Think Globally, Sell Locally

Want to incorporate more international flair into your showcases? Take a page from the experts.Five years ago, Maria Benavides, co-owner of Soho Gem in New York City, started carrying a line of enamel, precious stone, and gold rings made in Italy. The look was pretty and popular, but a year after she sold the first pieces, they started coming back into the store for repair. “You can replace stones, but when the enamel starts chipping, that’s a big issue that only someone with a particular know-how can fix,” she says.Back the rings went to the manufacturer, at a minimum cost of $100 for a one-way trip. Neither the vendor nor Benavides wanted to pay for the shipping; the customers certainly didn’t want to pony up. Repairs became such a nuisance—and a pricey one at that—that two years ago, Benavides stopped stocking the items. “People are willing to wait for the repair, but th

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