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Last updateThu, 23 Mar 2017 12am

Other News

Crime against U.S. jewelers increases for first year since 2012

Crime against U.S. jewelers increases for first year since 2012

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) has released its 2016 Annual Crime Report covering crime against the jewelry industry in the United States. The total number of crimes against the industry increased from 1,117 in 2015 to 1,245 in 2016, a...

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Industry Events

Stuller hosts mini conference for jewelry group

Stuller hosts mini conference for jewelry group

Leading Jewelers Guild visits global headquarters

(LAFAYETTE, La.) - Stuller recently partnered with the Leading Jewelers Guild (LJG) to host a one-day conference at its global headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana, giving members of the guild an entire...

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On The Move

Jane Kirk appointed Executive Director of NC Jewelers Association

Jane Kirk appointed Executive Director of NC Jewelers Association

(RALEIGH, N.C.) - The North Carolina Jewelers Association (NCJA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jane Kirk as Executive Director, effective immediately. The Board’s action comes with the fullest confidence that Kirk will be an excellent stew...

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What's New

ASHI launches 2017 Lovebright Collection Book

ASHI launches 2017 Lovebright Collection Book

ASHI is excited to launch the 2017 Lovebright Collection Book for all of their retail partners to share with their customers. ASHI reports the positive feedback they have received from their retailers, and the overwhelming desire to ignite and promot...

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Featured Articles

Bill Spencer talks jewelry, family and the secret to a successful 3rd generation family business

Bill Spencer talks jewelry, family and the secret to a successful 3rd generation family business

Seventy three years and three generations is a long time to operate a jewelry store. Especially when, according to a Jewelers Board of Trade statistic, over 1,500 jewelry business owners ceased operating in 2016. Yes, that includes wholesalers, manuf...

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Latest News

Crime against U.S. jewelers increases for first year since 2012

1 DAY AGO
Crime against U.S. jewelers increases for first year since 2012

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) has released its 2016 Annual Crime Report covering crime against the jewelry industry in the United States. The total number of crimes against the industry increased from 1,117 in 2015 to 1,245 in 2016, an increase of 5.8%. Total dollar losses also incre...

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JA examines pending legislative issues most important to jewelry industry

1 DAY AGO
JA examines pending legislative issues most important to jewelry industry

Jewelers of America’s (JA) latest Legislative Update covers some of the big policy initiatives - including comprehensive tax reform, a potential import tax and the FTC’s “Cultured Diamond” terminology - that are in play for 2017 and their impact on jewelry businesses.

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Stuller hosts mini conference for jewelry group

1 DAY AGO
Stuller hosts mini conference for jewelry group

Leading Jewelers Guild visits global headquarters

(LAFAYETTE, La.) - Stuller recently partnered with the Leading Jewelers Guild (LJG) to host a one-day conference at its global headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana, giving members of the guild an entire day of education and networking.

Readmore

GJA, AJA announce 2017 Convention dates

23 DAYS AGO
GJA, AJA announce 2017 Convention dates

The Georgia Jewelers Association (GJA) and Alabama Jewelers Association (AJA) have announced they will cohost their annual Convention on March 31- April 2. Now in its 9th year, the two state organizations will join forces at the Marriott Grand National Resort & Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in O...

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Jane Kirk appointed Executive Director of NC Jewelers Association

23 DAYS AGO
Jane Kirk appointed Executive Director of NC Jewelers Association

(RALEIGH, N.C.) - The North Carolina Jewelers Association (NCJA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jane Kirk as Executive Director, effective immediately. The Board’s action comes with the fullest confidence that Kirk will be an excellent steward of NCJA’s goals and an advocate for North Caro...

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Belair Time Corp. names Chuck Goedtke Southeastern Sales Manager

23 DAYS AGO

Belair Time Corporation has announced the appointment of long-time watch industry veteran Chuck Goedtke to Southeastern Regional Sales Manager. Chuck will be covering Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky for Belair.

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ASHI launches 2017 Lovebright Collection Book

9 DAYS AGO
ASHI launches 2017 Lovebright Collection Book

ASHI is excited to launch the 2017 Lovebright Collection Book for all of their retail partners to share with their customers. ASHI reports the positive feedback they have received from their retailers, and the overwhelming desire to ignite and promote their store’s diamond sales, has been extremely ...

Readmore

ASHI launches the I DO Bridal Sweepstakes

15 DAYS AGO
ASHI launches the I DO Bridal Sweepstakes

Announces winner of #LovebrightValentine Sweepstakes

(NEW YORK) - ASHI is excited to launch the I DO Bridal Sweepstakes, to kickoff the wedding season for its retail partners. Retailers will be able to attract bridal shoppers to their stores, through various social media platforms, and let every bride...

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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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