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Upending Everything to Get Ahead
October 1st, 2022

Disrupting Ourselves Make disruption analysis a critical part of your planning strategy By Andrea Hill When you hear the term business disruption, do you smile or do you cringe? Do those words stimulate your imagination or cause you to assume a defensive posture? Even among people who aren’t really clear on what the theory of […]

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The CEO as Conductor
September 2nd, 2022

What’s Your Score? Business leaders should take a cue from conductors By Andrea Hill When I embarked on a career in business it surprised everyone who knew me, including me. I had spent most of my childhood through early adulthood in classical training as a musician, with brief forays into blues and jazz to pay […]

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Tips for Preventing and Surviving a Cyberattack
August 4th, 2022

Play it Safe How to safeguard your business against cybercrime By Sharon Elaine Thompson It’s said that there are two kinds of businesses: those that have been hacked and those that will be. It was probably predictable that, with so many vendors and buyers moving online in the last two years, cyberattacks would increase across […]

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Jewelry Industry Statistics and Trends: July 2022
August 4th, 2022

Industry Snapshot Despite a challenging economy, moderate growth is possible By Harold Dupuy, FGA Quick Links: Jewelry Sales Overview • The Economy • Diamond Industry • In Closing In the first quarter of 2022, jewelry industry sales continued the above-average growth experienced last year. That is the good news. On the other side of the […]

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Challenge Your Assumptions When Faced with New Ideas
August 4th, 2022

Let Question Be Your Co-Pilot Evaluate new ideas and make better decisions by challenging your assumptions By Andrea Hill My son recently purchased his first commercial property. It was his first real estate purchase, and as anyone who has purchased real estate knows, the experience can be unsettling, particularly the first time. After the transaction […]

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How to Love Your Jewelry Castings
July 28th, 2022

13 Ways Jewelers Can Work with Their Casters… from sharing information to keeping it clean to standing, for a moment, in their shoes By Shawna Kulpa As a jewelry designer, you may find it difficult to entrust someone else with bringing your designs to life. But you likely recognize that no one person can do […]

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Using Technology to Lighten Your Load
July 5th, 2022

Stacking the Deck Build a technology stack uniquely suited to your business By Andrea Hill If you feel like you’re doing more than ever before—with less people—you’re not alone. The most recent Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses survey paints a picture of business owners facing burnout. Fifty percent of small businesses report that their most […]

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Podcast: Tips for Keeping Jewelry Businesses Safe with John Kennedy
June 29th, 2022

Tips for Keeping Jewelry Businesses Safe with John Kennedy Airdate: July 1, 2022 While cybercriminals and scammers continue to target jewelry businesses, a recent uptick in brutal robberies and thefts point toward a frightening trend. In this episode, John Kennedy, president of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, shares what jewelers need to know about the recent rise […]

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A Leader’s Guide to Getting Good Results
June 17th, 2022

Play the Same Game The key to being a better leader is to get better results By Andrea Hill Leadership is a lot of things, but it’s mostly results. Good leaders get results. Not just one-time results, not just the occasional slam dunk or home run, but consistent, always-progressing-in-the-right-direction results. So when executives ask me […]

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Using Technology to Sell Custom
June 17th, 2022

Conversation Starter How Greg Stopka adapted to offering his custom services online By Shawna Kulpa Last year, COVID-19 forced many businesses to temporarily close. Among them was JewelSmiths, a small design and service studio with locations in Pleasant Hill and San Ramon, California. President and Chief Designer Greg Stopka continued going to work every day, […]

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Gem Dealers Go Digital
June 17th, 2022

Vested in Virtual Gem dealers go digital due to pandemic postponements By Deborah A. Yonick With the cancellation this year of the major gem and mineral shows that annually take place in Tucson, many gem dealers took to holding their own virtual events during this time. The Vancouver, Washington-based Columbia Gem House (CGH) conducted its […]

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Tips for Being an Environmentally Responsible Jeweler
June 16th, 2022

Going Green Tips for small shop changes that can make a global difference By Shawna Kulpa What does it mean to be an environmentally responsible jeweler? Is it knowing the origin of the precious metals and gemstones used in your work and ensuring that they were sourced responsibly? Is it recycling all of your metal […]

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Zoom Meetings a Boon for Jewelry Sales
June 16th, 2022

Ready for a Close-up Video-conferencing offers jewelers a new tool for driving sales Deborah A. Yonick Looking your best from the waist up has been the dress code for many of us navigating our professional and social lives via video conferencing during this past year. While we await widespread distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines, our […]

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Simple Tools to Plan Through Projects
June 16th, 2022

See the Forest and the Trees Make planning easier with a rubric and plotter approach By Andrea Hill There’s a meme making the rounds about how parents everywhere are sad that the end of the pandemic will mean a return to elementary school science fairs, and all the tears and tantrums that are part of […]

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Creating and Telling a Responsible Story
June 13th, 2022

Doing Good Is Good Business The path toward a socially responsibly business By Andrea Hill Most of us agree that being a responsible parent or adult is important, and, if asked, I imagine that every person reading this could articulate the elements of responsibility: Telling the truth, demonstrating good character, modeling good behavior and values, […]

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Toward a More Diverse and Inclusive Industry
June 10th, 2022

Building a Better Industry Why diversity and inclusion matter By Deborah A. Yonick The national discussion about race that was raised following the murder of George Floyd last May reverberated through every industry, ours included. Although things were a long time coming, the jewelry industry and the individual organizations that comprise it have started having […]

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When to Outsource Production
June 10th, 2022

Contracting Conundrum How to determine when outsourcing would be better for yourself and your bottom line By Shawna Kulpa Jewelry business owners often wear a lot of hats, especially when they’re sole proprietors. They’re designers, bench jewelers, CAD modelers, polishers, stone setters, photographers, marketers, salespeople, shippers, and even janitors sometimes. But as their businesses grow […]

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21 Ideas for Advancing Your Business Goals
June 9th, 2022

21 Ideas for 2021 (and Beyond) Tips for starting off the new year right By Andrea Hill The beginning of each new year is always an exciting time. Even the change averse get swept up in the potential and energy of a new beginning. And 2021, perhaps more than any other new year in recent […]

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Tool Adaptations to Make Bench Work Easier
June 1st, 2022

The Outsiders Finding tools beyond the jewelry industry By Shawna Kulpa Every jeweler faces it at some point. Despite a plethora of tools designed specifically for jewelry makers, sometimes you just can’t find the exact tool you need. In times like that, many jewelers look beyond the industry to find what they need—and then take […]

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Is 3-D Scanning Right for Your Business?
June 1st, 2022

Planning for Scanning A look at the benefits and cost of investing in 3-D scanning capabilities By John Shanahan “A typical jewelry piece is everything 3-D scanning does not like,” says Srdjan Urosev, found-er and CEO of eLUXE3D in Rochester Hills, Michigan. “It’s small, detail-rich, and reflective.” Despite this, the technology, which first made its […]

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The Need for Getting Involved
June 1st, 2022

Make Change Participation is essential to developing responsible sourcing solutions By Andrea Hill Three of the most challenging aspects of engaging in jewelry industry responsible supply chain activities are how opaque jewelry supply chains continue to be, how many problems remain to be solved, and the moral dilemmas around many of our materials. The truth […]

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Adopting 5S in the Small Shop or Studio
May 5th, 2022

New Order Small shops can implement the 5S component of lean manufacturing to improve efficiency and organization By Carol McCarthy (First published in May 2008 MJSA Journal) As a small shop owner, you may wonder what lean manufacturing has to do with you. Most of what you read about the process is geared toward large […]

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Implementing a 5S Program
May 5th, 2022

Clean Sweep Good organization brings many rewards when a jewelry manufacturing company implements a 5S program By Andrea Hill Imagine for a moment that you are stepping into a jewelry manufacturing operation. The floors are gleaming. There are no boxes or miscellaneous items on the floor around the edges of the room. There is no […]

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Understanding the Need for Certification Standards
May 3rd, 2022

Making a Difference Adopting standards are a business necessity, not an option By Andrea Hill The world woke up on February 24 to the news that Russia had begun a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. During the week that followed, as extraordinary international sanctions were implemented and the UN Security Council and General Assembly censured Russia, […]

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Jewelry Industry Statistics and Trends: April 2022
May 3rd, 2022

Industry Snapshot Early sales figures set the stage for continued growth By Harold Dupuy, FGA Quick Links: Jewelry Sales Overview • The Economy • The Metal Markets • U.S. Consumers • Diamond Industry • In Closing There is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. While the Omicron variant rapidly appeared, it is now […]

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How Sustainability Is Driving Diamond Sales
May 3rd, 2022

For Good Reason Sustainability is key in sustaining diamond sales By Deborah A. Yonick Next to food and clothing, fine jewelry ranks as the third most frequently purchased category based on sustainability considerations among consumers. In fact, sustainability considerations are on par with price and design for jewelry consumers worldwide, according to De Beers’ 2021 […]

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Using Process Management to Ensure Business Success
April 3rd, 2022

Replaceable You Why process management is key to ensuring your business’s health By Andrea Hill At least once each week I receive a message from a business owner ready to throw in the towel. Their desperation is rarely due to lack of sales or business failure. They just can’t keep up. What started out as […]

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Choosing the Best Welding System to Meet Your Needs
April 3rd, 2022

The Passing of the Torch How to choose between pulse-arc welders and laser welders By Shawna Kulpa Tired of your torch? While torch soldering remains a great, low-cost and effective way to weld metals at the jeweler’s bench, you may be interested in upgrading to a faster method that requires less cleanup. As a jeweler, […]

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Podcast: Tips for Buying, Selling, & Marketing Lab-Grown Diamonds with Rob Bates
February 7th, 2022

Tips for Buying, Selling, & Marketing Lab-Grown Diamonds with Rob Bates Airdate: February 11, 2022 The market for lab-grown diamonds continues to grow, prices continue to drop, and growers are working around the clock to meet demand. In this episode, JCK News Director Rob Bates explores what buyers and sellers should consider regarding lab-grown diamonds, including […]

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How Lab-Grown Diamonds Are Made
February 7th, 2022

Making a Diamond in the Lab There are two primary ways in which lab-grown diamonds are grown: High Pressure/High Temperature (HPHT) Used since the 1950’s, this traditional technique subjects a diamond seed crystal to high pressure and high temperature to initiate growth of a diamond. Initially the technology primarily produced yellow or brownish yellow diamonds […]

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Buying and Selling Lab-Grown Diamonds
February 7th, 2022

The Allure of Lab-Grown Diamonds Interest in lab-grown diamonds continues to grow. Are you ready? By Shawna Kulpa They’re here and they’re not going anywhere. Lab-grown diamonds have been around since the 1950s, but with the technology today having advanced to the point where gem-quality stones can be readily produced, they’ve taken the jewelry industry […]

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Working with Your Refiner
November 4th, 2021

Shipping A Refining Lot Advice to help jewelers get the best return (Originally published October 2021) Note: This primer on when and how to send in a refining lot is adapted from the digital publication A Refined Approach: Tips for Capturing Precious Metals, Choosing a Refiner, and Maximizing Returns (MJSA Press, 2021). The book offers […]

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Preventing Production Challenges
November 4th, 2021

The Root of the Problem Keep production running smoothly from the start. Sponsored by: By Andrea Hill Several years ago, I was asked to visit a large jewelry manufacturing plant to help solve quality problems that persisted despite many efforts to solve them. The production manager—a very capable person—had tried everything he could think of, […]

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Avoiding Production Delays
November 4th, 2021

An Ounce of Prevention How jewelry manufacturers avoid production delays By Shawna Kulpa From supply issues to machine breakdowns, production problems can occur at any time. And while some may be unavoidable (such as a global pandemic), many can be prevented by taking precautionary steps. This month we take a look at two manufacturers who […]

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Organizational Aids for Jewelers
November 4th, 2021

A Little Place for Your Stuff Jewelers share their favorite organizational aids By Shawna Kulpa To quote the late comedian George Carlin, “All you need in life is a little place for your stuff.” Of course, he used that line to kick off a five-minute routine about how people have too much stuff, but he […]

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A Guide to Sales Prospecting in the Digital Age
November 4th, 2021

Stop Waiting for the Phone to Ring Tools and techniques to kick your prospecting game into high gear By Andrea Hill Prospecting is the act of searching for new qualified customers. The definition alone tells you how important it is, yet in most businesses, prospecting is neglected. Part of the problem is that people tend […]

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Podcast: 5 Tips for Sourcing Responsibly
October 26th, 2021

5 Tips for Sourcing Responsibly with Christina Malle Airdate: October 12, 2021 A goldsmith, graduate gemologist, and former human rights attorney, Christina Malle is committed to sourcing responsibly. A board member of Ethical Metalsmiths, she always uses Fairmined or certified recycled gold in her work, and she always sources gems from known, reliable vendors. In this […]

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Avoiding Production Delays
October 19th, 2021

An Ounce of Prevention How jewelry manufacturers avoid production delays By Shawna Kulpa From supply issues to machine breakdowns, production problems can occur at any time. And while some may be unavoidable (such as a global pandemic), many can be prevented by taking precautionary steps. This month we take a look at two manufacturers who […]

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Achieving Success with Social Commerce
October 15th, 2021

Another Tool in the Sales Chest How to take advantage of the lateset social commerce tools By Andrea Hill Until 20 years ago, small to medium-sized businesses chose one distribution channel, and that was enough. Adding additional channels represented significant risks related to marketing and sales investment as well as related logistics and operations challenges—risks […]

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Advice for Finding and Buying Tools
October 15th, 2021

Tool Up Jewelers share details about their tool buying habits Sponsored by: By Shawna Kulpa There’s no denying it: Jewelers love tools. But the process of filling a workshop with the tools and equipment needed to make jewelry day-in, day-out can be intimidating. How do you learn about the tools out there and what they […]

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The FTC and “Made in the USA”
October 15th, 2021

Claim Check FTC makes it “Made in USA” guidance into rule—with penalties By Sara Yood, Esq. If you make your jewelry in the U.S., you can label it as “Made in the USA,” right? Not likely, at least according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). On July 1, after multiple hearings and consideration by its […]

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Jewelry Industry Snapshot: Sept. 2021
October 15th, 2021

A look at the industry’s post-pandemic recovery progress By Harold Dupuy Quick Links:COVID-19 • The Economy • Precious Metals • Jewelry Sales • Online Sales • Jewelry Imports • Inflation • In Closing The post-pandemic recovery has exceeded most expectations. Many factors assisted the rapid recovery: the federal government stimulus programs, increasing personal income, increasing […]

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Embracing the Four Practices of Entrepreneurship
September 27th, 2021

Imagine That The importance of innovation, vision, organization, and risk in your business By Andrea Hill When my children were very young, I encouraged them to have fantasies about themselves. They could tell me they were anything—astronaut, police officer, king, or a rutabaga—and I just went with it. By the time they became teenagers, though, […]

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The State of the Industry: 2020
September 26th, 2021

Where we stand and where we go from here By Shawna Kulpa Quick Links: How the Industry is Faring • Connectivity Continues to be Key • The Metals Market • Lab Grown Diamonds • Diversity in the Jewelry Industry • Where Do We Go From Here The year started out so promising. Gross domestic product […]

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Get Smart
September 2nd, 2021

Business owners need to embrace digital intelligence By Andrea Hill I remember reading Daniel Goleman’s book, “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ” clearly. It was 1995, I was president of an apparel firm with nearly 1,000 employees, and I frequently dealt with problems caused by managers who had low emotional intelligence (EQ). […]

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Snapshot: October 2020
August 18th, 2021

A look at the latest jewelry industry statistics By Harold Dupuy, DPA The saying “we live in unprecedented times” has never been more appropriate. Three months ago, I erroneously thought that COVID-19 would be a thing of the past by now. However, I and many others were wrong. On the flip side, some positive business […]

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Attitude Adjustment
August 18th, 2021

Having the right mindset is critical for surviving times of duress By Andrea Hill Increasingly, economists are using the word “depression” to describe the international economy, and there is a growing consensus that it will take five years to return to the economic performance we enjoyed at the beginning of 2020. Stop for a moment […]

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Change Your Mind
August 2nd, 2021

An adaptive mindset is key for today’s leaders By Andrea Hill While LVMH is out painting Tiffany stores lemon-yellow—a smart response to post-pandemic vaxxed-and-ready-to-shop optimism—business owners are starting to hunker down for what is likely to be a period of inflation and supply chain challenges. At the same time, new technologies and new ideas continue […]

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Stop, Thief!
July 1st, 2021

A look at how jewelers can prevent intellectual property theft By Sara E. Yood, Esq. Imagine, for a moment, that you finally nailed it—the perfect jewelry design, the one that both identifies your brand and speaks directly to your consumer. Years of work went into this design; hundreds of different iterations left on the literal […]

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Cut It Loose
July 1st, 2021

Sometimes subtraction is the best thing for your business By Andrea Hill I recently read an article about the genius of balance bikes, which are a toddler bike alternative that teaches children to balance on two wheels by pushing along with their feet rather than learning to pedal with training wheels. The author was pointing […]

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Industry Snapshot: June 2021
July 1st, 2021

A look at the latest jewelry industry statistics By Harold Dupuy, FGA Quick Links: Aftermath of COVID • Precious Metals • Jewelry Sales • Online Sales • Jewelry Imports • The Diamond Market • In Closing While the COVID-19 pandemic lasted longer than anyone expected, we can see the light at the end of the […]

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It’s Not Rocket Science
September 24th, 2020

Changing your approach to the process of discovery By Andrea Hill I hated science fairs. I hated them when I was a child, and I hated them even more as a parent. It’s not that I hate science, but science fairs…ugh! The cardboard format (literally and figuratively), the rigidity, and the schedule all conspired to […]

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Snapshot: July 2020
September 24th, 2020

A look at the latest jewelry industry statistics By Harold Dupuy, FGA What can anyone say that hasn’t already been said about the COVID-19 pandemic? For the most part, Americans are growing weary of the lockdown, desperately wanting to resume some sort of modified normalcy…whatever that means. While 2020 began with a strong overall retail […]

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Podcast: Today & Tomorrow: Industry Analysis
September 24th, 2020

May 12, 2020Guest: Erich JacobsPresident, Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) The global shutdown resulting from the COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented, and it’s changing the jewelry industry on many levels. Companies of all sizes are facing serious economic disruptions, as business owners struggle to navigate through the uncertainty. In this episode, available in both audio and […]

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Podcast: Paths to Provenance
September 24th, 2020

May 6, 2020Guest: Daniel Nyfeler, Gübelin Gem Lab Despite recent efforts by the jewelry industry to address transparency and tracing issues across the global supply chain, the conditions under which colored gemstones are sourced remain highly opaque and lack reliable independent verification.  In this episode, Daniel Nyfeler, Managing Director of Gübelin Gem Lab, discusses his company’s Provenance Proof […]

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Podcast: Succession Planning
September 24th, 2020

March 26, 2020Guest: Dan Pharr, Pharr Valuation Successfully transitioning your business requires careful planning at every stage. Determining a realistic, market-based value is also critical. Dan Pharr, president of Pharr Valuation in Richmond, Virginia, specializes in business valuations of closely held and family owned businesses. A Certified Valuation Analyst and a Certified Public Accountant, Pharr has a 30-year […]

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Podcast: Keeping Compliant
September 24th, 2020

  December 10, 2019Guest: Sara Yood, Esq., Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC)  Our guest on this episode, Sara Yood, senior counsel at the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), has made a career out of helping businesses wade through the myriad guidelines, regulations, and laws that apply to making and selling jewelry. It’s not easy staying up to […]

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Podcast: Building Chains of Trust
September 24th, 2020

October 18, 2019Guest: Susan Wheeler, Susan Wheeler Design/Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference Responsible sourcing and transparent supply chains are key topics within the jewelry trade and they have become more important than ever to jewelry consumers. Across the industry, companies of all types and sizes are embracing, and in some cases creating their own, transparent sourcing […]

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Podcast: Lab-Grown Diamonds Update
September 24th, 2020

June 3, 2019Guest: Marty Hurwitz, MVI Marketing While lab-grown diamonds have been around for decades, recent improvements in technology have finally made the production of high-quality stones possible. Despite some initial hesitation in the industry to add them into the mix, lab-grown stones have evolved into a hot new product category. More and more retailers […]

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Podcast: The Next Generation of Jewelers
September 24th, 2020

September 12, 2019 Guest: Nanz Aalund, Nanz Aalund Art Jewelry With the current generation of master craftspeople aging out of the jewelry industry, demand for professionally skilled workers is high. But a number of barriers stand in the way of developing an effective education-to-employment pipeline for prospective jewelers, including issues such as pay scale disparities, […]

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All Good Things
September 24th, 2020

Paying tribute to the Santa Fe Symposium By Rebecca Oster Bach As the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” It’s certainly a sentiment that now applies to the Santa Fe Symposium. When it was announced late last year that the next symposium would also be the last, many in the industry […]

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The Jewelry Supply Chain of Tomorrow
September 23rd, 2020

What’s next for jewelry industry supply chains? By Andrea Hill If you’re wondering how supply chains in general, and your up-and-downstream supply partnerships in particular, will change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, you’re not alone. The past 12 months have delivered a series of supply chain shocks. Across all industries, the dynamics of […]

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Stop and Think: Process Mapping
September 23rd, 2020

Stop and Think Process mapping can improve every aspect of your business By Andrea Hill Your business is a collection of processes. Selling, marketing, making things, accounting, purchasing, hiring, training…all these things are accomplished by executing a series of processes. The better you do those processes, the better your results will be. An entire philosophy, […]

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Telling a Different Story
September 23rd, 2020

Profiles of two of the industry’s leaders in responsible sourcing Click here to read part one: Eric Braunwart’s Responsible Story Rising to the Challenge Toby Pomeroy on his mission to banish mercury from mining Jewelry designer Toby Pomeroy was born and raised to do good. The son of missionaries, Pomeroy grew up among the “poor […]

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Telling a Different Story
September 23rd, 2020

Profiles of two of the industry’s leaders in responsible sourcing By Shawna Kulpa Consumers love a good story, and jewelry, with its sparkling gemstones, storied history, and romantic underpinnings, has lent itself to many an intriguing tale. But there’s also a side of the jewelry industry that doesn’t make for a good story—one where precious […]

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Stress Management
September 23rd, 2020

Stress Management Managing your business in times of crisis By Andrea Hill There’s a reason everyone remembers where they were or what they were doing when big national or international crises occurred. Fear and anxiety imprint on our brains more forcefully than any other emotion. And once they set in, they crowd out other more […]

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Words Matter
July 24th, 2020

Understanding the importance of SEO By Andrea Hill When my son was a teenager, I could always tell when he was texting with a girl. Every few minutes, he would call out, “Mom, how do you spell…?” I was so glad he was interested in spelling words correctly that I didn’t complain, but I was […]

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Singing the Blues
July 24th, 2020

Blue-hued stones expected to be the talk of Tucson (Originally Published February 2020) By Deborah A. Yonick Gemstones in blue hues are expected to be among the favorites at the Tucson gem shows in early February. Blue’s popularity in jewelry is a direct result of fashion’s affinity for the color—Classic Blue is Pantone’s Color of […]

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Best Buy
July 24th, 2020

Tips for buying an established jewelry operation By Sharon Elaine Thompson You’ve been working and studying the craft of jewelry making for years, learning the tricks of the trade under grizzled industry veterans. Now you’re finally ready to step out on your own and be the boss. You dream of opening your own shop and […]

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Snapshot : January 2020
July 24th, 2020

The latest developments in the diamond market By Harold Dupuy, FGA As the country headed into the holiday season, the jewelry industry received some good news. Following six months of disappointing jewelry store sales results, July, August, and September saw growing sales increases over the prior year, and the Department of Commerce was estimating that […]

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The Time is Now
July 16th, 2020

The Time is Now Don’t wait for the next recession to start preparing for it By Andrea Hill There’s so much talk of recession lately. Will there be one? If so, how bad will it be? The predictions change weekly, but there’s one thing you can count on: There will always be another recession. It’s […]

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Baby Steps
July 11th, 2020

Becoming more responsible, one step at a time By Andrea Hill When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me, “Mom, how do you know when you’re an all-the-way adult?” I told her I wasn’t sure because every time I thought I was all grown up, I learned something else I needed to […]

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The Future is Female
July 9th, 2020

Marketing and selling to self-purchasing women By Deborah A. Yonick Women are powerful consumers. Currently, they control more than $20 trillion in worldwide spending—$7 trillion of which are spent in the United States. And that consumer power is only going to grow: Over the next decade, women are expected to control two-thirds of consumer wealth […]

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Broadening Horizons
July 7th, 2020

Selling overseas offers opportunities By Terri Wallo Strauss The international marketplace can be a new frontier for many companies. While the long-term economic effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic will continue to fluctuate, overseas selling will always be a feasible option for U.S. companies. And there’s never been more ways to do it: In today’s […]

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Fair Play
July 6th, 2020

Ethical Gem Suppliers Group launches new show in Tucson (Originally appeared in the April 2020 issue of MJSA Journal.) By Rich Youmans A new show debuted in Tucson this February, which in and of itself is not unusual. During the city’s annual winter “phenomenon,” when gem and mineral shows abound, you’re never more than a […]

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Virtual Reality
July 6th, 2020

Tips for managing teams working from home By Andrea Hill If all you’ve ever had are cats, and then you get your first puppy, you quickly realize that all pets are not alike. Kittens and puppies are both destructive, but in different ways. They require different types of energy and supervision to get them from […]

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Snapshot: May 2020
July 6th, 2020

COVID-19’s impact on supplies and sources By Harold Dupuy, FGA We’re in the midst of strange times. First, the final numbers for 2019 are in and they show that last year was one of two seasons. After strong 2018 growth of 7.6 percent, the first half of 2019 resulted in poor jewelry store sector performance […]

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Shifting Gears
July 6th, 2020

In times of crisis, change is critical for survival By Deborah A. Yonick (Originally published March 2020) A lot can change in a month. In April, this trends column reported that business was rocking at the Tucson gem shows, with buyers “shopping ’til they dropped.” The COVID-19 coronavirus was barely a blip on the radars […]

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Diamond Trends June 2020: Diamond Drama
July 2nd, 2020

Diamond Drama Industry reacts to diamond price drop By Deborah A. Yonick  (Originally Published June 2020) Diamond dealers have a love-hate relationship with the Rapaport Diamond Price List. “The diamond industry is addicted to the Rap sheet, for better or worse,” says industry analyst Edahn Golan of Edahn Golan Diamond Research & Data in Israel. […]

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Better Safe Than Sorry
July 2nd, 2020

Protecting your business against cyber attacks By Sharon Elaine Thompson Multi-million dollar cyberattacks on large companies are leading news stories. However, like 66 percent of small business owners and managers, you may think your business is too small to attract the attention of major-league cybercriminals.  Think again. In reality, 47 percent of cyberattacks are aimed […]

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Doing Business Online 2020
July 2nd, 2020

Do you need a systems tuneup? By Andrea Hill If you’re hanging out at a jewelry industry conference and experts start talking about doing business online, the conversation will be centered around websites, social media, and perhaps communication strategies such as website chat or SMS programs. But if you’re at a direct marketing industry conference […]

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Expanding Your Horizons
July 2nd, 2020

Exploring the different levels of business expansion to determine which might be right for you By Sharon Elaine Thompson You did it. It took years of blood, sweat, and tears but the business you spent so long building is finally a success and turning a comfortable profit. It’s normal to feel like you can finally […]

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Remembering Revere
July 2nd, 2020

Remembering Revere By Michael David Sturlin I started making jewelry when I was in high school. I didn’t have any formal instruction, but eventually I came across Alan’s first book, Professional Goldsmithing, which was the primary education for a lot of us self-taught jewelers. I had heard about the Academy in the 1980s and eventually […]

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The Fear Factor
July 2nd, 2020

Managing workplace fear in a crisis By Andrea Hill Fear is highly contagious. Its presence undermines every business initiative, and you must take a constant, active role to mitigate it. In a recession, if you don’t manage workplace fear, creativity and performance will suffer. Fortunately, it’s never too late to nudge fear aside and reclaim […]

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Back to Basics
July 2nd, 2020

A management primer for tough times By Andrea Hill The phrase back to basics implies having strayed from them, which happens with businesses over time. When cash and credit are flowing freely it is possible to neglect some basic disciplines and still turn a profit. Recessionary environments are unforgiving, however, and a return to basics […]

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Video: Doing Good
July 2nd, 2020

Sourcing Metals and Gemstones Responsibly Increasingly, consumers want to know the origins of the metals and gems in the jewelry they buy, and to be sure that those materials were mined in an ethical, responsible way. This video features highlights from the panel discussion, held at MJSA Expo on March 13, 2017, that reviewed the […]

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Video: Four Tips for Trade Show Exhibitors
July 2nd, 2020

Four crucial steps you need to take to achieve exhibiting greatness. What does it take to become a great exhibitor? How can you make the most of your time at a trade show to make sure you generate the right leads? In this MJSA video feature you’ll get four tips for reaching new heights of […]

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Layers of Opportunity
July 2nd, 2020

Zoë Chicco embraced the layering trend long before it was trendy By Shawna Kulpa Editor’s Note: From Vogue to Harpers Bazaar, fashion magazines have proclaimed layering as a timeless trend with jewelry consumers. It’s always present, though the styles change over time. Over the last year or so, the layered necklace look has seen a […]

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The Struggle is Real
July 2nd, 2020

Ways to differentiate and engage customers By Andrea Hill (Originally Published September 2019) When my daughter was in nursing school, she experienced one tough break after another. Her first advisor wasn’t very good at her job, and she caused my daughter to miss several required classes, which led to her not being able to graduate […]

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Your Special Sauce
July 2nd, 2020

Branding your way to better margins By Andrea Hill For many custom jewelers, the least favorite part of creating custom jewelry is discussing the price. For reasons I don’t understand, some customers believe that having a jeweler make something in the shop is supposed to cost less than reselling jewelry from another company. The last […]

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Bump Up Your Metal Mettle
July 2nd, 2020

Tips for buying metals  By Andrea Hill (Originally Published July 2019) Color, Color, Color Fashion trends go in cycles, and right now the cycle is all about color. We’re not talking about yellow-gold-vs-white-gold (though yellow gold is definitely back in). We’re talking about, when it comes to yellow gold, do you want dandelion yellow, brassy […]

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Trends: Snapshot July 2019
July 2nd, 2020

Snapshot: July 2019 A look at the latest industry statistics By Harold Dupuy, FGA Retail Sales Although the first 10 months of 2018 saw an exceedingly strong performance for jewelry stores, the holiday performance disappointed with only a 1.9 percent increase. The first quarter of 2019 seems to be continuing this disappointing trend, with jewelry […]

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Expanding Horizons
July 2nd, 2020

A look into how and why jewelers are selling lab-grown diamonds By Sharon Elaine Thompson (Originally Published June 2019) Man-made diamonds have been around since the 1950s when General Electric produced the first stones for industrial use. For the last 30 years, interest in gem-quality, lab-grown diamonds has been slowly snowballing among consumers and retailers […]

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Seek and Find
July 2nd, 2020

Tips for finding and reaching your core customers By Andrea Hill (Originally Published June 2019) Considering how my career ended up, I was surprisingly un-entrepreneurial as a child. But I remember one summer when I was obsessed with my lemonade stand. I wasn’t particularly good at figuring out my labor or raw material costs, but […]

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The Tool Path
July 2nd, 2020

Tips on bringing a jewelry tool to market By John Shanahan (Originally published May 2019) Jewelers tend to be innovators—if not by nature, then certainly often by necessity. While there’s a staggering array of jewelry tools available on the market, there are still always gaps between the thing you need to do next and the […]

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Snapshot: May 2019
July 2nd, 2020

A look at the latest jewelry industry statistics By Harold Dupuy, FGA (Originally published May 2019) With 2018 in the rearview mirror, there are some lessons to be learned. First, it was a year of two parts. Allow me to explain: In my January column, I stated that September was the first negative growth month […]

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Chain of Trust
July 2nd, 2020

The jewelry industry begins embracing blockchain technology By Terri Wallo Strauss Imagine a common scenario: A woman visits a jewelry retailer or contacts a designer to shop for a special piece for herself. Before making the purchase, she starts to ask questions: Where did the diamond or gemstone come from? Were the materials responsibly sourced? […]

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Starting Over
July 2nd, 2020

Susan CrowEast Fourth Street JewelryNorthfield, Minnesota Although she’s now a member of several sustainably minded organizations—Ethical Metalsmiths, the Ethical Fashion Forum and its Fellowship 500—Susan Crow wasn’t always as aware of her materials origins. Nor was she aware of the effect that her manufacturing practices had on the world around her. Crow worked as a […]

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Green From the Get-Go
July 2nd, 2020

Luana CoonenLuana Coonen JewelrySebastopol, California As a native of Hawaii, Luana Coonen has always been cognizant of the effects her actions can have on the planet and its people. Growing up on a small island nearly two thousand miles away from the nearest landmass, Coonen learned early on about the importance of living an eco-friendly […]

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