02202017Mon
Last updateTue, 14 Feb 2017 4pm
Big idea for little diamonds

Big idea for little diamonds

HH Gold turns retailers’ melee into by-the-inch cr...

Paying tribute to one of the oldest bench jewelers in the southeast

Paying tribute to one of the oldest bench jewelers in the southeast

John Bosco:  May 23, 1924 - December 14, 2016

The f...

Retailer Roundtable: Is the bead trend over?

Retailer Roundtable: Is the bead trend over?

Q: Is the bead trend over?

“The bead trend is defin...

Jewelers Helping Jewelers

Jewelers Helping Jewelers

The Southern Jewelers Guild takes a look at the exp...

Other News

Printing up compassion in 3D

Printing up compassion in 3D

There is no remedy to cure the tragic hurt caused by the loss of a child. For a grieving parent, the best one can hope for is time to process the pain and a few happy memories. Time comes easy, but for parents of stillborn children, happy memories ar...

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Industry Events

Continental Buying Group conducts live, on-site testing for lab grown diamonds at January Show

Continental Buying Group conducts live, on-site testing for lab grown diamonds at January Show

GSI & G-Cal tests find 100% of vendors in compliance

As part of its ongoing commitment to excellence, the Continental Buying Group (CBG) conducted on-site testing of live diamond goods during the January 23-25, CBG Show in Orlando.

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On The Move

Noble Display and Packaging merges with J. Grant & Co.

Noble Display and Packaging merges with J. Grant & Co.

Noble Group brings greater service, products, pricing for independent jewelers

(CEDAR GROVE, N.J.) - Noble Display and Packaging has announced the completion of its merger with J. Grant & Co., a display and packaging company known for designing and...

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What's New

Sterling Reputation releases 2017 Supplement

Sterling Reputation releases 2017 Supplement

Sunrise, FL-based supplier of fashion-forward, high quality sterling silver jewelry, Sterling Reputation is pleased to present it’s new 2017 supplement. The new supplement features 20 beautiful new styles, many tailored to the Millennial generation.

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Featured Articles

Retailer Roundtable: How was your Christmas season and what were your hot sellers?

Retailer Roundtable: How was your Christmas season and what were your hot sellers?

Q: How was your Christmas season and what were your hot sellers?  

“The actual numbers are still being tabulated, but what I can say is the numbers are close to 10 percent over last year’s holiday season. Which was quite a surprise as the months and we...

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Latest News

Printing up compassion in 3D

5 DAYS AGO
Printing up compassion in 3D

There is no remedy to cure the tragic hurt caused by the loss of a child. For a grieving parent, the best one can hope for is time to process the pain and a few happy memories. Time comes easy, but for parents of stillborn children, happy memories are often in short order.

Srdjan Urosev hopes his com...

Readmore

NRF forecasts retail sales will increase 3.7- 4.2 percent over 2016

5 DAYS AGO
NRF forecasts retail sales will increase 3.7- 4.2 percent over 2016

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The National Retail Federation (NRF) released its economic forecast for 2017 last week, projecting retail industry sales, which exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants, will grow between 3.7 and 4.2 percent over 2016. Online and other non-store/online sales, which ...

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Continental Buying Group conducts live, on-site testing for lab grown diamonds at January Show

11 DAYS AGO
Continental Buying Group conducts live, on-site testing for lab grown diamonds at January Show

GSI & G-Cal tests find 100% of vendors in compliance

As part of its ongoing commitment to excellence, the Continental Buying Group (CBG) conducted on-site testing of live diamond goods during the January 23-25, CBG Show in Orlando.

Readmore

Estate jewelry speakers announced for 2017 Northwest Conference

19 DAYS AGO
Estate jewelry speakers announced for 2017 Northwest Conference

 

The Northwest Jewelry Conference (NWJC) has announced the lineup for its fifth year of small group estate jewelry education August 11-13, 2017 in Seattle, WA.

“Our selected instructors are asked to give insightful and original presentations to challenge a passionate group of antique and period jewel...

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Noble Display and Packaging merges with J. Grant & Co.

5 DAYS AGO
Noble Display and Packaging merges with J. Grant & Co.

Noble Group brings greater service, products, pricing for independent jewelers

(CEDAR GROVE, N.J.) - Noble Display and Packaging has announced the completion of its merger with J. Grant & Co., a display and packaging company known for designing and manufacturing Ice Grip displays, modular Breakawa...

Readmore

RDI Diamonds achieves Responsible Jewelry Council certification

11 DAYS AGO
RDI Diamonds achieves Responsible Jewelry Council certification

(LONDON) - The Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC) has announced that RDI Diamonds, Inc. has achieved Certification against the 2013 Code of Practices (COP) at its trading office in New York.

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Sterling Reputation releases 2017 Supplement

5 DAYS AGO
Sterling Reputation releases 2017 Supplement

Sunrise, FL-based supplier of fashion-forward, high quality sterling silver jewelry, Sterling Reputation is pleased to present it’s new 2017 supplement. The new supplement features 20 beautiful new styles, many tailored to the Millennial generation.

Readmore

ASHI Diamonds launches Bridal 2017 Marketing program

5 DAYS AGO
ASHI Diamonds launches Bridal 2017 Marketing program

(NEW YORK) - ASHI Diamonds is pleased to unveil its 2017 Bridal Books - Elegance Redefined. ASHI’s bridal line caters to “any bride’s hunt for the perfect one for her,” said Rajeev Pandya, partner of ASHI Diamonds. “Whether it’s the intricate milgraining, delicate lattice work, or soft curves, ASHI’s...

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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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