Connect with us

Benchmarks

See How 8 Top Jewelers Set Up Their Bridal Sales Areas

Bridal areas that put the focus on customers’ privacy, hospitality and experience.

Published

on

If Jim Woodard of Woodard’s Diamonds & Design in Tullahoma, TN, had a bridal room in his store, which is something he’s always wanted, he’d let his imagination take flight. “I want waterfalls, tropical birds, maybe a couple of monkeys in a tux, an open sky roof,” he muses.

Connie Stagner of Acori Diamonds & Design in Friendswood, TX, recently remodeled her front office for this purpose, with a mini bar and an unexpected twist: she’s waiting for her taxidermist to deliver a mounted bobcat to add more character to the room and no doubt create a rustic Texas experience.

But while we appreciate such creativity, the bobcat is not yet installed, so here we will explore other, more traditional ideas. The trend is toward areas that are somewhat separate, both visually and physically, from the rest of the showroom without being cut off completely.

Jewelers who do have bridal enclaves, salons or dedicated case space say it’s not just about how it looks. Customers enjoy comfortable seating, a measure of privacy and the overall experience. Whitney Lang of Burkes Fine Jewelers in Kilmarnock, VA, is in the process of renovating the back of the store to create a concealed custom and bridal client lounge area so private it will have a completely separate entrance.

Here is a look at a variety of existing bridal rooms, boutiques and enclaves, with a focus on privacy, hospitality and experience, but, sadly, no monkeys. Not yet. 


 

Advertisement

Interactive Kiosks Entice Millennials LEITZEL’S JEWELRY ON CHOCOLATE, HERSHEY, PA

Allison Leitzel Williams, third generation jeweler at Leitzel’s Jewelry, recently opened a second location, Leitzel’s Jewelry on Chocolate, in Hershey, PA, in a former bank building. They worked with a custom showcase designer from Grice Showcase to create an intimate bridal enclave. “We actually have custom display cases that allow us to have a private viewing area without completely segregating the area from the rest of the store,” she says. An interactive kiosk created by Naledi has been a great way to start the engagement ring process in a relaxed presentation, she says. Clients, especially millennials, enjoy browsing independently for rings, which are accessible on a pulley system, while they are able to view corresponding pricing information on an iPad. The statement-making elevated showcases at the front of the platform feature diamond fashion jewelry and custom wedding bands by Lashbrook. “These showcases also serve the purpose of creating a more private and intimate atmosphere for engagement ring shopping,” she says.

 

Creating A Destination MOLINELLI’S, POCATELLO, ID

Molinelli’s focus is to be the destination for all things bridal. A $1.1 million renovation in 2014 expanded the store from 2000 to 5500 square feet and tripled the linear case space. The design for the remodel centered around a semi-private bridal / diamond room, which has more than a thousand styles. “Encouraging comments from other jewelers and reps who travel the country make us feel we’ve hit the mark,” says Lance Buttars. In addition to the space, Buttars promotes the wedding business with a booklet called The Bridal Package, which includes thousands of dollars in offers from a variety of collaborative merchants and service providers in the local wedding arena. It’s all paying off. Since Lance and Julie Buttars bought the business in 2015, gross sales have soared from $600,000 to well over $2 million.

 

Advertisement

Design Your Own Rings MICHAEL & SON’S JEWELRY COMPANY, RENO, NV

At Michael & Son’s Jewelry Company, Erica Tague says she is able to create a personal experience within a 4,800 square-foot downtown store. When she and her family opened the new store last year, one goal was to have one of the largest bridal selections in the market. To facilitate that goal, the bridal area is equipped with a 7-foot-wide, sit-down showcase that houses 750 semi-mounts, 300 prototypes and 350 men’s wedding bands in a variety of metal types. Within the bridal area, there’s also a design bar with seating and a large TV screen guests can use to design their dream pieces, as well as a beverage bar serving champagne, wine, coffee, etc. The focus on bridal and creating space for selling it in comfort has paid off. “In the old store we’d do one engagement ring a month; now we do two or three a week. If it’s custom, we design it, print it, cast it in-house and set the stones as well.” Their goal is to be a $5 million store, and this year they hit $3.5 million in revenues. Other elements of the experience include a gift of champagne, a wedding planner guide and ring holder. They also give away free titanium wedding bands to grooms to promote their wedding band business at bridal expos and to encourage engagement ring shoppers to return. That pays off, too. About 80 to 90 percent of grooms upgrade the band from the free item when they come in; the bride-to-be often shops for wedding bands at the same time her groom is choosing his.

 

Just Around The Corner SOFIA KAMAN FINE JEWELS, VENICE, CA

Sofia Kaman created a bridal boutique and sit-down consultation space within her 1,000-square-foot store. It’s tucked off to the side in a spot that was closed off and used as a dressing room by the previous tenant of the space. It’s inviting, elegant and comfortable and just around the corner from the entry to the main sales floor. Kaman helps create an experience for her customers by collaborating with a bridal boutique, photographers, event planners and florists in her neighborhood for events and cross-promotion. “Seemingly simple things have really enabled us to grow,” Kaman says.

 

Advertisement

Find Your Fresh Diamonds Here ELIZABETH DIAMOND CO., DAYTON, OH

t Elizabeth Diamond Co., there’s a large circular section for loose diamonds adorned with an impressive chandelier and surrounded by cases with branded settings and comfortable seating. Finding room for bridal is an important piece of the Elizabeth Diamond retail puzzle. The bridal sections occupy about a quarter of the store. “It’s kind of like the Waffle House,” says Stephanie Weber. “We go through diamonds like they go through eggs, and we both keep them fresh and current. We have lots and lots of settings.”

 

Thinking Inside The Box DIAMONDS DIRECT FINE JEWELERS, ST. PETERSBURG, FL

The VIP Red Box Room at Diamonds Direct Fine Jewelers has privacy and cachet to spare, with a private entrance for high-profile clients. The room is modeled after the store’s DD Red Box Collection. Each box is monochromatic dark red, and, when opened, reveals ivory padding and a gold logo. The VIP room is entirely red except for the table with jewelry—padded ivory like the inside jewelry pad of the box. The ceiling is painted ivory with the logo in gold like the top satin of the box. The room is also equipped with smart TVs. Each purchase made in this showroom comes in the DD Red Box Collection.

 

Setting Them at Ease ZADOK JEWELERS, HOUSTON, TX

The bridal salon at Zadok Jewelers features pieces from more than 20 engagement and wedding ring designers, including Tacori, Henri Daussi, and J.B. Star, as well as one of the largest selections of loose diamonds in Texas, says Lindsey Bowen, marketing team member. It’s styled like a boutique, offering a more intimate feel amid an expansive store. Above all, the goal of the space and its staff is to set the customer at ease. They are offered refreshments — water, coffee and soft drinks or wine. The store staff can customize any ring and meet any customer need in budget or size while offering a positive, unique experience, Bowen says.

 

A Reason to Celebrate ACE OF DIAMONDS, MOUNT PLEASANT, MI

At Ace of Diamonds, Mike and Kris Roethlisberger have a room that’s a bit more private than the rest of the store, where they show their loose diamonds, wedding bands and engagement rings. They call it the Celebrations Room. It keeps unwelcome surprises to a minimum. “You just never know who else will come in the store while a guy is thinking about taking that next big step,” Mike says. “Over the years, we’ve had to secretly get someone out of the store because a friend or relative came in at the same time, unknowingly.”

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

Advertisement

VIDEO HIGHLIGHT

OVER THE COUNTER: EPISODE 4

Jewelry Store Owner Rewards Her Staff With the Ultimate Adventure

The owner of a new Colorado jewelry store gave her sales team a steep challenge. In this one-minute excerpt of the latest "Over the Counter", hear how the goal was set ... and learn what she did when they reached their goal. Catch the full podcast here.

Promoted Headlines

Want more INSTORE? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Comment

Benchmarks

These Ridiculously Cute Store Greeters Break the Ice and Calm Shoppers’ Nerves

Store greeters set shoppers at ease and serve as brand ambassadors.

Published

on

Store greeters of all types and species serve an important function in breaking the ice and easing threshold resistance. In the case of the four-legged variety, they offer a special breed of retail therapy, attract their share of regular admirers, and may even turn out to be adorably approachable jewelry models. Best of all, they add to your store experience and evoke an emotional response. Shoppers will be more than likely to just drop by to say hi.


Star Jewelers on HighColumbus, OH

THE ENGAGEMENT COUNSELOR. Rachel Howard of Star Jewelers on High in Columbus, OH, says her shop dog, Daisy, an 11-year-old Australian shepherd, loves to sit in the window and people watch, and as a result, brings passersby in to say hi. “Her favorite customers are engagement ring shoppers,” Howard says. “We think she senses their anxiety and sits by them to be a therapy dog and a source of comfort.”


Vogan Gold & Silver WorksColorado Springs, CO

THE RETAIL THERAPIST. Shelby is 6 years old and has been a greeter at Vogan Gold & Silver Works in Colorado Springs since she was 10 weeks old. While she loves all customers, she is having an “open fling” with the neighborhood UPS man, Wayne. “I say open because Wayne’s wife is well aware and is OK that he has Shelby’s picture on the visor in his big brown truck,” says Teri Vogan. Though Shelby will not change watch batteries, size a ring or tighten a diamond, she is good at customer service in the form of retail therapy. “She works hard,” Vogan says, “and only asks for animal crackers and elbow rubs.” (In the photo, apprentice Hollie Hyde offers Shelby an elbow rub.)


Art + SoulBoulder, CO

THE GREATEST MARKETING TOOL. Harry Winston, a.k.a. Winston the Yorkie, is the shop dog at Art + Soul in Boulder, CO. His claim to fame, says owner Debbie Klein, is that he is “The Best Dog. Ever.” His job duties include lounging in the sun in the front window and attracting passersby. ”He is our greatest marketing tool,” Klein says. “If you have a cookie, he will be your best friend for life. He used to have more friends on Facebook than I did until Facebook required us to provide proof that he was over age 13 to continue his page. He didn’t have a current ID, so they shut it down.”


LaLonde Jewelers & GemologistsGross Pointe Farms, MI

THE CHIEF MORALE OFFICER. Coco, a Maltese-poodle mix, is chief morale officer at LaLonde Jewelers & Gemologists in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, owned by Daniel and Cynthia LaLonde. When she’s not posing for glamour shots for advertisements, she can regularly be found waiting eagerly at the door to greet customers.


Elizabeth Diamond Co.Dayton, OH

THE BEST FRIEND. At Elizabeth Diamond Co. in Dayton, OH, German shepherd DaisyGirl comes to the store with owner Sonny Singhvi every day. She spends time on the sales floor greeting clients and has a following of fans that stop by and ask to see and pet her. She also specializes in sitting pretty on elegant, upholstered chairs.


Persona Custom & Fine JewelryBoston, MA

THE RED CARPET STARLET. Independence, aka Indi, belongs to the owners of a hardware store that happens to be next door to Persona Custom & Fine Jewelry on Charles Street, a pedestrian-friendly shopping mecca in Boston. As Indi’s name suggests, she goes where she pleases. But, as a luxury lover, she prefers to spend much of her time on the red carpet entrance to Persona or on the store’s Swarovski-crystal tufted, overstuffed accent chair. People come by just to visit Indi, who may look haughty but is actually quite approachable, according to Persona’s creative director, Dustin Rennells. (photo credit: Kelsey Riggs)


Robert Goodman JewelersZionsville, IN

THE WATCH DOGS. Rescue dogs Quincy (black and white) and Journey (brown and white) both work for Robert Goodman Jewelers in Zionsville, IN. Because the store, owned by Robert and Rose-Marie Goodman, has a museum vibe, they seem to be experts at posing as if they, too, are works of art. They also spend quality time peering out the front door.


Lily & Company JewelersSanibel Island, FL

THE BRAND ICON. Lily & Company Jewelers, owned by Karen Bell and Dan Schuyler, was named for Bell’s Labradoodle, Lily, who has become the face of the business in print ads and billboards, where, adorned in top of the line, photo-shopped jewels, she greets every visitor to Sanibel Island, FL. Every year, Lily’s birthday party is a major event on the island. This year, she was preparing to celebrate her 14th in April.


de Boulle Diamond & JewelryDallas, TX

THE GLAMOUR QUEEN. Roo, an Italian greyhound, has a regal presence befitting her luxurious environment at DeBoulle. “Since 2015, Roo has been sniffing out the best jewelry and customers,” says Josh Garcia, director of creative and marketing. “Before her day begins, we make sure she is pampered and polished, and she loves to wear jewelry. Her typical day involves greeting everyone at the door to deliver the de Boulle experience and puppy kisses.”


Sami Fine JewelryFountain Hills, AZ

THE HR SPECIALISTS. Jewel and Gemma are very effective in the HR department, according to owner Stephenie Bjorkman. They keep everyone on an even keel, staff and customers alike. “Animals are great therapists,” she says. When clients come in, they quickly forget that they are “just looking” and immediately let their guard down. Gemma also sits on kids’ laps when they get their ears pierced, easing anxiety. They entertain watch customers, too, while they are waiting. “I can hear customers say, ‘This is the last time I will throw the ball for you,’ then an hour passes,” Bjorkman says.


Mitchell’s JewelersPikesville, MD

THE PROFESSIONAL CHARMER. “Meet Charlie, our newest and cutest part-time sales associate. He’s best with greeting customers and making everyone smile,” says Mitchell Dickler, president of Mitchell’s.


Nancy and David Fine JewelsMilburn, NJ

THE GREETER. At Nancy and David Fine Jewels, co-owners David and Nancy Stone know they can rely on mini-poodle Rico to welcome customers.

Continue Reading

Benchmarks

6 Jewelry Window Displays You Have to See to Believe

Six retailers who mesmerize passersby with window displays.

Published

on

If your location provides you with your own window on the world, make the most of it. Take that opportunity to market your brand in an eye-catching way.

Consider hiring a visual merchandising expert or consult a local florist who may help you in return for a gift card or a piece of jewelry, suggests Larry Johnson, author of The Complete Guide To Jewelry Display.

Figure out what you want it to accomplish before you start decorating. If it’s for pedestrian traffic, think of the window as a menu. Display popular price points and include the prices, which may entice someone into the store.


House of Stones New Philadelphia, OH

For Christmas 2017, Ian Wamboldt, store manager and creative window designer extraordinaire, used steel trees he painted white and new frame decals for the existing light boxes. “The store has a classic, even old-school jewelry look, so I try to do things that complement the fixtures and interior.” After Christmas, he transitioned all of the displays into a winter theme, which will work until the spring update. “Being a small business, there is hardly ever a large budget for displays. So whenever we get something new, I make sure we can use it somewhere else down the road.”


Sarini Fine Jewellery Vulcan, Alberta, Canada

Because Sarini Fine Jewellery has only two small windows, each must punch above its weight when it comes to making a visual impact on passersby. This particular window was inspired by Valentine’s Day, so the engagement rings were set into the silk roses and peonies, which were shaped into a heart. Owner Sandra Locken and staff member, Lynn Brooks, who created this display, bought several of these frames at IKEA and use them in the windows often, simply switching out the background color and adding text. “We also like to use lots of flowers in our windows because there is a green space beside us and it’s nice visual continuity between it and our store,” Locken says.


Ocean Jewels Myrtle Beach, SC

Sometimes it’s all about the right colors. Display cases and windows in Ocean Jewels, like the rest of the store, are light, bright and inspired by the South Carolina environment, including the ocean and gardens. Owners Ali and Stella Channa brand their business with the colors of deep blue and white. Fresh flowers add energy to the shopping experience and appeal to window displays.


Onyx II Fine Jewelers Watertown, CT

Two pounds of glue and 20 pounds of glitter in the wrong hands could mean a big, sticky mess, but James Michael Murphy of Onyx II Fine Jewelers is a pro. Every year, Onyx II kicks off the holiday season with a charity trunk show, and so he thought it would be fun for 2017 to incorporate artwork from the invitations into the window design. He wanted to convey a message of peace, happiness and love. An artist brought Murphy’s ideas to life for printed invitations and also sketched the characters featured in the window. The individual shapes seen in the window were each cut from heavy-duty foam and shipped from California. Murphy painted each one by hand with glue and then glittered each item.


Pyrrha Los Angeles

Anything is likely to appear in one of Pyrrha’s flagship store windows — from felt birds to Victorian-era mannequins, while in the other window a 200-year-old dollhouse displaying jewelry creates a consistent, intentionally decrepit look. The store was designed by owners Wade and Danielle Papin to reflect the eclectic spirit of their line of talisman jewelry, which is based on Victorian-era wax seals. “I don’t feel like we need to sell in a traditional way because our product is so personal,” Danielle says. “We can do things in our window that at first don’t really make sense, but once you know the line, you kind of get it.”


Kesslers Diamond Center Germantown, WI

One key to a successful display strategy is the use of repetition to make the design stand out. Retailworks, a commercial interior design and branding firm in Milwaukee, employs that strategy in a Fifth-Avenue-style window display they created for Kesslers Diamonds. “It’s a free billboard for your company to have your displays on the street,” says Allie Jeka, social media strategist and marketing/creative assistant. Display artists for the company browsed Pinterest for inspiration and designed the dresses themselves, which are almost completely made of paper with Kesslers famous red box prominently featured. “We’ve had a lot of media attention, and tons of comments from pedestrians, people taking photos,” Jeka says.

Continue Reading

Benchmarks

8 Stores With Show-Stopping Ceilings

High-flying fixtures take center stage at these businesses.

Published

on

When interior designer Leslie McGwire is considering a store’s style, she starts with the floor and works up to the ceiling for a final flourish. A ceiling centerpiece can be a piece of art, illuminate shadowy corners or reflect accent colors elsewhere in the store. It can even pull shoppers into an area you want them to go, such as a diamond room.  Owners and designers of these featured jewelry stores recognize the importance of  creating a dramatic focal point.


Adlers Jewelers Westfield, NJ

For Adlers, designer Leslie McGwire used black as an accent color throughout the space — in sconces and jewelry cases — and decided it was very important that the chandelier have a black element as well. “This is a style that works for traditional or contemporary,” she says. “It has the crystals but also has the beautiful fabric shade on it. It’s such a focal point.”


Talisman Collection El Dorado Hills, CA

Creating Andrea Riso’s ceiling was a herculean task. For one thing, 52 contractors turned down the task of hanging a 2-ton “Sky,”— a 200 square-foot, blown-glass platter tray created by artist Robert Kuster — before Riso found one willing to take it on. It was important to replicate a blue sky over the diamond counter, Riso says, because she learned during GIA diamond certification courses to take a break every hour or so from studying diamonds to gaze at blue sky or green grass. Doing so rests the eyes and the central nervous system and allows the viewer to see the details in diamonds. Then there’s “The Sun,” a 1,500-pound, 8-by-8 foot mouth-blown glass fixture, also by Kuster. The center of the sun is a custom cast bronze metal orb with 122 numbered pieces. Each ray of glass is hollow and at least 4 feet long. 


Wear Your Grace Santa Fe, NM

At Wear Your Grace in Santa Fe, NM, owner Hillary Randolph is hands-on when it comes to store design. Her unique fixture, which she found shopping in Round Top, TX, was made from a grapevine that was steamed, coiled, shaped into an openwork globe, and re-dried. She took it home, painted the bottom of it with gold leaf and attached 100-year-old faceted crystal drops from France. The table below it is also painted with gold leaf so it appears as if the crystals are dripping gold. It complements the interior design, with its gold-on-white palette and a tromper l’oeil tangerine curtain painted across the back wall. 


Clarkes Jewelers Shreveport, LA

Ginger Clarke found her showpiece of a chandelier on a road trip to Dallas while in the midst of a 2017 renovation directed by store designer Ruth Mellergaard of GRID/3 International. The scale is unusual, Mellergaard says, at 48 inches long and 12 inches wide. It also stands out because it has a jewelry aesthetic, and it’s positioned directly above a walk-around case at the front of the store, where it’s immediately visible. “It wasn’t even in our plans,” Clarke says. “I just ventured into a high-end furniture design store and knew it was meant to be the finishing piece.”


Marisa Perry Atelier New York City

In 2004, after a fruitless, frustrating search for three matching vintage chandeliers for her Soho shop, Perry found her dream fixtures online. They were new, colorless, Venetian, and she could buy three — which were needed for the long narrow space — for the price of one antique. They were so distinctive they became a standout feature closely associated to her brand. When Perry moved to a new location in the West Village, she knew she couldn’t leave them behind. They now have a place of honor in their new home, hanging from a suspended beam attached to the ceiling. For an unexpected, quirky contrast, the space also has a fabulously funky, ‘60s-style light fixture just beyond the collection of elegant chandeliers.


Bernie Robbins Jewelers Newton, PA

The interior of this Bernie Robbins Jewelers’ location, which opened in 2015, is crowned with a custom-made, Dale Chihuly-inspired blown-glass chandelier, which receives daily compliments and which was surprisingly affordable, says owner Harvey Rovinsky. After visiting several lighting companies, everything seemed either ho-hum or pricey, but when Rovinsky saw this piece from Richard Hill of HIll’s Lighting Co. in Florida, he had “an epiphany.” It’s designed to simply screw together, and Hill custom designed it to coordinate with the store’s interior palette. “Fixtures not even close to having the drama of this one were much more expensive,” Rovinsky says. “The first time people see it, they really freak out.”


Belle Jewelers Chambersburg, PA

Belle Jewelers’ ceiling is illuminated by Restoration Hardware chandelier fixtures with individual crystal beads that were assembled on site. “The whole design of the store is very transitional and this is a transitional look for a chandelier,” says designer Leslie McGwire. “They wanted some sort of crystal, but it’s not a typical chandelier crystal. It’s a statement piece. I look for something that’s more of an art piece than a chandelier, so you don’t see a lot of the light bulbs and it looks pretty on all sides.”


Casale Jewelers Staten Island, NY

Casale Jewelers on Staten Island boasts two large traditional chandeliers (70 and 45 pounds) that add a grand contrast to the otherwise low-key interior. Joshua Marshal in New York designed and manufactured the Egyptian-crystal chandeliers through his company, wegotlites.com, which imports parts from around the world and assembles them in New York. The style is called Maria Theresa. “It’s a very inexpensive way to really dress up a space,” Marshal says. “Not only with the light, but with the beauty. They’re very transitional and bring a classy high end look to any space.”


This article originally appeared in the January 2018 edition of INSTORE. 

Continue Reading

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Latest Classifieds

Most Popular