The inventory experts have traditional jewelry merchandising down to a science: Fill the right categories with the right price points, and reorder fast turners. But when it comes to designer jewelry, it’s not so simple. There is no “right answer” for any given store. A new purchase could depend on the marketplace, customer preferences, the current designer mix, price points, styles, trends, and the list goes on. With that in mind, there may be nothing more valuable to a retailer than hearing “word of mouth” from other retailers about which lines are selling in their stores — and what they may be looking for next during the buying season. INDESIGN recently surveyed more than 40 retailers to ask, “What’s new in your store, and what are you looking for next?” Here is a selection of their answers.
SISSY’S LOG CABIN (THREE STORES IN AR) LAST LINE BOUGHT: Jude Frances. It was a good design for us and filled a much-needed gap. NEXT LINE TO BUY: We are always interested in new bridal lines. Scott Kay has a great palladium line and great price points. We have plans to expand this line.
THE GEM COLLECTION (TALLAHASSEE, FL) LAST LINE BOUGHT: Tacori 18k925. We added it because it is beautiful, stylish, affordable, and is the perfect complement to other Tacori products.
NEXT LINE TO BUY: Would love Todd Reed, but probably not until 2014.
YLANG | 23 (DALLAS, TX)
LAST LINE BOUGHT: Finn, a New York line that does beautiful gold and diamond work.
NEXT LINE TO BUY: We might be looking for a fine diamond line. Our minds are open to shopping for whatever hits us as wonderful.
THE JEWELRY SOURCE (EL SEGUNDO, CA) LAST LINE BOUGHT: Makur. Morganite sells, and his line is beautifully manufactured and a value for the money.
NEXT LINE TO BUY: It would need to be a price point that sells hot like Pandora (but NO beads!).
MOUNTZ JEWELERS (THREE LOCATIONS IN PA)
LAST LINE BOUGHT: Ippolita and Heather Moore. Ippolita because of their success in department stores and clients asking for the product, Heather Moore because we have watched the company since they were in the Couture hallway. We have always liked the product and the company has become more structured and continues to improve to work with retailers better. The product is unique and has been a niche we were missing.
NEXT LINE TO BUY: We are always looking for something unique and beautiful, but know that it’s best to stick with brands that are tested. We are looking at Tacori.
EICHHORN JEWELRY (DECATUR, IN)
LAST LINE BOUGHT: Walters Designs, fashion-forward gemstone bead necklaces.
NEXT LINE TO BUY: Unusual men’s wedding bands. Most basic styles are still selling, but a few request more fashionable styles.
GODWIN JEWELERS (BAINBRIDGE, GA)
LAST LINE BOUGHT: John Hardy. I was looking for a brand to sell our customers who have everything else we sell, and also something fresh and new.
NEXT LINE TO BUY: None this year; we’re focusing on growing our diamond business.
GAUSE & SON (OCALA, FL)
LAST LINE BOUGHT: Roberto Coin, and we’re excited about it! It is well known and we’ve been wanting to create a new niche in our store.
NEXT LINE TO BUY: We have some of our favorites, like Doves Jewelry — their fashion earrings are fantastic, and a lot of stars wear his fashion pieces.
GREENWICH JEWELERS (NEW YORK, NY) LAST LINE BOUGHT: Jemma Wynne. We had been looking at it for a little over a year. I always loved it but was curious to see how it would evolve. I love it because there is something chic about each piece; they’re stylish but not trendy and could be your go-to, every day, all-occasion diamond jewel. There’s something that differentiates Jemma Wynne from other diamond jewelry collections and it’s that effortlessness — you don’t have to think about when to wear it. Just put it on, it’ll go with everything and seriously amp up your style factor.
NEXT LINE TO BUY: Not sure just yet!
KROMBHOLZ JEWELERS (CINCINNATI, OH) LAST LINE BOUGHT: Rebecca Hook. We actually bought her line in the Generation Next area of the fantastic 2013 SMART Jewelry Show. We bought most of her designs created in sterling silver with an 18K vermeil finish. She also goes the extra mile to keep her designs looking nice by applying a special clear enamel finish to keep her design from tarnishing.
NEXT LINE TO BUY: A line that is original, with enough range in design to be able to buy for a couple of seasons, representing a good value for what it is and fine craftsmanship. We are currently looking for jewelry that is in the $500 to $2,000 price range (that is a sweet spot for our self-purchasing female customer).
JAIMIE GELLER JEWELRY (PACIFIC PALISADES, CA)
LAST LINE BOUGHT: Hoorsenbuhs. It’s local to my area, and I loved that it was substantial and simple in design. It was a risk for me, being that it is one of the higher priced lines that I carry, but it has been a great success for us.
NEXT LINE TO BUY: It is really important for me to find things that are something I’ve never seen … something my customers don’t have. Also, because I’m a small store, I want lines that will grow with me!
IOWA DIAMOND (DES MOINES, IA)
LAST LINE BOUGHT: Mark Schneider, because of his clean lines and willingness to accommodate customers, even going so far as to speak to them on the phone while they’re in our store. NEXT LINE TO BUY: We’re not open to buy a new designer right now. Perhaps next year if anything new and exciting comes along.
ELIZA PAGE (AUSTIN, TX)
LAST LINE BOUGHT: Shaesby, which is based here in Austin. The line is elegant and simple and can be worn with ease all day long, which is not true of all designer jewelry lines. Also, every piece is cast and hand-fabricated in their studio in Austin, so it is customizable and can be delivered on a quick timeline. Austin customers like to support local artists and businesses, and this appeals to visiting tourists as well. NEXT LINE TO BUY: Probably vintage-inspired, as we are seeing a demand for more designs like this.
LANDSBERG JEWELERS (RYE BROOK, NY) LAST LINE BOUGHT: Amedeo. I noticed the line at Couture last year and loved it, but could not make the commitment then. It is an old world classic with a very edgy twist. Amedeo is an amazing artisan who hand-carves cameos in a variety of animals, skulls, initials, etc. It is not for every customer, but it fits in perfectly with our eclectic collection of designers that we feature at the store. When the pieces were delivered and we were unwrapping, a customer went wild and bought a ring before we could even display it.
NEXT LINE TO BUY: Maybe a high-end watch line or the Lana line?
Z FOLIO GALLERY (SOLVANG, CA)
LAST LINE BOUGHT: Valerie Ostenak. Bold, beautifully made, all one-of-a-kind.
NEXT LINE TO BUY: N/A
Marie Helene Morrow
REINHOLD JEWELERS (SAN JUAN,
LAST LINE BOUGHT: Emanuela Duca, a very talented Italian sculptor and jeweler. Emanuela’s work is highly textured jewelry, whether in sterling silver or 18K yellow gold, which reminds me of the ashes on Vesuvius and antique Roman ruins found in Sicily. Her work is simple, first sculpted in wax and then constructed n metal. Gold or stones are often used as accents to her minimalistic sculptures.
NEXT LINE TO BUY: Discovery is the most exciting part of our business. It is very rare that we find more than one but there is always one — sometimes we will walk for several days and not find him or her, but when you do, your heart stops! I must admit that when that happens, I can’t think of budgets or open to buys, I fall madly in love, and often, it’s forever.
LEVINSON JEWELERS (FORT LAUDERDALE, FL)
LAST LINE BOUGHT: Gucci. It gives the customer a name with great quality and versatility. Another small brand is Gatteo, which is also very nice quality and style.
NEXT LINE TO BUY: I will go to the shows with a mission to find the new and exciting brands for our customers.
MYSTIQUE (ALEXANDRIA, VA)
LAST LINE BOUGHT: Dina Mackney, a local Virginia-based designer who has a collection of fine gemstone bead necklaces with detachable gemstone enhancers. I chose the line because I was looking for a big look under $2,000, because of its vibrant color gemstones, because it is multi-use in regard to two looks in one or more, and because Dina is local to my store. NEXT LINE TO BUY: I will be looking at the designer Mazza, who will work with you to create from his line.
Tommy Aucoin, Jr.
AUCOIN HART (METAIRIE, LA)
LAST LINE BOUGHT: Heather Moore, who filled a growing need our customers have been craving: Beautiful jewelry that allows them the creativity and flexibility to document the times in their lives. There’s so much personalized jewelry on the market, but nothing stood out to us as much as Heather Moore.
NEXT LINE TO BUY: N/A
BERNIE ROBBINS JEWELERS (NJ AND PA) LAST LINE BOUGHT: Kirk Kara. With our emphasis on bridal, this innovative brand is an ideal fit for Bernie Robbins. Looking to the future, we will focus on the basics.
NEXT LINE TO BUY: Moderately priced giftables and fun self-purchase pieces are on our radar.
Amie Guarino Yadouga
LOUIS ANTHONY JEWELERS (PITTSBURGH, PA)
LAST LINE BOUGHT: Sasha Primak. Everything came together at Centurion this past February and we were thrilled to add a line that is truly the combination of sophistication and quality we were looking for. Sasha Primak appeals to the bridal customer and beyond.
NEXT LINE TO BUY: I am a fan of bold statement pieces, color and a self-purchase price point! We are seeing more women splurge on a funky cocktail ring or a strand of beads as if she were buying a pair of designer jeans. So lines that combine fine materials, style and affordability are always on my radar!