Jewelers’ Social Events, Part II

In part 2 of the “Jewelers’ Social Events” blog, two retail jewelers round out the discussion that started with Lee Krombholz, owner of Cincinnati’s Krombholz Jewelers.

Scott Slobotkin, of David Jay Jewelers, understands Krombholz’s position. “I’ve been doing monthly events for the last 18 months and I’ve thought about skipping some of our monthly events,” says the Warrington, Pa.–based store owner. “Some events are better attended than others, but with the consistent scheduling, my marketing becomes residual.… People always know they can come here on the last Friday of the month with or without an invite.”

In addition to a consistent schedule, Slobotkin has a regular theme: wine tasting, with his “First Sips on Last Friday” monthly events. Slobotkin varies the theme each month to keep things interesting, exploring regional domestic and international wines.

A wine expert is on hand for each event to help partygoers refine their wine skills. At each event Slobotkin works with his wine expert to serve up tasty yet affordable wines. 

The store owner works with his resident wine expert to select two reds, two whites, and a sparkling wine. In recent months Slobotkin has incorporated beer sampling with his wine tasting event. “The first time we served beer was to date our best-attended monthly event,” says Slobotkin.

Another winner for Slobotkin was a vodka tasting event scheduled last November. The pre-Christmas event included a contest to see who could guess each of the six vodkas being sampled at the party. “Only one person got all six correct,” says Slobotkin.

Slobotkin’s monthly events are not only creating wine experts but are also attracting many new customers. Like Krombholz, he displays special jewelry and watch items. But unlike Krombholz, Slobotkin makes his wine tasting events selling opportunities with event-specific discounts and specials.

To enhance his SEO (search engine optimization), Slobotkin videotapes his events, edits them down to a few minutes, and uploads them to YouTube. Videos and digital images have also enhanced his social media websites with rich content and increased interaction.

Professionally edited videos make for good SEO on YouTube and rich content on social media websites. 

Rebel Jeweler is a newcomer to monthly events. And with a name like that in the Portland, Ore., market, it’s no surprise that store owners Tim Greve and his wife Cherie do monthly social events a little differently.

In May the couple hosted their first such event as part of their busy business district’s First Thursday “Art Walk Day.” The jewelry store’s creative contribution to this monthly cultural event: bringing in regional tattoo artists for “performance art.”

Bringing their jewelry store up to local health and safety codes for tattooing was well worth it. The tattooing area is positioned in a large window for passersby to see. And with the store doors invitingly wide open as part of the art crawl, people can even hear the buzzing of the tattooing tool many store fronts away from Rebel Jeweler. “We had 40-plus people in that night,” says Tim. “Not bad for a Thursday night in early May.”

But having custom tattoo work done by reputable region tattoo artists is just one element to Rebel Jeweler’s First Thursday monthly events. The Greves also offer hardcore patrons and average rebels to have the store’s “rebel” logo tattoo done for free.

About 25 people wanted to have the “rebel” logo tattoo, but Tim and his wife had to turn a number of them away that night. “When I put the offer to tattoo our store logo on people, I thought maybe two to three people might show up,” says Tim.

Of the nine people that queued up for the free “rebel” tattoo, only five patrons left rebel-stamped. “We had to reschedule the other four for the first Thursday event in July,” says Tim.  

Rebel Jeweler’s First Thursday format is still in its infancy, but Tim has plans for future events. He’d like to pull in nationally-acclaimed tattoo artists like Mr. Cartoon to really draw attention to his events.

Other ideas for future First Thursday events is to limit the size of the free “rebel” tattoos to the size of the “rebel” bumper sticker, of monthly contest fame. “A tattoo artist can knock out a 3.5-inch by 1.5-inch ‘rebel’  tattoo in about 45 minutes,” says Tim.

Tim and his wife’s First Thursdays’ adult beverage choices include the unusual offering of wine boxes served with a straw, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, Red Bull, and their signature store drink Irish Car Bomb Jell-O shooters.

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