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Best of The Best

Best of the Best: Marketing With Meaning



Best of the Best Logo[dropcap cap=L]ast year was a banner year at Cornell’s Jewelers in Rochester, NY. The secret to their success? Gala fun-raising events that helped build huge goodwill for the company. 

In their most successful fund-raiser, Olivia and David Cornell (with some help from their store’s very generous vendors), produced a record $573,000 in contributions for the local branch of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).


[contentheading]America’s Most Wanted[/contentheading]

Best of the Best: Marketing with Meaning

The Cornells teamed up with the 19-year-old charity’s original founders to stage a gala black-tie social event featuring a live, silent auction that attracted more than 750 people. John Walsh of TV’s America Most Wanted was the keynote speaker and made a speech entitled “How To Make A Difference.” Auctioned items included trips to resorts, health spa packages, TV and radio media packages and shopping trips to famous department stores. And, of course, many fine jewelry items selected and provided by Cornell’s vendors. 


In September, the Cornell’s staged an event called “Silver Symphony.” Participating vendors were asked to donate jewelry to NCMEC/NY. “Just great silver designers like Judith Ripka, Stephen Dweck, Zena, Elyse Ryan, Michael Dawkins, and John Antencio were showcased,” added Olivia Cornell. “We got on the phone and called everybody we knew and urged them to come to the event.”

Plus, 15 of Cornell’s best customers were escorted to a waiting stretch limousine and driven to Manhattan for tours of the design studios of Jay Strongwater and John Hardy, the Diamond Building at 580 Fifth Avenue, as well as the offices of In Style magazine — plus, lunch and shopping at Saks. “The entire event was extremely successful,” said Olivia Cornell. “When we got back, the phone was ringing off the hook from people who heard about the promotion and promised to attend next year.”

[span class=note]This story is from the April 2004 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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After 42 Years in Business, They Chose Wilkerson to Close Up Shop

After 42 years, it was time for Gina McHugh to hang up her bench tools and plan on doing something completely different. She and her husband, Mick, had a beautiful Binghamton, NY store — The Goldsmith — but in late 2019, the time felt right for retirement. They called Wilkerson. “They’d always been a part of our bridal jewelry selection,” says Gina, “and I felt really good about their quality and service. So, when we were looking for someone to work with us, Wilkerson was a natural.” With the kind of service and support Wilkerson is known for, Gina says their sales consultants made their retirement sale, “successful and quite easy.”

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