It’s good to see the color turquoise return to fashion’s runways—that means turquoise jewelry will also be resurrected. Not that turquoise jewelry ever really goes away, of course. But remember how huge it was a dozen years ago? There wasn’t a designer who could resist it (and coral, too, as I recall). I’ll admit, this comeback kind of crept up on me—while I was watching the purple palette, like everyone else, I suspect.
The revelation this week that General Motors’ new CEO Mary Barra is paid half of what her male predecessor received is sparking debate about the pay gap between men and women. This got me wondering if such a gap exists among independent jewelry store owners. In our 2013 Big Survey, we asked store owners what their total personal earnings were as well as their gender, so it took only a couple of minutes to come up with a graphic representation of any disparity in earnings between male and female store owners:
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.