09032015Thu
Last updateWed, 02 Sep 2015 12am

Tracy Pearls founder, Tracy Bronson dies at 90

Henry (Tracy) Bronson, founder of Tracy Pearls, di...

ICA appoints Gary Roskin as Executive Director

ICA appoints Gary Roskin as Executive Director

(NEW YORK) - The International Colored Gemstone Ass...

New appointment strengthens Endless Jewelry’s global marketing team

New appointment strengthens Endless Jewelry’s global marketing team

Endless Jewelry has appointed Mikkel Berg as globa...

Hoover & Strong announces new Fairmined metal source

Hoover & Strong announces new Fairmined metal source

Currently sourcing Fairmined gold and silver from ...

Atlanta Jewelry Show ends 65th anniversary celebration with a flourish

Atlanta Jewelry Show ends 65th anniversary celebration with a flourish

August 2015 Edition Filled With New Resources, New...

  • Newsletter

  • Latest Post

  • Most Read

Other News

How Extremely Tiny Diamonds Could Be Used To Deliver Drugs

How Extremely Tiny Diamonds Could Be Used To Deliver Drugs

What good is a diamond so small that you need one of the most powerful microscopes in the world to see it? Scientists are working on ways to use these tiny treasures to deliver drugs more effectively.

Nanodiamonds are much like the diamonds you've see...

Readmore

Loading...

Industry Events

Distinct points of view and a broad product range define JA New York Summer 2015

(NEW YORK) - The JA New York Summer show, held July 26 - 28th at the Jacob Javits Center, was host to an astounding breadth of product offerings in a serene and welcoming environment. Architectural or personalized pieces on display in the designer pav...

Readmore

Loading...

On The Move

JBT President Dione Kenyon to retire

JBT President Dione Kenyon to retire

Dione Kenyon has announced to the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) Executive Committee her plans to retire from JBT, with a time frame dependent on transitioning her replacement, in 2016.

At that time, she will complete 14 years as JBT President, 25 year...

Readmore

Loading...

What's New

Bulova redefines technology with UHF

Bulova redefines technology with UHF

(NEW YORK) – Having debuted in Bulova Accutron II and the Precisionist collection, Bulova’s proprietary high performance UHF (Ultra High Frequency) movement is now being extended into its Sea King and Military collections.

The heart of the movement is ...

Readmore

Loading...

Featured Articles

Diamonds ‘n Dunes delivers cosmopolitan style to the Outer Banks of North Carolina

Diamonds ‘n Dunes delivers cosmopolitan style to the Outer Banks of North Carolina

When Eileen Alexanian and Ken Kelley left New York City to vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, they never expected it to be a life changing trip. But the husband and wife jewelry team, who’d worked in the heart of the New York Diamond Dist...

Readmore

Loading...

Latest News

How Extremely Tiny Diamonds Could Be Used To Deliver Drugs

1 DAY AGO
How Extremely Tiny Diamonds Could Be Used To Deliver Drugs

What good is a diamond so small that you need one of the most powerful microscopes in the world to see it? Scientists are working on ways to use these tiny treasures to deliver drugs more effectively.

Nanodiamonds are much like the diamonds you've seen on expensive jewelry — they are faceted, extreme...

Readmore

Retailers estimate shoplifting, incidents of fraud cost $44 billion in 2014, according to National Retail Security Survey

1 DAY AGO

(LONG BEACH, Calif.) - A study released from NRF PROTECT, the industry’s largest retail loss prevention event in North America, finds that retailers lose billions of dollars to shoplifting, employee and vendor theft and administrative error - collectively known as inventory shrink. According to the N...

Readmore

Tracy Pearls founder, Tracy Bronson dies at 90

2 DAYS AGO

Henry (Tracy) Bronson, founder of Tracy Pearls, died on May 31, 2015. Bronson opened Tracy Pearls, a pearl importing and wholesaling company in 1960. He worked there until 2004 when he sold the company to Rebecca Shemwell. Tracy and Rebecca had been partners until she bought him out. Rebecca will be...

Readmore

ICA appoints Gary Roskin as Executive Director

2 DAYS AGO
ICA appoints Gary Roskin as Executive Director

(NEW YORK) - The International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) is pleased to announce that well-known gems and jewelry expert Gary Roskin has been appointed as ICA Executive Director.

Mr. Roskin began in the new position on August 4 at ICA’s New York office. He is responsible for ICA’s day-to-day a...

Readmore

JBT President Dione Kenyon to retire

1 DAY AGO
JBT President Dione Kenyon to retire

Dione Kenyon has announced to the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) Executive Committee her plans to retire from JBT, with a time frame dependent on transitioning her replacement, in 2016.

At that time, she will complete 14 years as JBT President, 25 years of service to JBT, beginning as a Board Director...

Readmore

Findings manufacturer, American Jewelry Components opens in Detroit

2 DAYS AGO

(DETROIT, Mich.) - In the heart of Motor City, you’ll find a new jewelry manufacturing firm with an exceptional combination of skills and deep roots in the jewelry industry. A full-service jewelry manufacturer with a focus on high-volume die striking, American Jewelry Components, LLC. (AJC) formed ea...

Readmore

Bulova redefines technology with UHF

2 DAYS AGO
Bulova redefines technology with UHF

(NEW YORK) – Having debuted in Bulova Accutron II and the Precisionist collection, Bulova’s proprietary high performance UHF (Ultra High Frequency) movement is now being extended into its Sea King and Military collections.

The heart of the movement is a three-prong quartz crystal producing a vibration...

Readmore

Jewelers Mutual announces coverage of smart jewelry

2 DAYS AGO

(NEENAH, Wis.) - In response to rising interest from smart jewelry owners looking to protect their investments, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company announces its coverage of smart jewelry with the same worldwide personal jewelry insurance protection it offers for traditional jewelry.

Readmore

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..

Columnist



Media Kit