There’s an e-zeitgeist sweeping industry now that’s poised to help boost jewelry sales. With an Internet connection and a compelling voice, you, too, can be heard, and there is a trio of new jewelry blogs angling to get your—and your consumers’—attention.
Enter Jewelophile, For Future Reference, and soon-to-go-live The Adventurine, all products of seasoned industry journalists, designers, and a former salesperson. All have or will have editorial copy, and some have a sales component—like many of the fashion bloggers—direct to consumers. All will cast a spotlight on our product and aim to inspire more sales.
Jewelophile is the work-in-progress baby of former InStore market editor and jewelry designer Beth Bernstein and fellow designer Susan Cohen. The site pledges to be a destination for estate jewelry lovers with a quarterly online magazine and a curated boutique filled with antique and vintage-inspired pieces. The site will speak to the clients of the duo who seek out their design savvy, as well as those interested in interviews with collectors, shop owners, historians, authors, and editors who share their passion for antique pieces.
For a contemporary take on jewelry tastemakers and artists, check out For Future Reference. This site is the brainchild of Randi Molofsky, a onetime National Jeweler fashion editor and U.S. marketing and communications director at Gemfields, and Meaghan Flynn, a former sales agent for designer jewelry brands and a consultant to premier retailers. Theirs is a consumer-facing platform full of fun interviews with designers, gemologists, and other personalities (Hannah Becker of Diamond Doodles!). Known for their love of fashion and jewelry, the two want to help consumers build their own jewelry portfolios, complete with design help from them, if desired.
Then there’s The Adventurine from former InStyle editor Marion Fasel. The Adventurine will be an online magazine that will debut in fall 2015 featuring “exclusive interviews, historical articles, trend pieces, product launches, and stunning original photography of rare treasures and chic contemporary creations,” according to its site. This e-zine, too, will have a sales component, but a different kind: The Adventurine will offer brand development, branded content programs, and social media platforms for jewelry firms. (This part is headed up by Lisa Jordan Helms, a former coworker of Fasel’s who serves as senior vice president of business development and client services.) “It will be an editorial blog in nature, and we’ll sell ads,” Fasel explained to me in a recent phone interview.
Of course, this threesome is just the latest in an ever-growing list of jewelry storytellers. Prior to 2008, industry largely relied on trade magazines to get their news and information. But when the recession struck, staffing at traditional outlets changed, leaving a lot fewer writers left to herald anyone’s news. Enter, the bloggers: iDazzle, Gem Gossip, and Daily Jewel debuted in 2008; Katerina Perez and the Jewellery Editor in 2011; and Adornmentality debuted in 2013. There are more, of course—Cheryl Kremkow’s newly debuted Gem Obsessed, Jewels du Jour, Cathleen McCarthy’s Jewelry Loupe, Becky Cole Stone’s Diamonds in the Library, JCK Marketplace manager Brittany Siminitz’s On Your Market, and the site of former journalist-turned-jewelry-designer Wendy Brandes.
“It’s an exciting time to be in jewelry,” adds Fasel. “You don’t even need to be in New York City or in Los Angeles. You can find people through your passion because the information is so accessible, and there are a lot of unique voices now.”
All of these voices are raising jewelry’s profile simply by casting a spotlight onto it, especially since the digital landscape—where many conversations happen—continues to evolve rapidly. And putting the product on the consumers’ radar is the first step to increasing sales.
The next step is for retailers to keep these conversations going and give shoppers compelling reasons to keep coming into stores. Fresh product is key, as is education to guide purchases and maintain clients’ confidence. But just as Fasel notes about jewelry designers—“they need to deliver something new and special to stand out today”—so, too, do merchants need to keep giving customers reasons to stay in touch.
And this is where the blogs and social media stars are your boon: Identify with the content that speaks to you, and share it with clients to get them excited about jewelry. Show customers how new pieces are being worn so they can visualize wearing items, and consider working or collaborating with a new media star to open doors to a new generation of jewelry lovers (aka his or her readers or followers). There’s a mix of editorial and advertorial platforms in the ether now, and all are modern, inventive ways of capturing shoppers’ interest and have the potential to help you sell more jewelry.
The Style 360 blog is your editorial source for the newest jewelry, trends, market analysis, trade show insights, designer profiles, and more.