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Last updateTue, 02 Feb 2016 8pm
Jewelers for Children announces 2016 Rings of Strength Tour

Jewelers for Children announces 2016 Rings of Strength Tour

Bike, run or walk to help children in need

Jewelers...

Darling Imports helps you keep up with the trends

Darling Imports helps you keep up with the trends

Every year consumers concern themselves with fashi...

South Carolina jeweler re-opens after second theft

South Carolina jeweler re-opens after second theft

“But those who suffer he delivers in their sufferi...

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Could more acidic oceans mean less pearls?

Could more acidic oceans mean less pearls?

Increasingly acidic sea conditions have been shown to weaken the shells of pearl oysters—but it appears these mollusks are pretty resilient creatures.

AsianScientist (Jan. 29, 2016) - Pearls have adorned the necklines of women throughout history, but ...

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Industry Events

Midwest Jewelers Conference & Show - A new show with a history

Midwest Jewelers Conference & Show - A new show with a history

 

The 2016 Midwest Jewelers Conference & Show (MJC) is the “new” Jewelers Educational Conference, a regional jewelry conference and show that has been held biannually in suburban Kansas City, Missouri for 16 years. The name change, along with a mo...

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On The Move

Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology awards outstanding students

Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology awards outstanding students

An awards ceremony was held for students attending the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology (TIJT) at Paris Junior College at the end of the fall semester.

Winners of a student design contest were: Jonathan Martin in CAD/CAM, Tony Henderson in Wax Ca...

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What's New

Jewelry Website Designers rolls out exciting new website

Jewelry Website Designers rolls out exciting new website

Jewelry Website Designers (JWD), a leading designer of websites for the jewelry industry, has announced the launch of a completely new website ( www.jewelrywebsitedesigners.com ) for 2016 that includes more intuitive navigation, and a line up of valuab...

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Featured Articles

Esperanza Diamond Tour starts in Arkansas

Esperanza Diamond Tour starts in Arkansas

Hailed as most valuable diamond ever found in U.S.

There are events that happen with such incredible timing and good fortune it almost seems like divine intervention is at work. Such is the case with the 8.52-carat Esperanza Diamond rough. From its se...

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Latest News

Could more acidic oceans mean less pearls?

6 DAYS AGO
Could more acidic oceans mean less pearls?

Increasingly acidic sea conditions have been shown to weaken the shells of pearl oysters—but it appears these mollusks are pretty resilient creatures.

AsianScientist (Jan. 29, 2016) - Pearls have adorned the necklines of women throughout history, but some evidence suggests that the gems’ future could...

Readmore

World's top 10 rookie gold mines

6 DAYS AGO
World's top 10 rookie gold mines

These high-grade mines will soon start competing with gold mining's industry leaders

The gold market is not a traditional mineral commodity market where one is able, under certain assumptions and limitations, to analyze supply/demand relationships and to make reasonable forecasts regarding future pri...

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Jewelers for Children announces 2016 Rings of Strength Tour

8 DAYS AGO
Jewelers for Children announces 2016 Rings of Strength Tour

Bike, run or walk to help children in need

Jewelers for Children (JFC) will hold the fourth installment of the very popular Rings of Strength on Thursday, June 2 in Las Vegas. Start time will be at 5:30 a.m. outside the tour bus entrance at the Mandalay Bay Resort Casino. Participants will be able to...

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Midwest Jewelers Conference & Show - A new show with a history

8 DAYS AGO
Midwest Jewelers Conference & Show - A new show with a history

 

The 2016 Midwest Jewelers Conference & Show (MJC) is the “new” Jewelers Educational Conference, a regional jewelry conference and show that has been held biannually in suburban Kansas City, Missouri for 16 years. The name change, along with a move to Kansas City’s downtown Power & Light Ent...

Readmore

Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology awards outstanding students

8 DAYS AGO
Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology awards outstanding students

An awards ceremony was held for students attending the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology (TIJT) at Paris Junior College at the end of the fall semester.

Winners of a student design contest were: Jonathan Martin in CAD/CAM, Tony Henderson in Wax Carving and Andrew Ferguson in Fabrication and Desig...

Readmore

Industry veteran Michael Haider joins Taché USA as VP of Sales

13 DAYS AGO
Industry veteran Michael Haider joins Taché USA as VP of Sales

(NEW YORK) – Taché USA, a leading manufacturer of fine diamond jewelry, from bridal to fashion, is pleased to announce that industry veteran Michael Haider has joined the company as Vice President of Sales.

Michael will have the responsibility of working with existing customers as well as developing n...

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Jewelry Website Designers rolls out exciting new website

8 DAYS AGO
Jewelry Website Designers rolls out exciting new website

Jewelry Website Designers (JWD), a leading designer of websites for the jewelry industry, has announced the launch of a completely new website ( www.jewelrywebsitedesigners.com ) for 2016 that includes more intuitive navigation, and a line up of valuable add-on services enabling independent jewelers t...

Readmore

JVC releases “Getting It Right - JVC’s Guide to Quality Programs for Jewelers”

19 DAYS AGO
JVC releases “Getting It Right - JVC’s Guide to Quality Programs for Jewelers”

(NEW YORK) - JVC has announced the publication of its latest guide - “Getting It Right – JVC’s Guide to Quality Programs for Jewelers” - published with a generous grant from International Gemological Institute (IGI).

The latest publication from the JVC provides simple and useable tools for all jeweler...

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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?

Gem-Sherry-Dec
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.

Gem-interior-Dec
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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