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For Marco Dal Maso, Jewelry Is an Extension of Being

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INSTORE DalMasoHe’s exhibiting at Couture.

When Marco Dal Maso, founder and designer of MARCO DAL MASO, took a trip to New Zealand, it was life-changing. He’d grown up in his father’s jewelry company, DML, and began working on the creative side of the business, but he wasn’t sure what direction his career would ultimately take until that eye-opening trip.INSTORE DalMaso2

There, he learned about the culture of Maori, indigenous people of New Zealand. In particular, he was fascinated by their ancestral practice of using ta moko, a type of chiseled tattoo, to illustrate achievements and status. “It’s not only about the beauty of the design, but there really is meaning behind it. The portrait that you put on your face describes everything about you. And I was inspired by that.”

As a direct result of that experience, he designed a jewelry collection for men, Marco Ta Moko, around the idea of jewelry as an extension of being.

“I started to design something that can be more interesting than normal, from my perspective,” he says. “Every time you look at a piece you discover something new.”

His jewelry is handmade in Vicenza, Italy, his birthplace. “I feel like jewelry is in my DNA,” he says.

Dal Maso is exhibiting at Couture, June 2-6 at the Wynn in Las Vegas, booth DA9 in the Design Atelier. It’s his third year exhibiting at the show.

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Do women buy for themselves from your men’s collection?

Yes. Some of my pieces are quite unisex. But we are also launching a new women’s collection at Couture. I’m doing a small line for women. Women buy more than men anyway, so why not?

What is your signature piece of jewelry?
 
I always wear the Warrior bracelet; it’s a links bracelet. It’s cool because you can link several bracelets together and make it thicker, or you can add to it and make it a necklace. It’s multi-functional.
 
Where else have you found inspiration?
 
With this business I travel quite a lot. When you come to a place you breathe a different air than your own and gain a different feeling or perspective. When I immerse myself in the atmosphere, it inspires me the most. And I’m passionate about cultural mythology all over the world, fascinated by how distant places can be in miles but quite close to each other in aspects of culture and mythology.
 
Do you design with particular customers in mind?
 
I design it just as I feel. I feel what I want to do and just do it. Sometimes you do have to think, `Where should I sell these?” or “Who is going to buy these?’ And if I design a classic pair of cufflinks I think maybe a corporate-type guy will buy them. But the first idea is what I want to express and sketch it out. I don’t think that much; I just do. I feel more than thinking.
 
What is your proudest accomplishment?
 
My son. My newborn baby. He’s eight months old. I was ready to have my first one. It definitely changed the time schedule. They tell me that I’m never on time, kind of like all the Italian people. But a child messed up my schedule even more. You don’t sleep, ever, but you forget about everything once he’s smiling at you. I love it.


 
This story is an INSTORE Online extra.

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2019 Big Survey: 10 Times When Jewelry Store Employees Left the Job in Dramatic Fashion

Results of the 2019 Big Survey have been rolling in. Here’s a sample.

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WE ASKED SURVEY respondents to share the most epic ways they’d seen someone quit or be fired. Dealing with employees on their way out can be touchy. Sometimes these unfortunate encounters even culminate in award-winning dramatic performances. Read on for the most memorable ways employees have parted ways with jewelry stores:

Top 10 Countdown

The award for best dramatic performance goes to the employees who:

10. Screamed at the top of their lungs, “I QUIT”

9. Showed up in pajamas, had a breakdown, then quit and walked out.

8. Threw rings at the boss while asking for a raise, then quit.

7. Threw a crystal piece through a showcase shelf.

6. Hit the jeweler in the head with a bag of bananas.

5. Threw his key at me.

4. Came in wielding a pipe wrench screaming that we were liars.

3. Ran out of the shop, arms raised in the air, saying “he’s trying to kill me.”

2. Got drunk at a charity event we were sponsoring, hit on one of the ladies and pulled her skirt up. Police were called.

And the No. 1 best dramatic performance goes to:

1. The employee who hired a marching band to quit.

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted in September and October and attracted responses from more than 800 North American jewelers. Look out for all the results in the November issue of INSTORE.

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Wow Your Customers with This Video Messaging App

Jewelers can make online experiences feel a lot more like in-person experiences.

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DO YOU REMEMBER the last time a business did something unexpected for you? Something you truly appreciated? Of course, you do. Those are the moments that imprint themselves on our memories. For me, it was with a video messaging app called Bonjoro.

My Wow Moment

When I signed up for their free trial, I expected to get a video message from them. That’s what they do. And they told me I would. What I didn’t expect was to get a video answer about a tech issue I was having minutes after I emailed them about it. That blew me away.

In the jewelry industry, we pride ourselves on our in-store service and fret about our online marketing. Gone are the glory days with greater foot traffic. Now everyone wants to kick the tires online before they commit to coming in. But what if you could bring your amazing customer service to customers before they ever stepped foot in the store?

Bonjoro to the Rescue

That’s exactly what Bonjoro allows you to do. Bonjoro is an easy to use video to email messaging app for businesses. They make recording and emailing a personalized video to customers almost effortless. And you can even send these videos when they’ll have the biggest impact, like right after they fill out a contact form on your site.

Imagine a prospective customer visits your site. They fill out a contact form with some details about the type of engagement ring they’re looking for. After they press submit, someone on your sales team gets a notification. Once they have a free minute, they pull out their phone and record and send a video in less time than it would take them to respond to the email.

“Hi, Jim! I know exactly the style that you’re looking for, and we have some great options for you. You can see a few of them in the case behind me, but I have a few more that I’d like to pull out and show you. You mentioned that you have a lunch break at noon. Why don’t you stop by tomorrow, and I’ll have them all ready for you? In the meantime, there’s a link to our website’s engagement ring gallery in this window. If you see anything else you like, you can write me a quick message, and I’ll be sure to add it. See you soon!”

An Experience Like No Other

This is an experience most jewelers aren’t going to offer. The enthusiasm and confidence communicated in a video are hard to match in an email response. And the customer has likely never received a response like this from a jewelry store. Just the thought that someone took the time to personally address them with a video will make them more likely to stop in. Plus, they already feel like they know you.

Almost Face-to-Face

Bonjoro is a way to send quick, personalized videos to customers. They’re meant to be mixed into the daily routine and workflow of your sales team. This isn’t the time for high-quality video production or perfect angles. This is much more personal and organic than that.

People online aren’t used to being addressed personally by video. It gives them a personal touch that usually only happens in the store. When you use Bonjoro, the most important thing is to press the record button and talk to the customer like they’re right there in front of you. What a wonderful way to wow your customers!

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Commentary: The Business

Customer Fired for Cause

Her phone manners left something to be desired.

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Laurelle Giesbrecht of French’s Jewellery says her daughter Heidi, now 15, is not afraid to answer the phone despite what happened and calls it “a learning experience.”

WHILE VISITING A great friend and store owner, Laurelle Giesbrecht of French’s Jewellery in Alberta, Canada, we were commiserating over coffee. I have always loved hearing her stories about community involvement or win/win sales interactions. This time, she had a real doozy.

A customer had recently purchased a $300 ring for her daughter and had sent her back to the store for a free sizing. The young girl had decided it was not going to be on her third finger but the much larger first. That meant the ring needed to be sized from 5 to 10. For this, there would be a charge. The girl left the ring.

Laurelle’s daughter, Heidi, was answering phones as her mom finished closing the store. It was the last call before locking up. Heidi asked how she could re-direct the caller and then, holding the phone to her chest, asked her mom if she wanted to take the call. Mom assured her she was doing fine. It brought a smile to her face when she heard her daughter tell the caller that she would pass the message along to their HR manager.

But later at home, the true story emerged. The call had been from the original purchaser of the size 5 ring, and using a long string of vulgarities, she had demanded a full refund. The next day, typically affable Laurelle left a message requesting a return call. When the return call came, Laurelle informed the customer that the swearing she had done over the phone had been directed at her 13-year-old daughter. She added that she would not allow that treatment of any of her staff. After informing the customer that she would process a full refund, she asked for her mailing address so she could mail it. Laurelle calmly informed the customer that she was not to come back to her store.

But the story was not over. The customer ignored the request to not return to the store and instead brought a beautiful bouquet of flowers with a neatly written card. She wanted to personally deliver them to the 13-year-old child who had listened so intently to her vulgar language. This customer knew that the depth of her apology could only be appreciated by a face-to-face meeting between an embarrassed adult and precocious child!

If there are lessons here, they are written between the lines.

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