I’ve always admired Omi Gems’ jewelry on Marketplace, but it wasn’t until JCK Las Vegas that I realized the team behind the brand is as magnificent as the designs. Nestled comfortably in the luxurious Prestige Promenade, with the cushy carpets, soft violin music, and perfect lighting, Omi Privé beckoned me. When I stopped by, Manos, a kind, easygoing guy who, with his eye-catching shirts and fun demeanor, won’t soon be forgotten, showed me an array of glittering designs. And then there was Natalie, wearing the breathtaking emerald drop earrings, likely catching glances from clear across the room. She introduced me to Niveet Nagpal, the designer responsible for the creations that many of us coveted during the show. This is a unique team—a family, really—of people who, while representing a prestigious brand and delivering amazing product, love what they do and like to have fun doing it. Below, Nagpal gives us a closer look into the Omi world, as well as some compelling reasons to stock color in your jewelry showcases.
JCK Marketplace: Briefly, tell me the history of Omi Gems/Omi Privé.
Niveet Nagpal: For over 25 years, Omi Gems has primarily been known as the go-to source in the industry for fine colored gemstones. I grew up surrounded by the history and vibrant hues of natural gems and have always had a fascination with the stories behind them. And although my family has been in the business of loose gemstones for generations, I’ve always been intrigued how major companies like Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels translated gemstones into some of the most remarkable finished jewelry. I realized that, while the gems evoke emotion on their own, they have much more sentimentality and symbolism when set in a piece of jewelry, such as an engagement ring or wedding band. Eventually I learned more and more about the design and manufacturing side of the industry, and Omi Privé was born. I worked diligently to find craftsmen who could translate the quality of the fine gem into the setting itself. I am always determined to present the gemstone in a setting that has the same quality and beauty as the stone it holds.
JCK Marketplace: If you could sum up the Omi brand in just a few words, which would you choose?
NN: Unique, passion, color, quality.
NN: The 20.02 carat pink sapphire ring. This one is my favorite because it’s rare to find a pink sapphire that large that is untreated, especially in this color. The piece is handmade with 113 collection-quality diamonds to complement the brilliance of the sapphire. The part you don’t immediately see might be the best part; there are 52 fancy light pink diamonds set in rose gold on the gallery underneath the stone. It’s one of those “emotional” rings. The woman who ends up with this ring will bring up emotion in herself and everyone around her when she wears it. She won’t be able to stop smiling every time she looks down at her hand.
JCK Marketplace: What was the best part of JCK Las Vegas 2012?
NN: Walking up to our booth for the first time and seeing the name and signage of our new jewelry line, Omi Privé. We had been working hard for months and even years on putting together the line. To see it debut at the Prestige Promenade brought it to reality. Accepting the Buyer’s Choice award in the 2012 Platinum Innovation Awards for our sapphire and diamond wedding band was pretty amazing, as well!
JCK Marketplace: If you could give one piece of advice to jewelry retailers, what would it be?
NN: Stock color! Research shows that color catches the eye and stimulates the brain. It’s important to have colored stone jewelry front and center in your store to catch potential clients’ attention. Even if you add a few colored gemstone pieces in your diamond bridal showcase, it will increase the “eye traffic” for that case and result in not only increased colored gemstone sales, but diamond sales also.
JCK Marketplace: It’s happy hour! What are you going to order?
NN: I’m generally a scotch guy, but for happy hour I’ll go with whatever the place is known for. If they can’t get that right, it’s time to move on to the next place!