INSTORE’s April issue should be appearing in mailboxes over the next few days, and you can already see our digital edition here. Our cover photo is a bit of a first for us in a couple of ways. Not only does it feature a spectacular dress made from 14K yellow and white gold by Midas Chain, it is one of the few times we as an editorial team have been directly involved in a cover shoot — and the first time we were part of it while it was happening 10,000 miles away. As many readers know, the SmartWork Media team is spread out throughout the world, with offices in New York, Chicago and Bangkok, and staff in California, Texas and India.
Read earlier this week that my INDESIGN editor-in-chief Trace Shelton has taken to talking about flappers and the jazz age, the return of Gatsby and Downton Abbey’s effect on trends. It’s great to see he has taken a savvy slant by showing how advertising campaigns have been influenced by trends we’ve featured in many ways over the past two years in INDESIGN. I am also extremely glad to see he chose ads that also harked to time periods that ranged from retro ‘40s through the ‘70s with nods to big brands and the reincarnation of some of their most popular styles.
But, behind the scenes, we've also been working on the old stuff, trying to get our archives back in shape after a disastrous transition a few years back that resulted in a lot of lost material. That process is still ongoing, but there are a number of key sections of INSTORE magazine that are (more or less) complete and ready for your visits.
While the “vintage jewelry” look has been showing up in more and more jewelry designers’ collections over the past couple of years, the style seems to be cresting in 2013, with several big-name designers and fashion houses capitalizing on the trend that the popular British TV show Downton Abbey and the upcoming The Great Gatsby feature film have brought to the fore.
In 2005, Marcus Buckingham released a book called “The One Thing You Need to Know ... About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success.” With its title, it promised to make Stephen Covey's “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” look like a rambling list of Confucion strictures.
After reading a story in the New York Post this week, I am so glad my proposal is safely and successfully behind me. The Post story about a trend that has men hiring event-planning companies to orchestrate their proposals at price tags of as much as $50,000 was enough to send shivers up my spine.
Here is the second installment of my INSTORE and INDESIGN’s What’s IN Tuesday blog running up until the Las Vegas shows—my picks for what you should be on the look out for, trends and inspirations, what you might want to bring into your store and or tell your customers about. This will include items, cultural happenings, designers to watch, the best of celebrity style—directions--and now and then—my very own objects of desire.
Within the next couple of weeks, your March/April issue of INDESIGN will arrive in your mailbox, and you’ll be able to see who’s on our “Eight-Figure Independents” list (retailers doing $10 million or more in a single location) and read about their proudest moments, best advice, and what they see as the biggest challenges facing them. One question we asked our eight-figure independents was “What is your store’s ‘secret weapon’?” Here’s a small taste of what they had to say:
If any of you receive the Lenox direct-mail catalog, or if you recently logged on to the tabletop giant’s e-tail stores, maybe you noticed something that I spotted: designer jewelry. No, not generic—they’ve been selling that since 1981. Designer—jewelry with names, stories, and a signature look. Granted, there isn’t a lot, but it’s there . . . and it’s there for the first time in the company’s 124-year history. Scattered throughout (instead of presented altogether as Lenox’s new exclusive Designer Jewelry pieces, as I would have preferred) are small collections from Addy Ronen, Amir Poran, Wyland, and two of contemporary designer jewelry’s legends: Sandy Baker and Jose Hess.
Back in my newspaper reporting days, I had the opportunity to spend a good bit of time at a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, not staying there — I was on a journalist’s salary, of course — but tagging around behind the scenes, finding out why this particular Ritz-Carlton made it to the list of world’s 10 best hotels time and time again.
Heading off to the printer soon for new namecards?
Hold off until you look at this inspirational gallery of business cards, courtesy of Buzzfeed. And after you look at them, take a walk for an hour or two and challenge yourself to come up with something that would fit into this collection.
Time to start thinking about styles for the 2013 holiday season...at least for me. We just came rolled off the red carpet with the best of the awards season’s jewelry. In addition, I just finished working on directions we will be seeing at THE SMART SHOW for our March/April issue of INDESIGN am as I type, I’m working on INDESIGN's COUTURE SHOW May/June issue.
Cathy Calhoun, owner of Calhoun Jewelers in Royerstown, PA, and past president of the American Gem Society, has a flair for the dramatic. Her store is well known for its cool events – including a hippie happening party in her store parking lot, and an annual Oscar party in a local theater.
For an upcoming story in INDESIGN, I asked Jim Rosenheim, CEO of Tiny Jewel Box (Washington, D.C.) and America’s Coolest Store in 2011, if he had any guidance to offer retailers trying to reach the eight-figure sales mark. Here were his six pieces of advice: