07252016Mon
Last updateWed, 20 Jul 2016 10pm
ASHI launches Fine Jewelry catalog

ASHI launches Fine Jewelry catalog

ASHI is pleased to announce the release of its new...

Eager to grow, eager to please, Costar Imports realizing goal of going national

Eager to grow, eager to please, Costar Imports realizing goal of going national

With expansions to the San Francisco Bay Area and ...

Retailer Roundtable:  At mid-year, how has 2016 been so far and what’s ahead?

Retailer Roundtable: At mid-year, how has 2016 been so far and what’s ahead?

At mid-year, how has 2016 been so far and what’s a...

Evans Jewelers creates a local “Destination” hot spot

Evans Jewelers creates a local “Destination” hot spot

“I cannot say enough wonderful things about Evans ...

Ron Rosen Jewelry’s Love Life collection: Unlike any you’ve seen

Ron Rosen Jewelry’s Love Life collection: Unlike any you’ve seen

‘Luxuriously affordable’ line draws rave reviews a...

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Startup wants to replace the silicon in your smartphone with diamonds

Startup wants to replace the silicon in your smartphone with diamonds

Chances are you’ve never heard of Akhan Semiconductor, but the company is well on its way to producing the hardware at the heart of your next smartphone, smartwatch, laptop, or virtual reality headset. The new components won’t only last longer and perf...

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Industry Events

Industry notables join panel at GIA’s New York Jewelry Career Fair

Industry notables join panel at GIA’s New York Jewelry Career Fair

Gem and jewelry’s largest recruiting event will take place July 25 at the Javits Center

(NEW YORK) - Prominent personalities from the gem and jewelry industry will join GIA at the Jacob Javits Center in New York for the Institute’s annual Jewelry Care...

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On The Move

Eaton Hudson launches new Jewelry Advisory Division

Eaton Hudson launches new Jewelry Advisory Division

Led by former Silverman Consultants’ team and focused on exit strategies and asset disposition

(ALPHARETTA, Ga. & TORONTO) - Eaton Hudson has announced the formation of a new division, Eaton Hudson Jewelry Advisors. Based in Charleston, SC, the div...

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What's New

P.Bo interchangeable Enchantables collection now available in silver

P.Bo interchangeable Enchantables collection now available in silver

Retailer demand spurs creation of lower price points

Exquisite, uncompromisingly crafted jewelry by P.Bo (Per Borup Design, Denmark), is now accessible for a wider audience than ever before, giving new meaning to the affordable luxury concept.

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Featured Articles

Not all was lost in the fire

Not all was lost in the fire

Namano salvages jewelry (and memories) scorched in house fire

There are over three hundred house fires each month in the state of Georgia alone. That’s a pretty mind-boggling number; multiply it nationally and the results are staggering: thousands and...

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Latest News

Startup wants to replace the silicon in your smartphone with diamonds

4 DAYS AGO
Startup wants to replace the silicon in your smartphone with diamonds

Chances are you’ve never heard of Akhan Semiconductor, but the company is well on its way to producing the hardware at the heart of your next smartphone, smartwatch, laptop, or virtual reality headset. The new components won’t only last longer and perform better than today’s tech, but their environmen...

Readmore

Q&A with Atlanta Jewelry Show Executive Director

4 DAYS AGO
Q&A with Atlanta Jewelry Show Executive Director

Carol Young, executive director of the Atlanta Jewelry Show, takes a few minutes to let us know what we have to look forward to at the upcoming show, August 6-8. Register online at www.atlantajewelryshow.com .

SJN: If it’s August, it’s the Atlanta Jewelry Show!

CY: Yes, it is, and we are so excited about ...

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Industry notables join panel at GIA’s New York Jewelry Career Fair

17 DAYS AGO
Industry notables join panel at GIA’s New York Jewelry Career Fair

Gem and jewelry’s largest recruiting event will take place July 25 at the Javits Center

(NEW YORK) - Prominent personalities from the gem and jewelry industry will join GIA at the Jacob Javits Center in New York for the Institute’s annual Jewelry Career Fair on July 25. The not-to-miss opening panel ...

Readmore

4th annual Rings of Strength Tour: Walking, running, biking and yoga to support Jewelers for Children

23 DAYS AGO
4th annual Rings of Strength Tour: Walking, running, biking and yoga to support Jewelers for Children

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers for Children held the 4th annual Rings of Strength Tour on Thursday, June 2, at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. More than 160 participants assembled at 5:30 a.m. to either walk or run 5K, or bike one of two courses, a leisurely 15K route or a challenging 50K route. ...

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Eaton Hudson launches new Jewelry Advisory Division

4 DAYS AGO
Eaton Hudson launches new Jewelry Advisory Division

Led by former Silverman Consultants’ team and focused on exit strategies and asset disposition

(ALPHARETTA, Ga. & TORONTO) - Eaton Hudson has announced the formation of a new division, Eaton Hudson Jewelry Advisors. Based in Charleston, SC, the division, led by the former Silverman Consultants tea...

Readmore

Jewelers of America announces 2017 GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement winner

11 DAYS AGO
Jewelers of America announces 2017 GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement winner

Jim Rosenheim of Tiny Jewel Box to Receive the prestigious award

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, and the GEM Awards Committee has announced that Jim Rosenheim, Chairman of Tiny Jewel Box in Washington D.C., will...

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P.Bo interchangeable Enchantables collection now available in silver

4 DAYS AGO
P.Bo interchangeable Enchantables collection now available in silver

Retailer demand spurs creation of lower price points

Exquisite, uncompromisingly crafted jewelry by P.Bo (Per Borup Design, Denmark), is now accessible for a wider audience than ever before, giving new meaning to the affordable luxury concept.

Readmore

ASHI introduces 2016 Holiday Marketing Program

4 DAYS AGO
ASHI introduces 2016 Holiday Marketing Program

ASHI, a premier diamond jewelry manufacturer servicing over 1,000 of the top independent retail jewelers across the USA, has launched its new and exciting 2016 Holiday Marketing Program. Experience “Love this Holiday Season” with ASHI’s beautiful Bridal Collection and the hottest trends in fashion j...

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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.

teds_staff_nov

“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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