Favorite jewels from the Grammy’s

Favorite jewels from the Grammy’s last night. Olivia Munn wearing great earrings from Carla Amorim. Looks great!

Rihanna wears de Grisogono at music awards

Charming Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee PinIt might have taken a long time to create, but I think the end product makes it worth while. This bumble bee pin was commissioned by a client. Her request was to make a nice “fat” bumble bee. Here it is created using 18k gold, inlayed citrene and onyx body, plique a jour enameled wings with a fine row of beadset diamonds. I am particularly proud of the segment legs. A one of a kind from Lee Krombholz and Just Like You Designs!

Antwerp diamond heist

Great video from Wired magazine about the 100 million euro diamond heist in Antwerp.

Watch Wired Magazine Video

Bulgari to Cut Jobs & Close Stores as Profits Plummet by Jared Paul Stern

bulgari1Famed Italian jeweler and luxury goods firm Bulgari plans to cut jobs, close stores and pare down its collections in the wake of a disastrous 45% drop in profits. The company, which was founded in 1884, has seen its watch business suffer badly in the economic downturn, with sales plunging 10.6%, Vogue UK reports. Accessories dropped 1.5% and jewelery, the company’s core business, dropped 2.5%. On the plus side, perfume sales have increased by 12%, perhaps an indication that consumers see fragrance as a relatively affordable luxury. Sales in America and Europe were particularly poor, though the Middle East was up by 9%.

The company, a red carpet favorite of stars like Halle Berry, Keira Knightley and Kate Hudson, describes its jewelry as “pure luxury obtained by means of daring combinations, precious materials, purity of design and meticulous attention to detail.” “[This year] will be a very difficult year,” states Bulgari CEO Francesco Trapani, adding that future earnings are impossible to predict. “We don’t feel able to give a number of any meaning because the situation is so very complicated.” He is no doubt feeling somewhat overextended on the retail side with over 230 locations worldwide.

‘The Bachelor’ chooses Neil Lane

Marquise ring by Neil Lane

Marquise ring by Neil Lane

New York–The Bachelor’s Jason Mesnick has just one rose left and two potential wives to choose between, yet while one major decision remains to be made, another has already been set in stone.

On the season finale of the ABC reality show, taking place on Monday, March 2, Mesnick will propose with a hand-crafted Neil Lane marquise-cut diamond and platinum ring encrusted with 170 smaller diamonds. The diamonds add up to a total carat weight of 3.18, with the D-color, VS1-clarity center stone weighing in at 1.94 carats.

Mesnick chose the ring from three Neil Lane designs, each featuring a unique cut of diamonds, including oval and pear shapes.

As is the show’s tradition, Mesnick began courting 25 women on the season premiere episode, back in January. He has since narrowed the field down to two ladies: Molly, a 24-year-old department store buyer from Grand Rapids, Mich., and Melissa, a 25-year-old sales representative from Dallas.

One of the lucky ladies will join the long list of brides who have worn Neil Lane engagement rings, including celebrities such as Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Hudson, Kate Hudson, Brooke Shields and Reese Witherspoon.

Reprinted from National Jeweler Feb. 27 2009

Barbie celebrates 50

barbie 50thbarbie-bwThe 50th anniversary of Barbie is commemorated with a lineup of dolls, starting with the first Barbie in original black and white swim suit, in a display by Mattel at the Javits Center in New York where Toy Fair 2009 is set to take place, Friday, Feb. 13, 2009. Toy Fair 2009 runs from Feb. 15 through to Feb. 18.

Recipe for creating a tribe

Great book

Great book

In today’s market place, it is possible to create a tribe of “fans of your brand” using some planning and the vast array of social networking tools. So what is the formula?
First, discern what makes your brand different. This is a very important challenge. Often it is you and your staff that makes up your business “DNA.” Think about these people not in term of who they are and what they look and act like, but in the unique talents they are. Begin to speak those talents until that becomes part of your store identity. If a staff person leaves, he or she takes their part of that identity with them. That does not mean that those talents aren’t replaceable. The important part is to create the recipe of talents you want your store to be and speak that recipe.
The second part of creating your jewelry tribe is living up to your promises and exceeding expectation. It is very important that everyone in your store understands the importance of all promises that are made. It is always better to not promise something and then be able to achieve the goal, than the reverse. Make your promises very carefully. Next is exceeding expectation. The current “bar” for expectation is very low and getting lower. Service is an expensive part of a business and is often a place that owners become cheap about. That is great news! To exceed expectation, you only need to be a little better that what the consumer is used to other places. In other words, your store can be pretty average and still exceed expectation, but this is not what I am advocating. I think your business service needs to shine! This makes your satisfaction level go “through the roof” and your customers become the best source of advertising you could ever have!
Now, it is time to create tribe! With the current social networking tools that are available, you create a “space” to connect all of your businesses advocates and let them tell your story. If you have done a good job on the first two steps, the third happens with very little encouragement. If you want to see what one of our (Krombholz Jewelers) spaces looks like and does, become a fan of Krombholz on facebook!

Office environments

A friend of mine, David Coffey, is proactively directing his company, Modern Office Environments, in a positive approach of the future. His in store gatherings are making the news! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkJ8QySQOng

Simmons Jewelry Company Decks SpongeBob

67537-011609_spongebobl2New York–Nickelodeon’s most rapt audience for its SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon might be the school-age set, but the show also counts die-hard fans well past elementary school, and the Simmons Jewelry Co. is betting on that with a new jewelry line.

In honor of SpongeBob SquarePants’ 10th anniversary, the Simmons Jewelry Co., together with Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products, is creating a fine-jewelry and watch line inspired by the show.

The collection was kicked off with the creation of an exclusive pendant to be auctioned off for charity. The $75,000 pendant, crafted in 18-karat yellow and white gold, features 12 carats total weight of diamonds, including colorless diamonds and color-enhanced diamonds in SpongeBob’s signature yellow, red and blue.

The piece will make its display debut in Park City, Utah, during the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and will be auctioned off at a later date, with proceeds to benefit the Diamond Empowerment Fund.

“We are always looking for innovative ideas to develop fine jewelry, and the Nickelodeon partnership to license SpongeBob is the perfect addition to the Simmons Jewelry Co. family,” Simmons Jewelry Co. co-owner Russell Simmons said in a media release.

The collection will feature designs for both men and women and will be available at fine-jewelry and specialty retailers in fall 2009, with pieces retailing between $150 and $75,000.

This article has been reprinted from January issue of National Jeweler