Like a good parent, Tara Silberberg, owner of The Clay Pot
in Brooklyn, N.Y., knows the value of a gentle push to succeed; it’s also why
her strategy for securing great designs from some vendors is to nag them
(politely, of course).
With an enviable assortment of 70 different wedding band
lines in store, there’s savvy in her technique. “I push my fashion jewelry
vendors to do bridal collections for us,” she explains. The rationale is
simple: Any designer with a strong, well-priced collection—fine or fashion—can
make a bridal line. “If you can make a ring, you can make a wedding band,” she
Double Leaf Solitaire ring in 14k gold features a 0.40 ct. round brilliant stone; $1,444. Carla Caruso
Case in point: silversmith Carla Caruso’s gold bridal line, which
Silberberg convinced Caruso to create. “I sell at least four of her rings a week,”
says Silberberg, who finds jewelry at a variety of shows, from the ENK
Accessories Circuit to the New York International Gift Fair to JCK Las Vegas.
In fact, sourcing at shows is her favorite way to find new talent.
A best seller at the Clay Pot in Brooklyn, N.Y.: Small Undulating Stacking bands in 14k gold; $550 for three; Carla Caruso
shows a commitment to a vendor’s business and to mine,” she says. When
assessing new partners, Silberberg checks references at non-competing stores,
is clear about expectations like returning phone calls within 24 hours, and,
uses memo first to gauge reliability. “We need service; the vendor has to
provide it,” says Silberberg.