News and Views from the 24 Karat Club Southeastern U.S.
When things get quiet in the office, as they often do at this time of year, I like to call a friend of mine who runs a jewelry store in the Florida Keys. He always has an interesting story to tell, and while we sometimes talk business, more often than not, we talk about business.
He told me he just got off the phone with a long time customer. He had known the guy since their college days, and every year at this time he bought his wife an important piece for her birthday. But this year, he called to say, with the high price of gold and diamonds, the bad economy, and his own business being off, he just wasn't "feeling it". It was nothing personal, but, he was scaling way back.
"Not a problem," my savvy friend replied, "and I appreciate the call". And, here's where it gets interesting. "But what are you going to buy her?" he continued. "You could buy her a fancy dress, a nice bag, or some other accessory that she'll wear a couple of times and that'll be the last you ever see of it.
"Or, you could buy her some new electronics, which by the time you get it home and figure out how to use it, will be obsolete. So, whether you are thinking clothes, accessories, or electronics, you'll spend a lot of money, and in two or three years, it will be worthless!
"Now, lets think about the things you've bought from me over the years...she still wears and enjoys every one of them! And, if she didn't, I'd be happy to give you full credit for any one of them, because gold and diamonds have held their value. I'll bet no one is offering you anything for her old cocktail dresses, purses or lap-tops!
"So, of course you're free to celebrate her birthday with whatever kind of gift you want. But, remember, unless it’s measured in karats, it’s not really a gift!". Needless to say, my wise old friend made another nice sale to this customer.
Every year, The 24 Karat Club awards a "Jeweler of the Year" and numerous scholarships to worthy applicants looking to improve their jewelry skills and expertise. To apply for a scholarship, you must be nominated by a member of The 24 Karat Club. Each year, 24 Karat Club members search through their rolodexes looking for that one deserving candidate to qualify for a scholarship award or nominate for "Jeweler of the Year". Because, just like my friend's customer who's jewelry is enjoyed every year, and becomes more valuable every year, The 24 Karat Club looks to reward and recognize the retail jewelers who are so valuable to us, year after year.
Howard Kelrick is President of Finger Mate and a board member of The 24 Karat Club. Finger Mate manufactures and installs expandable ring shanks and sells to retail jewelers throughout North America.