New Jersey Jeweler Wins ‘Dream Team’ Store Makeover

Leo Fasseas, owner of Leo Fasseas Jewelers in Livingston, N.J., won a “Dream Team” store makeover sponsored by American Gemological Laboratories and Gem Certification & Assurance Lab to benefit Jewelers For Children.

Fasseas said he purchased the $100 raffle ticket because he knew it was for a good cause, supporting the work of JFC. He didn’t expect to win, because, as Fasseas observed, “I’ve never won anything in my life.” His winning ticket was selected during Couture 2007 and announced at JFC’s Facets of Hope Dinner on June 3.

“When I was told I won, I didn’t believe it at first,” Fasseas said. “But it couldn’t have been any more appropriate for us.”

The award couldn’t have come at a better time as Fasseas is in the middle of a major remodeling that will double the size of his store and add such customer amenities as a fireplace an espresso bar, a lounge/sitting area, and a children’s room.

The “Dream Team” concept was launched on May 29 at a special invitation-only conference called “Tuesday at Two,” where AGL and GCAL presented proprietary research on luxury consumer behavior provided by sponsors Harrison Group, Agency Sachs and Elite Traveler in order to assist luxury jewelry retailers in marketing to their key consumers. As part of the presentation, AGL and GCAL utilized luxury goods growth rates to suggest that the principle competition to the luxury jeweler is the various luxury retailers that market and sell other luxury goods such as shoes, purses, scarves, and other fashion accessories.

AGL and GCAL then identified several possible advantages of competitive luxury retailers when compared to the luxury jewelry retailer. To neutralize any possible advantages of one or more of these competitors to luxury jewelry retailers, AGL and GCAL introduced a “Dream Team” consisting of six specialists in different areas of luxury retailing, including brand portfolio management, Internet/Web development, lighting, marketing, product development, store design, selling support, training, and client service. Although these six specialists were examples of the type of talent available to luxury jewelry retailers, the six specialists each agreed to provide up to four hours of consulting in their respective areas in a raffle to benefit JFC, with the entire package of 24 hours of consulting awarded to one winner.

Dream Team member were: Robert Scott Alger, president of Soho Interactive Telecommunications and an expert in Internet strategies and Wed design/development; Angus Goble, president of Angus Goble LLC and an expert in architecture and store design; Peggy Grosz, president of Peggy Grosz Consulting and an expert in product development; Joe Padulo, president of Padulo International and an expert in advertising and marketing; Nancy Robey, chief marketing officer of Collectors Universe Inc. and an expert in fine jewelry marketing and brand development/positioning; and Diane Warga-Arias, president of DWA Communications and an expert in transformational retail practices, selling support and training.

Fasseas was just one of a number of winners who came away with big prizes from raffles sponsored by AGL and GCAL in Las Vegas. AGL and GCAL served as the Official Colored Gemstone and Diamond Laboratories of the JCK Las Vegas Show and Couture, and also were the Oasis Lounge sponsors of Premiere, the Prestige Promenade and Luxury by JCK. The labs held raffles that provided prizes from flat screen TVs to autographed memorabilia at all of the venues. Altogether, the labs raised nearly $10,000 for JFC.

“The support shown by Collectors Universe was overwhelming,” said David L. Rocha, executive director of JFC. “Having Jewelers for Children be the recipient for the raffle proceeds, along with the impressive exposure we received at all five AGL/GCAL locations, was something we could never buy. We are deeply appreciative of their support. We are also appreciative of the time donated by the ‘Dream Team’ members.”

One winning couple, Howard and Vicki Cunningham of Cunningham Fine Jewelry in Tulsa, Okla., found a novel way to use the raffle to further help children in need. The Cunninghams won a plasma screen TV at Couture valued at $1,200. All raffle ticket holders received a teddy bear sporting a shirt that proudly displays the JFC, AGL, and GCAL logos. When Mr. Cunningham, a reserve police officer, got his bear, he noted that he kept stuffed animals in his patrol car to give to crying children he encounters in the course of his police duties. AGL and GCAL promptly gave him a bag full of teddy bears.

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