12172017Sun
Last updateTue, 12 Dec 2017 7pm
“That guy who baby sits jewelry stores”

“That guy who baby sits jewelry stores”

Longtime jeweler fires up retired ambulance to off...

GA jeweler makes ‘Black Panther’ ring for Marvel movies

GA jeweler makes ‘Black Panther’ ring for Marvel movies

Hans and Lynn Allwicher, co-owners of Jewelry Expr...

Gem Star Imports offers cutting-edge concepts & loyal service to retailers

Gem Star Imports offers cutting-edge concepts & loyal service to retailers

Gem Star Imports, a leading diamond jewelry manufa...

Floyd & Green Jewelers celebrating 25th anniversary

Floyd & Green Jewelers celebrating 25th anniversary

For Steve Floyd & Tom Williams, it seems like ...

Other News

Precious gems bear messages from Earth’s molten heart

Precious gems bear messages from Earth’s molten heart

New York Times article explores what gemstones tell scientists about the extreme forces at work deep underground 

Around 1920, Justo Daza, an experienced mine worker, and Fritz Klein, a mining engineer, were scrambling over the steep mountainside terr...

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Industry Events

GIA reports well attended Jewelry Career Fair and Open House

GIA reports well attended Jewelry Career Fair and Open House

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - GIA’s (Gemological Institute of America) Jewelry Career Fair and Open House drew nearly 900 gem and jewelry professionals, job seekers and members of the local community to the event’s 26th anniversary on October 13. This annual e...

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On The Move

Responsible Jewellery Council expands into the silver supply chain

Responsible Jewellery Council expands into the silver supply chain

(LONDON, UK) - The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has announced the expansion of its material scope to include silver. As the leading standards setting and certification organization for the fine jewelry and watch supply chain, this expansion add...

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What's New

GN Diamond unveils Diamond Hunt

GN Diamond unveils Diamond Hunt

Free in-store tool designed to help retailers sell more diamonds

Qualifying a customer’s budget is a common hurdle faced by jewelers and their sales associates on a daily basis. GN Diamond listens to the common pain points experienced by jewelers and ...

Readmore

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Featured Articles

Latest News

Precious gems bear messages from Earth’s molten heart

4 DAYS AGO
Precious gems bear messages from Earth’s molten heart

New York Times article explores what gemstones tell scientists about the extreme forces at work deep underground 

Around 1920, Justo Daza, an experienced mine worker, and Fritz Klein, a mining engineer, were scrambling over the steep mountainside terraces of Chivor, a legendary emerald site in northe...

Readmore

2017 Jewels for Children raffle raises over $9,000 for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Richmond

4 DAYS AGO
2017 Jewels for Children raffle raises over $9,000 for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Richmond

(RICHMOND, Vir.) - Richmond’s independent jewelers are pleased to announce that their 2017 Jewels for Children raffle raised $9,450 for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Richmond at the Children’s Hospital Foundation Ball held November 3 at the Country Club of Virginia. The annual raffle, organiz...

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GIA reports well attended Jewelry Career Fair and Open House

16 DAYS AGO
GIA reports well attended Jewelry Career Fair and Open House

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - GIA’s (Gemological Institute of America) Jewelry Career Fair and Open House drew nearly 900 gem and jewelry professionals, job seekers and members of the local community to the event’s 26th anniversary on October 13. This annual event at GIA’s Carlsbad World Headquarters was bust...

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IGI presents at AliExpress event ahead of Major Chinese Ecommerce Day

16 DAYS AGO

(SHANGHAI, China) - The International Gemological Institute’s (IGI) Shanghai team delivered a lecture at the AliExpress “Double Eleven Jewelry Industry Gold Sellers Training Session” in Hangzhou, China. AliExpress is an ecommerce platform owned by Alibaba (currently the world’s largest retailer).

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Responsible Jewellery Council expands into the silver supply chain

4 DAYS AGO
Responsible Jewellery Council expands into the silver supply chain

(LONDON, UK) - The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has announced the expansion of its material scope to include silver. As the leading standards setting and certification organization for the fine jewelry and watch supply chain, this expansion adds another key sector to the RJC’s remit, helping t...

Readmore

Jewelry writer Diana Jarrett nabs top notch kudos

4 DAYS AGO
Jewelry writer Diana Jarrett nabs top notch kudos

Popular gemologist-journalist earns Top Ten spot in 2017 national competition

(NEW YORK) - American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (AFMS) has announced the results of their annual Bulletin Editors Contest. Prolific journalist Diana Jarrett ranked in the Top Ten leaderboard among a hoard of Nort...

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GN Diamond unveils Diamond Hunt

11 DAYS AGO
GN Diamond unveils Diamond Hunt

Free in-store tool designed to help retailers sell more diamonds

Qualifying a customer’s budget is a common hurdle faced by jewelers and their sales associates on a daily basis. GN Diamond listens to the common pain points experienced by jewelers and has responded by now offering retailers the abilit...

Readmore

Brad Huisken introduces retail sales training app

16 DAYS AGO

(DENVER) – As retailers face more pressure from online competition, it’s important for brick-and-mortar stores to make the most of every sales opportunity they have. Brad Huisken’s IAS Training provides sales associates and managers with the tools to build customer relationships and increase sales, a...

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Furry friends on the job: Yoooo, Adrian! The greeter at The Diamondaire

4 DAYS AGO
Furry friends on the job: Yoooo, Adrian! The greeter at The Diamondaire

Yoooo, Adrian! This is Adrian, the greeter at The Diamondaire in Saint Charles, Illinois. Adrian is a rescue pup from the Animal Welfare League in Chicago Heights. Lauren & Billy Metzer took her in about a year and a half ago and she went right to work greeting customers, protecting the store an...

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Furry friends on the job: Otto from Kester Jewelry store

11 DAYS AGO
Furry friends on the job: Otto from Kester Jewelry store

Otto the laser welding cat is a 4 year old rescue kitty. The second feline featured in our Furry Friends, Otto is the 4th kitty in 45 years to grace the Kester Jewelry store in Craig, Colorado, where he works side-by-side with owner Richard Tyser. 

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The Marketing Minute: Trend Spotting

2 MONTHS 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

2 MONTHS 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 Gem Gallery - starting a good habit

Sherry Frantz began her retail jewelry business years ago when she rented some space in a boutique. Her fledgling business was directed toward women shoppers and self purchase. So when, years later, she got a call from a local hospital with a request involving women and their health, Sherry listened. The hospital had been approached by an oncology nurse who wondered if they could attract and entice more women to get an annual mammogram with the promise of a pearl. The nurse was familiar with programs offered by jewelers to sell one pearl at a time to grow to a bracelet or necklace. Would women respond to a free pearl every year?

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Sherry Frantz, owner of Roanoke, Virginia-based The Gem Gallery.
Started just one year ago, Pearls of Hope is already a hit at the Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia. The program, born out of a hospital system wanting to promote their mammography services, has already touched many people.

“When I fist contacted Sherry at The Gem Gallery, I had no idea it would grow so fast,” says Hayden Barnes, senior marketing advisor in charge of strategic development at Carilion. “Sherry and I agreed she would order 10,000 pearls, and she offered to sell them to us at cost to get us started.”  Hayden and her team planned to give one pearl to each woman after getting an annual mammogram at the non-profit hospital’s many local mammography locations. An ad was created and word started to get out.

Sherry did not sell the first order at cost, but instead The Gem Gallery underwrote the cost of the pearls. “My sister-in-law is a breast cancer survivor and recently I lost another family member to breast cancer, so the cause is near and dear to me,” says Frantz who had contacted pearl supplier Tracy Pearl’s owner Rebecca Shemwell about the order. “Rebecca jumped on board immediately and offered to get the first order at a special price.” The 10,000 5mm fresh water pearls were ordered in bags of 100 and delivered to the Gem Gallery who in turn delivered them to the hospital.

Barnes dispersed the bags of 100 to the various mammography sites where the staff bags each pearl in an organza bag imprinted with the hospital’s logo along with a pillow of tulle netting and a card. The card is a reminder of the date to call for the next year’s appointment to be noted when the Pearl of Hope is presented to the patient. When the new year started, Carilion was running low on pearls and ordered another 20,000 pearls from Tracy Pearls.

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An interior shot of The Gem Gallery in Roanoke, Virginia.
This fall returning patients will receive their second pearl and Carilion hopes a tradition will begin. “We hope that our pearl gift will encourage women to come back to us to get an annual screening every year,” says Barnes.

Tracy Pearl’s Shemwell couldn’t help but wonder what they were doing with all these pearls. “I guess when you only think about your own single mammogram a year, you can’t imagine the thousands of exams done at multiple locations adding up so quickly.” What is really wonderful is that Tracy Pearls has just received a third order from the Gem Gallery for a year’s worth of pearls: 40,000! That is a lot of mammograms! Frantz and Shemwell both take great pride in being involved in such a worthwhile cause for women.

The Gem Gallery today is a much different business than when Frantz started with the space in a boutique 15 years ago. “I did not set out to be a jeweler, but working in first a J E Caldwell store and then for an independent jeweler while going to college gave me the bug.”

After graduating from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA with an electrical engineering degree, she worked in her field for one year and then quit to work in a store in Roanoke for a year before starting her business. While she knew she loved jewelry and the business of selling it, she knew nothing about running a business. With $13,000 to buy showcases, a safe and inventory, she worked 6 days a week for three years. She started out going to the JA New York Jewelry Show and “scoured every booth and bought single pieces based on the design’s merit, spending maybe $3000 on a trip.” The hotel she stayed at in Manhattan was so tiny, “I could not open my suit case on the floor between the bed and the door.”

“I couldn’t afford to make mistakes in the beginning, but I did!”

 

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The Gem Gallery’s Pearls of Hope program entices women to get an annual mammogram with the offer of a free pearl.
After a year and a half in the boutique, Frantz moved to an office location and then her own space in a shopping center and stayed there for eight years. She has been in her current location for five years. Today The Gem Gallery carries a wide assortment of jewelry and has a full time jeweler, a full time watch maker and a staff of 5 part timers. Frantz has a 3 1/2 year old daughter, so she is trying to work part time six days a week.

One of the best things she thinks she has recently done was to hire a twenty something year old woman who lacked jewelry skills, but makes up for it in on line social networking skills. The store now has a Facebook page and is using Constant Contact and Twitter to reach out to new customers while staying in touch with the existing ones. Frantz feels like this is directing her business into a new era and has seen positive results.

The store is holding their first ever Ladies Night this fall and plans to network with a local plastic surgeon that advertises extensively to the female market. “We are starting to do business a new way and it is very exciting to see results and new sales patterns.”

Something tells us Sherry Frantz is an open minded business woman who is not afraid to try something new.


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