What’s in a New Name?
When graduate gemologist and sales associate Christy Martin of Clater Jewelers in Louisville, Ky., ordered the Jane Basch line of monogram jewelry for her store last spring, she had no idea she’d be kicking off a new trend among brides. As she ordered a necklace for herself—plus one for mom and store co-owner Megan Martin—Christy ordered another for an about-to-be-married friend with the initial of her new last name.
“Monograms have been really popular for us, so I thought it would be super-fun to give her a gift with her new initials so she could wear it during her honeymoon,” says Christy.
The present was a hit, and since then, Christy has sold a dozen or so more to future brides (plus a few present-day wives!). “My friend ordered one for her mom—even though she’s been married for 30 years—this past Christmas,” adds Christy.
Now staffers are also starting to promote monogram jewels, which take roughly three to four weeks to custom make, to other brides-to-be to wear at receptions and honeymoons. The Martins are considering one other move to ramp up sales momentum: a display in bridal jewelry cases.
Monogram sales in the bridal arena could be an opportunity for both add-ons and gifts. While Matthew Roth, vice president of New Hyde Park, N.Y.–based Overnight Mountings, hasn’t been targeting brides with his monogram jewelry (available in silver and 10k and 14k gold), he certainly sees merit in the idea.
“We supplemented our Personalized collection, launched in July 2012, with more monograms, thanks to retailer requests,” Roth explains. “Presenting a monogram to a new bride on her wedding day—with her new initials—is a wonderful and incredibly creative idea.”
Off the Beaten Stack
As the stacking ring trend continues to gain momentum, there couldn’t be a better time for Boris Goynatsky to debut his eponymous line, BG Art Jewelry in New York City.
Charlotte band in 18k white gold with 0.20 ct. t.w. diamonds, $2,200, Sierra II bands in 18k yellow gold with 1.50 cts. t.w. diamonds, $7,700 (set of two); BG Art Jewelry, NYC; 212-343-3606; bgartjewelry.com
Goynatsky—who has worked for 15 years as a jewelry instructor and private-label bench jeweler—hopes to fill a void in bridal, his favorite niche, with stackable, diamond-studded bands. To date, roughly a dozen are available. Set with G-H color, VS clarity melee, the bands’ retail price in 18k gold starts at $2,200.
Women can wear base rings—such as the crownlike Sierra I and Sierra II—or mix and match them with complementary styles like the Charlotte (shown) to create different looks. The diversity factor is what makes them appealing to retailers: They can be positioned as wedding rings, anniversary bands, or simply as the trendy-and-getting-trendier stackables.