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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...

Overnight explains how to say, “Yes!” to every sale

Overnight explains how to say, “Yes!” to every sale

Releases 2 new catalogs  

Being a jewelry retailer h...

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...

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

5 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

5 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”

5 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

12 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

22 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

26 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®

5 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...

Readmore

GN Diamond offering free Gemprint on all diamonds

12 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

5 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

12 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

5 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

12 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

 

 

 

 

 

Readmore

LeeBrant Jewelers’ new store on the cutting edge

(ATLANTA, Ga.) - When Lee Eskridge and Brant Bateman talk about LeeBrant Jewelers' new 15,000 square foot location, just opened in December, they are thrilled to describe the improvements the new location enjoys. Many are cutting edge in the jewelry business and some required research to find the suppliers to build or create different parts of the store. Today all the effort seems to be well worth the six plus years the project took from beginning to end.


LeeB-exterior-March
LeeBrant Jewelers' new 15,000 square foot location (just opened in December) is
aesthetically beautiful and contains technically advanced, cutting edge security features.

 

LeeBrant Jewelers is starting its fifteenth year in business with a brand new location in the popular Perimeter area of Atlanta. Just a few short miles from their previous location, Bateman and his business partner and long time friend Lee Eskridge, are proud of their new building and many of the security features they incorporated. The free standing building features showcases that each contain secure vaults to house the jewelry when the store is closed. "The showcases have a mechanism that in a single key swipe the floor board with displays and jewelry lowers into a steel vault, the show case light goes out and a steel door rolls in place to secure the vault. This saves countless hours of payroll for put out and take up of the jewelry, and also keeps the display elements and the jewelry in pristine shape for a long time," says Bateman. With these economies, Bateman says the cases will pay for themselves in about four years.


From a main key location all the cases can be emptied and secured simultaneously in 30 seconds. They use that method about once a week to ensure that all systems are go. A battery back up ensures that the cases can be secured in the event of a power outage. A card key system is used for opening the cases to show merchandise, and if an employee signals a case to open and then does not open the case, it automatically locks thirty seconds later. No showcase keys means no locks to change if someone loses a key card. The lost key card is simply deactivated.

 


The store's two diamond engagement ring cases feature a security system that notifies the store's computer system when an item is removed from the case. A chip on the tag alerts management which piece has been removed from the showcase. If a salesperson is working with a customer the system simultaneously displays a photo of the item and lists its characteristics on a video monitor behind the salesperson and tells the customer what other pieces come with the set. This aids in both security and sales. Additionally, a report can be generated to tell the diamond buyer which items are being shown and how often, and which pieces don't get pulled from the case at all. The store is working on this system and is excited about refining it and future uses.


A drive up window for customers with young children in the car, clients with disabilities or quick and easy repair pick up was constructed on one side of the building. "We want to get our clients and new customers in the store any time we can, but we realize that the drive through window is a convenience American consumers love. We hope that by providing that service we will build loyalty with our customers," said Bateman. The window is made with bullet proof glass.


The store also features plasma TVs and comfortable chairs near a bar area complete with wine cooler, dishwasher and ice maker. Men shopping with their wives won't need to rush out on Saturday afternoons to catch part of a game and can relax with a cold beverage.


The building is made almost entirely of steel and stone and features an impressive drive under portico entrance and an armed security doorman. The two story domed ceiling above the sales floor is painted sky blue with clouds to give a natural feeling. A beautiful T shaped double staircase leads to the upper level mezzanine and features the store logo on a soothing two story waterfall wall. The lower part of the staircase has removable railings and can be converted into a stage with sections stored in a closet under the stairs. They hope to use this and the upper level for special store events or for local community groups to hold meeting and events.

LeeB-interior-March


"All the showcases in the center islands on the sales floor can be taken upstairs via our elevator and stored for special events. The carpet in the islands on the sales floor can be rolled up and our beautiful granite floors can be used to seat 135 for dinner with another 75 seated upstairs," Bateman says. A kitchen area off the sales floor is configured to accommodate catering services and will soon feature a gas grill along with the full kitchen.


Plans for this move began years ago when the partners realized they were quickly out-growing the former strip center location they had been in since they opened LeeBrant Jewelers in 1994. They had expanded the original store from 1250 to 2500 square feet, but when that became too small and they could not convince their next door neighbor to move, started looking for land in 2001. Over the years they have put bids on several lots but encountered zoning problems. They did not want to move far from their original location, wanted good visibility and wanted to be at an intersection with a traffic signal. In April of 2007 they found the perfect corner lot and after six months of negotiations they began making plans to break ground in February, 2008.


Bateman comments: "With the current economic situation, the move may seem ill timed, but we were way into this project before the current conditions set in. We needed to move anyway and now we hope that our actions will bring us more visibility, traffic and new customers."


While Eskridge started out sweeping floors at the age of 12 or 13 in a jewelry store in Shelby, NC where his mother worked, Bateman grew up in Georgia thinking he would be a peach farmer after college. A call from Bateman's brother in 1978 about a job with a company that had just hired him brought Bateman, dressed in shirt and tie, to the Bailey, Banks and Biddle store in Perimeter Mall, just down the street from the new store's location. "I was just out of college. My brother said it was a good company and that they had a great training program. I guess they did because I'm still in the business 30 years later." This is where Bateman and Eskridge would meet and develop a friendship while learning the jewelry business. The decision to go into business together was made 16 years later. Bateman's brother is still in the jewelry business as well, working for Tiffany & Co. running their stores in Florida.


The team of employees the two partners have built is made up of experienced sales people with little turnover. Two gemologists are on staff as well as trained bench and watch repair staff. The owners value their staff and try hard to keep them. The new location has a large room closed off upstairs that will soon feature exercise equipment, showers and changing rooms for staff members who want to stay fit. Since LeeBrant's clientele is a higher end customer they work hard to keep them returning and happy. Each year they hold a customer appreciation evening with a full meal and bar service. In the beginning they would feature athletes to draw a crowd, but nowadays that is not necessary as their customers can't wait to attend. At the old location they would set up tents to hold all the customers, but at their new location that is a thing of the past.


LeeB-staff-MarchLeeBrant Jewelers does have one relationship with a spotlight personality that they hope never ends. Sean Hannity, the radio/television host, political commentator and author is often heard on his show talking about his friends Lee and Brant at LeeBrant Jewelers. He does ads about the store and mentions them frequently. He recently gave a Rolex watch he purchased from the store to his TV show co-host Alan Colmes when the pair ended their "Hannity & Colmes" show on January 9th. Hannity purchased the watch as he does everything else he gets from LeeBrant Jewelers and will not accept payment for the ads or discounted prices on merchandise. Both men say they appreciate very much what their customer and friend Sean has done and continues to do for them. The ads on talk radio have definitely helped the store's high end business and hence the majority of their advertising budget goes to other talk radio show spots. The store receives calls from consumers all over the US that have heard Sean mention the store and even some advertising people trying to sell ads as far away as NY call.


If you would like information about the cutting edge features at LeeBrant, Brant will be happy to direct other retail jewelers to the suppliers they worked with. The store's phone number is 770-551-8850 and Brant's e-mail is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The staff of LeeBrant Jewelers includes experienced salespersons, two gemologists and trained bench and watch repair personnel. (l-r) Ina Mavalyants, Paul Magnuson, Elizabeth Bateman, co-owner Brant Bateman, Co-owner Lee Eskridge, Ella Eskridge, Gary Brockmiller, Rachel Clark and Aline Ezquerra.

 


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