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Here’s What Your Fellow Jewelers Say About Whether or Not to Be the Public Face of Your Store

Jewelers evenly split on whether to put themselves out front in promotions, or to stay in the background.

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THIS MONTH’S QUESTION: Are you the public face of your store?

Yes: 49%

For the longest time, I was totally against using my face on ads. One of my friends in marketing has been pushing me to put my face on ads for years. Last year, I finally took him up on that just because I was out of ideas. First, we did a few videos for YouTube and Facebook. Lots of hits and comments and likes. Then I kept it going. I took it a step further and put my face on our billboards. We have had billboards for years, but we have gotten the most response from this one. As much as I was against this, putting a face with a business works. I highly recommend doing this. – Michael Kanoff, Michael’s Jewelers, Yardley, PA

  • Partner with radio personality and am the voice for my business. Am also the face when customers come to shop. Strong closing skills and personal attention to them has increased my business. I used to let a manager run the show and the show was about to close. It’s survival time! — Allison Love, Allison Love’s Fine Jewelry, Rock Hill, SC
  • We advertise and promote our store in a variety of ways. We are in our advertising images about 25 percent of the time. It’s important for our brand recognition; we are the face of our business. In today’s market, people want to do business with people they know and trust. — LaTisha Holland, Arlene’s Fine Jewelry, Vidalia, GA
  • I have always done our store’s radio and TV spots with good results. It means so much to me when I’m out somewhere and people I don’t yet know come up to me and compliment me on our TV commercial! It’s a great opportunity for me to personally invite them to come in to visit! — Jane Johnson, RM Johnson & Sons, Salem, VA
  • The voice for all my radio ads is my voice. I have never liked canned ads or voices you might hear somewhere else. I have great photo images done for a book called CRAVE HAWAII and people recognize my voice. I have also been doing a radio show that is live call-in talk radio. People are amazed that I really do answer the phone around the office. It really is me! — Brenda Reichel, Carats & Karats Fine Jewelry, Honolulu, HI
  • While my husband John is truly the “rock star” of our business, everyone still considers me the face and “celeb” of the business. I have always been the one who is part of every social event in our area. I donate and ATTEND every single one myself. In addition, I have done for years a live radio show in the mornings, which has helped folks be able to relate to me and hear about our products and services from a real person, as many of them say. I have done every radio commercial and TV commercial and every live opportunity to be on our local TV station. When someone calls to make an appointment for a custom design, they call or text me even though it is John who is the creator. I believe if you want to be the face of your business, it truly has to be intentional! — Rita Wade, Wade Designs Jewelry, Rocky Mount, NC
  • I’m in our TV spots and I do the voice for radio when we use it. People love to do business with people they see on TV. I love it when people I know say “I just saw you on TV”, and also when complete strangers (like at the grocery store or gas station) say, “Don’t I see you on TV?” — J. Dennis Petimezas, Watchmaker’s Diamonds & Jewelry, Johnstown, PA
  • My two sons and I appear in all our advertisements. Especially outdoor advertising (billboards). This marketing approach has been very successful since I am consistently investing into this type of media. Each billboard I post will show a slogan along with a picture of the three of us. When clients enter the store, they recognize one of us and always bring up how they never thought we would actually be helping customers. We aren’t just the face of the company, we are the brand. — Howard Jacobs, Toodies Fine Jewelry, Quincy, MA
  • Manoli was a professional wrestler, “Mike Pappas the Flying Greek,” before he quit wrestling and went back into his trade of the jewelry business in 1978. A lot of people still are interested in that part of our life. — Valerie Savvenas, Manoli’s Jewelers, Springfield, MO
  • I am one face, the two owners being primarily the face in ads and commercials. I do public networking with Chamber events, along with military and community socials and events. I am on the board of directors with our Chamber of Commerce, and attend all functions I can, as well as lead meetings for my division (Membership). — Kim Hatchell, Galloway & Moseley, Sumter, SC
  • There are several YouTube videos that I have made and that are available for view on my website. I talk about custom design, buying a diamond, and shopping for an engagement ring. I am very involved with a number of non-profits in my community and sit on two boards. This involves me with a lot of business people and puts me at a lot of evening and black-tie events on a regular basis. Many of the people I socialize with are clients. I am a confident public speaker and have been asked to interview designer Rebecca Minkoff in April when she is the headliner at a large Women’s Business Conference. – Valerie Naifeh, Naifeh Fine Jewelry, Oklahoma City, OK
  • I personally attend all of the fundraisers that we sponsor. This has been very successful! I meet a variety of people who may not have walked into my store on their own. But when I meet them and personally invite them, they feel welcome to drop by. I also post a lot of Facebook videos. They are very basic and not very glam, but people like the personal touch. They love it when they walk in the store and I actually wait on them. It’s like we’ve met before. — Dianna Rae High, Dianna Rae Jewelry, Lafayette, LA
  • I serve on a lot of boards for the arts and preservation as well as regularly attend city functions and council meetings. I met a local business owner by volunteering for a historic preservation group, and she has become our No. 1 customer ever in just three short years. I also appear in our commercials, as does the owner. — Elysia Demers, Barnhardt Jewelers, Spencer, NC
  • It has been fun to see my name in lights. We also started using the digital billboard. We used our logo with Murphy and me off to the side but big enough to notice our faces. — Karen Hollis, K. Hollis Jewelers, Batavia, IL
  • I am the face of my business because I’m a sole proprietor. I make it all, I sell it all, I market it all. There’s no one else’s face to see! — Janne Etz, Contemporary Concepts, Cocoa, FL
  • Our social media followers love to see a face. They also like to see what’s going on in the store, see new products, new designs and not just see what’s on sale. — Shannon Akridge, Clater Jewelers Diamond Center, Louisville, KY
  • My husband and I are in a smaller town, and showing our faces wherever we can is big. People really relate to the business better when they know the people behind it. Especially when we are a mom-and-pop business! The problem is, our customers also want to only talk to us when they come into the store. We end up training our customers to work with our other employees. — Meg Rankin, J. Rankin Jewellers, Edmonds, WA
  • We speak to many groups, from grade-schoolers to Kiwanis to professional groups, and the results are always VERY positive! WE NEVER do it as a sale — ever! It is informational only. — Gary Youngberg, Ames Silversmithing, Inc., Ames, IA
  • I only do radio ads and I voice them and everyone loves them and it brings in boatloads of people. — Craig C. Curtis, Belfast Jewelry, Belfast, ME
  • As the manager, my voice appears in many of our radio ads. It seemed more personal to feature myself and our beloved local deejay chatting about “what’s hot” and “what not” for the holidays (i.e., come in 2 days before Christmas to order a six-stone family ring!). — Mary Jo Chanski, Hannoush Jewelers, Rutland, VT
  • We have a local “Good Morning America” style show on our ABC affiliate where I speak almost monthly and show product. Also, I promote heavily the overseas buying trips hosted through RJO. My community knows I do this on a yearly basis and is always asking about it! — Erika Godfrey, Hawthorne Jewelry, Kearney, NE
  • Currently I am the mayor of our city and do many public appearances, and this means that I have to put a good spin on the business climate which my store, E. L. Menk Jewelers, is part of. I also speak at various business functions about my business and business in general. — Ed Menk, E. L. Menk Jewelers, Brainerd, MN
  • I am the sixth generation of my family to operate our store that was founded in 1832. It has been important to put a face with our company to make us approachable to possible clients who have no experience with us. — Kristin Cornwell, Cornwell Jewelers, Athens, OH
  • After 20 years in the advertising business and seeing what works and what doesn’t, it just made sense. Not everyone can nor should do it, but the right person can bond with the market. Be their expert and adviser. Above all, though, lay off the hyperbole and [email protected]#t. Got a compelling message to tell, tell it. — Chuck Kuba, Iowa Diamond, Des Moines, IA
  • Man, I can’t go anywhere in this town or even in the state sometimes without someone saying, “Hey, I know you!!” I’ve been on TV for over 27 years, as well as radio. My voice is deep and people know my voice over my face. It has been very good to me. Our sales are over $5 million in a small town with a well-known chain store home office that started here 70 years ago. I have been here 27 years and have been voted best jeweler seven out of the last nine years. So, it works for me. Now I have my two sons working and doing the same with me; we’re using them more and more so I can fade out over the next seven years. — Alan Perry, Perry’s Emporium, Wilmington, NC
  • I’m the voice of our radio campaigns and make appearances on the morning news programs in our market, which really move the needle. Whether I’m talking about an upcoming event or pushing a specific product, it seems as though it works. Plus, since my name is on the walls, signs and billboards, whenever I go out to eat and pay with a credit card, I always get, “Are you the same as the jewelry store?” So I always leave 20 percent-plus tips as additional marketing! — Tom Duma, Thom Duma Fine Jewelers, Warren, OH
  • I do all my radio ads. I feel it is important to use my voice because it is different than the other ads and they stand out more. I have had many people stop me and tell me that they hear me all the time. — Sue Parker, Nyman Jewelers, Excanaba, MI
  • We don’t do radio right now, but I have voiced our radio ads in the past because my voice is distinctive. And I will network a lot, but I do like to maintain my privacy and let the jewelry speak for itself. So I’d say it’s half and half. I stay visible to earn trust but in the background when it comes to showing the jewelry. — Casey Gallant, Stephen Gallant Jewelers, Orleans, MA

NO:  51%

  • Who has time for that? — Nicole Shannon, Keir Fine Jewelry, Whistler, BC
  • Not really publicity per se, but it seems everyone who comes in wants to speak to me, which I’m trying to change. — Brian McCall, Midwest Jewelers and Estate Buyers, Zionsville, IN
  • It is always the work that is featured. I am the humble artist in the background. The work speaks for us! — Steven Wardle, Forest Beach Design, Chatham, MA
  • Mine is public but not noisy. I am supportive of many goings-on in town, am very visible in the shop and appear in our social media. After 42 years, there is only so much I want to take on. — Tory Michel, Tory’s Jewelry, Marblehead, MA
  • Not very photogenic, Besides, I need someone to do videos for me. — Laurie Cusher, Hyde Park Jeweler, Hyde Park, NY
  • I like to be the one holding the camera, not the person in front. — Robin Laughlin, Wiford Jeweler, Sidney, OH
  • Security issues. — Marta Jones-Couch, Elements Ltd., Des Moines, IA
  • Our business has grown to such a point that it is no longer beneficial to have just one or two faces representing the store. We want customers to come in and work with our terrific staff, not to come in and ask for my husband or me when in most cases our staff can do at least as good a job. — Dorothy Vodicka, The Gem Collection, Tallahassee, FL
  • Seriously? With my ugly mug? No way! — Alex Weil, Martin’s Jewelry, Manhattan Beach, CA
  • I’m shy; I let the product do the talking. I don’t even like going in front of people to accept awards. — Mark Thomas Ruby, SunSpirit Designs, Loveland, CO
  • Paranoid jeweler! — Loann Stokes, Stokes Jewelry, Stillwater, MN
  • No, but we hired a videographer and are starting to record a series of professional videos as well as iPhone-esque video chats that we will share with our customers. — Jonathan McCoy, McCoy Jewelers, Dubuque, IA
  • I would rather the store be the “face” just in case I decide to retire and sell the business. What’s a club worth if the “franchise player” is gone? — Steve Floyd, Floyd & Green, Aiken, SC
  • I have enough customers that ask only for me and won’t let my employees wait on them now. I want more of my customers to have relationships with my salespeople. — Bob Richards, Bob Richards Jewelers, Germantown, TN
  • Was for many years, but over the last maybe 10 years have tried to move my staff into this position. They service many more customers than I do and it only makes sense that they and the broader name (brand) of the store be the focus. — Mark Kasuba, M. Edward Jewelers, Pittsfield, MA
  • I want to be able to step away from the store, so do not want to be inseparable. I market the store as a brand, not myself personally. — Russell Criswell, Vulcan’s Forge, Kansas City, MO
  • I am too shy and introverted. I’m fine in the store, but not a public speaker! — Laurie Langdon-Gerber, Elisa Ilana Jewelry, Omaha, NE
  • I try to keep a low profile. I used to be on the road as a salesman with a store, and privacy and anonymity was security. Now I think of home invasions and security. Putting my face out there is not going to make me feel safe. I do put my picture in some social media areas but keep it limited. Besides, I do not have a great radio voice, so rather than sound sad, I keep my face and voice out of promotions. — David Blitt, Troy Shoppe Jewellers, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • The owner is not good on TV and neither am I, as general manager, though I do appear in print and in social media. Frankly, we think some people are gifted and should be on camera. Dave Thomas and Lee Iacocca come to mind. Many business people insist on being in their commercials and really do their business a disservice. The spots look “local” and amateurish. We have other folks on staff that do it better and luckily can keep our egos in check. — Jon Walp, Long Jewelers, Virginia Beach, VA
  • I have a face made for radio! Let the jewelry shine on its own! — Rosanne Kroen, Rosanne’s Diamonds & Gold, South Bend, IN
  • I plan on selling the business one day and feel if I am too much a part of it, the value will be diminished in a buyer’s eye without me here. — Donnie Blanton, Brittany’s Fine Jewelry, Gainesville, FL
  • Feels awkward. I know it would get easier if we would just do it. — Brenda Hefner, Oz’s Jewelers, Hickory, NC

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