Tuesday, August 12, 2014



True Romance Named Vendor‐of‐the‐Year During Annual Meeting & Show

Members of Leading Jewelers Guild, a prestigious member‐owned jewelry organization of independent retailers, assembled at the newly reconfigured Island Hotel in Newport Beach, California for their 56th annual July Meeting and Show from July 12 to 16. “A huge shift has taken place in advertising and how it reaches the customer,” said Leading Jewelers Guild President, Michael Simmons (Simmons & Clark Jewelers, Detroit, MI) “connecting with millennials involves a whole new set of skills and media. Our goal is to bring our members up to speed so they can compete effectively and profitably in an ever‐changing marketplace.”

Leading Jewelers Guild members receive hands‐on training during the Digital Strategy Seminar.
Attendees created social media campaigns on the first day and evaluated their 
results on the next.
The seminar was designed to bring members current on social media as well as website metrics,
search engine optimization, internet marketing and other related subjects. Photo: Kathy Ogier
“We realized we had a problem,” said Jenny Caro (Jewelry by Design, Woodbridge, VA),
“so we did a nationwide search for the best coaches in social media, website metrics,
search engine optimization and internet marketing.” The hands‐on two‐day seminar in
digital strategy involved social media in the morning and website‐related issues in the

Nearly all Leading Jewelers Guild members brought representatives to the seminar, which ran parallel to the traditional CEO‐oriented program. “We were very careful to select presenters that would be relevant on a beginning‐to‐advanced level,” said Caro. Both trainer/presenters were available for individual consultations during the two‐day vendor show and gave a CEO wrap‐up on the final day.

Fourth generation jeweler, Broderick Hicks (Thompson Jewelers, Orlando FL) presents
his company’s history as well as results of a successful promotion he conducted
despite his father and grandfather’s misgivings. Coincidentally, his 21st birthday
was the next day. Leading Jewelers Guild encourages the youngest generation
 to participate fully in all 
discussions. Photo: Jimmy West.
The highlight of the CEO sessions was the culmination of the first group‐wide financial
benchmarking study. “Leading Jewelers Guild members are learning from each other all
the time,” said Chris Coleman (Nelson Coleman Jewelers, Towson MD), “but we wanted
to take that spirit to another level by comparing financial numbers for different type,
size, and volume stores while still maintaining complete confidentiality.” A CPA firm
expert in industry benchmarking was selected to compile members’ information and
prepare the study. Members’ received a confidential analysis of their own numbers in
the areas of productivity, profit, cash flow, and financial strength as well as common‐sized income statements, balance sheets, and detailed sales mix and margin analysis, plus a similar composite report on the entire group. The presenter highlighted how to use the information to improve company bottom lines. “We’re working towards making this an ongoing benefit of membership,” said Coleman.

Other presentations included a re‐launch of the group’s own brand: Love Story® Diamonds, several company introductions, and sharing of promotion and special events ideas. “The more we share our strengths, the better we can help one another develop as individual businesses,” said Leading Jewelers Guild Chairman, Joshua Halpern (Albert’s Jewelers, Shererville, IN), “and our group becomes stronger in the process!” 

(Left to right) James “Jimmy” West (Leading Jewelers Guild Executive Director), Jesper Nielsen (founder, Endless Jewelry; co‐founder, Pandora; author: Inside Pandora), Matt Carlozzi (CEO, Endless Jewelry). “Endless Jewelry could well be the hottest product debut in years; at JCK you could not get near their booth,” said West, “so we’re especially honored they accepted our invitation to come to Newport Beach.” Photo: Kathy Ogier.
Embedded in the five day meeting is a two‐day vendor show where 58 select vendors were invited to exhibit their lines and services. These included key Leading Jewelers Guild suppliers for the group’s upcoming fall catalog program, as well as a number of new vendors: AV Diamonds, Box Brokers, CJ Jewels, Endless Jewelry, Exclusif/Luxury Displays, Fana Jewelry, Gabriel & Co., House of Baguettes, Idor Diamonds, Imagine Designs, Paramount Gems, Royal Jewelry, Seiko, Select Jewelry and Varsha Diamonds.

“With great fanfare we’re reintroducing our Preferred Vendor designation,” said Leading Jewelers Guild Executive Director James “Jimmy” West, “this clearly identifies our top‐tier vendors, highlights their discount and stock balancing offers and removes exclusions and fine print.”

Leading Jewelers Guild Executive Director, James “Jimmy” West, left and Leading
Jewelers Guild President, Michael Simmons (Simmons & Clark Jewelers, Detroit, MI),
right, present the 2013 Vendor‐of‐the‐Year Award to Isaac Gad (center) of  True Romance
 for outstanding product selection and customer service, as voted by the membership.
Photo: Kathy Ogier.
Members, vendors, staff and their families relaxed together at the annual Member/Vendor Party, held at Island Hotel’s Cabana Terrace. Included were Leading Jewelers Guild’s annual awards presentation. Isaac Gad of True Romance (NYC) received the 2013 Vendor of the Year award for outstanding product selection and customer service. Nate Morgan (Morgan’s Jewelers, Salt Lake City, UT) received the 2013 Leader of the Year, for outstanding leadership in several terms as President, Chairman of the Board and a member of the Operations Committee. 

Leading Jewelers Guild Executive Director, James “Jimmy” West, left, and Leading
Jewelers Guild President, Michael Simmons (Simmons & Clark Jewelers, Detroit, MI),
 right, present the 2013 Leader of the Year Award. Chase Morgan (center) accepted on
behalf of his father, Nate Morgan (Morgan Jewelers, Salt Lake City, UT) who was
 traveling abroad. Photo: Kathy Ogier.
Leading Jewelers Guild, is a strategic alliance of independent, family‐owned jewelers that develops competitive advantages for its members; it is 100% member owned. Leading
Jewelers Guild is an invaluable merchandising, marketing, catalog advertising and production resource dedicated to the overall business needs of their member companies.

Leonardo Kashi (center) of Le Vian receives the special “World’s Best DJ” award for providing
music at the Member/Vendor Party for the past three years. The award, a custom‐made
reproduction of Leonardo’s iconic sunglasses is presented by Leading Jewelers Guild Executive
Director, James “Jimmy” West, left, and Leading Jewelers Guild 
President, Michael Simmons
 (Simmons & Clark Jewelers, Detroit, MI), right. Photo: Kathy Ogier.
Leading Jewelers Guild is currently comprised of 40 member companies in the USA and one
jeweler in Scotland, representing approximately 150 retail locations. 

For more information contact James “Jimmy” West, Executive Director at (310) 216‐9106. 

From release provided by LJG

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