Hudson named president of Jewelry.com

Jewelry.com has a new “face”—Laurie Hudson, former Platinum Guild International USA president.

Hudson was named president of the site in mid December. In an interview with JCK, Hudson said her primary role at Jewelry.com is to serve as the site’s advocate to consumers, retail partners, and supplier partners.

Hudson will be the “face” that represents Jewelry.com before the media and at industry events. She is responsible for developing and implementing strategies that drive and promote the site; seeking out strategic industry partnerships; enhancing and supporting the Jewelry.com brand and the brands of its parent, Andin International; positioning the site as the ultimate authority for jewelry information; and finding ways to increase value for the site’s partners, among other initiatives.

“Both Andin and Jewelry.com are strong industry leaders,” Hudson said. “They have given me the opportunity to get involved with the middle market in a big way and bring my previous 20+ years of luxury experience to a new arena.”

Hudson is best known for founding PGI’s U.S. jewelry division office in Newport Beach, Calif. During her decade-long tenure at PGI-USA (1992-2002), platinum awareness in the United States grew exponentially and platinum became the metal of choice in the U.S. bridal sector. Prior to retiring from PGI, Hudson was manager of marketing and public relations for the American Gem Society.

Hudson most recently served as executive director of Jewelers for Children. She resigned after only three months at JFC in October, with both sides acknowledging that the match “wasn’t the right fit.”

At Jewelry.com, Hudson said her initial priorities will include generating more publicity for the site; overseeing a redesign that will enhance the site’s visual appeal and make it easier to navigate; boosting the site’s educational/informational content section; and using surveys and other marketing tools to better understand the psychographics of the site’s 1.75 million registered users and 28 million unique visitors per year for the purpose of developing successful cross-marketing promotions.

Jewelry.com differs from a conventional jewelry e-commerce site in that it does not sell merchandise directly. Instead, it serves as a “shopping mall” to showcase jewelry sold by its retailer partners – Zales, Macy’s, Sears, JCPenney, Helzberg and The May Company. The site directs online shoppers directly to those retailers’ sites and store locations to make their purchases. In addition to its strategic alliances with some of the largest jewelry retailers in the country, Jewelry.com also is partnered with several prominent industry suppliers, including parent Andin International, Aurafin OroAmerica, and Leo Schachter. Jewelry.com also is one of the Internet’s most comprehensive sources of educational, trend and fashion information on the jewelry industry.

According to Hudson, one of the biggest challenges she faces is coming up with site initiatives that benefit all of the retail partners equally. “Everything that goes on Jewelry.com has to be approved by all of the retail partners, which is much different than most of the other jewelry sites,” she said. “But Jewelry.com is a very unique model in this industry, and it has a proven track record in driving sales in these stores. I believe I can bring a lot to the table to help drive the site’s success even further.”