09262016Mon
Last updateTue, 20 Sep 2016 11pm
TJA examines gemstone treatments at Annual Conference

TJA examines gemstone treatments at Annual Conference

The Tennessee Jewelers Association (TJA) hosted it...

24K Club SEUS honors Mark & Rhonda Jacobson with 2016 Jeweler of the Year Award

24K Club SEUS honors Mark & Rhonda Jacobson with 2016 Jeweler of the Year Award

(SMYRNA, Ga.) - Mark and Rhonda Jacobson, owners of...

Steve Silver - setting the ‘Gold Standard’ in appraisals

Steve Silver - setting the ‘Gold Standard’ in appraisals

Appraising jewelry – it’s about more than gemology...

Alabama’s Saltwater Seminar announces new venue at Perdido Beach Resort

Alabama’s Saltwater Seminar announces new venue at Perdido Beach Resort

The Alabama Jewelers Association (AJA) invites all...

Kentucky Jeweler identifies credit card scam

Kentucky Jeweler identifies credit card scam

One occurrence is an anomaly. Two instances of a p...

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Tracking gold’s ups and downs

Tracking gold’s ups and downs

King Midas lusted after it. The Incas worshipped it. Shiny flakes of it set off a 19th-century rush to California and ship captains never stop looking for it at the bottom of the sea. While gold has ignited passions for centuries, for today’s investo...

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Industry Events

Join ISG on a diamond mining field trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park

Join ISG on a diamond mining field trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park

The International School of Gemology (ISG) has announced a field trip to the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. This is a great opportunity to visit a real diamond mine and share knowledge and fun with ISG Global Network members...

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On The Move

Jeff Sadowsky named President of Global Fine Jewels

Jeff Sadowsky named President of Global Fine Jewels

Global Fine Jewels (GFJ), a division of world dia­mond trade leader Jay Gems, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeff Sadowsky as its new President. Sadowsky, a 48-year veteran of the jewelry industry, previously worked as Director of Acquisit...

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What's New

ELLE Time & Jewelry unveils Essence 2.0

ELLE Time & Jewelry unveils Essence 2.0

(DALLAS) - ELLE Time & Jewelry is excited to announce the release of Essence 2.0, the much requested extension to their best-selling Essence collection. 2.0 includes a fresh twist on the two stone trend by combining cushion cut and round cut spark...

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Featured Articles

Retailer Roundtable: What do you expect to be your holiday hot sellers?

Retailer Roundtable: What do you expect to be your holiday hot sellers?

Q:  What do you expect to be your holiday hot sellers?

“Two-stone rings haven’t performed real well for us, despite marketing the whiz out of it. Each holiday season we do very well with bridal. This year I’ve invested in Fire Polish to help increase ...

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Latest News

Tracking gold’s ups and downs

5 DAYS AGO
Tracking gold’s ups and downs

King Midas lusted after it. The Incas worshipped it. Shiny flakes of it set off a 19th-century rush to California and ship captains never stop looking for it at the bottom of the sea. While gold has ignited passions for centuries, for today’s investors, it seems, the metal has lost its allure. After...

Readmore

De Beers: Millennials spent over $25 Billion on diamond jewelry in 2015

5 DAYS AGO
De Beers: Millennials spent over $25 Billion on diamond jewelry in 2015

(IDEX Online) – Millennials spent more than $25 billion on diamond jewelry in 2015 in the four largest consumer markets, acquiring more than any other generational group, according to De Beers' Diamond Insight Report 2016.

Despite Millennials (those aged 15-34 in 2015) facing more financial challenge...

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Join ISG on a diamond mining field trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park

11 DAYS AGO
Join ISG on a diamond mining field trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park

The International School of Gemology (ISG) has announced a field trip to the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. This is a great opportunity to visit a real diamond mine and share knowledge and fun with ISG Global Network members, and those thinking about joining.

Readmore

JIS teams with Texas Jewelers Association to offer free trip to JIS Miami Show October 2016

11 DAYS AGO
JIS teams with Texas Jewelers Association to offer free trip to JIS Miami Show October 2016

Winner of trip for 2 to October Show will be announced at TJA Convention Sept. 25 th

 

(AUSTIN, Tex.) - There is no other selection of shows like that of Jewelers International Showcase (JIS), and one lucky attendee of the Texas Jewelers Association (TJA) 2016 Convention has the chance to win a trip for...

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Jeff Sadowsky named President of Global Fine Jewels

5 DAYS AGO
Jeff Sadowsky named President of Global Fine Jewels

Global Fine Jewels (GFJ), a division of world dia­mond trade leader Jay Gems, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeff Sadowsky as its new President. Sadowsky, a 48-year veteran of the jewelry industry, previously worked as Director of Acquisitions at GBC, Inc., and most recently as Vice Presi...

Readmore

Quality Gold acquires North American Jewelers, Inc.

11 DAYS AGO

(FAIRFIELD, Ohio) - Quality Gold has purchased North American Jewelers, Inc. (NAJ) the Chicago based supplier known for bridal and special occasion diamond jewelry. Along with NAJ, Quality Gold now owns Steckbeck Jewelry PVT LTD (STJPL), its wholly owned subsidiary and manufacturing facility opened i...

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ELLE Time & Jewelry unveils Essence 2.0

5 DAYS AGO
ELLE Time & Jewelry unveils Essence 2.0

(DALLAS) - ELLE Time & Jewelry is excited to announce the release of Essence 2.0, the much requested extension to their best-selling Essence collection. 2.0 includes a fresh twist on the two stone trend by combining cushion cut and round cut sparkling CZs in one design. Retail prices range from $...

Readmore

Stuller releases new 1,000-page mountings catalog

5 DAYS AGO
Stuller releases new 1,000-page mountings catalog

New styles, easy navigation, and more product detail than ever

(LAFAYETTE, La.) - Continuing to improve upon its 46-year foundation, Stuller, Inc. is excited to announce the release of its newest catalog, Mountings 2017-2018, just in time for the holiday season.

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From Big Apple to Peanut Capital, Ed Lafontaine comes full circle

Something special happens when an ‘infamous’ industry insider combines his talent and experience with a long-standing, highly regarded independent southern retailer. The result is nothing less than award-winning magic.

Such is the case with Ed Lafontaine and Ted’s Jewelers. The winning combination started almost one year ago and the partnership proves everyday just how successful the right business coupled with effective leadership can be.

Ted’s Jewelers, located in Dothan, Alabama was established in 1939. As one of the largest and most respected jewelers in the region, they were proud of their stellar reputation. Building a customer base that spanned three generations and crossed three states meant a lot to the company. In the fall of 2007, Lafontaine was tapped to temporarily join the team - and he’s never left. The self-professed ‘independent’ had earned his ‘stripes’ the hard way – on the road. For years he excelled as a traveling sales representative, even being asked to establish new divisions dedicated to the independent retailer at several major manufacturers.

 

teds-store-nov
Ted’s Jewelers has been serving Dothan, AL for nearly 40 years.

 

But it wasn’t until he started with Ted’s that he crossed over to the ‘other side of the counter’ and, officially, became an independent retailer.

“I’ve always been an independent at heart, and I’ll always be one. I believe relationships are vital to the success of an independent. Not just with customers either. It is also the relationship with your employees and suppliers,” states Ed.

As a man who starts each day with “It’s great to be alive,” it only takes one conversation to feel Ed’s enthusiasm and love for his store and the jewelry industry.

“Someone once told me that the jewelry business is a profession, not an occupation, and I have held to that as I moved through my career,” states Ed.

Having started in the industry with Gordon’s Jewelers in 1972, Ed quickly made a retail name for himself as he moved up the corporate ladder. Through a series of company changes and promotions he found himself on the other side of the counter as a manufacturing representative. He became well versed in the form and function of the independent by calling on them for 22 years. When retail owner Jerry Lake (owner of Carter’s Jewelers in Jackson, Mississippi) called Ed asking him to ‘try’ the position at Ted’s, the offer was very appealing. Returning to his retail roots appealed to Ed.

“At the time Jerry contacted me I was working out of New York and had been for some time. People thought I was crazy to leave the Big Apple for the Peanut Capital of the World, but to me it’s been like going home,” states Ed.

With 12,000 square feet of showroom and more than $3 million in inventory, ‘home’ doesn’t sound like a bad place to be. In addition to an extensive jewelry selection, Ted’s boasts more than 87 china place settings as well as top name brands in crystal (Waterford, Swarovski). But for Ed, it is the people who make the store home.

“It’s our people - our staff - that make this store special. Together they have over 100 years of retail jewelry experience. And, they act on behalf of each customer that walks in the door. Everyone in this store considers themselves a ‘personal jeweler’ to each and every customer,” comments Ed.

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“It’s our people... that make this store special,” says Ed laFontaine (center) of Ted’s Jewelers.

Understanding the challenges that face independents is one of Ed’s strong points. With years of experience spent listening to owners, he understands that it is hard for them to compete with the chains. But he reminds them that the time of the independent is now.

“Being able to hand select inventory for your customers, town or region as well as building personal relationships with them is what makes an independent more appealing than a chain store. People buy from people and, at the end of the day, when the purchase means a lot to them, it is human contact that they want. Many things have changed in the industry over the last 35 years, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is the emotion in what we do.”

And Ted’s Jewelers does evoke emotion. Whether it is loyalty and admiration for a family-owned company that’s been in business for more than 39 years, or the heart-felt satisfaction of having a second or third generation doing business with the same company as their great grandfather; either way the feelings are good. After all, customers who don’t know jewelry need to know a good jeweler.

Be sure to give Ed a call at 334-794-0686 or drop him an e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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