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Last updateWed, 26 Aug 2015 10pm
Veteran rep Carolyn Woltz Lennon retires

Veteran rep Carolyn Woltz Lennon retires

After 30+ years on the road covering North Carolin...

Shinola brings back American-built watches

Shinola brings back American-built watches

Business leaders that turn adversity into opportun...

Cargo Hold launches new line of classic, colorful bracelets

Cargo Hold launches new line of classic, colorful bracelets

(CHARLESTON, S.C.) - CARGO™ Enamel is the latest co...

Endless Jewelry strengthens senior management and secures investment

Endless Jewelry strengthens senior management and secures investment

“We proudly announce that we are strengthening the...

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Harmon Group’s 3 steps to handle negative comments on social media

Harmon Group’s 3 steps to handle negative comments on social media

Social media platforms have created a unique public forum for consumers to quickly spread their opinions and experiences with brands across the web for other consumers to read. And while social media can serve as a great tool to build brand loyalty a...

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Industry Events

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 Initiatives, Fun Networking Events

(ATLANTA) - The Atlanta Jewelry Show capped off its 65 th Anniversary year with fresh finds, new initiatives, educational and networking events and a festive finale tha...

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On The Move

Wholesale Moissanite expands its network of partners

(RALEIGH, N.C.) - Wholesale Moissanite, located in Research Triangle Park (RTP) in North Carolina, is an international wholesale-to-retail authorized distributor for Charles & Colvard created Moissanite. Wholesale Moissanite has been and continues...

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What's New

Retail consulting services for events now available from SimplexDiam

With more than 30 years experience providing jewelers with unique and exceptionally priced inventory along with premium service, SimplexDiam is proud to announce its new consulting services to help jewelers maximize their assets.

SimplexDiam can now h...

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Featured Articles

United Precious Metals Refining – steady growth since 1988

United Precious Metals Refining – steady growth since 1988

Established in 1988, United Precious Metals Refining (United) was founded by previous employees of the former P.M. Refining Co. in Buffalo, NY. A team of well experienced management, sales, office, assaying, refining, melting and fabrication personne...

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Latest News

Harmon Group’s 3 steps to handle negative comments on social media

4 DAYS AGO
Harmon Group’s 3 steps to handle negative comments on social media

Social media platforms have created a unique public forum for consumers to quickly spread their opinions and experiences with brands across the web for other consumers to read. And while social media can serve as a great tool to build brand loyalty and to foster customer relationships, it can also s...

Readmore

How jetsetting thieves who stole over $3M in diamonds, jewelry were caught

4 DAYS AGO
How jetsetting thieves who stole over $3M in diamonds, jewelry were caught

When Portland, Oregon police department Det. Eric McDaniel and Sgt. Brian Hughes began to interrogate a thief who had robbed a local jeweler, they had no idea they were about to learn that the con man would lead them to a nationwide crime spree masquerading as a shopping spree.

A pair of diamonds wor...

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Atlanta Jewelry Show ends 65th anniversary celebration with a flourish

12 DAYS AGO
Atlanta Jewelry Show ends 65th anniversary celebration with a flourish

August 2015 Edition Filled With New Resources, New Initiatives, Fun Networking Events

(ATLANTA) - The Atlanta Jewelry Show capped off its 65 th Anniversary year with fresh finds, new initiatives, educational and networking events and a festive finale that truly celebrated the Association’s 65 years. Fro...

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24 Karat Club Southeastern U.S. holds 41st annual Banquet

19 DAYS AGO
24 Karat Club Southeastern U.S. holds 41st annual Banquet

 

Mary Hayes, Hayes Jewelry in Mobile, AL named 2015 Jeweler of the Year

(ATLANTA) - The 24 Karat Club Southeastern United States (SEUS) hosted its 41st annual black-tie Banquet at the Atlanta Country Club on August 8th. The elite event was well attended with approximately 200 leaders of the jewelry in...

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Veteran rep Carolyn Woltz Lennon retires

29 DAYS AGO
Veteran rep Carolyn Woltz Lennon retires

After 30+ years on the road covering North Carolina, South Carolina and part of Virginia, sales representative Carolyn Woltz Lennon has announced her retirement. Carolyn began her career in 1983 with CMI Jewelry Wholesale in Raleigh, NC. She went on to represent Minneapolis, MN-based Jewelmont then ...

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Wholesale Moissanite expands its network of partners

29 DAYS AGO

(RALEIGH, N.C.) - Wholesale Moissanite, located in Research Triangle Park (RTP) in North Carolina, is an international wholesale-to-retail authorized distributor for Charles & Colvard created Moissanite. Wholesale Moissanite has been and continues to be a leading distributor for Charles & Col...

Readmore

Retail consulting services for events now available from SimplexDiam

5 DAYS AGO

With more than 30 years experience providing jewelers with unique and exceptionally priced inventory along with premium service, SimplexDiam is proud to announce its new consulting services to help jewelers maximize their assets.

SimplexDiam can now help convert your assets into the maximum amount of...

Readmore

Hoover & Strong introduces Guaranteed Recycled Diamonds in their Harmony Diamond Auctions

5 DAYS AGO
Hoover & Strong introduces Guaranteed Recycled Diamonds in their Harmony Diamond Auctions

Hoover & Strong has announced they are now offering guaranteed recycled diamonds in their online Harmony Diamond Auctions.

Virginia based eco-friendly refiner Hoover and Strong is an avid supporter of the “green” movement and feels it is their social, environmental and moral obligation to produce...

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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!”

 

Gem-pearl
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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