The Jewelry District, Episode 28: Guest Andrea Hill

In This Episode
In this edition of The Jewelry District, you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates talk with Andrea Hill, CEO of Hill Management Group. Andrea says that in order to stand out in this ever-evolving jewelry world, your company needs a story. The trio also covers climate change and technology.

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Show Notes
00:26 Rob and Victoria introduce Andrea Hill, CEO of Hill Management Group.
05:57 Andrea describes what the jewelry industry is missing, based on past retail management experience.
10:15 Building a successful jewelry business is all about telling a story, and Andrea explains why jewelers need to do just that.
14:20 Climate change is real, and Andrea tells us about the “Kindness Economy.”
15:13 Andrea serves in a mentorship role and leaves us the pillars to success.

Episode Credits
Hosts: Rob Bates and Victoria Gomelsky
Editor: Olivia Briley
Producer and engineer: Natalie Chomet

Show Recap

Introducing Andrea Hill
Based in eastern central Wisconsin, Andrea started her tenure in the jewelry industry at Rio Grande. Before she made it there, she worked in a billiards store that started selling video equipment, making her store one of the first video rental stores in the country, predating Blockbuster. She also worked at Playboy Enterprises, building up their licensing for videos and creating a video catalog. She then bounced around companies as a CEO before landing in the jewelry industry.

What The Industry Is Missing
Andrea describes her company, Hill Management Group, where she helps people get ready for entering the digital age. You’ll hear her discuss what she has learned from other industries and what the jewelry industry should be taking away from them. She emphasizes that your jewelry company can’t just be the oldest around anymore, as people no longer have to settle for their neighborhood store for jewelry expertise.

Jewelry Retail As Storytelling
Andrea talks about need to have a rich content strategy. In order to develop your brand in the most efficient way possible, Andrea says you need to know who you are, what you do that makes you different, and why you matter in order to succeed—and that’s just the start. You then need to merchandise your store with products that fit that theme, and someone should always be creating new copy for your website.

Kindness Economy
Post-recession, the vast majority of us have accepted that climate change is real and happening and that something needs to be done about it. We need to be aware of the fact that we are not the center of the world, and other spaces and living things matter too. Andrea describes what she calls the “Kindness Economy” and what customers expect from the retailers they buy from.

The Jewelry Industry Should Be Fun
Switching topics to the mentor work Andrea does, she argues that mainstream jewelry has become far too generic for its own good. She once again emphasized the importance of your store’s story, giving an example of this in practice. Andrea concludes by telling us all to learn, try new things, experiment, and be willing to fail.

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