Archive for 2007

Gurhan Celebrates 10 Years in Business
Posted on December 11, 2007
What a lovely way to celebrate a 10th anniversary... with a party designed to thank and honor those who helped you reach that milestone -- like your first customer, and your IT consultant, and your lawyer and the editor who gave you your first magazine feature. That's just what Fiona Tilley and Gurhan Orhan -- owners of GURHAN -- did this evening. It was a swanky cocktail party for 100+ where nearly everyone was the guest of honor -- or at least made to feel that way by the gracious couple who have created one of the most successful designer businesses of our time. Due to their  accumulated genius -- in both business and design --- they've grown from a two-person entrepreneurship  in NYC to a multinational corporation with nearly 100 people  going full steam... Read More
My Designer Business Advice in Chicago Tribune
Posted on December 3, 2007
I admit it. I'm a joiner. I like being a part of  of groups and communities. I contribute to online discussion groups;  serve on the board of the Women's Jewelry Association; work on committees of Jeweler's For Children and  other industry org's... and in my spare time I lead my daughter's Girl Scout troop, head a PTA committee and even make most monthly meetings of a wine-fueled book club. I find the cameraderie and brainstorming a great way to offset the sometimes limited socializing that comes from running a small business with my husband. But even if you're not naturally a joiner, you need to get out. We can all benefit from a little help from our friends. In my workshop, "Tips from the Trenches: How to Grow a Successful Designer Business" I'm... Read More
Online Jewelry Shopping Gains Momentum
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In the past few weeks I've had more designers mention their new e-commerce website than ever before. And I've had a chat with a few retailers -- one in particular who has a fantastic online presence, too -- who are considering dropping vendors who launch e-commerce sites. I find this a very interesting trend and dilemma -- but it's one who's time has come. When you've got wholesale accounts it's a very tricky line to walk. On one hand, you're competing with your own customers, on the other you're growing your brand and serving more consumers (hopefully) than ever before. [TIP: Surf the net for a while and visit sites for designers you admire. See who's retailing and how it's done. Check prices to make sure you're not underpricing your work nor your customers' normal... Read More
Creating a World Jewelry Center
Posted on November 8, 2007
Last night I attended a lovely soiree at the Waldorf Hotel in Manhattan to learn more about the  World Jewelry Center -- an amazingly ambitious new project in Las Vegas. The World Jewelry Center is a 50+ story tower planned in a new area of Vegas called Union Park. Most of the building will be business-to-business office condo's offering jewelry companies from around the world state-of-the-art office space. Internationl firms as well as domestic businesses are expected to fill the building with companies of all sectors from gems to manufacturers to designers and more. They've gotten more than 100 signed letters of intent to buy office space. A retail center is planned too -- giving some of the manufacturers in the tower the chance to have retail of their own. An... Read More
New Wave Craft Movement – something to talk about?
Posted on November 7, 2007
According to a post on the ACC Policy Discussion Forum  the American Craft Council has added a new section in their show for New Wave Crafters. One "old wave" master, James Aarons, questioned this and wanted an explaination of "New Wave." I found the reply interesting and in line with some research I did two years ago when putting together a talk on "Trends in Craft" and I thought about all the 20-somethings who make "stuff" and sell it. Yet don't relate to the traditional "craft" world. I found a host of cool websites that were fresh, young and "crafty" in a a new way. Guess the movement is growing.Mary Fichter  of the ACC replied: The Council has identified several exceptional self-proclaimed "new... Read More
Ethical Jewelry Summit
Posted on November 6, 2007
It has been just about a year (maybe 2) that we've heard mention of ethical jewelry MAKING practices and fair trade issues. We've always worried about ethical deals (think retailers switching stones, manufacturers underkarating, etc.) but ethical creation? A new concept that has just started to take hold as witnessed by the first-ever Ethical Jewelry Summit last month in Washington, DC. This event brought together a broad spectrum of industry leaders and Represented at the conference was World Bank, Ethical Metalmiths, JA, Cartier, ARM, Tiffany, DeBeers, CJRP, GIA, Rapaport, as well as major suppliers, such as The Bell Group and Hoover and Strong. Some of the retailers and manufacturers included: Leber Jewelers, Brilliant Earth, Toby Pomeroy, Lori Bonn, Cred Jewelers,... Read More
Henry Dunay Jewelry Book Signing — Celebrating 50 years of Design
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Famed Designer Henry Dunay had a wonderful party this evening to celebrate the debut of his first coffee table book "Henry Dunay A Precious Life." The book is beautiful, filled with dozens and dozens of photos of Henry's masterpieces from the past 50 years. Marion Fasel and Penny Proddow wrote the text and the photos were taken over the years by Dallas jewelry photographer  extraordinaire John Parrish.It's an inspiring read for any designer.  ... Read More
Protecting Your Product Ideas
Posted on September 25, 2007
Ladies Who Launch is one of my favorite business programs -- it's a grassroots organization that offers "incubators" for women who have a great business idea and need support. Frankly, wish I'd thought of it! However, on their blog this week there's a great entry on Patents and defending your brilliant ideas.Kim Lavine, author of Mommy Millionaire, writes:    I remember when I was just starting out, perhaps the scariest moments for me involved putting my ideas out there in the marketplace, worrying about somebody knocking them off. Since then I’ve learned that the idea is only 5% of a product’s success—and this may include the patent! The other 95% is sales and marketing. You can find a whole section in my book MOMMY MILLIONAIRE on patents, and I... Read More
Build a Website for a Buck
Posted on September 20, 2007
Read on's blog today:If you've been dreaming up an e-commerce site, blog or online business, this is the time to give it a shot--for $1. That's right, MyDomain, a domain registration company, is offering customers the chance to launch a website for $1 for 30 days. The site's "Build Your Dream Business" promotion, which kicked off today, allows customers to pick a domain name and use MyDomain's software to publish their website. After the 30-day trial, customers can continue to use MyDomain's annual domain registration and three months of hosting for $41.80. ... Read More
Want a Personal Travel Assistant?
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Again, reading's blog and learned about A free web service that will combine all your travel plans/docs into one itinerary you can access online and in print and coordinate it all with your companions. It seems like a great thing to do for a vacation or for your first trip to a new city for a trade show or craft fair. I can see this being a good thing. Let me know if you try it! ... Read More