I was very lucky, preparing for my trip to Africa with Sharing the Rough jewelry documentary, to have expert guidance from Roger Dery. Roger has been to Africa something like nineteen times, and has assembled extremely helpful information, learned, I suspect, from some trial and error in his own travels. Now that I’ve been to Africa myself, here is some firsthand information I can share with you.
Interviewing owners of jewelry stores in resort locations recently – (and no, sadly, the assignment did not involve a trip to Hawaii!) – led me to reflect again on the importance of offering unique merchandise and/or a unique selling proposition.
When Marie Helene Morrow , one of the most respected jewelry retailers in the industry and 2014 winner of the GEM Lifetime Achievement Award, invites you to visit one of her suppliers for a buying presentation, you don’t say no. In fact, you jump at the chance. So it was that I was able to sit in with Marie Helene (owner of Reinhold Jewelers, with three locations in Puerto Rico) as she shopped the collection of Phillips House, a designer out of south Florida who was exhibiting at Centurion.
When we ask jewelers what they’ve learned from their time in the business, one of the more frequent responses we get is to be grateful for what you have. And in the jewelry industry there is plenty to be thankful for – sharing in people’s good times, working with beautiful materials, and the chance to make a good living.