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Jewelry Store Opened for More Than a Century Is Closing

It leaves with a 102-year legacy.

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(PRESS RELEASE) HOWELL, MI – Tom Cunningham’s first job in the jewelry business was as a teenager helping with engravings in his stepfather’s store in nearby Hudson, Michigan. That inspired a lifelong career as a jeweler.

However, at that time he didn’t realize he would eventually own Yax Jewelers with deep roots in Howell, Michigan.

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“There was never any consideration of doing anything else,” laughs Cunningham, who is now ready to retire and end a retail legacy of more than a century.

On Feb. 8, 2019, Yax Jewelers began its huge closing sale that ends a 102 year legacy in Howell. Expect to find deep discounts on a wide range of upscale, fine jewelry in all styles – sterling silver to multi-carat diamond jewelry in all prices ranges.

Cunningham and his stepfather Charles Blanks (who previously owned H.C. Blanks Jewelers in Hudson) purchased Yax Jewelers in 1973 with Cunningham at the helm. Yax Jewelers was already a mainstay in Howell, having opened in 1917.

Cunningham and Blanks purchased the building and moved the store to its current location at the corner of Michigan and Grand River Avenue in 1979, which served as McPherson State Bank from the beginning of the century to 1960.

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What has made Yax Jewelers different from other big retailers is the exceptional craftsmanship, trust, and integrity. Unique pieces you won’t find anywhere else using a variety of gemstones. Also, all repair work is done in-house, it’s not sent out. “That’s always been a significant point for our customers,” said Cunningham.

During the sale, customers can also expect to find a friendly and dedicated staff focused on helping them find the right purchase at a variety of prices. “We can usually answer questions before the customers even ask them and we never pressure any customer to make a purchase,” said Cunningham who attributes his store’s customer service and knowledge of jewelry as a key component of the store’s long success.

When Cunningham reflects on 40-plus years in the community he realizes it’s “gone by in a flash,” said Cunningham who finds multiple generations of customers shopping with him.

“Grandparents bought their wedding bands from us and now the grandchildren are coming in for engagement rings,” said Cunningham, himself a grandfather to several grandchildren scattered across the country.

He continued, “The store has been here forever – 102 years – people who find out my retirement and the store closing say congratulations and good luck.”

One thing Cunningham is looking forward in retirement is golf this spring and breaking in a camping trailer he bought last year for family excursions to visit all those grandchildren all over the country.

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Press Releases

GSI Announces EIAC Accreditation

It’s valid in all UAE.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Gemological Science International (GSI) a leading laboratory of America announced its EIAC accreditation. The accreditation is valid not only in Dubai where the GSI laboratory is located but in all seven United Arab Emirates.

GSI is the first and the only international gemological laboratory to achieve this accreditation in UAE. This accreditation upholds GSI’s commitment to professional integrity, transparency, and forward-looking processes and procedures.

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Parcel Pro Launches Partnership with MJSA

This provides MJSA Premier-level members with exclusive rates for insured transportation.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Parcel Pro, a UPS Capital company, announced a partnership with Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA) that provides MJSA Premier Members access to innovative technology and insured shipping at a time when the industry is experiencing rapid e-commerce growth.

Online sales of luxury goods continue to flourish with growth of 24% in 20171. According to the 2018 Luxury E-commerce Report, six out of 10 of the fastest growing luxury websites surveyed were jewelry and watch companies. Jewelry represented 13.4% of the 130 companies’ online sales.

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Additionally, consumers continue to express an interest in custom-designed jewelry. In fact, custom now represents 40% of the $10 billion bridal market2. With jewelers selling more online goods, the need for reliable, insured transportation is crucial to meeting customer demand.

“E-commerce retail revenue is expected to top $4.88 trillion by 20213, so it is no surprise we are seeing more luxury goods shipments,” said Parcel Pro President Manuel Valdez. “Our solutions and capabilities will help MJSA members meet the growing needs of their customers whether they’re shipping $1 million or $500 million in goods a year.”

“Our members require safe, secure shipping options—particularly given the high value of jewelry shipments—and MJSA is excited to be partnering with Parcel Pro to meet that need,” said David W. Cochran, MJSA president/CEO. “Parcel Pro’s international reach their tools to reduce risk, and their commitment to customer service have earned them a world-class reputation.”

Parcel Pro offers:

  • Secure pickup and delivery in key jewelry markets including New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco.
  • Proactive package monitoring and carrier communications to minimize delivery delays and risks.
  • Myriad technology resources, including web tools for shipping, tracking, APIs, a mobile app, and integration with a Magento store.
  • Loss and damage protection for commercial shipments valued up to $150,000 in the U.S. and $100,000 to select countries and territories.

Parcel Pro makes it less risky to transport high-value goods. The company’s risk management and shipping procedures have been proven to reduce losses.

By endorsing Parcel Pro, MJSA provides Premier-level members with exclusive rates for insured transportation. “All of those members rely on us to provide the support and resources needed to help them to grow and to run their businesses efficiently and profitably,” said Cochran.

Parcel Pro is part of the MJSA Member Protection Package, a portfolio of leading business providers offering a spectrum of best-in-class services.

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Jewelry Designer Mark Schneider Wins 40th Spectrum Award

His philosophy of jewelry is to create designs as wearable art.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Mark Schneider, American award-winning fine jewelry designer, recently returned from the Spectrum Awards Gala at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show where he was awarded his 40th AGTA (American Gem Trade Association) Spectrum Award for 2nd Place in the Men’s Wear division.

Each year a panel of experts at AGTA honors designers based upon the merits of their innovative designs. Having won 40 Spectrum Awards in divisions such as Men’s Wear, Business Day Wear, Bridal Wear, and Objects of Art, Schneider is one of the most recognized American designers of our time. He has had many of his pieces on display in museums throughout the country.

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Best known for his contemporary engagement rings, unique colored gemstone jewelry, and custom jewelry designs, his jewelry creations are known for their simplicity and clean, fluid lines. Schneider’s philosophy of jewelry is to create designs as wearable art. His out of the box thinking and skilled craftsmanship makes him a highly sought-after custom jewelry designer. Schneider’s designs are handcrafted on-site in his design studio in Long Beach, California.

From his bold color pieces to his unique bridal designs, Schneider pushes the conventional ideas of jewelry design and constantly strives to challenge himself in creating unique jewelry and designing with his customers in mind. His distinct perspective on jewelry making has earned him some of the most coveted design awards and honors within the jewelry industry. View his designs on his website at www.MarkSchneiderDesign.com.

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