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If I Owned

If I Owned A Jewelry Store: PJ Lynch

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BY THE INDESIGN TEAM | Published in the September/October 2013 issue

The Gem Shopping Network CEO
performs magic on the traditional
jewelry store model.

As a kid, I always did magic
— I loved the wonder and
the excitement of it. So
my retail jewelry store is
about magic.

It starts with the customer. I
find in so many businesses it is all
about “themselves.” For example,
the waiters at fancy restaurants are
often so pleased with themselves
that they are working there. We
live in an age of “Me, me, me!” In
my store, it is not about me… it’s
about you! That is the first thing
you are going to feel in my retail
jewelry store.

The second thing is remembering
that the gift of jewelry is
about that person you are totally
in love with. There is absolutely
only one of that person. I had a
chance recently to meet a private
jeweler — Samara Joseph
Jewelry. I thought that the private
jeweler concept was so
incredible: She listens, she hears
what you like and designs something
just for you and your loved
one. Most important, you are an
active participant in the development
of a piece. I want to do
that for everyone!

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Think of a cross between an
Apple Genius Bar and Build-ABear
for jewelry. That’s what I
want. When people walk in, we
have experts — graduate gemologists,
designers, stonecutters
— and they are inside this round
bar where you can sit down with
them. There are beautiful monster-
size tablet screens where
you can look at colored stones
and diamonds and brainstorm.

While you sit at the bar, you
can touch and feel settings and
gemstones. You can see CAD/
CAM designs that appear before
your eye … like magic! You participate
in that process. “She is
that special … we can actually
cut the rough stone,” we’ll say.

So when you sit down with all
these experts and participate in
the design, you are putting yourself
into that piece, and when
she wears it, it is not going to
be “Oh yeah, he got it on sale at
[fill in your favorite retailer].”
Instead, she will say, “He helped
design and build it!” Now that is
a WOW!

I want my customer to be an
active participant in the experience.
It is fun! It is not the blood,
sweat and tears of a negotiated
retail environment. This is you,
the customer, really participating
in the process of making
something special.

Recently, I took a surprise
birthday trip to Aspen, CO.
We were just walking down a
street and decided to walk into
a store to browse. I wasn’t planning
on buying a thing, but I
had the greatest time in that
store. I walked out with a cowboy
hat, boots, and a belt buckle.
You know why? It was the
experience, the process — it was
“supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
service”! I loved it, I had
a ball; the last thing I was worried
about was “how much did
I pay?”

I think the experience of
retail jewelry can, and should
be, a phenomenal thing. It is the
“private jeweler” experience
now available for you, the customer.

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It’s about making something
absolutely special, with “you
inside” for that “one in the
world person” — which might
even be yourself!

The “magic” is happening at
my Genius Bar / Build a Bear/
CAD/CAM set-up for jewelry,
enabling customers to put
themselves inside the process.
Do you walk out with the finished
item immediately? No,
but good things are worth waiting
for and great things are really
worth waiting for. That is my
idea of my “Magic of Jewelry”
store. Hope to see you soon at
The Magic of Jewelry!

PJ Lynch is a distinguished graduate
of the US Air Force Academy, a Hertz
Fellow from MIT, and a Palmer Scholar
from the Wharton school of business.
Lynch developed missiles and fighters
for the US Air Force. He has worked
in international telecommunications
in Russia, the Czech Republic and
Monaco, as well as technology firms
like NCR and Siemens, and is currently
CEO of the Gem Shopping Network
(gemshopping.com). Most important
to Lynch, he is the proud dad of three
great children, Prisca, Ryan and Sean,
and has performed magic shows with
each of them.

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