A Mother Lode of Mother’s Day Events

There’s no better way to kick start the moms, dads, grads, and brides jewelry gift-giving season than highlighting events retailers are holding this year for Mother’s Day.  

Mother’s Day comes during the peak of spring, a perfect time to hold a “Going Green Trunk Show.” This will be the first such event for Dorothy Vodicka, co-owner of The Gem Collection, in Tallahassee, Fla. Vodicka’s green-themed event is borrowing a little brand equity from the environmental awareness campaign to attract customers to her green colored gemstone event. “If it’s green, we’ll be selling it,” says Vodicka. “Tsavorite garnets, tourmaline, peridot, emeralds, and green amethyst [prasiolite].”

Don and Dorothy Vodicka, owners of The Gem Collection

Don and Dorothy Vodicka, owners of The Gem Collection

Parlé Jewelry Designs is Vodicka’s vendor partner for the event. Known for her colored stone inventory, the retailer will also offer loose green stones, “but we’re looking to focus mainly on finished goods.”

The three-day event will begin on Thursday, May 5, and end on Saturday. Vodicka is getting the word out with TV commercials, print ads in newspapers, postcards to top customers, email blasts, and Facebook.

For 20 years, Cathy Calhoun, owner of Calhoun Jewelers in Royersford, Pa., has timed her annual antique and estate jewelry sale to coincide with Mother’s Day. Calhoun won’t be holding the event this year because of scheduling conflicts with AGS Conclave, but will be back on her Mother’s Day schedule in 2012.

Calhoun sources jewelry pieces and collections from various estates in the run up to the event. “When someone passes away, attorneys overseeing an estate will come to me to sell some pieces or all the jewelry from an estate,” says Calhoun. “I also have my own pieces and I bring in goods from many antique and estate jewelry partners I’ve been working with over the years.”

Cathy Calhoun owner of Calhoun Jewelers and president of the AGS

Cathy Calhoun owner of Calhoun Jewelers and president of the AGS

For two decades, Calhoun’s pre-Mother’s Day antique and estate event hasn’t varied much. For one night she empties out all of her current jewelry inventory from the display cases and transforms her store into an antique and estate jewelry hub.

Champagne and hors d’oeuvres are served throughout the night. The one-night-only event is always scheduled on the Wednesday before Mother’s Day. On the day of the antique and estate jewelry sale, the jewelry store is closed. Calhoun and her staff busily prepare the store for the event, which begins at 4 p.m. “People are so excited about the event they start lining up at the door,” says Calhoun. “People even try to get in early.”

John and Colin Nash, of Nash Jewellers in London, Ontario, are holding a traditional Mother’s Day essay contest, but with an Internet twist. The father and son duo have teamed up with A Station, one of the largest TV stations in their Canadian market, to cosponsor a short essay-writing contest.

The online form for entering Nash Jewellers Mother’s Day essay contest

The online form for entering Nash Jewellers’ Mother’s Day essay contest

Traditionally, retailer jewelers that have held such events ask contestants (namely young children) to submit handwritten essays of any length. But the Nash’s Mother’s Day writing contest is limited to 200 words on an online form, similar in appearance and functionality to an online email contact form. It targets an older crowd—namely those near or in the bridal jewelry buying demographic.

A Station, an advertising partner for the retail jeweler, created a unique web address for the Mother’s Day writing contest. The contest started last week and will end on Saturday, May 7 (the day before Mother’s Day). A winner will be announced on Mother’s Day. The winner will receive a $500 shopping spree at Nash Jewellers.   

“We wanted contestants to keep their writing short and sweet,” says Colin Nash. “When writing contests are open-ended, people tend to ramble and repeat themselves. Also, when the A Station closes the contest, we’ll have names, phone numbers and email addresses of all the contestants for our database, and we will share content from the writing contest on Facebook to enhance our social media marketing efforts.”

Another retailers’ Mother’s Day favorite with an online spin comes from Dalzell Jewelers in Crystal Lake, Ill. This year marks the third annual “design a custom-made ring for mom” contest. Kids in eighth-grade and younger can participate in the contest. Children can submit a ring design they’d like to see their mother wear. “For the most part, kids usually submit family-inspired designs,” says store co-owner Steve Dalzell. “The ideas are always great because they come from kids.”

Dalzell Jewelers’ contest form

Dalzell Jewelers’ contest form encourages participants to send in drawings to Facebook.

For Steve and his wife and business partner, Jenny, the Mother’s Day design contest is gaining traction in their market. “The first year we had 20 participants and last year we had 50 to 60.” This year the couple is hoping they’ll draw even more contestants by posting scanned drawings on Facebook. Fairly new to the social media website, the couple is looking to increase their fan base and customer interaction by posting design drawings on their Facebook wall. Completed drawings can also be submitted via Facebook.

The event is also very media-friendly. “Each year the local community paper always covers news of the design contest,” says Dalzell. “This coverage plus expanding the event daily and weekly on Facebook we think will continue to bring attention to our Mother’s Day design contest.”