Cool Stuff at the Smart Show

“Cool” is a word bandied about with each issue of INSTORE. To pay homage to the magazine’s favorite word, first-day coverage of the Smart Show will feature “cool” stuff seen during the first day of the show.

Topping the list is the Earth Ring from Tammy Kohl of Taköhl Design (Booth #2532). When a ring is set with something green, it’s usually a peridot, garnet or emerald. But with Kohl’s new Earth Ring, the green in her newly launched sterling silver ring is grass, chia seeds or even chives and a variety of herbs. “At our studio, we actually have a lot of different things growing in Earth Rings,” says Kohl.

How does it work? Let’s start with the ring design. The sterling silver ring itself has a unique open band design. The nature-inspired designed shanks feature leaves on branches that reach toward the top of the ring. The space where a stone is normally set is a small open compartment.

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A small wet sponge fits in this open compartment. Seeds are placed on top of a wet sponge that is held in place on a hinged top that is an open-work peace symbol.

Seeds are germinated and eventually grown in the designer’s patented biosphere, a contained environment that feeds the budding plant growth essentials such as oxygen and humidity.

The biosphere is not only a terrarium to foster plant growth it’s also the Earth Ring display. As the seeds go from the germination stage to actual plant growth, the ring can be taken out of its biosphere (display) and then worn. 

Taking seeds from germination to plant requires frequent watering, direct sunlight, and talking into the biosphere. “The carbon dioxide from your breath is stored in the biosphere, which stimulates plant growth,” says Kohl. “And, talking to the plant is soothing to a living thing.”  

The Earth Ring has a wholesale price of $125, which can retail from $250 to $300. On the opening day of the Smart Show, Kohl sold seven Earth Rings. Many retailers commented that it would be an interesting conversation piece for their store or they know customers who are avid environmentalists who would appreciate the sentiment and symbolism behind the Earth Ring.

Kohl is currently exploring corporate gift opportunities for companies achieving their goals of going green.

Another interesting stop during the first day of the Smart Show was at the Air Aroma booth. The company’s president Spence Levy and his colleagues have created signature aromas for a variety of jewelry retailers, jewelry trade associations and even industry events, including the AGS and the JCK Prestige exhibition area at the Vegas Show.

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Many retailers have an aroma specifically engineered for their store by Air Aroma. But the aroma of the moment is grapefruit-vanilla. Why these two seemingly diametrically opposed aromas? “For Americans, vanilla is the most identifiable smell,” says Levy. “It reminds people of their mother’s cooking and it’s the secret ingredient in Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder. In short, the vanilla aroma is very disarming, which is good for retail jewelers whose stores can be somewhat intimidating.”

Grapefruit, the second half of the grapefruit-vanilla aroma combination, is a trendy because women wearing the scent of pink grapefruit were perceived by men to be six years younger than their age. This was determined in a 2005 study conducted by Dr. Alan Hirsch, director of the Smell and Taste Treatment Research Foundation in Chicago.

One final cool item discovered at the first day of the Smart Show was jewelry neck form covers. Created by Levine Design Group and displayed at the GRID3 International booth (#1229), neck form covers come in a variety of colors and textures.

How does it work? Whether a neck form is ready for the trash or is a clash with your new jewelry collection, simply slip on a different colored form cover. Pam Levine, the principal of Levine Design Group and creator of the money-saving covers, launched her new product with a seasonal approach.

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Winter ICE, displayed from November to February, is silver. Spring’s Pale Orchid color is displayed from March to May. Summer’s Sky and Deep Lake Blues are displayed from June to August and Peridot and Deep Brown colors are displayed from September to October. Available textures are velvet and satin.

Full-year, four-season packages, which contain 10 neck form covers of each season, has a package price of $465.

Small and medium sized single neck form covers are $15.50 each (package price $12.50 each). Tall neck form covers are $18.50 ($15. each). (Package prices have 10 piece minimum.)

In the spirit of the neck form covers, Levine Design Group has also crated floorboard covers. Three- to four-foot floorboards run $22.50 per case and 5- to 6-foot covers are $32.50 per case.