Last year, after reaching $1 million in revenue, Jennifer Farnes was recognized as owning one of the fastest-growing businesses in Colorado. Her growth has averaged 32 percent each year since she opened in 2013.
She credits her background in marketing and her advertising philosophy for her success, combined with her strong focus on custom design. She believes in spending 15 percent of gross income on advertising, a belief she has put into practice consistently since she opened.
She urges others to do the same, but recognizes it can be scary to take 15 percent of your hard-earned money, seemingly throw it at something, and hope that it sticks. In her case, she started out small with Google, added Facebook and then experimented with commercials at her local movie theater. Next came radio and TV. Because of her high profile in the community, Revolution Jewelry Works was approached for what turned out to be a wildly successful cross-promotion with a local TV station, the arena and Cirque Du Soleil.
Promoting the Revolution
Farnes — a Ron Paul fan — liked the theme of his 2008 presidential campaign, “Join the Revolution.” She wanted to revolutionize how clients perceived jewelry stores. As someone who hadn’t grown up in the business, she perceived jewelry stores and the people who worked there to be stuffy, overdressed and snooty. She wanted a place that would appeal to her: laid-back, open and casual, with a knowledgeable team focused on custom design. She also wanted to avoid commission battles after she had watched two associates at a chain store argue in front of her about who deserved credit for the sale of her wedding set. She came up with a sit-down environment that invites clients to get comfortable and a profit-sharing approach that encourages team selling. She also simply asks the clients directly if they have a budget in mind. The logo, designed by one of her best friends who is a graphic designer, expresses her revolutionary fervor perfectly.
Traditional Radio and TV
Farnes’ approach to radio advertising is breezy, conversational and relatable. She prefers to advertise on stations that she and her staff listen to or watch. “We wanted to focus on trying to bring in an audience that relates to us, because then it’s easy to have something to relate to — like, we listen to the same music — when they come into the store,” she says. “Try to attract people who are like you.”
Building Trust on Local TV
Farnes appears regularly as a guest expert on a local TV show specifically geared toward moms to offer tips about caring for jewelry. “That has been a business driver for us by building trust,” she says.
In addition to advertising promotions, Facebook is a perfect showcase for a variety of custom design options and for encouraging holiday gift giving.
High Profile Cross-Promotion
Revolution Jewelry Works’ high profile in the community attracted the attention of Cirque Du Soleil, which reached out to Farnes as a partner for a promotional ticket giveaway for their show, Crystals at the World Arena.
The promotion involved a scavenger hunt for 2-foot-tall crystal sculptures hidden in plain sight near landmarks, biking trails and public parks around Colorado Springs. It was organized by a local TV station, which offered hints to their locations. Each sculpture included instructions for their finders to visit Revolution Jewelry Works and trade the sculpture for free tickets to the show. A total of 160 $60 tickets were up for grabs; a pack of four was awarded for each of 40 sculptures brought into the jewelry store.
One of the sculptures was marked with a special symbol that indicated its finder had won a crystal pendant that Farnes designed.
Aside from that effort, “All we had to do was swap sculptures for tickets, take photos and post to social media,” says Farnes, who went all out on the social media campaign.
The giveaway drove 40 new potential clients into the store — each of whom had their photo land on Revolution Jewelry Works’ Facebook page — and piqued a lot of curiosity about her operation as well. “We made quite a few sales from people coming in and loving our studio,” she says. “We are so active in social media that it improved their ticket sales. It gained steam very fast.” As a result, the World Arena plans to work with Revolution Jewelry Works on future cross-promotions, such as Dancing With The Stars.
Farnes works with a local high school that has a CAD class, where she is often recognized as “the lady from the movie-theater commercials.” Students design charms for bracelets that are auctioned for fundraising. All of the charms are designed by students and the themes are chosen by the individual teams. A “Space” bracelet and an “Ocean” bracelet raised a total of $1,800 for the school during the live auction.
Movie Theater Commercials
Farnes works with a local company to produce TV commercials that get prime-time exposure on local movie theater screens. It’s turned out to be an incredible way to reach millennials, she says. Movie theaters are trying to lure in viewers early to watch those commercials by offering them prizes like free popcorn if they link with the movie theater’s website. Meanwhile, every time her contract renewal is up, Farnes works to move her commercial up as close to the start time of the movie as possible to reach the largest audience available. “You can be on every screen every showing every day of the week and the cost per screen gets lower and lower. Movie theaters are ridiculously successful,” Farnes says.