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Eileen McClelland

For Promotional Impact, Charity Efforts Are Still King

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Results from INSTORE’s 2015 Big Survey (to be published in the October issue of INSTORE) reveal that involvement in charitable causes – even more so than membership in country clubs, places of worship, service clubs or other community groups – yield the best benefit for jewelers’ businesses.

Glenn and Sharyn Bradford, owners of Glenn Bradford Fine Jewelry, a 2014 America’s Coolest Store, may well concur. Their involvement in the preservation effort of an historical Nassau County park, which includes the former Guggenheim Estate, has boosted their business profile in their community, and they believe, is elevating the business to "the next level."

A portion of their sales for May and June 2015 was earmarked to help preserve and sustain Sands Point Preserve, described as “the jewel in the crown” of Nassau County’s park system. The 216 acres of woods, grounds and shoreline, along with a collection of historical mansions on the Gold Coast of Long Island, became a county park in 1967. Friends of The Sands Point Preserve was created in 2003 to maintain the property — but the majority of funding must come from private donations.

In conjunction with their “Shop for Charity” initiative, the Bradfords hosted a preview party for the Friends of the Sands Point Preserve’s masquerade ball. While the theme of the ball was the “Jewels of India,” referring to India’s culture’s and history, the Bradfords decided to showcase real, historical Indian jewels – including rare Golconda diamonds — in the preview party in their store. About 100 local “passionate philanthropists” attended the event at the store, where they sampled Indian food and listened to Indian music.

The curated show featured designs with rare Burmese rubies, sapphires, aquamarines and Colombian emeralds hand-carved over a century ago in India by skilled artisans. Among gems on display was a 70-carat vintage Cartier diamond necklace, circa 1925, that converts into two bracelets and is valued at $1 million. It houses rare Golconda diamonds, originally mined over 350 years ago in northern India.

As of this month, the Bradfords have raised more than $20,000 for the preserve and are in the process of planning a follow-up gala and four-day fund-raising event in November on the park grounds, with a pop-up shop featuring estate jewelry and fine art for sale.
Bradford specializes in preserving his clients’ heritage by reinventing and redesigning their old jewelry.

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Preservation is a theme that naturally complements their business.

“This is impacting our business in a very positive way,” Glenn Bradford says. “We want to grow our client base to the more high end, and it’s elevated the level of jewelry that we feature here.”

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