Industry / Retail

Flower Power: Hamilton Jewelers Glams Up The Traditional Trunk Show


Trunk shows are a venerable part of the jewelry industry, and that is why Hamilton Jewelers recently decided to turn that tradition on its head, allowing the 110-year-old business to create a new event that brought together its employees, some key influencers, and the local community.

In April, the fourth-generation, family-owned jeweler’s flagship location in Princeton, N.J., hosted Springtime in Princeton, a weekend trunk show that highlighted its favorite designers, including Dihn Van, Ippolita, and Roberto Coin.

To mix it up, Hamilton Jewelers installed a dazzling floral arch on the store’s exterior, serving as a call to action for the neighborhood residents to snap selfies, explore its beauty, and be lured inside to shop these designer brands, says Anne Russell, executive vice president of Hamilton Jewelers.

Hamilton Jewelers floral arch
The massive floral arch was a happening not only for Hamilton Jewelers’ trunk show but for the Princeton community as well, Anne Russell says.

“Content creation is theater,” Russell says. “It creates a sense of beauty and joy. It inspires us.… I see [Springtime in Princeton] more than just a partnership. It allowed us to spend time together, to thank our partners for the relationship. They were going on a journey with us versus a trunk show where you’re just selling.”

The jewelry store also hosted a VIP preview with its media partner the Daily Front Row and influencers including digital creator Yayis A. Villarreal Cantú, New York blogger Katya Tolstova, and Jersey City fashion blogger Dileiny Rodriguez Baron. That luncheon along with the influencers’ photos in front of the floral installations inside and outside the store resulted in an array of Instagram hits that got thousands of views.

Russell says these events, including its well-received holiday installation in 2021, are inspired from her own work with the jewelry company, her lifetime of travel, and her desire to celebrate everyday moments, especially in light of the past two years under the pandemic.

Hamilton Jewelers holiday
In winter 2021, an impressive holiday-ornament arch got the local community buzzing and lots of photos on Instagram.

“We wanted to inspire and give people some excitement,” Russell says. “We knew we had to do something that was really over-the-top. We found a local floral designer, and I showed him what I wanted to create. Thankfully, he was up to the challenge.”

The lavish installation got enough buzz that Russell says she heard about it from friends and brand partners while she was traveling recently in Geneva. That, she says, is the kind of word of mouth that helps build a brand—or, in the case of Hamilton Jewelers, keeps it relevant for many more generations.

“It was something for the community as well. Young, old, people from all around Princeton,” Russell says. “We received feedback as well from our store employees [from our holiday installation] that it made them happy to come to work.”

Hamilton Jewelers try on
Dileiny Rodriguez Baron tries on some jewelry during the Hamilton Jewelers trunk show in April. Influencers such as Baron were there to learn about the store and share content from the day on their social pages.

These kinds of happenings are ideal for a jewelry retailer because the industry is all about celebrations and special moments, like weddings, births, and anniversaries, says Russell, who says her ideas came from New York’s lavish holiday displays and her time in Palm Beach, Fla., for special events, such as the Natural Diamond Council’s launch of its book Diamonds: Diamond Stories.

This event is one of many Hamilton Jewelers plans for 2022, creating a series of celebrations to highlight its 110th anniversary, Russell says. That includes the anniversary edition of its fall magazine.

Moreover, the jewelry store will donate a portion of the proceeds from events such as Springtime in Princeton to HomeFront, a local organization that helps families break the cycle of poverty, she says.

Top: Influencer Yayis A. Villarreal Cantú poses and snaps a selfie in front of the Hamilton Jewelers floral wall, part of its Springtime in Princeton celebration and trunk show (photos courtesy of Hamilton Jewelers). 

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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