Last updateTue, 17 Apr 2018 11pm

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Libby Brown, the perfect fit to lead the Atlanta Jewelry Show

My mom always said, “Raise a child in the way he should go and when he is old he won’t depart from it.” Actually, I think that’s from the Bible, but she claimed it like it was hers. Libby Brown, the newly appointed executive director of the Atlanta Jewelry Show (AJS) is living proof that statement is true. She’s a dyed in the wool jewelry kid who grew up in a small retail store in South Georgia.

Retailer Roundtable: What is your business outlook for 2018?

“Based on our December 2017 sales, which were up 23 percent compared to the same time period the year before, I’m very optimistic about 2018. Usually our custom shop is very busy that time of the year, but this holiday season it was about the same. Surprisingly we sold a lot of our finished inventory of bread-and-butter goods, from diamond and fashion color to diamond essentials – such as studs, which we did very well with over the holidays. This holiday season the volume of sales was definitely up.

Parker’s Karat Patch carves out big local niche

It was an unlikely career for Kristin and Terrence Laughter. Not that they didn’t want to work in the jewelry industry, but rather, they started life together traveling the world while Terrence served his country as an Army Infantry solider. Sure, they’d grown up together in Asheville, North Carolina, and married as high school sweethearts, but neither had a direct connection to jewelry and Terrence was busy learning the logistics of combat fighting, not tapping into his creative side.

Southern Gates® Jewelry launches exclusive collection with Biltmore®

(CHARLESTON, S.C.) - Jewelry design and wholesale firm, The Cargo Hold, Inc., is introducing a new series from their best-selling Southern Gates® Collection in a licensing partnership with Biltmore. This limited six-piece release features sterling silver jewelry inspired by the historic architecture and exquisite craftsmanship of Biltmore in Asheville, NC.

Travis Piper, the $1 Million Man

In 1997, Travis Piper went off to college with an aviation scholarship to become a pilot. Within a year, he changed course after working in a jewelry store. Twenty years later, what began as a part-time college job has become a lifelong career path as a custom jeweler and retail jewelry store-owner. After opening his first jewelry store in 2012, then expanding to a new store in August 2016, Travis is officially running a $1 million business at the close of 2017. 

Retailer Roundtable: With repairs, what’s your response when asked about switching a diamond?

Q: With repairs, what’s your response when asked about switching a diamond? 

“I think the industry is still feeling the effects of that high profile [NBC] Dateline story from 2005 when a New York-based jeweler was caught and arrested for doing just this. Unfortunately, this news story indicted all jewelers. Our solution is being transparent, literally. We have a 5’ x 3’ viewing window of the jeweler’s workshop. People can watch me set their diamond, while they wait or by appointment.