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Manager's To Do

Calendar: February 2015




jewelers party for the new year

1 For an occasion that seemingly has so little to do with the refined world of jewelry, the Super Bowl gives jewelers a great chance to show off their game, at least in terms of marketing. In recent years, we’ve seen jewelers hold Most Valuable Proposal contests, Souper Bowl food collections, and an array of bets on the big game (Your money back if the Seahawks score on a safety, the Ravens win by 10 points, it’s a shutout … ). If such tie-ins sound too ambitious for your market, how about a men’s night with beer, cigars and lots of talk about pigskin?

Never been involved with American Heart Month? Make this the year you do. National Wear Red Day is a perfect fit for a jeweler. Partner with a clothing store to stage a Red Dress fashion show, join in a community activity, host a Red Dress gala in conjunction with Valentine’s Day (just remember, no mini cheeseburgers), or distribute Red Dress Pins.

14 Steve McNeil, owner of Diamond Designs in Marion, IL, once hired a Cupid with a bow and arrow to shoot plastic “hearts” at random people outside his store in the run-up to Valentine’s Day. The reward, he says, was terrific. Too bold for you? Northeastern Fine Jewelry in Schenectady, NY, ties up with a fine restaurant each year to treat people who buy Valentine’s gifts, while Woelk’s House of Diamonds in Russell, KS, did probably our favorite all-time V-Day promotion a few years back: a Death by Chocolate event. What will you do to share the love this year?

17 Sugar, fat, flour and eggs were restricted during the ritual fasting of Lent. The result? Pancake Day, aka Shrove Tuesday, on the day before the self-deprivation began. What’s it mean for you? Those also happen to be the ingredients for a great store event. Today, hold a pancake tasting and watch as the aromas prompt your women customers to throw abnegation to the wind.

19 Bow down and welcome the humble sheep, because today is the beginning of the CHINESE NEW YEAR. Consider putting a gift voucher in a Chinese-styled red envelope and urge your customers to join in the celebrations to welcome in the Year of the Sheep, a symbol of tranquility and harmonious co-existence. After all we’ve been through over the last six years, that will be welcome.

21 The Chinese have a phrase that nicely sums up our modern efforts to get things done: “A hasty man drinks his tea with a fork.” Our brains are designed to beautifully handle one focus at a time. They multi-task poorly. On single Tasking Day, focus completely on the task at hand, then move on to the next one. You may actually get a few things done.

22 Lupita Nyong’o, Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock stole the show at the academy Awards last year with heavy accessory choices that anticipated trends in 2014 (headbands, opals and cluster earrings). Who will it be this year? Invite your best clients to watch the broadcast with you. They can walk the red carpet, sip cocktails and win prizes for guessing the most honorees. You can provide the fashion commentary.


jewelry store anniversaries iowa diamond

Iowa Diamond

Des Moines, IA

In mid-1999, Chuck Kuba had a plan, financial backers, a location in his sights … and more than a few doubters. His idea was to open a jewelry store that targeted the bridal segment. What’s more, he planned to locate it on the second floor of an office building, with no showroom and no display lights. Customers would work closely with sales associates manning a desk. Now in its 15th year, the business has grabbed a string of business awards, but even more impressively, a 26 percent market share. Kuba credits his concept, colorful marketing, and a relaxed work environment. “Since we probably spend more time at the store than at our homes, having fun is important,” he says.


Amethyst is February's birthstone


This royal purple stone was historically considered one of gemology’s elites along with diamonds, emeralds and rubies and it is still featured in the British Crown jewels. Its modern-day abundance, however, means it is now available in all sizes and shapes and to all people. In addition to being February’s birthstone it is given to mark sixth wedding anniversaries.

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When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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