09042015Fri
Last updateWed, 02 Sep 2015 12am

Tracy Pearls founder, Tracy Bronson dies at 90

Henry (Tracy) Bronson, founder of Tracy Pearls, di...

ICA appoints Gary Roskin as Executive Director

ICA appoints Gary Roskin as Executive Director

(NEW YORK) - The International Colored Gemstone Ass...

New appointment strengthens Endless Jewelry’s global marketing team

New appointment strengthens Endless Jewelry’s global marketing team

Endless Jewelry has appointed Mikkel Berg as globa...

Hoover & Strong announces new Fairmined metal source

Hoover & Strong announces new Fairmined metal source

Currently sourcing Fairmined gold and silver from ...

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...

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How Extremely Tiny Diamonds Could Be Used To Deliver Drugs

How Extremely Tiny Diamonds Could Be Used To Deliver Drugs

What good is a diamond so small that you need one of the most powerful microscopes in the world to see it? Scientists are working on ways to use these tiny treasures to deliver drugs more effectively.

Nanodiamonds are much like the diamonds you've see...

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Industry Events

Distinct points of view and a broad product range define JA New York Summer 2015

(NEW YORK) - The JA New York Summer show, held July 26 - 28th at the Jacob Javits Center, was host to an astounding breadth of product offerings in a serene and welcoming environment. Architectural or personalized pieces on display in the designer pav...

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On The Move

JBT President Dione Kenyon to retire

JBT President Dione Kenyon to retire

Dione Kenyon has announced to the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) Executive Committee her plans to retire from JBT, with a time frame dependent on transitioning her replacement, in 2016.

At that time, she will complete 14 years as JBT President, 25 year...

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What's New

Bulova redefines technology with UHF

Bulova redefines technology with UHF

(NEW YORK) – Having debuted in Bulova Accutron II and the Precisionist collection, Bulova’s proprietary high performance UHF (Ultra High Frequency) movement is now being extended into its Sea King and Military collections.

The heart of the movement is ...

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Featured Articles

Diamonds ‘n Dunes delivers cosmopolitan style to the Outer Banks of North Carolina

Diamonds ‘n Dunes delivers cosmopolitan style to the Outer Banks of North Carolina

When Eileen Alexanian and Ken Kelley left New York City to vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, they never expected it to be a life changing trip. But the husband and wife jewelry team, who’d worked in the heart of the New York Diamond Dist...

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Latest News

How Extremely Tiny Diamonds Could Be Used To Deliver Drugs

2 DAYS AGO
How Extremely Tiny Diamonds Could Be Used To Deliver Drugs

What good is a diamond so small that you need one of the most powerful microscopes in the world to see it? Scientists are working on ways to use these tiny treasures to deliver drugs more effectively.

Nanodiamonds are much like the diamonds you've seen on expensive jewelry — they are faceted, extreme...

Readmore

Retailers estimate shoplifting, incidents of fraud cost $44 billion in 2014, according to National Retail Security Survey

2 DAYS AGO

(LONG BEACH, Calif.) - A study released from NRF PROTECT, the industry’s largest retail loss prevention event in North America, finds that retailers lose billions of dollars to shoplifting, employee and vendor theft and administrative error - collectively known as inventory shrink. According to the N...

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Tracy Pearls founder, Tracy Bronson dies at 90

3 DAYS AGO

Henry (Tracy) Bronson, founder of Tracy Pearls, died on May 31, 2015. Bronson opened Tracy Pearls, a pearl importing and wholesaling company in 1960. He worked there until 2004 when he sold the company to Rebecca Shemwell. Tracy and Rebecca had been partners until she bought him out. Rebecca will be...

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ICA appoints Gary Roskin as Executive Director

3 DAYS AGO
ICA appoints Gary Roskin as Executive Director

(NEW YORK) - The International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) is pleased to announce that well-known gems and jewelry expert Gary Roskin has been appointed as ICA Executive Director.

Mr. Roskin began in the new position on August 4 at ICA’s New York office. He is responsible for ICA’s day-to-day a...

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JBT President Dione Kenyon to retire

2 DAYS AGO
JBT President Dione Kenyon to retire

Dione Kenyon has announced to the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) Executive Committee her plans to retire from JBT, with a time frame dependent on transitioning her replacement, in 2016.

At that time, she will complete 14 years as JBT President, 25 years of service to JBT, beginning as a Board Director...

Readmore

Findings manufacturer, American Jewelry Components opens in Detroit

3 DAYS AGO

(DETROIT, Mich.) - In the heart of Motor City, you’ll find a new jewelry manufacturing firm with an exceptional combination of skills and deep roots in the jewelry industry. A full-service jewelry manufacturer with a focus on high-volume die striking, American Jewelry Components, LLC. (AJC) formed ea...

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Bulova redefines technology with UHF

3 DAYS AGO
Bulova redefines technology with UHF

(NEW YORK) – Having debuted in Bulova Accutron II and the Precisionist collection, Bulova’s proprietary high performance UHF (Ultra High Frequency) movement is now being extended into its Sea King and Military collections.

The heart of the movement is a three-prong quartz crystal producing a vibration...

Readmore

Jewelers Mutual announces coverage of smart jewelry

3 DAYS AGO

(NEENAH, Wis.) - In response to rising interest from smart jewelry owners looking to protect their investments, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company announces its coverage of smart jewelry with the same worldwide personal jewelry insurance protection it offers for traditional jewelry.

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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.

 

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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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