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Florida’s Gem Collection customers shop inside a stylish vault

With 40 years in the jewelry business and a distinguished background in fine arts and design, Tallahassee jeweler Don Vodicka had a lot of ideas about creating the perfect showroom, one of them particularly brilliant: Make the entire first floor a vault.

“Basically, the showroom is a 4,000-square-foot vault,” says Don, owner of The Gem Collection. “Rather than put everything away every night, try to load and unload – such a time-consuming thing, adding wear and tear on the jewelry – I came up with the idea. I talked to my father, who’s an architect, and said why not make the entire first floor a vault, a Class 1 vault?”

INSTORE’S The Smart Jewelry Show concludes with record attendance

(CHICAGO) - INSTORE’S The Smart Jewelry Show concluded its 3 day show at Chicago’s Navy Pier on Monday, April 26. With accolades from exhibitors, retailers and speakers, The Smart Jewelry Show has become an important show in the industry.

Attendance was over 1,000 store fronts, a 25% increase over last year. “The buzz from our 2009 show was extremely positive, resulting in a major spike in registration and traffic this year,” said Dan Kisch, INSTORE/INDESIGN publisher. “Chicago has proven to be the right city for this event. From the new exhibitors and retailers to informative speakers, this show had the right mix of education and product to generate excitement.”

William Sites, CGA wins 2010 Robert M. Shipley Award

AGS presents Sites with its highest honor at Conclave

(LAS VEGAS) - William Sites, CGA, owner and president of Sites Jewelers in Clarksville, Tennessee is the 2010 recipient of the American Gem Society’s Robert M. Shipley award. AGS members presented Sites with the award at their annual Conclave in Boston, Massachusetts on April 24.

Sites received the award based on his expertise and commitment to his community, personal business, the jewelry industry, and the American Gem Society, and because of his outstanding service to the AGS and his participation in local civic groups, service organizations, and industry charity boards.

Introducing the New (Old) Kim International Manufacturing

Given the economic roller coaster we’ve all been on the past two years, many independent jewelers have stepped back and taken stock of how they do business. Whether they’re looking for ways to cut their budget, or are trying to generate new, unique sales from previously untapped markets, small business owners have spent many a night contemplating the best way to keep their businesses open and thriving.

Heidi’s Fine Jewelry - building relationships for success

It’s been only 18 months since the doors to Heidi’s Fine Jewelry opened for business in Montgomery, Alabama. Operating out of an upscale Italian-styled complex shared by five other small businesses, Heidi Woods takes advantage of her unique surroundings by inviting clients to sit in the courtyard area and discuss custom orders while she sketches out their idea. She offers weary customers a seat in what looks like a living room as they sip cool beverages during a consultation in the interior design showroom that opens up next to her store. Heidi has established an easy, comfortable, almost homey feel to her store, and her customers get the message: You are valued here!

Holding history in their hands

West Point Cadet Joseph Simon, and his fellow classmates of 2011, received a tremendous gift this year; 16.44 ounces of donated gold. Worth a little more than $10,000, this gold is special. It’s seen Vietnam battles and traveled the world with heavy artillery divisions. It’s fought in WWII and the Korean War. It’s commanded the 82nd Airborne Division and received numerous awards including: Distinguished Service Medals, Silver Stars, Legions of Merit, Purple Hearts and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

Once in a blue moon: How a silversmith’s design made its way to the Red Carpet

Bob Moon had been delving happily in his life’s work for decades, designing and making silver and gold jewelry at his small shop in Barrington, Ill. - and then something remarkable happened.

He traveled to Blacksburg, Virginia, to attend the grand opening of a remodeled theater arts department building and a new black box theater building at Virginia Tech, where he’d received a bachelor’s degree in theater arts in the ’70s.

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