Archive for 2009

Lawsuits Forced Heidi Klum to Discontinue Her Jewelry Line
Posted on August 11, 2009
Heidi Klum is in search of new licensing deals after her jewelry line folded, says New York Magazine."Unfortunately, I did have a partner who ... maybe wasn't as knowledgeable in terms of setting up a business. I worked five years very hard on that. But we stopped because we had a lawsuit with Van Cleef & Arpels — they wanted to have the clover, even though our designs had never matched, I don't know how may designs I had done in five years, maybe 800 different designs — but they just wanted to own the clover motif. So they went after everyone who does that — Louis Vuitton! — they said, "We own the clover." And I was like, "Then who's the person with the clover and the person with the heart?" I think when you're a small... Read More
Please take our Jewelry Designer Business Survey
Posted on August 3, 2009'd love to have more folks take our survey, "JRB Pulse of the Designer Community Survey, " on what jewelry designers are doing online.... how you're using the tools out there, are you following our tweets, posts and various ways to communicate. And most importantly, what else do you need to succeed and thrive this year?click this link to go to survey: Please tell us! It's a quick and easy survey -- and we'll use the statistics to help you and your peers. Tell your friends, too, if you will be so kind as to forward that link so we can capture as many different perspectives as possible.Here's a sample of the less than a dozen questions... Read More
Designer business tips from our seminar last week
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It was a great joint venture between our company and Collective-E last week... Beth Schoenfeldt and I each moderated a panel and the 50+ attendees were really on their game. The questions were plentiful.Tips from the experts include:Make yourself unique -- we don't need more beautiful jewelry we need more jewelry that has a unique point of view. Sarah Graham has made her name on her blackened metal alloy mixed with yellow and white golds.Be persistent but not a stalker for press and retailers.Pitch appropriately -- don't send funky jewels to bridal mags, nor mega-diamond jewels to Redbook. Don't pitch Lucky if you don't have any national distribution.Court retailers for a while -- they have to cycle people out to let you in so it can take a season or three. Be... Read More
Twitter for jewelry designers is now a good thing — we see the power
Posted on August 1, 2009
The JA Show wrapped up on Wednesday (we'll post more about that shortly) and we ended the show with a designer business mini-conference organized with the gals at Collective-E.There were two panel discussions (video to come if we fix some bugs like the missing sound!) and while I moderated the first one the girls from Collective-E tweeted (the act of posting a comment on twitter) the topline notes from everyone's comments. Then I was able to sit and watch the second panel -- and tweet the great points -- and learn that while I was on stage Beth and Katie had tweeted my panel AND a host of folks at home were following (and commenting) on our tweets!Ok. I get it... twitter is very useful. I'm still not sold on the "I just had raspberry sherbet on 10th St."... Read More
The Number of Jewelry stores closing this year is just on the high-side of normal
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If the U.S. jewelry industry loses a net of 750 businesses this year, it would be at the high end of the typical range of the annual net shrinkage of specialty jewelry businesses. But this year's projected net shrinkage of jewelry industry retail capacity would not be a record loss, industry analyst Ken Gassman says in a report on"Just under 400 U.S. retail specialty jewelers closed their doors in the first six months of 2009, up from about 300 closures in the same period a year ago, according to new data from the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT). However, jewelry store openings continue to offset these closings: 91 brave merchants decided to open a jewelry business in the first six months of 2009, despite the tough economy. This is almost... Read More
Modern Jeweler Magazine Suspends Publication
Posted on July 20, 2009
With a sad heart we say goodbye to an industry stalwart and some great colleagues. Modern Jeweler never looked better than this past year or so in design, layout and useful content. Seen on blog today: After 108 years of serving the jewelry industry, Modern Jeweler is suspending publication. We’d like to thank all the people who worked hard over the years to make every issue worth reading. We’d also like to thank the retailers and manufacturers who shared their time and expertise with our readers each month. We hope to find a buyer who believes in the future of the jewelry industry as much as we do. But even if we don’t and the August issue of Modern Jeweler is truly the last, we are sure that the jewelry industry’s strong community and generosity... Read More
BusinessWeek Seeking Nominations: Best U.S. Entrepreneurs 25 and Under
Posted on July 8, 2009
Do designers sometime fudge gemological terms in the name of fashion?
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In his new blog, gem expert Gary Roskin, focuses his first Consumer News post on the tale of this month's InStyle magazine cover showing off a Tom Binn's pearl necklace.To Gary's eye the "pearls" were fishy -- too large to be genuine. And if real at that size they'd be too precious to dye bright colors and too heavy to wear well. And so he went investigating.... you can read the story here.Suffice it to say.... you need to be sure what you're putting out there. And how editors are writing about your jewels and how well staffers are trained.Gemologist and author Gary A. Roskin, G.G., FGA, the former gemstone editor for JCK magazine, has just launched the Roskin Gem News Report Web site (, which covers gemstones and... Read More
New York Times says the jewelry industry is “going through a business cycle”
Posted on July 7, 2009
This article in the New York Times sums up our industry this year well... it's been a very tough year.I always have the feeling that when articles like this appear -- it signals the end of the cycle. What do you think? I sure hope I'm right and that we've hit bottom. Even if we expect a slow recovery.The best quote in the article is:"And yet, sales of diamond rings and wedding bands seem to be holding up better than for other kinds of jewelry. Retailers and analysts say a decent engagement ring is still seen as a necessity for men hoping to get a yes to a marriage proposal................. For the retailers the good news, relatively speaking, is that the chains say the rate of deceleration has slowed in the last three months. No one is declaring a recovery,... Read More
Interested in opening a jewelry gallery or other specialty retail store?
Posted on July 6, 2009
Here's a great new read!Karen Lorene, owner of Facere Gallery in Seattle, has started a blog based on her 3 decades of retailing experience. She intends for her information to be useful to ANY business and I'm sure it will be very useful to retailers and artisans, alike.She writes in her first entries on her "Building a Business: Try This!" blog: Chapter One: Build on What You Know I assume you have a business dream. I also assume you have a bit of business knowledge because you more than likely grew up having had a lemonade stand, a retail summer job, you waitressed, you babysat, you shopped. That's how much business experience I had. If I can do it, you can do it!Here's the beginning of thirty-seven years of experience in retail. I urge you... Read More