Dancing with the Stars performer partners with group to launch new jewelry line
(NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.) - Members of Leading Jewelers Guild (LJG), a prestigious member-owned jewelry organization of independent retailers, assembled at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach, CA for their 53rd annual July Meeting and Show from July 9 to 13
“This year members brought more of their families, we had more prospective new members and more vendors than ever before,” said Leading Jewelers Guild President Tony Prater (Jensen Jewelers, Twin Falls, ID), “The Island Hotel was sold out as were several other hotels in the vicinity.”
Dancing with the Stars featured performer Maksim Chmerkovskiy introduced his new line of men’s jewelry manufactured by Titan Designs of Los Angeles. Chmerkovskiy spoke of his experiences on the show, and his inspiration for the collection, followed by a photo op. “Here’s what you need to know,” said Titan President, Chad Haggar, “SCHMER—KOFF—SKEE, it’s only three syllables, but we just call him ‘Maks.’” The Guild has devoted one page of their fall catalog program to launch the Maksim Collection.
“The real focus of this meeting was introducing ourselves to the prospective new members and vice versa,” said LJG Board Chair, Elise Kreisberg (Greenberg Jewelers, Sioux City, IA). Company presentations from select existing members were interspaced with introductions by prospectives. “The more we share our strengths, the better we can help one another develop as individual businesses and the stronger our group becomes,” said Kreisberg.
Kate Peterson of Performance Concepts and Chris Ploof of Chris Ploof Studio spoke on behalf of the Palladium Alliance International (PAI), and showed Leading Jewelers Guild members a special ‘sneak preview’ of PAI’s upcoming “I’m SO Over Heavy Metal” consumer advertising campaign, featuring celebrities Pamela Anderson, Rose McGowan and Kelly Osbourne. Peterson and Ploof acknowledged problems with palladium products in the past, but assured the group that between technical advances with the metal and PAI’s ongoing support, the new palladium designs offered deliver on the promise of a high quality, pure white metal product at a reasonable consumer price point. “I’ve always relied on Leading Jewelers Guild members to offer honest, direct feedback and once again, the group came through. We’ve already implemented a number of the group’s suggestions,” Peterson said.
Embedded in the five day meeting is a two-day vendor show where 63 select vendors were invited to exhibit their lines and services. These included key LJG suppliers for the group’s upcoming fall catalog program, as well as a number of new vendors including Elle Jewelry, Ritani, Unique Settings of NY, Harout R, Benchmark, Honora, I. B. Goodman, Instock Programs, Classique Creations, Citra, H. J. Namdar, Metal Marketplace/Moress, Colorcraft, Supergems, Arkk Jewelry, Inox/Salesone, Noble Gift Packaging and Blitz Mfg.
The meeting’s “grand finale” keynote address was presented by Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender, a speaking team who recently made Meetings & Conventions Magazine’s list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers. Kizer & Bender are widely referred to as retail anthropologists. They are well known for their unique and intensive consumer research which includes focus groups, intensive on-site studies, and posing as every kind of customer you can imagine. “We personally research and custom tailor each of our presentations so they exceed the individual needs of our clients,” said Georganne Bender. “Attendees leave with more ideas than they will be able to implement... and, we are always just a telephone call away.”
“To add some fun to the vendor show, we gave a 4 day/3 night Norwegian Cruise Line certificate to the member who sees EVERY vendor at the show,” said LJG Executive Director, James “Jimmy” West. “A number of members qualified for the drawing; the Ritchie family won the prize.” The certificate was donated by Travel Promoter CMC/Meridian who was unable to attend.
Members, vendors, staff and their families relaxed together at a pool side cocktail party, held in the hotel’s lush outdoor spaces, which included Leading Jewelers Guild’s annual awards presentation. Star Ring (of Chatsworth, CA) received the 2010 Vendor of the Year award for the successful expansion of their line featuring the proprietary alloy Platina 4™. Robert Marks (of Rogers Jewelers of Modesto, CA) received the 2010 Leader of the Year, for service in reforming the dues structure. He served as president of LJG during 2009-10, and recently completed a year as Chairman of the Board.
Prospective new members attending included: Everett W. Osborne (Osborne Jewelers), Huntsville, AL; David, Teri, Jessica and Ian Hayman (David Hayman Jewellers) Yorba Linda, CA; Koko, Lena and Vatche Vartanian (Rodeo Jewelers) La Verne, CA; Chris, Peggy and Matt Coleman (Nelson Coleman Jewelers) Towson, MD; Bill & Mark Gross (Wm. Gross Diamond Co.) Louisville, KY; and Stuart Dunkin (Dunkin’s Diamonds) Heath, OH.
Leading Jewelers Guild, an organization completely owned by its member jewelers, through its collective intelligence and buying power, offers membership the opportunity to lower overall operating costs in a strong, sharing and relationship driven environment. Leading Jewelers Guild is an invaluable merchandising, marketing, catalog advertising and production resource dedicated to the overall business needs of their member companies. For more information contact James “Jimmy” West, Executive Director at 310-820-3386.