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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

When Gene the Jeweler Speaks, His Employees Listen

In this episode of Jimmy DeGroot’s Gene the Jeweler series, Gene has a simple request for his employees. The good news is that they follow his instructions. The bad news is that they follow a bit too literally.

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Manager's To Do

Add These Dates to Your To-Do List to Ensure a Productive May

Mother’s Day, the Vegas shows, summer and more guarantee it will be a busy month.




May 5-11

SALES Everything should be in place for Mother’s Day (May 12). Remind salespeople that it’s a fantastic opportunity for add-on sales in the form of matching jewelry. What have you bundled for dad and daughter to buy together for Mom?

PLANNING If you’ve typically taken your annual vacation in July, why not shake things up a bit and opt for vacation in August this year? Who knows what your community’s jewelry needs are like in July if you’ve never really been present.

STRATEGY Vegas bound? (JCK begins May 31.) Hunker down with your POS system. Be clear on what you are trying to achieve at the show. What are your goals? To attract female self-purchasers, expand your bridal clientele with new bridal product, increase margin with in-house branded collections? (And keep an eye out for our June trends guide toward the end of the month at — it could be a huge help.)

May 12-18

MANAGEMENT Start meeting with staff at least monthly to share three “good things” to build on and three “development areas.”

MARKETING Your best customers are your current customers. Identify your 200 top customers. Draft a plan to market to them in the second half of 2019.

SECURITY Hotels in Vegas make it clear they are not responsible for loss or theft of items brought into their property. If you travel with goods, look into getting insurance.

May 19-25

OPERATIONS Hurricane season is ahead in many parts of the country. Run through a checklist to ensure that your bad weather protocol is up to speed.

BUYING This year, be organized and professional in front of your vendors in Vegas — prepare all your reports and forms. Re-confirm your appointments, and get cell phone numbers so you can contact them if you need to.

May 26-June 1

BUYING In Vegas, make a point to visit the Design Atelier at Couture and The Design Center at the JCK Show. The talented designers in these sections create jewelry unlike anything you may have seen, which will engage your most consistent clients while also opening up new markets.

SHOP Slow season project: Take photos of all waxes not already in your CAD library and add them.

MERCHANDISING With summer on the way, Larry Johnson says redo the props in your showcases to give a fresh look. Throw away those seashells in the pearl case and replace them with props that show your customer all the places in town where she can wear those beautiful pearls.

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May Day, Sea Monkey Day and More Important May Dates

One is a day to remind yourself that ultimately, you’re selling emotional benefits.




1 Elsewhere, the proletariat may be standing shoulder-to-shoulder on May Day, singing “L’Internationale” to show solidarity with their daily toil, but in the good ol’ U.S. of A, that’s not considered politically correct. In place of class struggle, tell your staff you want to hear what can be done to make your store a better place to work. Ask your employees to come up with three small things each that would make their working days more pleasant. Implemented right, small things can go a long way to making employees feel empowered, involved and happy to be at work.

4 AUDREY HEPBURN, who was born on this date 90 years ago, did more for little black dresses and diamond earrings than anyone else in history. Mark the occasion with an invitation-only morning event with your favorite customers.

14 The BIRTHDATE OF THE BUDDHA is a perfect time to focus on what works and let go of the rest. Invite input, keep an open mind, and act to de-clutter.

16 It helps to be smart in your marketing, but bold is so much better. Remember that today as the world celebrates SEA MONKEY DAY — a briny nod to the power of selling emotional benefits.

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Siblings Day, National Volunteer Week and More Important April Dates

Seize on this date to own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.




10 Sure, sometimes they wouldn’t surrender the TV remote, and you had to wear red because they got the blue top, and they never seemed to do their fair share of the dishes … But they are also the only other people on the planet who understand what weirdos your parents are. On National Siblings Day, remind your customers of all this. Siblings are like the best friends we never asked for but are really glad we have. They deserve a nice surprise gift — in red.

7 On National Volunteer Week, pick up litter on roadsides or in your local creek, serve food to homeless, repaint the children’s shelter; do something to give back to your community.

14 On Be Kind to Lawyers Day, send a cheery note of thanks to yours for their hard work keeping your business safe from legal jeopardy.

30 Those honored on National Honesty Day are given “Abes” to mark their commitment to truthfulness. Sponsor an event at a local school. Own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.

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