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Calendar for Jewelers: March 2016

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“Dress in Blue Day” is aimed at raising awareness of colon cancer.

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Similar to the Go Red for Women campaign and the issue of heart disease, Dress in Blue Day seeks to raise awareness about colon cancer and to remember people who have been lost to the disease. Its focus on the color blue also makes it a cause that is a particularly good fit for jewelers. Sapphires, aquamarines (March’s birthstone), blue topaz, zircon, lapis, kyanite … there are few gemstone color groups as glorious. For ideas on how you can get involved, see the Colon Cancer Alliance website instr.us/2161.

This article originally appeared in the February 2016 edition of INSTORE.

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1-7 National Consumer Protection Week provides a number of opportunities for businesses to get involved. The most obvious for jewelers is simply to help people become better informed about the goods they sell. Master gemologist appraiser Martin Fuller of Martin Fuller Appraisals in McLean, VA, did that two years ago, hosting a session at the local county offices on diamond grading. At his hands-on workshop, he invited consumers to bring in a diamond to see if it was “a true gem or a brilliant deception.” What ring owner could resist such an offer?

4 “If you persist in writing, ‘Good food at it’s best,’ you deserve to be struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave.” So says Lynne Truss in her best-seller, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. In short, there are people who feel strongly about grammar, and that anyone who is careless with language will be careless with everything else. If the rules of English are a weak spot for you, do two things on grammar day: Go buy yourself a copy of The Elements of Style, and be sure you have Word’s grammar check turned on at all times.

TRADE SHOWS

March 3-7 Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, Hong Kong

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March 10-13 Istanbul Jewelry Show, Istanbul, Turkey

March 13-15 LUEUR Spring, New York, NY

March 13-16 MJSA Expo, New York, NY

March 13-16 JA New York Spring Show, New York, NY

March 17-24 BaselWorld, Basel, Switzerland

March 28-29 International Watch & Jewelry Guild (IWJG) Show, Dallas, TX

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8 Daylight Savings: Invite customers to save on jewelry during your Great Leap into Spring Fashion celebration with daylight “savings” for today only.

12 Girl Scout Day can make a good claim to being the most under-appreciated date on the jeweler’s calendar. The moms love it, the kids love it, and the staff gets a kick out of it. Borsheims in Omaha, NE, did a fun event last year in which girls from a local troop were invited in to work with jewelers to create charms they felt best represented the Girl Scouts. The two finished bracelets were later auctioned off at a fundraiser.

15 In honor of the NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament, which begins today, host a game of horse, the sales version. Create a list of goals such as “Sell a $100 item” or “Obtain an email address” and write each one on a piece of paper. The salesperson who draws the first goal from a hat must achieve it on his next interaction with a client or forfeit his turn. If he’s successful, the next salesperson in line must replicate his feat or earn an “H”. And so it goes. Last man standing after a weekend of action wins a prize.

20 The birds are chirping, the sun lingers and the snow has receded, leaving the question of, where does the white go? … and you with spring cleaning work to do. This year, forget the lights and carpets and focus on your inventory. Gather whatever is old or unfashionable and melt it down, eBay it, redesign it or mark it down. And all the while, remember to whistle while you work. It’s spring, after all.

27 To celebrate Easter and its own delicious inventory, London jeweler 77 Diamonds last year collaborated with a leading chocolatier to create the “World’s Most Extravagant Easter Bunny.” The jeweler provided two 1.7-carat diamonds for the eyes of the rabbit, which was put up for sale with a promise to create (for free) a bespoke piece of jewelry featuring the solitaires “once the bunny had been devoured.” Could you do something similar?


STORE ANNIVERSARIES

Harold Jaffe Jewelers in Toledo, OH

Harold Jaffe Jewelers was named one of INSTORE’s “America’s Coolest Stores” in 2005.

70 Years: Harold Jaffe Jewelers

Toledo, OH

Like many of America’s great jewelry stores, Harold Jaffe Jewelers has its origins in the small intricate world that exists between watchback and crystal. Founder Harold Jaffe was a “watchmaker’s watchmaker.” But he also had an eye for unique, distinctive pieces and a passion for what the store calls Ultimate Customer Satisfaction. This combination, supported by active community involvement, especially in the arts, has helped the store to become one of Toledo’s best known. Over 70 years the store, which is now run by Harold’s sons, Jeff and Ivan, has won a string of Best of Toledo awards as well as America’s Coolest Stores Contest honors in 2005.


Aquamarine is the birthstone for March

BIRTHSTONES

Aquamarine

As its Latin-inspired name suggests, aquamarine has traditionally been associated with the sea. Ancient sailors believed mermaids’ lower bodies were made of aquamarine. And they traveled with aquamarine crystals, believing it would ensure a safe passage. Perhaps that is what makes it such an appropriate gemstone to mark 19th wedding anniversaries: A stone for long journeys and safe returns.

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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.

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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: Piktochart.com, Venngage.com, Easel.ly.

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.”

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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.

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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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