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Savannah Jeweler Specializes in Heirloom Therapy

Designer leads clients on a sentimental journey.

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INSTORE Get Inspired 12-2020

BORN AND RAISED in Richmond, VA, Kristen Baird graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA, with a bachelor’s degree in jewelry design. She also completed the graduate bench jeweler program at the New Approach School for Jewelers. In 2015, she launched Kristen Baird Jewelers in Savannah with a wholesale business and a working studio open by appointment for retail clients. Her studio was named Best Jewelry Store in the Savannah Morning News 2020 Best of the Best awards.

ONLINE EXTRA

What do you love about Savannah?

I love the fact we are very tourism based and there’s a military base, always people coming and going. It’s a mix of historical and fresh.

What is your favorite kind of project?

Distilling down grandmothers’ and mothers’ pieces for the daughters. I appreciate the pieces that have the stories and come from grandmother to mother to daughter, come down the line. My grandmother’s jewelry skipped over me. Those are so sentimental and special.

How do you promote your heirloom repurposing niche?

Right now, it’s so much word of mouth and I’m starting to do a lot more features in e-blasts to my email list. We’ve turned to our own base and we’re tapping into Google. I’m asking my clients and saying hey, we need some referrals. Kind of tapping into my hot leads.

What are your plans for next year?

I’m focusing direct to consumer through online. We’re going to keep nurturing our wholesale relationships, but our primary focus is going to be direct to consumer through online portals.

What advice do you have for retailers who want to move the custom process online?

I would say there’s a lot of tech available to help make it more streamlined. Loom is one of my favorite platforms, it’s a video screen recording software and it’s free. I do these videos for my clients and they can open it at their convenience and replay it. It assists in making sure that everyone is on the same page. You can verify details in person, but communication is key online. The process serves to communicate with your clients and it’s also documentation on your end. I will do hand sketches and then I’ll put the sketches on my screen and screen record while I talk about each sketch. I can ask, “Do you like A, B, or C and they can call or email me. So, I’ve got it right there and I know exactly what I said. I’ve had multiple customers say this made the process so much fun. They can send the link to family members for input. That creates a positive experience.

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What kind of questions do you ask on the commission inquiry form online?

I ask a lot of questions, on the form or on phone calls. I ask about lifestyle. Are you active? Are you going camping all the time? I’m trying to get a flavor of whether it should be a bezel setting or a prong setting. I get a lot of details, especially when we get into some of the heirloom redesigns. I’m really trying to draw those personal connections to the pieces.

How has COVID-19 changed how you do business?

My studio has always been a private studio, so I take appointments. Prior to all this (COVID-19), I would stack appointments; now we’re doing it pretty much all digitally, with Zoom calls, FaceTime even. Lots of phone calls and text messages.

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