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David Geller

Want To Make Higher Profits On Bridal? Push Custom

Millennials are willing to wait for the ring of their dreams.




CUSTOM BRIDAL IS the bomb! Why?

It’s very, very difficult to price shop a “design.” You can come close, but it’s not like shopping a name-brand bridal ring with the picture and vendor’s SKU number online.

In the 1970s and up, baby boomers drove our economy. But boomers have now been outnumbered by millennials. They are driving the economy now, even with COVID-19. They’re getting married later in their 20s and spending a lot more on the bride’s ring.

Because of social media and technology, it’s easier for them to find you and see your “story.”

In addition to buying bigger stones, news came out last month that unlike boomers, millennials are skipping “starter homes” and going right for the home of their dreams. Likewise, when it comes to custom design for bridal, they are willing to wait to have the ring of their dreams made. Because of all this, custom bridal can easily make you greater profits. And in regards to the center stone, we may now have smaller margins, but it’s smaller margins on a high price point.

You’ll never know what the client thinks is the right price for the custom ring. One of INSTORE’s America’s Coolest Stores is Green Lake Jewelry Works in Seattle, owned by Jim Tuttle. Jim recently told the story that when he first started years ago, he waited on a couple who wanted custom designed wedding bands. He went through the quote and told them, “and it will come to $850.” They asked if they could walk outside and talk about it, and of course he obliged.


Moments later, they returned and said, “And to be clear once more, it’s a total of $850 for each band, his and mine, right?”

He had actually meant $850 for both bands, but he bit his lip and said “right” instead.

I find that breaking down the bridal ring by these factors makes the cost of a custom ring look small by comparison:

  • Center diamond
  • Custom designing the ring itself (CAD or wax charges/casting)
  • Metal/ stones
  • Setting charges

Jewelers I talk to across the country have had a great year, and of course we stole money from the entertainment, travel and restaurant industry, but millennials are getting married in droves. So push custom design, even if it’s not bridal. Everyone young and old has old jewelry to remake into something new and exciting.

Let’s hear it for millennials! Let’s hear it for custom design!




Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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