10222017Sun
Last updateWed, 18 Oct 2017 12am
Sandy Jones jewelry career comes full circle

Sandy Jones jewelry career comes full circle

They say never burn a bridge you may need to cross...

Remembering Janel Russell, creator of Mother and Child Jewelry

Remembering Janel Russell, creator of Mother and Child Jewelry

Motherhood defined much of Janel Russell’s life, b...

Reason to Hope: Jewelry industry steps up to help natural disaster victims

Reason to Hope: Jewelry industry steps up to help natural disaster victims

It’s so easy to get sucked into choosing a side. T...

Other News

The psychology of the allure of gold

The psychology of the allure of gold

When you think of the color gold, images of grandeur and extravagance are likely to come to mind.

For millennia, the metal has adorned crowns and hilts of swords. It has been used to enhance paintings and ornaments to increase their value.

In some cult...

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Industry Events

Initiatives in Art & Culture announces 19th Annual Fashion + Design Conference: “White: Palette, Prism, Possibility”

Initiatives in Art & Culture announces 19th Annual Fashion + Design Conference: “White: Palette, Prism, Possibility”

Conference to be held November 10 & 11, 2017 at CUNY Graduate Center, New York City

Initiatives in Art & Culture (IAC), an organization committed to educating diverse audiences in the fine, decorative, and visual arts, has announced their 19th...

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On The Move

Paul Machiels, owner of Charms Plus, to retire 37-year industry veteran seeking to sell wholesale business

Paul Machiels, owner of Charms Plus, to retire 37-year industry veteran seeking to sell wholesale business

Paul Machiels, who has spent the last 37 years selling jewelry, chains, and charms to retail stores, has announced his retirement. His announcement coincides with his intention to sell JKM Enterprises, parent company of Charms Plus, to interested buy...

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What's New

Merit Diamond introduces MFIT®

Merit Diamond introduces MFIT®

Innovative men’s wedding bands designed with maximum comfort in mind

Merit® Diamond, manufacturers of the popular, luxurious diamond fashion line Sirena®, has developed and tested their supremely comfortable men’s MFIT® wedding band line over the past...

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Featured Articles

Alamea Hawaii’s appeal washes deep into America with elegance & beauty of the sea

Alamea Hawaii’s appeal washes deep into America with elegance & beauty of the sea

One doesn’t have to live in paradise to appreciate and crave a piece of it. With this in mind, Alamea Hawaii brings the beauty of Hawaii and beyond to inner America with elegant and fashionable designs for jewelers and retailers, inspired by the most...

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Latest News

The psychology of the allure of gold

4 DAYS AGO
The psychology of the allure of gold

When you think of the color gold, images of grandeur and extravagance are likely to come to mind.

For millennia, the metal has adorned crowns and hilts of swords. It has been used to enhance paintings and ornaments to increase their value.

In some cultures, gold is a predominant feature of festivals a...

Readmore

Scientists believe cosmic collision reveals origins of gold

4 DAYS AGO
Scientists believe cosmic collision reveals origins of gold

WASHINGTON (AP) — It was a faint signal, but it told of one of the most violent acts in the universe, and it would soon reveal secrets of the cosmos, including how gold was created.

Astronomers around the world reacted to the signal quickly, focusing telescopes located on every continent and even in ...

Readmore

Initiatives in Art & Culture announces 19th Annual Fashion + Design Conference: “White: Palette, Prism, Possibility”

4 DAYS AGO
Initiatives in Art & Culture announces 19th Annual Fashion + Design Conference: “White: Palette, Prism, Possibility”

Conference to be held November 10 & 11, 2017 at CUNY Graduate Center, New York City

Initiatives in Art & Culture (IAC), an organization committed to educating diverse audiences in the fine, decorative, and visual arts, has announced their 19th Annual Fashion + Design Conference will be held N...

Readmore

Andie Weinman sparkles in the City of Gold

11 DAYS AGO
Andie Weinman sparkles in the City of Gold

Preferred Jewelers International CEO shares info on PJI and successful American retail strategies in Dubai

The City of Gold was the international backdrop for the Gemological Science International (GSI) presentation on ‘The Successful American Retail Strategies’ during DMCC Dubai on September 12, 201...

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Paul Machiels, owner of Charms Plus, to retire 37-year industry veteran seeking to sell wholesale business

20 DAYS AGO
Paul Machiels, owner of Charms Plus, to retire 37-year industry veteran seeking to sell wholesale business

Paul Machiels, who has spent the last 37 years selling jewelry, chains, and charms to retail stores, has announced his retirement. His announcement coincides with his intention to sell JKM Enterprises, parent company of Charms Plus, to interested buyers. His book of business continues to be lucrativ...

Readmore

Patrick Retzer joins the Color Merchants/Brevani family as V.P. of Sales

25 DAYS AGO
Patrick Retzer joins the Color Merchants/Brevani family as V.P. of Sales

(NEW YORK) - Brevani, the branded division of Color Merchants Inc. has announced they’ll be bringing on industry veteran Patrick Retzer to head up their sales division and oversee the brands direction.

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Merit Diamond introduces MFIT®

4 DAYS AGO
Merit Diamond introduces MFIT®

Innovative men’s wedding bands designed with maximum comfort in mind

Merit® Diamond, manufacturers of the popular, luxurious diamond fashion line Sirena®, has developed and tested their supremely comfortable men’s MFIT® wedding band line over the past 5 years. The patented brand provides men with “no...

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GN Diamond offering free Gemprint on all diamonds

11 DAYS AGO
GN Diamond offering free Gemprint on all diamonds

GN Diamond listens to the common pain points experienced by jewelers on a daily basis. Internet shopping is one of the biggest obstacles expressed by the brick and mortar store. By offering added value and annual savings through Gemprint, jewelers are now armed with a point of distinction against th...

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Furry friends on the job: Loki - Kingsbury Designs & Repairs, Clinton, Mississippi

4 DAYS AGO
Furry friends on the job: Loki - Kingsbury Designs & Repairs, Clinton, Mississippi

 

This is Loki. Loki works for David at Kingsbury Designs & Repairs in Clinton, Mississippi. David says Loki was named after the evil brother of Thor, but his customers love him anyway.

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Furry friends on the job: Larry at Douglas Jeweler in Hartford, Wisconsin

11 DAYS AGO
Furry friends on the job: Larry at Douglas Jeweler in Hartford, Wisconsin

Say hello to Larry, the mini golden doodle. Larry loves going to work with his “dad” and “grandpa” at Douglas Jeweler in Hartford, Wisconsin. Larry likes wearing his finest clothes to work and always greets everyone with a tail wag and kisses!

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The Marketing Minute: Trend Spotting

4 DAYS AGO

Marketing specialist George Prout produces a weekly marketing advice video for retail jewelers, The Monday Morning Marketing Minute. He’s generously agreed to let us share them with our eWeekly readers.

 

Click here  to see more of George Prout’s The Marketing Minute

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Marketing Minute: Pricing Strategy

11 DAYS AGO

Marketing specialist George Prout produces a weekly marketing advice video for retail jewelers, The Monday Morning Marketing Minute. He’s generously agreed to let us share them with our eWeekly readers.

 

Click here  to see more of George Prout’s The Marketing Minute

 

 

 

 

 

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The Retailer’s Perspective: Location, Location, Location

About 3 years ago I made the biggest decision of my professional life and decided to shut down my retail store - the retail store that I planned on owning for the next 30 years. It had been in that location since 1947 and I was hoping to make it last till 2047. Then the unthinkable happened. It failed. S.L.O.W.L.Y!

There was no warning. No precipitating factor like the factory next door shutting down and laying off my entire customer base. I wasn't doing anything wrong. If anything, I was doing everything right, just like I'd been doing since I opened my first jewelry company in 1983.

I got up every morning and went to work and turned on my OPEN sign and people came in and did business with me. Until my location died.

It was a painful and expensive time (of course that pales in comparison to the last four months of 2008) to go through. Now I've just experienced my second Christmas season in my new location and my 31st as a jeweler. And, yes it was slow, but it wasn't dead. If I'd stayed in my old location the last year and a half, I'm certain I would be bankrupt by now. And I think I've learned some valuable lessons the last couple of years I'd like to share with you.

Moving your business is a lot like moving from one neighborhood to another. Yes, you'll miss your old routine. You'll miss your old friends. You'll miss your house. But most people don't move from their house to one in a really bad part of town that's crime ridden and in decay. Most people move to a better neighborhood with more to offer than their last.

The same is true of moving your business. When I was looking for a new home for my store I wasn't looking in crappy, crime ridden areas. I was only looking in the best areas that offered the most long term growth. It took me almost a year to find my new location. It was kind of like looking for a new house and not liking anything you've seen. Then the perfect house comes on the market, and you know it's perfect because you've seen everything else. Then the move is not so scary. In fact it's exciting. Heck, the hardest part was the decision just to move.

Back when I was going through the process, I talked to lots of other jewelers who were in the same situation I was. Some moved. Some didn't. Those that did move have new stores, new customers, new sales, and a positive outlook. Those that didn't move.. well, their situation hasn't changed.

In my new store, I average about 5 people a day I've never seen in my life coming in for something. Most times it's just a $10 watch battery, but they are in my store.

The hardest part about building a new business is getting people to physically walk through your front door, but once they're in you can do your dog and pony show and make them a long term customer. We all know that word-of-mouth is the best advertising, and I'm averaging 5 new people a day. I'm thrilled. This would have never happened if I hadn't moved.

With the tough economic situation the country is facing, being in a bad location is only going to get worse. I'm glad I made the move because I've at least got a shot at surviving this mess, whereas in my previous location I had no chance.

Oh yeah, one other thing about moving. Just like how you'll miss your friends from your old neighborhood if you sell your house, the neighbors you really liked will still be your friends and you'll still see each other. And the neighbors you didn't like will be out of your life. When you move your business it's a lot of the same. The customers I really liked come see me at my new store. The customers that didn't really like me (or me them) tend to find someone else. There's a few I still can't shake though.

So what's next? Retail is next!

A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Brad Lawrence. Brad owns Goldcasters Fine Jewelry in Bloomington, Indiana. If you've never been to Bloomington, it's an hour south of Indianapolis and an hour from any major interstate, and the home of the Indiana University Hoosiers.

A small quaint city in the middle of the country with one incredibly successful jewelry store. I was curious how someone could build a business of that magnitude in an out of the way place like Bloomington, so I went to check it out. Brad gave me a lesson or two on how to run a jewelry store.

First and foremost I learned that Brad was a retailer - not a jeweler. Yes, he's owned a jewelry store for over 25 years and has all the credentials and training available, but he doesn't see himself as a jeweler. He see's himself as a retailer.

Brad told me that most of his peers see themselves as jewelers. The difference is remarkable if you really think about it. Brad doesn't buy something because he likes it. He buys something be cause he thinks he can retail it, not just sell it.

How many of us have tons of dead stock in our cases and dead giftware that we thought was a sure fire seller? Most of us bought it because we liked it and never really thought about retailing it. Yeah, we gave it some thought, but did you really look at it like a retailer?

Ask yourself; Could you pull all of the cases out of your store and fill it with clothes and be successful? Brad Lawrence could. It's not the product you are selling that's important, it's your ability to retail that product.

Everyone reading this just happens to sell jewelry. So tell me, are you a retailer or a jeweler? For the last 30+ years I've answered that question "I'm a jeweler." In 2009 I'm going to become a retailer and damnit, I'm gonna buy a new private jet too - just like Brad!

Brad also made a statement that's stuck in my head: "If you're selling diamonds, you're doing okay in this business. If you're not selling diamonds, you're probably in trouble." That's pretty profound if you really analyze it.

Back in the day before Blue Nile and the Internet. I sold an average of 15-20 big diamonds a year. Considering at the time I was a small retail custom and repair shop, I was selling a big diamond about every 2-3 weeks, so I always had a couple of big sales in the pipeline and made a great living.

I don't think I've sold 20 big diamonds in the last 5 years, so how is Brad doing it and I'm not. It's relatively simple to explain, but it's going to be harder to put my new plan in place, but I'm gonna do it.

When I go back and really analyze those previous diamond sales, I realized I was just lucky. I never had a plan. I had something better - a jewelry store. It was just by default that I ever sold a diamond in the first place. Just pure luck.
I think a lot of jewelry store owners out there fall into this same category. You had a jewelry store and that was the only place to buy a diamond. Where else was someone going to go other than another jewelry store?

It was easy pickins back then. If I missed a sale, I had a couple of others in the works, so no big deal. Now the options are unlimited with the Internet. So since I never really had a plan, I had no ‘Plan B' if something like the Internet happened.
What I'm coming to realize is that the Internet is no different than any other competitor if you're actually in the business of selling diamonds.

There were a lot of stores that got killed when the Internet came along, and a few, like Goldcasters, that didn't. Simply because Brad was in the business of retailing diamonds, not selling diamonds - retailing them.

It took about a week for everything Brad and I talked about to soak into my thick skull, but once it got in there, it stuck. I encourage all the jewelry store owners out there to really think about what Brad has to say because it really works.
That being said, look out world, I'm about to become a retailer. God help the competition and the other airplanes up there!




Chuck is the owner of Anthony Jewelers in Nashville, TN. Chuck also owns CMK Co., a wholesale trade shop that specializes in custom jewelry and repair services to the jewelry industry nationwide. You can contact him at 615-354-6361, www.CMKcompany.com or send e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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