Top independent jewelers and distinguished vendors from around the nation attended the exclusive Fall 2008 Retail Jewelers Organization (RJO) Buying Show in Minneapolis, Minnesota in late July.
The RJO Buying Show, held semi-annually, offered seminars and continuing education opportunities on several topics including best business practices, customized marketing, effective jewelry display and personal motivation. The show also provided independent jewelers the opportunity to talk to industry leaders, view the latest trends and purchase jewelry at pre-negotiated prices from some of the most recognized vendors in the industry.
This year’s show was themed “Rock On,” playing off Minneapolis’ inspiration to music greats. RJO brought a whole new meaning to “Rock On,” as this year’s show provided an atmosphere and avenue for jewelers and vendors alike to get motivated and rejuvenate their passion for the industry.
RJO members take a breather at the RJO Lounge located on the center of the show room floor.
“We bring together the best vendors and jewelers in the industry at each RJO show, allowing them to network and discuss trends and best business practices,” said Mary Peterson, CEO of RJO. “We provide a forum that isn’t just about jewelry - we want all of our members to have the tools to be good business people in each of their communities.”
Peterson continued: “2008 has been filled with a variety of interesting and somewhat challenging ‘opportunities.’ All of these situations provide the opportunity for us to make a very important decision... keep a positive attitude or don’t. Our members have responded and Minneapolis proved to be a positive springboard heading in to the 2008 holiday season.”
“Attending the RJO buying show gives us the ability to stay connected with the latest in the jewelry industry,” said Terry Dickens, co-owner of Herteen & Stocker Jewelers, Iowa City, IA and President of the RJO Board of Directors. “But, more importantly, we attend to take advantage of the competitive pricing associated with being a member of RJO, as well as the opportunity it provides to gather new ideas and promotions to take back and implement in my own store.”
The retail members of the group are not the only attendees to find success in attending one of the most “family-feeling” events in the industry. Exhibitors exuded similar sentiments. Greg Winokur, Regional Sales Manager for RJO vendor, Simon Golub & Sons, Inc. said, “The RJO show has a nice sense of community. The leadership of RJO does a nice job of making both the exhibitors and the members feel connected as a team.”
Prashant Mehta, Vice-President of DiaCentre, Inc. states, “The quality of buyers at the RJO shows has improved. The members attending these shows are serious about business and are there to transact business in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.”
Lastly, members of new RJO vendor, Shah Diamonds, Inc., Parag Shah (partner), Jemini Joshi (COO) and Michael Haider (Vice-President of Sales), continued, “RJO does a great job in introducing and promoting new vendors to the retail membership. No other industry event we have been to has taken the time or gone through the trouble to make their vendors feel so welcome.”
In 1966, RJO was founded by a small group of independent jewelers who joined together to command better vendor prices by buying collectively. Since that time, RJO has added hundreds of members, essential support programs and marketing services while remaining owned by its jeweler members. For more information, visit www.rjomembers.com.