October 2012

2012 Holiday Survival Guide: Month-by-Month Tips for Retail Sales Success

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100-Year-Old Jeweler Oscar Heyman Crafts a 100 Carat Multicolor Bracelet

Inspired by the geometric shapes of Hong Kong’s crowded skyline, this Oscar Heyman bracelet steeps trillion-cut Ceylon sapphires and diamonds in a hand-forged platinum skeleton, creating a dazzling study in tiny, meticulously cut triangles. “The sapphires make this a really special piece—they’re very, very bright,” says Tom Heyman, a third-generation co-owner of the company that…

Professional Jewelry Making: Silver Locket: Part 2

The procedures in this article are standard practices for bench jewelers at this time. If not executed properly, however, they can cause harm. Neither the author nor the publisher is responsible for injuries, losses, or damage that may result from the use or misuse of this information. Safety Alert: Burs and other setting tools are…

Bridal: Why Retailers Are Thinking Pink (Gold Jewelry)

Rose gold is the starring metal in several new bridal jewelry collections. Often used as an accent to white gold and platinum, pink is quickly gaining in popularity thanks to rose gold watches and the jewelry made to match. “Retailers are drawn to rose gold,” affirms Kirk Karaguezian, founder of Los Angeles–based bridal jewelry manufacturer…

Platinum: Meet Designer Leon Megé

A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, who’s been making private-label goods for some of the world’s best-known design houses is now making his own name. Leon Megé crafts mostly platinum jewelry with rare stones like French-cut diamonds. On the 14th floor of a circa-1912 loft building, in one of architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue’s original workspaces,…

Gold: Buy Buy Bimetal Jewelry

A familiar but little-talked-about product in the jewelry manufacturing sector called bimetal—­referring to two metals bonded together, primarily sterling silver fused to either 18k or 22k gold—is poised for greater popularity in fine jewelry stores. As a good alternative to solid 18k gold, bimetal helps keep down costs; it’s much more durable compared to gold…

Diamonds: The Jewelry of Roberto Demeglio, De Beers’ Big Move & More

Carats & Coils The work of Italian jewelry designer Roberto Demeglio was introduced to U.S.  clients of Beny Sofer in New York City just earlier this year, and Sofer has already placed the line in 70 stores nationwide. Signature Demeglio looks include ­diamond-accented ceramic numbers that resemble dominoes and patented stretchable bracelets and rings that…

Gem Pricing: Unconventional Wisdom

Retailers hope attractively priced nontraditional gems will beat holiday expectations Exhibitors report that attendance at the regional summer shows in the United States was down from 2011. The number of attendees who were active buyers has greatly improved, however. In colored stones, both estate pieces and fine loose stones have experienced particularly strong interest. The…

From Mine to Store: Lydia Courteille’s Crocodile Cuff

“My animals are bad, really bad—like in real life,” says Parisian designer Lydia Courteille, who ­created this jaw-dropping cuff in homage to two legendary predators. Part of the maison’s Bestiary line of animal-motif pieces, the one-of-a-kind bracelet depicts a diamond-covered snake about to meet his end at the deathly bite of a tsavorite-topped croc. “In…

2012 JCK LUXURY Privé Panama Preview

The Westin Playa Bonita will host these vendors, among others, Oct. 22–24 at the inaugural LUXURY Privé Panama. ¡Que bueño! (Above)1. Stainless-steel yellow nautical cabling ring with white sapphires and diamonds; $1,495; Alor/Charriol USA, La Jolla, Calif.; 800-872-2567; charriolusa.com   2. Sterling silver and black rhodium ring with 19 ct. black onyx and white crystals;…

India Inc.: Wrapping Up IIJS 2012

Mumbai’s IIJS brings the country’s best and brightest jewelers Vicenza, Hong Kong, JIS Miami, Privé Panama…Bapalal Keshavlal president Romy Mehta was in his booth at the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council’s India International Jewellery Show in August, detailing his 2012 trade show schedule. “Eight shows in three months,” he chuckled. ’Round-the-world travel is the…

The Way to Sell Luxury Jewelry? Make It Special

Chastened by the still-wobbly economy, luxury consumers are thinking twice before spending. Nevertheless, they’re willing to pay a premium for one quality above all others: uniqueness. The vote is in and it’s unanimous: Election years are notoriously tough on fine jewelers. A combination of lingering economic uncertainty, wobbly consumer confidence, and the fast-approaching presidential election…

5 Ways for Retailers to Battle Business Burnout

John Weaver, a Waukesha, Wis.–based psychologist and business consultant, shares four essential elements for keeping your emotional health intact so that your business stays on track: • Clearly identify what is important to your business. Successful companies recognize the value they’re bringing to the table beyond just their product. For ­example, a jewelry store might…

Fighting Business Burnout

The daily demands and economic struggles of retail can cause stress to build up over time. Here’s how to keep your passion alive, especially as the 24/7 holiday season gets into full swing. For Kris Schmid of Diehl’s Jewelers in Bernardsville, N.J., deadlines are the biggest reason he occasionally feels burned out. As a store…

Capitalizing on the American-Made Jewelry Movement

In December 2010, Amanda Jaron received an eye-opening piece of mail: Her monthly FedEx bill for shipping designs to and from the Chinese factory that manufactured her A. Jaron Studio line for the Home Shopping Network totaled $30,000. “I was spending more time and money on FedEx than on designing,” she recalls. Anxious to have…

How to Hit Jewelry Shoppers’ New Sweet Spot

When it comes to average retail tickets, what went up before the financial crisis inevitably came back down in its wake “It used to be that a woman could spend $10,000 on a better piece of jewelry and not think about it,” says Belinda Coffrin, owner of Coffrin Jewelers in Sarasota, Fla. But since the…

2012 Holiday Survival Guide: Month-by-Month Tips for Retail Sales Success

Experts in marketing, social media, publicity, sales, and other critical areas of operations share their secrets for seasonal success You’ve been down this road before—as have we. But whether it’s your second, fifth, or 30th holiday season, a little refresher on what to do to ensure a profitable end to your year never hurts. That’s…

Marilyn Monroe Shows Off Prized Mikimoto Pearls From Joe DiMaggio

Marilyn Monroe may have sung that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” but one of her nicest—and most sentimental—pieces of jewelry was actually a simple string of Mikimoto pearls. Ballplayer Joe DiMaggio gave them to her during their 10-day Japanese honey­moon in 1954, which he would later describe as the happiest time of their marriage.…

JCK Asks…Andrea Fohrman

Looking into the L.A. designer’s colorful world It seemed appropriate that we were clutching a bag of jelly beans when we visited Andrea Fohrman at Las Vegas Market Week. Spread across a velvet tray was an array of her Kat earrings in shades as varied and enticing as our cellophane-wrapped treats: bubblegum pink opal, strawberry…

Robert Lee Morris Gets Down to Brass Tacks

The designer returns with a brand-new collection that brings his aesthetic to a wider audience Robert Lee Morris is right back where he started. A pioneer of the art jewelry movement who rose to prominence in the 1970s, the 65-year-old designer has had a storied career over the course of which he’s earned two Council…

Is There a Jeweler in the House?

Ian Brown crosses town (and continents!) to bring his clients the best pieces During the course of his 20-year career in jewelry retail, Ian Brown has worn a multitude of hats—from diamond buyer to watch director to vice president of Brown & Co., the Atlanta-based jewelry chain founded by his father, Frank Brown. But his…

Alexandria Rossoff Jewels & Rare Finds

402 University St., Seattle On cosmopolitan University Street in downtown Seattle, shoppers are known to linger on the sidewalks to take in two quintessential sights: the peekaboo views of the Puget Sound glistening to the west and the floor-to-ceiling window displays beckoning from Alexandria Rossoff Jewels & Rare Finds. Situated across from the regal Fairmont…

The Washingtonians

As stewards of a 95-year-old legacy, the Runyans value deals, diamonds—and droll good times Steve Runyan’s father didn’t believe in doling out allowances to his kids. “He’d say, ‘If you want money, you can come down to the store and work,’?” says Steve, the third-generation owner of his family’s Vancouver, Wash.–based jewelry store (now called…

Have a Social Media-Happy Holiday Season

Using social media to bolster sales in the fourth quarter requires a delicate balance. On one hand, you want to take advantage of the good will you’ve created through social marketing channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. On the other hand, you want to avoid overdoing it to the point where your customers…

What Facebook Pages Won’t Do for Retailers

Facebook was never intended to be used by businesses Sorry, Mr. Zuckerberg, but Facebook Pages stink as a marketing tool. There, I said it. Or, more to the point, I typed it…with one hand…from beneath my desk…just in case Zuckerberg Almighty sends a bolt of lightning to strike me down. Why am I over Facebook?…

Up Close & Personal at Davis Jewelers

For Ashley Davis, it’s about handwritten letters, word-of-mouth referrals, and special service 1. What one advertisement elicited the most response and why did it work?In April, we started giving $25 gift cards to every new person who liked us on Facebook. To receive the gift card, people also had to watch a video of me…

5 Tips for Hiring Social Media Strategists

Meagan Dahl Meagan Dahl, head of social media for the Dallas-based digital strategy agency BuzzShift, shares her tips on what to look for when hiring a social media expert for your company. 1. A social media expert is not someone who knows how to use Twitter—it’s someone who knows how to create conversations and connect…

Being a “Responsible” Jeweler Has Costs—and Rewards

Industries looking to shore up their reputations as globally responsible usually begin and end with “going green.” But the jewelry industry has an additional layer to transcend beyond environmental do-goodery. Ethical responsibility—ensuring that business practices have zero negative impact on the health and happiness of others—has long preoccupied the industry, and the issue is now…

Industry & People: October 2012

COMINGS AND GOINGS >>?Chamilia has appointed executive vice president and chief business development officer Michael ­Flaherty as its new CEO. >>?Prestige Promenade named Chris Casey its new executive director. Casey spent eight years with Nielsen Co., running its jewelry properties including Couture, the JA New York shows, and National Jeweler. >>?Patrick W. Welch, most recently…

JCK 5: Retailers & Companies Reveal Mid-2012 Financial Reports

Leading retailers and companies delivered an uneven group of financial results in August: 1. Zale Corp.’s net loss totaled $20 million in the fourth quarter, down from a net loss of $33 million during the same period last year. Same-store sales rose 6.9 percent. 2. J.C. Penney announced another downbeat quarter, with comp sales for…

New York Spring 2013 Fashion Week Report: Denim, Laidback Luxe Rule

We know how fashion loves to swing the proverbial pendulum. After last season’s burst of all things extravagant and bejeweled, much of the designer tribe is making a beeline for opposite shores. One of the early trends out of New York’s Sept. 6–13 Fashion Week was as anti-ornate as it gets: denim. That staple of…

1,000,000 Page Views! Publisher’s Letter, October 2012

We just finished our analysis of the first half of 2012’s JCKonline traffic, and I’m thrilled to report we hit a historic milestone in the month of May: The three key areas of JCKonline.com—the news, show, and JCKmarketplace—received 1,009,344 page views! For those not initiated into the world of online traffic measurement, that means the…

In Praise of American-Made, Editor’s Letter, October 2012

In last year’s October issue, my editor’s letter began with an anecdote about Chinese tourists and the tremendous impact they had made on the retail scene in America. Inside was a feature article detailing the ways in which American jewelers could make their stores and merchandise more appealing to visitors from the Far East. The…

10 Things Rocking the Industry: October 2012

1. Shows The strength and sophistication of the Latin American jewelry market may come as a surprise to some people, but not to the organizers of LUXURY Privé Panama, a brand new invitation-only buying show from the team at JCK Events. From Oct. 22 to 24, 50 exhibitors—John Hardy, Rahaminov,  and Mattia Cielo, among others—will…