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Calendar for Jewelers: September 2015



Start trying to draw younger customers to your jewelry store


Ten years ago, Smyth Jewelers in Baltimore, MD, decided it no
longer wanted to be seen as the store where your mom and grandma shopped. To draw a younger crowd, it launched a campaign featuring irreverent billboards (“Too late, your girlfriend just saw me” a ring said in one), beer coaster ring-sizers, guerrilla marketing and social-media ads. The result? Smyth has thrived. During INTERGENERATION MONTH, stop wringing your hands over millennials and start experimenting with ways to get these hip young customers in your store.

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


1 To mark SUBLIMINAL COMMUNICATIONS MONTH, note the eye color of every customer who walks in the door. Those few extra seconds it takes you to lock your gaze on their eyes will connect you better with customers, and you may well find people becoming more responsive to you.

9 If there is one lesson to be taken from the rise of KFC into a global powerhouse, it’s the power of persistence. Harland David Sanders was 62 by the time he sold his first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise — after no fewer than 1,000 rejections. On the 125th anniversary of Colonel Sanders’ birthday, go make an offer to someone who would be good for your business but will likely reject you. If you fail, know that you’re one step closer to success.


Sept. 5-9 VicenzaOro, Vicenza, Italy


Sept. 6-8 International Jewellery London, London, UK

Sept. 9-13 Iberjoya Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Sept.10-14 Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair, Bangkok, Thailand

Sept. 18-20 Denver Gem & Mineral Show, Denver, CO

Sept. 16-22 Jewellery & Gem Fair, Hong Kong

Sept. 20-21 Select by Centurion, Ledyard, CT


14 On National Boss/Employee Exchange Day swap your owner’s hat for a worker’s bandana. It’s a morale-building way to tap into your team’s intelligence by teaching them to think like owners. Arm them with store data and ask them to make a couple of management decisions. Their view of their role will change quickly when they see how their actions affect profits. You may also hear some surprising new ideas.

15 If someone told you about a demographic that was growing fast, was a big holiday spender, bought jewelry at higher rates than other ethnic groups, and numbered, oh, 50 million, you’d probably suspect we’re engaged in some pointless marketing speculation. But that group exits: Latinos! And it’s mostly overlooked by jewelers. During NATIONAL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH, make your store the exception. If there’s a sizable Hispanic population in your market, be sure to display signs in Spanish, include Spanish on your website, have a Spanish speaker on staff and be advertising in local Hispanic media.

23 Autumn is here, when trees lose their leaves, and squirrels and jewelers start getting nervous about their inventory. Take the staff outside for a brainstorming meeting while you still can go outside. It’s time to get serious and creative. There are fewer than 100 days until Christmas.

Celebrate customers' love notes

Have your customers submit their love notes so you can put them on a billboard.

25 Whether it was inspired by LOVE NOTE DAY, we’re not sure, but Shane Co. unveiled a cool contest a few years back when they invited the residents of Denver to declare their love on one of the company’s billboards. Customers could submit their love notes via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or in person with the best 50 getting billboard treatment. Great press, great sentiments, great exposure. Could you do something similar today?

29 On National Coffee Day, team up with a gourmet coffee shop to hand out gift cards, do some pairings of Fairtrade brew and gems: coffee from Indonesia, Colombia and Kenya with Balinese silver, emeralds and Tsvavorite; or maybe just treat yourself to a fine brew and savor being surrounded by good taste.

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

jewelry store anniversaries Churchwell's Jewelers

110 Years: Churchwell’s Jewelers

Emerald Isle, NC

For the first four decades of its 110 years, Churchwell’s operated as a one-woman shop that dispensed bridal gifts. When founder Mary Churchwell sold out, the store expanded to become a full-service jeweler. Today, Churchwell’s remains a small family-run jeweler, but its nautical- and equestrian-themed jewelry is sold at shows and events around the country. “One thing that Churchwell’s has learned is that you have to go out and get your customers; they don’t always just come to you,” owner Anderson Bass says.

Sapphire is the birthstone for September



In comparison to sapphire, ruby is a one-color pony. The “other” corundum comes in a range of colors including yellow, green, white, colorless, pink, orange, brown and purple, although it is in glorious blue that it has made its name. Sapphire is the official birthstone for the month of September and is the gemstone suggested for 5th and 45th 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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