08202017Sun
Last updateTue, 15 Aug 2017 9pm

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...

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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 ...

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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 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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