May 2014

Fall Tales: Fashion and Jewelry Trends Retailers Need to Know Now

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Cartier Art Deco Crystal Bangle Earns 10 Times Its Estimate at Christie’s

In the 1930s, few jewelry makers were as relentlessly creative as Cartier. The Parisian house peppered its pieces with unusual gemstones and nontraditional materials throughout the decade. But it was a rare piece—for Cartier or its contemporaries—that used rock crystal as a foundational element. And the two collectors who squared off on Dec. 10 to…

Pearls: Little H’s New Jewelry Line, Jewelmer’s Passport & More

Thank Heaven for Little Pearls Perhaps it’s because Hisano Shepherd is petite (she’s just 5 feet tall). Or maybe it’s that she’s ­married to PearlParadise.com founder Jeremy ­Shepherd, whose sourcing skills in the pearl world are ­legendary. But ­whatever the reason, Hisano—the chief creative officer of PearlParadise.com and designer behind the Little H line—loves little…

Bridal: Kristin Hanson’s Colored Diamonds & More

Maple Audience Kristin Hanson is on a mission to make natural color diamonds a retail staple. She’s unveiled a more robust mix of wholesale pieces as well as couture styles in the past year, and has also taken a page from the Le Vian marketing playbook by trademarking her own favorite color of brown diamonds:…

Diamonds: The Sotheby’s Pink Star, Crater of Diamonds Finds & More

Pink Punk’d? Sotheby’s has been forced to cancel its sale of the Pink Star, the 59.6 ct. pink stone that supposedly sold in November for $83 million to New York City dealer Isaac Wolf. At the time, the price was an auction record for any gem or jewel. The stone is now sitting in Sotheby’s…

Take a Spin on a Carousel Ring From Lord Jewelry

How to mount a spinning carousel on a ring? Very deliberately, says Sinork Agdere, who created this majestic merry-go-round ring for his Los Angeles–based firm, Lord Jewelry. “There were so many challenges in creating this piece,” reports the Turkish-born designer, “from scaling down such a large idea to a wearable size—without losing the details of…

Big Jewelry Dominates India’s Winter 2013 Signature Show

Oversize gold and diamond jewels were the order of business at the Signature show Kunal Shah, director of Mumbai-based FAB Jewels, held up a necklace so massive it could double as a lobster bib—were it not studded with sparkling diamonds. “This is how big our jewelry is in India, and how big your clothes are…

5 Rising Stars at 2014’s JCK Las Vegas

Don’t miss this year’s Rising Stars May 30–June 2 at JCK Las Vegas: (Above)1. Fancy Star earrings in 14k gold with 1 ct. t.w. diamonds; $3,960; Blackbird and the Snow, Boulder, Colo.; 303-928-9821; blackbirdandthesnow.com   2. Affinity pendant necklace in 18k white gold and organic vegetable ivory with 15.39 ct. green opal, tsavorite, and diamonds;…

The Life of LUXURY at JCK Las Vegas 2014

Four years after moving to Mandalay Bay, the LUXURY show hits its stride The 2014 edition of LUXURY (May 27–June 2 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino) will offer all the sophistication that the industry expects of the Vegas show—and even more networking and socializing. First, there’s the debut of the LUXURY Retailer of the…

Fairtrade, Fairmined, and the Ethical Gold Rush

A growing number of consumers are clamoring for jewelry that is ethically sourced. We examine the options for bringing ethical and sustainable gold and jewelry to your showcases. In the fall of 2013, Torry Hoover achieved a goal 10 years in the making: Hoover & Strong, the North Chesterfield, Va.–based metal refinery his family founded…

Give Your Employees a Break

summer is the perfect time to treat your employees to a respite from the daily grind. rested and rejuvenated, they’re a much more effective return on investment.

Secrets of Retail Sales Superstars

we polled some of the nation’s best jewelry trainers and salespeople to learn how to be a top performer. hint: product has very little to do with it.

The Many Ways Retailers Pay and Reward Employees

There are myriad options for compensating and rewarding sales staff. JCK breaks down the payment possibilities. Coming up with the right balance of hourly pay, commissions, bonuses, and other perks to motivate your employees to be the best they can be is often tricky, but it’s not impossible. What works for one store, however, won’t…

Eco-Conscious Retail: It’s Easier Than You Think!

From rugs to rings, creating a sustainable retail space takes dedication—but the selection of eco-conscious goods is wider than ever You recycle your junk mail, read the newspaper online, and use a refillable water bottle. But what about your store? The hottest color today seems to be green—as in do-gooder, environmentally friendly green. As eco-friendly…

Online Updating: 10 Ways to Streamline Your Digital Presence

In retail, the accessibility and appeal of your online presence is just as important as the allure of your brick-and-mortar locations. Data firm Forrester Research predicts online spending will increase 62 percent by 2016—with 192 million U.S. consumers regularly shopping in cyberspace. Many independent and chain jewelry retailers will be primed to capture a chunk…

Merchandising Madness

Selling your store to the fashion crowd requires a ­trend-obsessed mindset, a willingness to change (your cases), and a way with props You’ve already claimed your region’s fine jewelry consumers. Wouldn’t you like to lure that lucrative yet fickle shopper, the fashionista? After all, price is no object when she’s on the prowl—which is to…

Vegas Buyers Club

On your way to JCK? If you’re like your fellow retailers, you made your shopping list weeks, if not months, ago. JCK asked jewelers what they’re ­searching for ­(yellow gold, opals) and what’s ­driving sales (­consumer ­confidence: up, debt: down) in 2014. THE TRENDSWhat’s on retailers’ wish lists at jewelry market week By Kristin Young…

Fall Tales: Fashion and Jewelry Trends Retailers Need to Know Now

The only thing better than a knit jumper? A knit jumper with fringe necklaces and yarn brooches. Cozy up to the top trends with our fashion and jewelry guide. For Jeremy Scott, fashion is about having fun—if his debut at Moschino, with its cheeky ode to the Golden Arches and SpongeBob SquarePants, was any indication.…

JCK Asks…Annie Fensterstock

On her beginnings and other designers’ futures “JCK Asks” is, of course, all about designers and their gorgeous jewelry. But we couldn’t resist telling you what Annie Fensterstock is doing to help other designers make gorgeous jewelry—namely, working with Afghan ­jewelry students in Jaipur. “It’s an ongoing project through the organization Future Brilliance,” explains ­Fensterstock,…

Veruschka in Late ’60s Costume Jewelry by Giorgio Sant’Angelo

Aluminum isn’t only for foil and cans. Just look at Veruschka’s shiny aluminum cuffs and belt by costume jeweler Giorgio Sant’Angelo in this photo from Vogue’s Jan. 15, 1968, issue. “Jewelry made of aluminum is sleek, sturdy, highly reflective, and lightweight,” says Melinda Lewis, cofounder of Costume ­Jewelry Collectors Int’l and co-owner of The ­­Jewelry…

Jennifer Fisher’s Gold and Beautiful Jewelry

New York City designer Jennifer Fisher is charmed in more ways than one Jennifer Fisher designs jewelry that appeals to rockers like Rihanna, girly celebs like Cameron Diaz, teens, new moms, and even hip grandmas. The former fashion stylist has hit the sweet spot by combining ­classic motifs—monogramming, charms, chain links—with edgy execution to create…

Spring Forward: Trends and Ads in the April 2014 Fashion Magazines

InStyle Pushing:• Trio of hammered brass chokers; gold-plated cuff (“Bold Gold: Delicate jewels have their place, but we’re loving the look of big statement pieces”)• Diamond and white gold star studs; yellow gold cuff with diamond starbursts (“These stellar accessories will shine anywhere in your wardrobe’s universe”)Advertisers:Links of London, Tacori, Pandora, Stephanie Kantis, Love This…

It’s Called Complex, But the Retail Concept Is Simple

Complex helps turn Maple Avenue into Michigan’s own Rodeo Drive When business partners Doug Schwartz and Annie LeBlanc opened Annex—a trend-driven boutique that mixed fine and fashion jewelry with accessories—in Birmingham, Mich., in 2005, it was an instant hit. But the longtime friends—who liken Annex to a mini–Barneys New York—soon saw the potential in expanding…

Store We Adore: The Shak

500 Crescent Ct., Suite 100 Dallas Don’t be surprised if you hear a smattering of languages, accents, and dialects when you walk into The Shak in Dallas’ fashionable Uptown neighborhood. Thanks to its proximity to the luxurious Rosewood Crescent Hotel, The Shak—along with its sophisticated (slightly older) sister, designer emporium Stanley Korshak—might be the city’s…

The Co-CEOs Behind Ben Bridge Jeweler

From their headquarters in Seattle, Ed and Jon Bridge reign over a 100-year-old family dynasty Since 1990, Ed and Jon Bridge have served as co-CEOs of Seattle-based Ben Bridge Jeweler, which operates more than 75 stores in 11 states under the ownership of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Ed also serves as president; Jon as general counsel.)…

Why Passion Is a Prerequisite at J.R. Dunn Jewelers

Ann Marie Dunn, co-owner of J.R. Dunn Jewelers in Lighthouse Point, Fla., says the best part of working with her husband, brother, son, and nephew is “the arguments we have.” How, exactly, can that be possible? “We decided a long time ago that whoever has the greatest passion about a subject wins the argument,” says…

5 Tips for Picture-Perfect Instagram Photos

How to make the most of the buzz-worthy photo-sharing social network One of Facebook’s smartest moves was its 2012 acquisition of photo-sharing service Instagram, which may soon eclipse Facebook in popularity. After debuting in 2010, Instagram grew by 23 percent in 2013. Facebook, meanwhile, grew only 3 percent. With its scrollable photo streams and cool…

How Safe Is Your Store From an Internet Meltdown?

For those who use AWeber’s email service, the company’s recent 24-hour website outage offered a valuable lesson in what can happen if the cyber bullies decide to pick on your site. AWeber is one of the largest email service providers in the world. Its site was hacked in an attack that saw all of its…

Why Clients Feel Comfortable Giving Retailer Van Alexander Their Jewelry in a Restaurant

Clients are so comfortable with Van Alexander they give him their jewelry in restaurants 1. What one advertisement or promotion elicited the biggest response, and why do you think it worked? Several years ago we did a series of TV commercials because cable was really affordable. We ran them consistently for 12 months, just saturating…

JCK 5: The Year’s Best New Retail Books

1. Powershop 4: New Retail Design (Marlous van Rossum-Willems) Dazzling photos of stunning retail interiors are paired with design and inspiration notes. 2. Retail Spaces (ed. Octavio Mestre) Discover the latest trends and innovations in retail architecture and design in this photo-driven book. 3. Logistics & Retail Management: Emerging Issues and New Challenges in the…

Retail Renovation Done Right

So you want to renovate your retail space. But you worry about the one-two punch of closing the store (interrupting your revenue stream) while construction costs pile up. Not to mention the mental and emotional havoc a revamp can wreak on you and your staff. If you’ve been planning for a full or partial store…

Strength Test: Gem Pricing, May 2014

The gem trade looks to JCK Las Vegas for clues to the fall season The colored stone market continues to move in a positive direction. Dealers have reported strong sales results at each of the major industry events to date: the gem shows in Tucson, Ariz.; the March jewelry show in Hong Kong; and Baselworld…

JCK 5: February and March 2014 Financial Results

Among the notable financial results reported in February and March: 1. Zale Corp. reported a $51 million profit for the quarter, up 24 percent from last year’s $41 million. Revenue dropped 2.2 percent to $656 million, from $671 million the prior year. 2. Pandora’s sales in the United States grew 24 percent in 2013, to…

Sales of Elephant Ivory Outlawed

The Department of the Interior has introduced new measures that effectively ban any commercial trade of elephant ivory in the United States, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee announced March 13. The new rules prohibit: • All commercial imports of African elephant ivory, including antiques • All commercial exports, except for bona fide antiques and certain non­commercial…

Springtime in Switzerland: Publisher’s Letter, May 2014

Welcome to the spectacular May preshow issue of JCK! All of us around here are getting very excited about the upcoming JCK show in Las Vegas. We hope this issue and the beautiful ads within are the source of inspiration for your week in Vegas. I’m just back from my first Baselworld show in two…

Fair(mined) Business: Editor’s Letter, May 2014

Baselworld, as most of you know, is renowned for its spectacular, multimillion-dollar booths. And this year, Graff Diamonds, a first-time exhibitor at the Swiss luxury show, had one of the most remarkable. With its high ceilings, subdued lighting (bestowed by an extraordinary chandelier), not to mention Laurence Graff himself—the diamantaire stood snacking behind the maple…

10 Things Rocking the Industry: May 2014

1. Shows If you attended this year’s Baselworld fair in search of blockbuster introductions, better luck next year. Sure, the show had its talking pieces—the solid-gold iPad and iPhone cases at Buccellati, the new Rolex GMT-Master II with the tricked-out blue and red ceramic dial (aka “the Pepsi”), the elegant tourbillon sheathed in Fairmined gold…