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Commentary: The Business

Zoltan David: The Difference Between Jewelry Designers and Jewelry Artists

One is a must-have. The other is the life of the party.




Zoltan David is a jewelry artist/designer who owns Zoltan David gallery — the 2009 America’s Coolest Store in the Small Cool division — in Austin, TX.

WHAT’S YOUR MOTIVATION in offering original works of fine jewelry?

A designer friend of mine once asked, “Are you a designer or an artist?” Interesting question. Design requires a strategy within certain parameters, such as cost and production, function and feasibility. Successful designs also possess beauty and are inspirational to the point where they become “must-haves” for the consumer.

This inspiration factor brings me to the second part of the question. Jewelry artists are bold individuals, in that they will do what their passion dictates. They seem to take that leap of faith on a daily basis. Regardless of the outcome or the cost, they will pursue their vision. Herein lies the seed that flourishes into works of jewelry art that are precious far beyond their materials. Their greatest value comes from the inspiration they create within the viewer of the work. This awe and wonderment is a powerful motivation to take action.


Pablo Picasso once said, “The magic of art is that it will change the consciousness within a room.” And so, the passion and the imagination of the artist will demand that this work come forward — this vision that has never been seen, this beautifully original work that may fail in its ability to affect. It takes courage to be an artist. They must walk the path less travelled. They deal in the original.

We are all wired for the desire of something new and innovative; it is human nature. It is the imagination, the courage, the passion and vision of the artist that provide the inspiration to motivate others, and this motivation plays a huge part in moving the jewelry industry forward.

The jewelry designer is a must-have. The jewelry artist is the life of the party.

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When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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