When Joe Carullo founded the Select Jewelry Show in 2010, he wanted to create an environment that was a win-win for both buyers and sellers. That’s one reason why he zeroed in on the ratio of retailers to exhibitors.
“If you keep increasing the amount of vendors, you limit the amount of selling your group can do,” says Carullo, the former co-owner of KC Designs. “I always go for a three-to-one ratio, so you have three retailers for every one vendor. So everybody can make money.”
That’s the premise of the newest Select Jewelry Show, which runs at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson Feb. 2–3 with 54 vendors, including designers Aaron Henry, Debra Navarro, and Artistry Ltd. (The show’s other locations include Connecticut, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.)
“La Paloma is such a cool hotel,” Carullo says. “They’re eager to please us, we’re eager to please our vendors. It’s easy to be motivated to take care of your retailers.”
Below, Carullo tells JCK about the reason he founded the show, why he felt Tucson was ripe for another jewelry event, and why appointments aren’t really necessary at Select.
What was the impetus behind creating the Select show in the first place?
I had this vision of a small intimate show of 50–60 vendors creating an atmosphere where you could network in one ballroom. We also wanted to produce a show that was not going to be a high-cost, invitational type of show. My shows, the most expensive one is $6,200.
It is a tabletop show, but we have an option for showcases because some vendors need them for insurance. It creates intimacy between the buyer and seller—they sit down, go through the line, it’s all touchy and feely. Relationships are created. We do a wine pour in the afternoon. You can sit down with your vendor and talk about how you’re going to sell the merchandise, how you’re going to market it, map all that stuff out without being rushed. That’s the key.
Why did you decide to bring the show to Tucson?
The Tucson opportunity came about because the Centurion show moved dates to Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday [Jan. 29–31]. I thought there was an opportunity for a bridge between Centurion and JCK Tucson and AGTA. My show runs on Sunday, Monday [Feb. 2–3], then AGTA starting Tuesday and JCK starting Wednesday through that Saturday. So you have an Arizona buying opportunity that all revolves around AGTA.
Will the show have any events buyers should know about?
We’ll have a Super Bowl party on Sunday night—another opportunity for people to network. Breakfast and lunch will be served both days, and this year Barbara Palumbo will be giving a seminar on 12 easy ways to strengthen your social: a dozen do’s and don’ts. And then [AGTA CEO] Doug Hucker is doing a colored stone education seminar on Monday morning on color, “using the whole box of crayons.”
We also have a raffle drawing. Retailers who win $5,000 in the raffle turn around and spend that money on the floor; it’s a buying opportunity with the vendors. The more orders you write coming up to the raffle, which is at the end of each day, the more tickets you’ll get. Everybody likes to win money.
It’s my way of creating and facilitating an atmosphere that’s suitable to buying. Vendors say to me, “Should I make appointments?” I say, they’re going to be in the room—you’ll see them. When they’re not speaking to another vendor, you can say, “Why don’t you come over and look at my goods?” It’s just easy.
Top: 14k yellow gold ring with honeycomb band and 1.32-ct. hexagon citrine with .22 ct. t.w. diamonds, $1,410; artistrylimited.comFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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