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Manager's To Do

Calendar: February 2015



This article originally appeared in the January 2015 edition of INSTORE.

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. There are dozens more ideas for retailers here:


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?


Feb. 1-5 Jewellery & Watch Birmingham, England

Feb. 2-7 JCK Tucson, Tucson, AZ

Feb. 3-8 AGTA GemFair Tucson, AZ


Feb. 20-23 India Inter-national Jewellery Show —Signature Mumbai, India

Feb. 24-28 55th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair, Thailand

Feb. 28-March 2 Atlanta Jewelry Show, Atlanta, GA

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.

S T O R E    A N N I V E R S A R I E S

jewelry store anniversaries iowa diamond

15 Years: 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.



Gene the Jeweler

Gene the Jeweler Gets Kicked Out of the Studio

In the latest episode (#42) of Gene the Jeweler, Gene is going about his business, recording a new episode. But that doesn’t last long. Four-time NFL Pro Bowl leading rusher Ahman Green walks in, and Gene finds that his time in the studio is over — whether he likes it or not. (See more Gene the Jeweler episodes at

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Manager's To Do

A Trick to Selling More Platinum, And Other Manager’s To-Do Items for September

And here are some great tips for infographics in your store.




Sep. 1-7

INVENTORY The economy may be slowing a tad, but the wealthy keep getting richer. That is allowing more people to trade up from the standard 1-carat diamond engagement ring. But to sell 2-, 3-, or 4-carat pieces, you need to have a few on hand, says David Brown of the Edge Retail Academy. Start experimenting with more expensive bridal sets.

MARKETING Conduct an advertising review. If it’s bridal sales you desire, put that shotgun away. Pick one or two advertising media, based on their reach and return on investment, and concentrate on them. That requires courage and perseverance, but it’s the surest way to break through the chatter and win that key top-of-mind presence in your local market that will deliver engagement ring sales.

Sep. 8-14

STAFF Few things are more important to staff than having the sense that their work matters. As bridal season approaches, make it a constant refrain in your strategy meetings: you’re helping people with one of the most important decisions of their life.

SHOWROOM “It’s remarkable,” says merchandising expert Sally Furrer, “how often diamond areas are underlit in stores.” Crank up the lights.

Sep. 15-21

TRAINING The rise of the bead phenomenon in the last decade caused many jewelers to cut back on diamond sales training. If that happened in your store, look to bring in a trainer who specializes in bridal goods. It’s a whole different skill set.

MARKETING Twitter’s search function, along with free applications like TweetDeck, can be great tools for market research and lead generation. Start monitoring your competitors’ brand names and hashtags to see what people are saying about them and you. Set keywords related to bridal sales in your market and don’t be afraid to follow up (unsolicited messages from strangers is a fact of life in the Twitter-sphere).

Sep. 22-28

SOCIAL Want to take your social media efforts to the next level while educating your clientele about bridal in a way they’ll remember? Think infographics. Whether charting the evolution of diamond cuts or providing tips on ring cleaning, infographics are a great shareable way to communicate your message. Try these free infographic websites:,,

SALES Want to sell more platinum? Highlight its staying power. Keep an old white-gold ring and an old platinum one behind the counter to show customers what happens to the two metals after a few years. One of platinum’s strengths is the durability of its white color, which won’t fade or change (like an enduring love, hint, hint) and will continue to complement a diamond, as opposed to white gold, which fades to yellow.

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Yarr! It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day and More Important Dates for September

“I’ll be paying top dollar for whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chest.”




19 Many jewelers seem to have forgotten what a lucrative earner gold buying can be. Luckily, International Talk Like A Pirate Day is here to remind you. Yarr, have some fun with your advertising. “Yes, me hearties, Cap’n Jack Black Diamond has gone straight. I’ll be paying top dollar for your doubloons, old lockets or whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chests. Come see the Cap’n before the sharks get ye.”

01 On NATIONAL NO RHYME (NOR REASON) DAY, challenge your customers on social media to come up with words that can’t be rhymed. Three you can probably put to good use in your posts that day are “spirit,” “silver” and “woman.”

06 Today is FIGHT PROCRASTINATION DAY, and if you’re one of the many afflicted, try this trick: when jotting down a to-do item, keep rephrasing it until it involves the use of your limbs: “Pick up phone and call …”, “Open laptop and search for …”

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Remembering Woodstock, The Little One’s First Day in Kindergarten, and More Useful August Dates

You’re always busy, but this month, get things done.




19 Mark the 30th anniversary of the launch of Stephen Covey’s THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by doing something in its spirit: keep a journal of everything you do, broken down into 30-minute increments. At the end of each workday, assign a value — 1, 2 or 3 (the lowest) — to your time, and at the end of the week, evaluate the results. They may well surprise you. Obviously you want to be spending at least half your time on No. 1s.

1 August is GET READY FOR KINDERGARTEN MONTH. On the first day of school, invite all new kindergarten moms to come in for mimosas and snacks. They can reward themselves for surviving this milestone.

4 The FIRST ELECTRIC LIGHTBULB sparked to life 140 years ago today. Mark the occasion with a brainstorming session with staff for fourth-quarter promotions.

15 Fifty years ago today, the promise of free music, a good time, and … umm … a pretty good shot at “getting lucky” drew 400,000 young people to WOODSTOCK, NY. To many folks, that’s much the same promise that jewelry makes (minus the music). Roll back the years with a store party.

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