering on a committee for the Women in Wellness events in support of cancer research at Massey Cancer Center. It quickly becam oe of the most popular features at the event.

“I thought if we could expand it to include pieces from other jewelers, it would make a bigger impact and raise more for Massey,” says Fornash.

EXECUTION

A Little Arm-Twisting

So, in 2009, with a little arm-twisting from Fornash, 11 other jewelers joined up, each donating a piece of jewelry with a retail value of $1,500 to the raffle that became known as “Jewels for a Cure.”

Advertisement

In 2012, prompted by a change in fundraising strategies at the cancer center, Fornash proposed the “Jewels” raffle concept to the children’s hospital.

“After five years,” Fornash says, “I’m thrilled to be able to say that the ‘Jewels’ raffles have become a tradition among Richmond’s most respected jewelers.”

Although all of them support other charities on an individual basis, once a year they put aside their roles as competitors and come together to socialize and raise funds to help provide medical care for area children.

“Richmond is kind of unique,” Fornash says. “It’s not a huge city, we all know each other and everybody seems to get along well. A lot of us specialize in different areas and have our own expertise. I never feel like I’m directly competing against them.”

“I’m amazed at how wonderful the jewelers have been,” she says. “I wouldn’t be able to continue to do it if everybody wasn’t really on board.”

The 2014 Jewels for Children retail jewelers included Adolf Jewelers, Carreras Jewelers, Charles Schwarzschild Jewelers, Cheryl Fornash Jewelers, Cowardin Jewelers, Dransfield Jewelers, Fink’s Jewelers, Schwarzschild Jewelers, Saks Fifth Avenue and Victoria Charles Jewellery. Other jewelers involved in past years are the Davis Collection, Vera’s Fine Jewelers, Jack Kreuter Jewelers, Peter Alexander Jewelers, MacLaren Jewelers and Capri Jewelers.

Advertisement

REWARDS

More Cooperation

Aside from the benefits to the chosen charities, Fornash has found the collaboration to be a good chance to get to know her peers better. Working together also makes it more natural to send referrals to competitors if a customer needs something she doesn’t offer. And of course, the publicity hasn’t hurt. “I think it’s been great for the image of the fine jewelers in Richmond,” Fornash says.

Do It Yourself: Good Deeds by All

Find a charity that everybody would like to support, like a children’s hospital.

You need to have someone involved who deeply cares for the charity, because someone needs to head it up, work with the charity and put it all together. After the first year, you see what the snags are and get it down to a science.

Hire a professional photographer to take a group shot to help with publicizing the effort.

Advertisement

Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

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.”

Promoted Headlines

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Subscribe


BULLETINS

INSTORE helps you become a better jeweler
with the biggest daily news headlines and useful tips.
(Mailed 5x per week.)

Facebook

Latest Comments

Most Popular