1. What one advertisement elicited the most response for you and why?
“Sing for Bling” is a contest we’ve done twice in the last three years. To win a $2,500 shopping spree, people submit videos of themselves singing our jingle, or create their own jingle about the store. In 2009, the first year, it got a huge response with 75 videos. Thousands of votes came in to determine two winners: one for people’s choice and one for judge’s choice. Last year, we added a “like us on Facebook” rule and other steps that dropped participation to disappointing levels. This fall, we’ll return to using Facebook only to promote the contest. That said, “Sing for Bling” has brought up our Facebook fan base, added fan interaction with rich content, and increased hits to our website—another source to view the videos. We used the videos in TV and radio ads during the holiday season, which saved on production costs. And our market enjoyed homespun commercials featuring a middle school choir, a preschool classroom, and several college students, just to name a few.
2. When you walk in your front door, what do you like most about your store?
One of my favorite times to enter the store is when it’s closed and I’m all alone. This is when I have time to look around and take it all in. The store is fresh and clean with the store scent in the air. It’s those strange little things I enjoy…like vacuum lines in the carpet. I can spend a few moments watching our saltwater aquarium and seeing what’s changed or grown since I last looked in. It’s also a time when I feel proud of what I’ve accomplished and think of possibilities for the future.
3. What’s the best idea you’ve come up with for your store?
Giving back to the community has always been a core quality of our store. The people that have come in and expressed their appreciation are too numerous to mention. But one stands out. I’m active with the Red Cross. Last year, a man purchased a $35,000 diamond anniversary ring for his wife. He told me my involvement with the Red Cross was the reason he chose our store over other jewelry stores.
4. What are your best sellers and how do you keep them selling?
Jewelry that you can “add to” becomes a best seller for us: beads for bead bracelets; diamond stackable bands that you can mix and match; our add-a-diamond “destination” pendants. Men know the next gift they can buy, and women love the versatility of the collections. And they keep coming back for more!
5. What was your most memorable sale?
Years ago, when I was an appointment-only jeweler, a gentleman wanted to surprise his then-girlfriend with the best possible engagement ring choice that fit his budget. He concluded his phone call by scheduling an appointment and then told me he was blind. I can’t remember what ring she chose or how much they spent, but I’ll always remember seeing the way her eyes lit up and the smile on her face. She slipped the ring on her finger and said to her boyfriend, “I want you to see it.” The man gently touched the ring on her finger and said, “It’s beautiful,” as tears ran down his face. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.