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Moyer Fine Jewelers

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Moyer Fine Jewelers, Carmel, IN

OWNERS: Dan Moyer; FEATURED LOCATION OPENED: 2010; YEAR FOUNDED: 1979; ARCHITECT: Courtney Casteel Schenberg, CC Home, Carmel, IN; STORE AREA: Two-story 13,000 square-foot building (includes a 6,000 square-foot showroom and basement of offices); EMPLOYEES: 14 full-time, 2 part-time; TAGLINE: “At the Top of the Town”; TOP BRANDS: Hearts On Fire, Martin Flyer, Tacori, Judith Ripka, Armenta, Ivanka Trump, Marco Bicego, David Yurman, Rina Limor, Chopard, Breitling, Dior, TAG Heuer, Bell & Ross; URL: moyerfinejewelers.com


FROM wraps to ribs to rings — that’s one way to trace the path of Moyer Fine Jewelers. Admittedly, it sounds unusual but then, most things about this Carmel, IN, jeweler are. When owner/CEO Dan Moyer describes his business — its roots and how it operates today — he says much of it is about “doing the unexpected.” Surely the retailer’s first digs were surprising: In the beginning, Moyer shared retail space with a nail salon (in the back) and, some time later, with a rib restaurant (in the front). In 1999, the visionary entrepreneur purchased the two-story building he’s in now. But it was in 2010, after a huge renovation, that he finally had a store with the “wow” to match his inventive marketing, special events and customer service. The dramatic two-story space, striking shapes, exotic furnishings and bold colors now aptly mirror the trademark originality of Moyer Fine Jewelers’ uber cool parties, impressive marketing, and creative ways they work with clients.

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Five Cool Things About Moyer Fine Jewelers

1. EXTRAORDINARY EVENTS Dan Moyer wants people to talk about his store — in a good way, of course. “It’s important that people remember our name for our customer service and beautiful merchandise — but also for the fun they have at the great parties we give! It all adds up.” A Moyer signature has been the events they host at special places in the area — “places we know people want to visit,” he says. “Some of our best marketing programs involve tie-ins with the new, hot restaurant or hotel or theater that everyone is talking about. Recent events at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts and at the historical Lucas Mansion, for example, were so popular that they didn’t even need to follow up direct-mail invitations with phone calls or e-mail reminders. “Half of those we invited showed up,” says Lindsey Steill, CFO. “That’s a great response.”

2. GREAT UN-EXPECTATIONS “We stand out from our competitors by doing the unexpected with customers,” Steill says. “If a guy buys an engagement ring from us, we’ll often send flowers to the girl — and the guy doesn’t know we’re going to do it. It’s very important to develop a relationship with the woman … and her fiancé looks good in the process, too.” Moyer’s “VIP Program,” begun about seven years ago, awards their 500 best customers with a quarterly surprise. In April, to celebrate spring, VIPs received a bouquet of tulips. For Halloween, they got a candy gram-like gift of chocolate bars with a gift card to a local high-end sweet shop.

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“Last year, we had these two successful computer guys who wanted to honor one of their employees with a special timepiece for her 10-year anniversary with the firm,” says Bill O’Brien, watch department manager. “So after taking her to lunch, they stopped in our store, walked her over to one of our cases, in which we had a sign that said, “Congratulations” and next to it, a ceramic Bell & Ross watch. She was so surprised and excited. We like to do unexpected things like this. It doesn’t take much to do it, and it’s so much more rewarding than just putting it in a box!”

3. WINNING CONTESTS.  Sometimes a picture says a thousand words: Outside of Dan Moyer’s office is a framed poster of a whimsical ad from the early years of Moyer Fine Jeweler in which Dan is wearing an open coat with lots of watches hanging on the inside lining. They no longer run that ad, says the jeweler, “But we continue to have fun with things.” Especially customer contests. Some are funny as well as fun. Here are just a few from the recent past: “The Moyer Makeout Contest,” “The Running of the Brides,” “The Rat Pack Lookalikes,” “The Baby Bump Competition,” and “The Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest.” Sometimes participants as well as winners receive gift certificates of varying amounts to use in the store. “You can get stale with your ideas unless you’re always thinking ‘what else can we do that’s different?’”

4. A TOAST TO THE BAR.  On the second level of the two-floor building is an impressive bar area — perfect for in-store events. “The bar itself was from the restaurant that had been here,” Moyer explains, “which is why we also have a lot of refrigerators for stocking food and drinks.” The entire bar area has been renovated with the same mahogany and cherry woods as those throughout the store and is furnished with leather bar stools and chairs and two TVs. “It’s all very relaxing,” he says, “also very contemporary. However, the mirror behind the bar is from 1993 with our original logo — so it’s a physical reminder of bridging the old and the new.”

5. ENGAGING BRIDAL AREA.  “We have a sit-down section in front of the bridal cases, which are lower than all the other cases in the store,” Moyer says. “I love the way the bridal area is a big circle, so you can get people from one side to the other.” A refreshment area was built near the bridal area — as people are typically shopping for wedding and engagement rings there for several hours — and it has two refrigerators always fully stocked with food and drink, and especially with champagne for couples choosing their wedding jewelry. If a customer prefers, Moyer also has several more private diamond buying areas.

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Five Questions with Dan Moyer

1. ANY ADVICE TO YOUR PEERS ON WHAT NOT TO DO? Don’t follow the leader. To a degree, everyone does, but if you want to make your business your own, do things that set you apart. I realize that’s hard today because, with communication as it is, everyone knows what you’re doing within 10 minutes, but I say think of new things and do them anyway.

2. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THIS BUSINESS? I get to do something different every day — celebrate special events with customers, meet with people about rare vintage pieces, design jewelry, sell interesting watches. I like working with people just starting their lives out together and also with couples who come in for their 50th or 60th wedding anniversary. I’ve found myself delivering jewelry to a doctor at 2 a.m. when he just got out of surgery. See? It’s never boring.

3. NAME SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERIOR RENOVATION YOU REALLY LIKE. So many things. I really love our new bridal area. And something else that made a big difference is a counter we had built right up front, so now customers are greeted immediately as they walk in. It used to be more in the middle of the store.

4. YOU DO A LOT OF ADVERTISING — WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST EFFECTIVE?
I don’t know if anyone really knows the answer. I believe it’s important to do it all: newspapers, magazines, radio spots, billboards, Facebook. And we do a lot of it — we run radio spots, for example, 30 weeks a year. No one form of advertising is effective for all your customers, but a combination is.

5. IF A JEWELER FEELS STUCK IN A RUT, WHAT SHOULD HE DO? Ask yourself if you’re selling things you feel excited about. If you’re excited about something, your clients can tell — and they certainly can feel it if you’re not.

Lorraine DePasque is a contributing writer for INSTORE and INDESIGN. She is also a freelance journalist who has covered the fine jewelry industry for more than two decades. Having seen thousands of collections, met thousands of artisans, schlepped through hundreds of trade shows, judged hundreds of design competitions, and writtten several thousand jewelry articles, she has one simple request: “Please don’t tell me something is innovative when it isn’t.”

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