Last updateThu, 22 Feb 2018 4pm

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Retailer Roundtable: How do you wish customers happy holidays?

Q: How do you wish customers happy holidays?

“Starting in the first week of November we try to do a little something interesting each week. This year we’re starting things off with a pearl jewelry trunk show with Mastoloni. Following that, we’ll host events with Heather Moore, Lagos and others. In the first week of December, we host a customer appreciation party featuring select vendors. We’re primarily a bridal store, so this event allows us to put bridal and non-bridal vendors in front of our best customers and serve up foods and drinks. This event allows us to showcase color and diamond fashion, bridal of course, and even watches with TAG Heuer our primary watch brand. For our top customers we usually send out some sort of Christmas basket or flower arrangement. The flower arrangements typically last a few weeks serving as a centerpiece through the holidays. We try to shake things up with the Christmas holiday baskets. This year we’re assembling an array of products from small local businesses that people can enjoy snacking on, like jams and chocolates. We give back year-round, but in November and December more so. This November watch battery proceeds will benefit Harvest Texarkana and in December we’ll find another local charity to support.”

Fit for Miss Denmark: ‘Project of passion’ is the crowning glory for U.S. team

Crown MaryIt takes an American village to make a crown for Miss Denmark.

Mary van der Aa, a jewelry designer from Michigan who works mainly in Tucson, Ariz., is part of a talented team creating the crown - a far cry from the “brass and glass” variety. The crown is made of solid sterling silver with 1,400 handset stones including a 4.50ct umbalite garnet in the center, as well as blue topaz and cubic zirconia for spectacular sparkle. It’s a one-of-a-kind regal masterpiece valued at $25,000, fully assembled by hand.

Gary Dulac looks back on 40 years of gemstones, jewelry design and the one that got away

Dulac saph ringWhat do you do when you can’t get over the one that got away? Whether it’s been a few years or 30, you still think about it, realizing that everything else is forever benchmarked by it. Goldsmith Gary Dulac in Vero Beach, Florida understands. His ‘lost love’ occurred nearly 30 years ago and was a stunner to behold. With rich, vibrant red hues, vivid color saturation and little to no inclusions, he still regrets sending it back. It was one of the most stunning rubies he’s ever seen. And, he’s seen a lot!

Retailer Roundtable: Do you offer layaways?

Q: Do you offer layaways?

“Yes! Layaway is a wonderful way to begin closing a sale. Often times the client is set on something and just doesn’t have the funds for it at the moment. Offering the option of layaway really helps tie them to the piece emotionally and financially, rather than just leaving and potentially forgetting about it, or settling for a more affordable piece elsewhere. Not only are they tied to the piece because they’ve put down a deposit, but now the client feels he/she has accomplished something, like they are half way there. This is also a fantastic option for clients that do not get approved for financing and cannot pay a lump sum at once. It is so easy for them to think of it like ‘free financing,’ especially if it is for an engagement. They don’t need the ring until it’s time to propose anyway. I always ask if the proposal date is far off. If it is, my clients tend to really like this option. Twenty percent down, and one payment per month is my layaway agreement. They decide the amount of the payment, as long as it is made each month. This flexibility helps ease your clients and they tend to trust you in that you are there to help them through this. I would absolutely recommend offering layaway options to any jeweler that has not done it before. I have only had positive experiences and higher close rates as a result.” 

Jewelry at the Museum I and II

In most people’s lives, they only have a single opportunity to visit the Smithsonian Museum. But for jewelry designer Brenda Smith, founder of Brenda Smith The Art of Fine Jewelry, she has had two pieces of jewelry submitted to the esteemed museum in the last three years.

After a career dedicated to creative work, Brenda reinvented herself and became a jewelry designer in 2009. She doesn’t come from a jewelry background or a family business history in the business. But, designing, forging precious metals and completing color palettes with gemstones, was a natural extension of her creative work in graphic design, advertising, creative director at a college and a marketing manager for a large manufacturing company - her final corporate job before her career shift to a jewelry designer.

Adventure awaits you in Cleveland with Bluestone Trading Co.

Looking for adventure in Cleveland, Ohio? Bluestone Trading Company’s founder RB Grampp, Sr. took a gamble that paid off in the precious metals industry.

The year was 1978, and RB was living life on two wheels, traveling in every direction that his motorcycle took him. Roaming in the hustle and bustle of Cleveland, he stumbled across a street sign that read Bluestone. From there Bluestone Trading was born.

Bluestone staff Oct

Overnight’s Retailer Survival Guide for the changing market

Ovnght bridalWe’ve all seen the statistics on the changing jewelry market: the long-term retailers and suppliers going out of business, the growing market share for online shopping, and the changing lifestyles and tastes of Millennial consumers. According to the Jewelers Board of Trade, there are 13 percent fewer jewelry-only stores this year compared to last.