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Best of the Best: Extreme TV Appearance

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Thollot Diamonds & Fine Jewelry

Thornton, CO

When Troy Thollot of Thollot Diamonds & Fine Jewelry in Thornton, CO, first noticed the email from ABC in his inbox, he thought it was spam.

He’s glad he took a second look. A producer from the ABC series Extreme Weight Loss, had contacted store owners Troy and Joy Thollot to see if they’d be interested in designing an engagement ring for their “Love Can’t Weight,” nationally televised show.

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Ready for Prime Time

Their Denver-area business was chosen, Troy Thollot says, after the producer secret shopped it and decided it was large enough for a camera crew, and pretty enough, for TV.

The show was about Cain Myers and Tiffany Kasunich, a couple whose shared weight problem was compounded by Cain’s gambling addiction. They wanted to get married, but not in their current life situation. Show host Chris Powell challenged the couple to lose more weight than any two-person team had ever lost in the history of the show. If they did, and if Cain could conquer his addiction, Powell promised to fulfill Tiffany’s dream of a cushion-cut diamond ring.

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THE EXECUTION

Finding the Right Diamond

Thollot partnered with Hasenfeld-Stein to find a rare, 1.54 carat FireCushion-cut diamond and set it in a Thollot custom-designed ring.

“Cain wasn’t guaranteed the ring,” Thollot says. “He had a carrot in front of him to lose the weight. So we weren’t sure going into it if it would be Cain’s ring, or a stock piece.”

Thollot asked his attorney to look at the final contract with ABC and translate it from legalese to “normal people” language.

There was another challenge. Seventy percent of custom ring shoppers Thollot encounters come in together to design the ring. But since this ring was a surprise for Tiffany, Thollot had to do some detective work on Pinterest to determine what style of setting she would most like.

THE REWARDS

Soaking Up the Spotlight

Cain and Tiffany lost a total of 272 pounds. Cain kicked his gambling addiction, and was able to present the Thollot-designed FireCushion diamond engagement ring to Tiffany.

And the ring? “We nailed it,” Thollot says. “Tiffany loves it.”

The Thollots were able to market their involvement with the show, landing an interview on the morning show of the local ABC affiliate. They’ve also been featured in local print media, and used social media to get the word out. The spotlight helped established the small independent business as a diamond-jewelry authority with a direct connection to top-line brands and exquisite diamonds. That helps Thollot stand out in the Denver market rife with larger competitors.

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“Being on television gives you instant credibility,” he says.

And Cain and Tiffany returned to the store for their wedding bands.

“They were a delight to work with,” Thollot says. “I love being able to participate in the most exciting time of people’s lives.”

Do It Yourself: Get National TV Exposure

Read your email: “As an independent jeweler and as someone who has been in the business for 25 years, it’s easy to get complacent and fall into a routine, and it’s easy to delete emails,” Thollot says. “My advice is to listen to every phone call, answer the phone, respond to emails, because you never know where it’s going to lead.”

Take a risk: “It was a gamble, whether the show would even air, but as a small business owner, we all gamble every day.”

Keep up appearances: Look around your store. Ask yourself: Would a TV producer consider it camera-worthy?

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

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