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Georgia Jewelry Buyer Finds Power in Self-Expression

Jessica Rossomme is intrigued by vintage finds, travel and building an interesting wardrobe.




Jessica Rossomme-INSTORE Get Inspired Nov 2020


Q. How do your travels inspire future trips?

A. Road trips are always fun and often inspire my next vacation, for example driving from Arizona to Georgia one year we stopped in Albuquerque, NM and heard about the Balloon Fiesta so the next year my trip was centered around that incredible experience.

Q. How did you join the retail jewelry industry?

A. I’ve always appreciated jewelry but my entry into the industry was quite serendipitous, I was motivated to get a part time job, in addition to my previous full time one, and it pivoted my career onto a completely different trajectory.

Q. What has your year been like as a jewelry buyer?

A. At Mucklow’s, we are taking a very slow, educated look at everything and trying to decide. Because we were closed for months, we have a nice selection of inventory now. We have set up wonderful relationships with the designers we work with and they have been very supportive with memo. That has been fundamental to our success this year.

Q. What do you look for in general when buying jewelry for the store?

A. We pride ourselves on having a varied selection both in styles and price points. When I’m buying for the store I look for several things:

  • Pieces that fill a particular void we may currently have
  • Lines that have a varied selection so that we have the the option to expand our partnerships with the designers if the response is positive
  • New designers with compelling stories that will resonate with our community
  • Most importantly I am looking for designers, companies and lines that value and acknowledge the importance of having a relationship with their retailers.
Q. When you’re buying jewelry for the store, do you consider the specific client or type of client the jewelry would appeal to?

A. When looking at certain designers with more distinct looks I do often have a certain client or a type of client in mind, Lika Behar, for example, is a perfect choice for self purchasers who know what they like as soon as they see it. With jewelry selection, especially in a more traditional area like the suburbs, you have to work with the community you are in and provide what you know are proven sellers while still keeping the offerings feeling fresh and introducing new styles and trends. It is a continual mix of the math and the magic of buying.

Q. What do you think your wardrobe and accessories say about you?

A. My wardrobe is more than individual pieces of clothing and accessories put together, it’s a collection of things I love. To me it is an extension of my personality and who I am. I’m all about attention to the details, in life and my wardrobe, so the accessories and ultimately my jewelry is often the defining detail. My style runs the gamut and I’m always mingling genres.



He Doubled His Sales Goals with Wilkerson

John Matthews, owner of John Michael Matthews Fine Jewelry in Vero Beach, Florida, is a planner. As an IJO member jeweler, he knew he needed an exit strategy if he ever wanted to g the kind of retirement he deserved. He asked around and the answers all seemed to point to one solution: Wilkerson. He talked to Rick Hayes, Wilkerson president, and took his time before making a final decision. He’d heard Wilkerson knew their way around a going out of business sale. But, he says, “he didn’t realize how good it was going to be.” Sales goals were “ambitious,” but even Matthews was pleasantly surprised. “It looks like we’re going to double that.”

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