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Business Strategies March 2020: It’s Not Rocket Science
September 24th, 2020

It’s Not Rocket Science 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 […]

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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…Remember the Santa Fe Symposium
September 24th, 2020

All Good Things… Paying tribute to the Santa Fe Symposium and its 34 years of community and collaboration 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 […]

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The Jewelry Supply Chain of Tomorrow
September 23rd, 2020

The Supply Chain of Tomorrow  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 […]

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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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Business Insights: Toby Pomeroy’s Responsible Story
September 23rd, 2020

Telling a Different Story Profiles of two of the industry’s leaders in responsible sourcing   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 but playful and generous” Garwali […]

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Business Insights: Eric Braunwart’s Responsible Story
September 23rd, 2020

Telling a Different Story 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 […]

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Business Insights: 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 […]

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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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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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Greener Paths
July 2nd, 2020

Jewelers share their personal journeys into sustainable practices By Shawna Kulpa The path to sustainability is different for every jeweler. Some jewelers embrace sustainable practices right from the get-go, knowing no other way. Others learn about it later in their careers, deciding to transform the way that they do business. One thing they all share […]

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Top Priority
July 2nd, 2020

Tips for selling to independent retailers By Andrea Hill About 20 years ago, while my children were still children, I was running a 500-employee corporation experiencing dramatic change. Needless to say, I was busy. My kids were among the earliest youngsters to receive flip phones because I wanted them to be able to contact me […]

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Full Disclosure
July 2nd, 2020

A call to disclose new sapphire treatment By Deborah A. Yonick (First published in March 2019 MJSA Journal) There’s a new sapphire treatment in town, and it’s one that GemResearch SwissLab (GRS) believes requires full disclosure. This new, distinct treatment process for sapphire combines conventional heating with a high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) process to give colorless […]

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Pinning Down Leads
July 2nd, 2020

Tapping into the easy, long-term ROI of Pinterest By Matthew Perosi In 2011, Pinterest was the fastest growing social network to ever break the 10 million unique visitors mark. It swiftly grew because of its new way of presenting photos using the “infinite scrolling” feature that is now commonplace on every social network. Pinterest gave […]

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Survival of the Fittest
July 2nd, 2020

How to plan for surviving and thriving in a recession By Terri Wallo-Strauss When a national radio show broadcasts the stock market results each day, background music is played, letting the listener know, just by a happy or gloomy tune, how the day went on Wall Street. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to quickly grasp […]

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Trends: Snapshot January 2019
July 2nd, 2020

Snapshot January 2019 A look at the latest jewelry industry statistics By Harold Dupuy, FGA So far, 2018 has proven to be a good year (some might even say a great year) through the month of September, which is the last published data from the federal government. Let’s take a look at why that is…. […]

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The Diamond Debate
July 2nd, 2020

The diamond industry reacts to the revised FTC Guides By Deborah A. Yonick (First published in October 2018 MJSA Journal) In July 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its final amended version of the Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries, which are meant to advise marketers on how to avoid deception […]

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Strategic Budgeting
July 2nd, 2020

Transform your budget into an innovation engine By Andrea Hill It’s almost budget time again. Time to make plans for how you want to spend your money next year. And, if you don’t already operate from a budget, you’re likely feeling guilty because you know that you should.   But what if I told you […]

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Karat Concerns
July 2nd, 2020

The FTC dropped the 10k gold threshold. What will this mean for consumers and the industry? By Shawna Kulpa When the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released the finalized updates to its Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries in late July, the jewelry industry was taken aback by at least one of the […]

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FTC Guides, Finalized
July 2nd, 2020

FTC Trade Commission releases its revised Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries (First appeared in the September 2018 MJSA Journal.) By Shawna Kulpa It’s been a long time coming, but in late July, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released the finalized updates to its Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter […]

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On the Upgrade
July 2nd, 2020

Consider website technology before web design By Andrea Hill What comes first, the website technology or the website design? This is a question many business owners are contemplating right now, as they upgrade websites to meet the consumer and technology demands of 2018. In most cases, website developers bring a technology to you, and suggest […]

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Motivational Marketing
July 2nd, 2020

Segment your audience for better marketing results By Andrea Hill I learned something in an early management job that I have applied to nearly everything I’ve done since. I was responsible for managing a team of artists and writers at an advertising agency, and it was immediately apparent that their favorite things to do were […]

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Getting Personal
July 2nd, 2020

Mastering one-to-one marketing online By Andrea Hill  When my siblings and I were growing up, we were an all-or-nothing package. My parents either did things with all of us, or hired a babysitter and went out without us. I remember feeling like my parents thought my younger sister and I (Irish twins) were just alike, […]

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Snapshots of the US Jewelry Industry: June 2018
July 2nd, 2020

Opportunities, challenges, and a few words to remember By Harold Dupuy, FGA  (Originally published June 2018) Editor’s Note: Smile: Jewelry sales are healthy. That was the message delivered by Harold Dupuy during a seminar he conducted at the 2018 MJSA Expo this past March. Titled “State of the Jewelry Industry: Facts, Figures, and the Future,” […]

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Manufacturing Equipment
July 2nd, 2020

Made in the USA profiles of two American trade suppliers By Shawna Kulpa Editor’s note: Since this series began in 2012, we’ve periodically profiled U.S.-based jewelry designers and manufacturers for whom “Made in the USA” is not just a label but a call to action. Employing a mix of creativity, technological prowess, business savvy, and […]

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Get the Picture
July 2nd, 2020

Sharing emotion and capturing attention on Instagram By Matthew Perosi As a form of social media, Instagram continues to rise in popularity among those who enjoy looking at photos rather than talking about them. It’s a simple visual platform that makes it easy to take photos or short videos with your smartphone and post them […]

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Show Stopper
July 2nd, 2020

Emanuela Duca’s designs travel through time By Irina Hawkins The jewelry of Emanuela Duca, the Hudson Valley, New York, designer, is back on the television screen. Duca’s foray into pop culture dates back to 2003, when the Samantha character on “Sex and the City” wore her Capelli [Hair] Earrings. Back then, Duca was a relatively […]

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Cause and Effect
July 2nd, 2020

William Travis Kukovich talks philanthropy By Irina Hawkins Editor’s Note: As business owners, jewelry designers and retailers are sometimes approached by local and philanthropic organizations interested in partnering up for good causes. This occasional column will look at the ways some jewelers are partnering with charitable organizations, the reasons why, and how they make it […]

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The Sustainable Story
July 2nd, 2020

How to talk about your responsible efforts By John Shanahan There’s no getting around it. Jewelry customers—and consumers in general—are becoming more attuned to the roles sustainability and ecological responsibility play in their purchase decisions. Which is great, because many jewelers are already bringing the same mindset into their daily businesses and practices, from the […]

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Profiles in Being Green
July 2nd, 2020

The eco-friendly efforts of jewelry makers By Shawna Kulpa Making jewelry can be a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Luckily, some jewelry makers are actively working to make the process cleaner. From eliminating the use of dangerous chemicals to upgrading equipment and procedures to minimize risks, these jewelers are embracing the idea […]

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Hit the Reset
July 2nd, 2020

Realign your marketing strategy with the new consumer reality By Andrea Hill Have you ever noticed that once in a while, your life gets out of whack? Despite your best intentions, you suddenly realize that you’re not exercising, you’re eating poorly, or you’re not making enough family time. The reason you’re able to recognize it […]

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The Whole Picture: Part 1
July 2nd, 2020

Tips for photographing jewelry By Matthew Perosi  Editor’s Note: This is the first column in a three-part series that will provide tips and guidance for photographing jewelry. Read Part 2. Read Part 3. Product photography takes time; in fact, the labor cost of product photography is far more expensive than the cost of photography equipment or […]

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It’s Not About You
July 2nd, 2020

Design websites to meet your customers’ needs By Andrea Hill To say I was a bit counter-culture when I was in my early adulthood would be an understatement. Very short hair dyed an unnatural color and a punk wardrobe with a hint of ashram were just the starting points. But I quickly realized that if […]

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Trade Show Packing Tips
July 2nd, 2020

Exhibitors reveal their event must-haves By Irina Hawkins With trade show season starting up again, we thought it would be fun to talk with veteran exhibitors about the must-have items they’re always sure to pack for a show. Read on for tips on what you may want to throw in your suitcase! Survival Tools Many […]

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The Fearless Exhibitor
July 2nd, 2020

Taking the worry out of the trade show experience By John Shanahan Ah, trade shows. You pay to get in them, fly or drive to get to them, deal with logistics and sometimes unions to get set up, and then compete with everyone else on the floor to get eyes on your product and orders […]

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Marketing 101
July 2nd, 2020

Defining your business’s value proposition By Andrea Hill The things we need to know don’t always come naturally. I have vivid memories of starting college. I had skated through high school; my homework and study habits were terrible, and I didn’t realize I wasn’t doing the workbecause my grades were always good. When I got […]

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Choose Your Own Adventure
July 2nd, 2020

Confront the unknown to discover new customers By Andrea Hill If you’ve been reading this column for a while, then you’ve grown up with my kids. Next week, my son is taking off for an extended period of travel in Australia and Southeast Asia. And, in keeping with his personality, the origins of this trip […]

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Play at Your Own Risk
July 2nd, 2020

Avoid getting caught in a zero-sum game By Andrea Hill We use the term “zero-sum game” fairly often, but I suspect most people don’t stop and think about the meaning of it. A zero-sum game is a game in which one party can only gain what the other party loses. If there is $100 between […]

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On the Move
July 2nd, 2020

Keeping your business flexible for long-term success By Andrea Hill We are selling our house and moving. Again. It seems we get the itch to live somewhere new every 10 years or so. We know this about ourselves, so we live as if a new move will occur (even though every time we say, “This […]

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How Does Your Garden Grow?
July 2nd, 2020

Digging around to find the root of a problem By Andrea Hill When I was in grade school, I decided to enter a gardening contest for 4H. Though I had experience helping out on farms, I really didn’t know anything other than to do as I was told. After procrastinating the startup and being a […]

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Losing Control
July 2nd, 2020

Recognize the differences between managing and micromanaging By Andrea Hill  I once had an employee who knew absolutely everything. He was bright and had tremendous initiative, but he consistently overestimated his capabilities. I found it exhausting, so when we took a trip together to a conference across the country, I was quickly overwhelmed with his […]

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Made in the USA: Where We Stand
July 2nd, 2020

An update on the jewelry industry’s efforts to promote homegrown products By Irina Hawkins (First published in the June 2017 MJSA Journal)  It happens every day: U.S. jewelry manufacturers and designers take precious metals and gemstones and, with their own hands, turn those raw materials into beautifully crafted jewelry. They take pride in their work, as […]

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Map It Out
July 2nd, 2020

Diagnosing business problems beyond the symptoms By Andrea Hill Soon after my son started kindergarten, his teacher scheduled a meeting to inform us that she thought he had ADHD, due to his constant squirming and inattention in the classroom. That diagnosis didn’t feel right to us, so we mapped out how his days had changed […]

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With the Best Intentions
July 2nd, 2020

The importance of intentionally creating a business culture By Andrea Hill My niece is an elementary school teacher. Several years ago, she was miserable in her job. She loved the students and teaching, but she always felt like she had to watch her back. She was ready to look for another school, even though she […]

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Doctor, Doctor
July 2nd, 2020

Strategic planning can keep your company out of the emergency room By Andrea Hill My daughter is an emergency room nurse. One of the things she sees more often than she would like is people being rushed in for emergency blood clots following a surgical procedure. People assume that they are supposed to rest after […]

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Never Too Late to Learn
July 2nd, 2020

Making assumptions can cost a business dearly By Andrea Hill The year was 1990-something, and my son was in fourth grade. He had acquired a baking bug, and he decided to bake a chocolate vinegar cake (if you’ve never had it, it’s amazing). He did a pretty good job of following all the instructions…except he […]

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Reach Out and Touch Someone
July 2nd, 2020

Tips for entrepreneurs to stay connected By Andrea Hill My daughter has three children. Two of them are very active little boys still in diapers. She has taken a break from her nursing career to be home for now, and she’s loving every minute. Except when she isn’t. Being at home with small children is […]

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The Check Is in the Mail
July 2nd, 2020

Pay your idea bank regularly to keep your business thriving By Andrea Hill We have a goofy tradition in our family in which we write checks for dreams. It started many years ago, when we had just switched banks. We had two boxes of checks to throw out, and I said, “Wouldn’t it be fantastic […]

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Happy Endings
July 2nd, 2020

By embracing responsible sourcing, jewelers help save the planet and its people, and get a good story to tell their customers By Terri Wallo Strauss A very wise marketing professional in the jewelry industry once told me that jewelry should tell a story. However, what if the story behind the metal, gemstones, or diamonds isn’t […]

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The Whole Picture: Part 3
July 2nd, 2020

Tips for photographing Jewelry By Matthew Perosi Editor’s Note: This is the final column in a three-part series that provides tips and guidance for photographing jewelry. Read Part 1. Read Part 2. Product photography takes a lot of time, especially when you have hundreds of items to shoot for your website. Even with my experience […]

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The Whole Picture: Part 2
July 2nd, 2020

Tips for photographing jewelry By Matthew Perosi Editor’s Note: This is the second column in a three-part series that provides tips and guidance for photographing jewelry. Read Part 1 and Part 2. Product photography takes time, especially when you don’t know the basics of lighting and lenses. It doesn’t matter if you are taking photos with your […]

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We Are Family
July 2nd, 2020

The art of running a family business By Marlene Richey You met him at art school and it was kismet. You knew that this was the person with whom you were meant to share your life and dreams. With similar interests and life views, you’re perfect for each other. You eventually marry and then decide, […]

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Untangling the Web
July 2nd, 2020

Tips for getting the most out of your website By Matthew A. Perosi The internet has transformed the way we do business. Your website address is now more important than your street address, and if you worry about the first impression your store makes, then you should be even more worried about the first impression […]

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Try, Try Again
July 2nd, 2020

Manage your emotions to master new things By Andrea Hill My grandson has spent the last several weeks learning how to walk. This new risk comes with a lot of bumps and bruises. He has bumped his chin, bitten his lip, banged the side of his head, and fallen repeatedly on his little bum. But […]

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Therapy Session
July 2nd, 2020

Cultivating personal skills for business success By Andrea Hill My clients often tease me about being their business therapist, but we all need one from time to time. The roles of entrepreneur, leader, manager, and professional can be very challenging—and stress is known to highlight our least mature behaviors. But giving in to stress and […]

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MJSA Article & Video Library: Effective Communications
July 2nd, 2020

  Talk the Talk Creating an effective communications system By Andrea Hill A certain number of conversations in every household and business include these sentences: Why didn’t you tell me that earlier?I did!I’m pretty sure you didn’t. I would have remembered that. One of the most difficult things to get right in business is communications—both […]

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The Shop of Tomorrow: The Tool I Want in the Future
July 2nd, 2020

The Shop of Tomorrow: The Tool I Want in the Future Five jewelers describe the tools they’d like to see coming soon to their shop. Judy Hoch Marstal Smithy Jewelry Studio, Salida, ColoradoWhat I’d really like to see is a smallish, multifunction mass finishing machine. Ideally it would be able to de-burr, burnish, and do […]

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The Shop of Tomorrow: Robotics
July 2nd, 2020

The Shop of Tomorrow: Robotics With all the updated and new technology that will exist in the shop of tomorrow, it leaves one wondering who is going to operate it. If we already have robots that can clean the floor of our shops, could they help make jewelry too? “For the types of applications where […]

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The Shop of Tomorrow: Smart Jewelry
July 2nd, 2020

Smart Jewelry Ten years from now consumers may be decked out from head to toe with smart jewelry, ready to respond to a text message with their bracelet or return a call with a pendant. What will that mean for you? Companies interested in extending their product lines to include jewelry with embedded electronics will […]

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The Shop of Tomorrow
July 2nd, 2020

The Shop of Tomorrow The tools and technologies that may be coming soon to a workshop near you By Shawna Kulpa (Originally published January 2016.) Editor’s Note: With the start of the New Year upon us, we thought it might be interesting to do a little forward thinking, specifically looking ahead to the technology of […]

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Keeping Cool
July 2nd, 2020

Torry HooverHoover & Strong, North Chesterfield, Virginia Torry Hoover, president of Hoover & Strong Inc. in North Chesterfield, Virginia, admits that he can’t take credit for his company’s dedication to being green. “Our roots started in refining and recycling,” he explains. “It’s always been a part of our fabric. It was a strong part of […]

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Built to Last
July 2nd, 2020

Todd PownellTAP by Todd Pownell, Cleveland When the topics of recycling and environmental responsibility come up, it’s likely that the kinds of initiatives discussed above are the first that come to mind. We think in terms of recycling our waste and re-thinking our materials. But what about re-using buildings? In downtown Cleveland, Todd Pownell, owner […]

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Everything Under the Sun
July 2nd, 2020

Rio GrandeAlbuquerque, New Mexico If you ask the employees at Rio Grande why the company covered nearly 5 acres of its parking lot with a solar panel array in 2010, many are likely to joke that it was so they could get covered parking. In truth, it came down to wanting the company’s sun-drenched Albuquerque, […]

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