08202017Sun
Last updateTue, 15 Aug 2017 9pm
Masters of Marketing - A century of sparkling insight - Part 3

Masters of Marketing - A century of sparkling insight - Part 3

Part III - Richter & Phillips, Cincinnati, OH

A...

Jewelers’ affidavit reduces selling scams

Jewelers’ affidavit reduces selling scams

More than six years ago, a former employee targete...

JA applauds removal of border adjustment tax from reform proposals

JA applauds removal of border adjustment tax from reform proposals

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA) welcomed an a...

Burglary crew nets $13 million over six years, and counting

Burglary crew nets $13 million over six years, and counting

If you are a jewelry store owner operating in a st...

Other News

Is this the first coin ever minted by the U.S. government?

Is this the first coin ever minted by the U.S. government?

Historic coin experts say they have found the first silver piece minted by the US and believe it was likely held by Founding Father — and founder of The Post — Alexander Hamilton.

David McCarthy, a senior researcher for the coin and collectibles firm ...

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Industry Events

Rio Grande issues Saul Bell Design Award 2018 Call for Entries

Rio Grande issues Saul Bell Design Award 2018 Call for Entries

Rio Grande is pleased to announce its call for entries for the 2018 Saul Bell Design Award. Now in its 18th year, the international competition challenges designers to pick up their tools and make their mark on the jewelry industry.

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On The Move

John Ford continues award-winning streak with 2017 AGTA Spectrum Award

John Ford continues award-winning streak with 2017 AGTA Spectrum Award

(GALVESTON, Tex.) - John Ford triumphed again in two categories in the American Gem Trade Association’s 2017 Spectrum Awards. Ford won Platinum Honors in both the Evening Wear Division and the Business/Day Wear Division. The Spectrum Awards is said to...

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What's New

R Findings launches their latest “That Was Easy” website

R Findings launches their latest “That Was Easy” website

(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) - For 65 years R Findings has strived to provide the jewelry industry with products that save time and money, and to provide solutions. Their latest effort toward this goal is their new “That Was Easy” website.

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Featured Articles

Retailer Roundtable:  What are your biggest hiring challenges?

Retailer Roundtable: What are your biggest hiring challenges?

Q:    What are your biggest hiring challenges?

“I’ve been in business for 30 years and hiring challenges have remained pretty consistent throughout that time - finding a sales associate that has an understanding and love of jewelry. One of the most comm...

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Latest News

Is this the first coin ever minted by the U.S. government?

3 DAYS AGO
Is this the first coin ever minted by the U.S. government?

Historic coin experts say they have found the first silver piece minted by the US and believe it was likely held by Founding Father — and founder of The Post — Alexander Hamilton.

David McCarthy, a senior researcher for the coin and collectibles firm Kagin’s, figured the 1783 silver coin had to be on...

Readmore

Greene Family Jewelers featured on DIY Network’s “Treehouse Guys”

3 DAYS AGO
Greene Family Jewelers featured on DIY Network’s “Treehouse Guys”

(ASHEVILLE, N.C.) - It’s ok if you call Michael Greene a tree-hugger. While you might not find him with his arms wrapped around a maple, the vacation home he built in Weaverville, NC, is nestled in a tree (actually, three trees) and its massive deck was built around the trees’ branches and trunks.

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Rio Grande issues Saul Bell Design Award 2018 Call for Entries

3 DAYS AGO
Rio Grande issues Saul Bell Design Award 2018 Call for Entries

Rio Grande is pleased to announce its call for entries for the 2018 Saul Bell Design Award. Now in its 18th year, the international competition challenges designers to pick up their tools and make their mark on the jewelry industry.

Readmore

Dunkin’s Diamonds wins ASHI’s I DO Bridal Sweepstakes

3 DAYS AGO
Dunkin’s Diamonds wins ASHI’s I DO Bridal Sweepstakes

Announces launch of Lovebright Sweepstakes  

(NEW YORK) - ASHI announced the winner of their most recent I DO Bridal Sweepstakes. Among all participating retailers, Dunkin’s Diamonds in Ohio had the highest number of participant entries and the winner was randomly selected from their customer participa...

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John Ford continues award-winning streak with 2017 AGTA Spectrum Award

3 DAYS AGO
John Ford continues award-winning streak with 2017 AGTA Spectrum Award

(GALVESTON, Tex.) - John Ford triumphed again in two categories in the American Gem Trade Association’s 2017 Spectrum Awards. Ford won Platinum Honors in both the Evening Wear Division and the Business/Day Wear Division. The Spectrum Awards is said to be the Oscars of the jewelry industry - the most ...

Readmore

Darling Imports celebrates milestone anniversary

10 DAYS AGO
Darling Imports celebrates milestone anniversary

“Thanks for the last 25 years!”

For over the last two decades, Darling Imports has proudly supplied the gemstone community with gorgeous color. From humble beginnings of a basement in Hampton, Georgia ,“Mr. D,” Harold Darling, and Konrad Darling started this company focusing on top service and a pass...

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R Findings launches their latest “That Was Easy” website

10 DAYS AGO
R Findings launches their latest “That Was Easy” website

(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) - For 65 years R Findings has strived to provide the jewelry industry with products that save time and money, and to provide solutions. Their latest effort toward this goal is their new “That Was Easy” website.

Readmore

Roseco offering moissanite with graded certificate

10 DAYS AGO
Roseco offering moissanite with graded certificate

Roseco Inc. has announced they are now offering Charles and Colvard® Forever One™ moissanite that is certified D, E or F and graded by Precision Gem Grading Laboratory, an independent third-party lab. This certificate, packaged with each stone, allows the retail jeweler to make the same professional...

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Furry friends on the job: Kozzi of Norridge Jewelers

3 DAYS AGO
Furry friends on the job: Kozzi of Norridge Jewelers

Meet the hostess of Norridge Jewelers in Norridge, Illinois.  Kozzi has been greeting customers for seven years. She has made such an impression on her customers that they return bearing gifts - dog treats! She loves her job and puts a smile on the face of everyone she meets - whether in person or o...

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Furry friends on the job: Snorkel Sam Botnick - Worthmore Jewelers

10 DAYS AGO
Furry friends on the job: Snorkel Sam Botnick - Worthmore Jewelers

Introducing Snorkel Sam Botnick. The fur baby of Harris and Geri Botnick, owners of Worthmore Jewelers in Atlanta. Snorkle Sam is the official greeter and general manager of human resources. Conquering the jewelry industry on four paws and with no thumbs, he assists with the all around well being of...

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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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