Ostbye Names RJO Vendor of the Year

Ostbye team gathers for a celebratory selfie.
Ostbye team gathers for a celebratory selfie.

Ostbye has been named the Retail Jewelers Organization 2014 Vendor of the Year for Finished Goods in recognition of their exceptional sales, service and support.  

It is Ostbye’s seventh time winning the award in the past 8 years.  Ostbye has previously won the award in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008 and 2007. Ostbye was presented with the award at the recent RJO summer show in Minneapolis, MN.

“We are so honored to be a part of RJO,” states Craig MacBean, president of Ostbye.  “To be recognized by its strong retail jewelers, amongst the outstanding group of RJO vendors is very humbling.  Thank you RJO!”

In addition, Ostbye’s Tim Marr won RJO’s 2014 Sales Representative of the Year.  It is Tim’s third time winning the award.  MacBean added, “No one cares more about his customers than Tim Marr.  His commitment to the retail jeweler and our industry is second to none and Tim winning this prestigious award is well-deserved.” 


Ostbye, founded in 1920 in downtown Minneapolis, has cemented its status as one of the leading manufacturers of bridal and fashion jewelry. Through the four generations of family-owned leadership, Ostbye has always stayed true to its mission of exemplary quality, service and value. Ostbye’s comprehensive collections and divisions include bridal jewelry, anniversary bands, fashion jewelry, family jewelry, women’s and men’s diamond jewelry, colored gemstone jewelry, pendants, earrings, and rings.


For more information on Ostbye, visit www.Ostbye.com or call 866-553-1515.

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Jewelers for Children Seeks Nominees for $100,000 in Grants

Jewelers for Children has announced the 2014 edition of their Local Grants program.  JFC has set aside $ 100,000 to be used for 10 - $ 10,000 grants to local organizations.  Independent jewelers will have an opportunity to nominate a local organization to receive one of these grants.  Once a final list of nominated charities is compiled, the retailer will be responsible for motivating their constituents to vote for their charity through a Facebook-based campaign on JFC's page. 

It will be up to the jeweler and the nominated charities to generate interest in their organization by securing votes through their own social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, email blasts, and any other advertising opportunities available.  JFC provides sample language for use on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as press releases that can be used to promote the nominated charity. 

The nomination period for charities will run between September 1, and September 30, 2014.  The voting process will begin on October 6, and continue for two weeks, concluding on October 19.  The top 10 vote getters will be announced on October 22, and grants will be made prior to December 31, 2014. 

Each of the ten jewelers who nominate the winning charities will be presenting the grant from JFC directly to the charity on behalf of the jewelry industry. JFC will announce the winners and jewelers to the trade and will be supplying a press release template for each jeweler to secure local (and possibly, national) recognition for their success in their own market. 

Jeff Corey, Day's Jewelers and a JFC board member said “Last year Day’s Jewelers participated in JFC’s Local Grants Program. We were able to earn a $10,000 grant for Camp Sunshine, a local charity dedicated to children in need. It was a wonderful opportunity for Day’s, our customers and our community to work together to help kids locally through JFC.” 


Details on how to participate in the program and the requirements for nominated charities can be found on JFC's website at www.jewelersforchildren.org, under the Happenings section.  A nomination form to print out, complete and return to JFC to nominate their local charity for consideration is available.

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Peter Smith Publishes Guide to Retail Hiring

Peter Smith, current Executive Vice President of Brand Development for Leo Schachter & Company, has announced the debut of his first publication, “Hiring Squirrels:  12 Essential Interview Questions to Uncover Great Retail Sales Talent.

With over 30 years of firsthand experience and knowledge, Smith shares a comprehensive wealth of tactics and practical advice for identifying, interviewing and hiring great sales talent. 

"Six of every ten people in retail sales should be doing something else for a living. Knowing that is one thing, being able to change that is something else. I felt like I really had something worthwhile to say on this subject as it has been such a passion of mine my whole career," says Smith.


“Hiring Squirrels” available now on Amazon.

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Milenyum Mining Gets Csarite Trademarks

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted two trademarks to Milenyum Mining Limited for the gemstone Csarite.

Ethically sourced and responsibly mined at its sole known source deep in the mountains of the Anatolia region of Turkey, the Csarite trademark will allow greater consumer recognition for this gemstone, but also help distinguish it from synthetics and simulants entering the market through unscrupulous dealers and retailers.

With the trademark now approved and registered, MML has stepped up its efforts to combat theft and illegal mining at the mine site by working closely with Turkish ministeries and army to monitor illegal activity and take immediate legal action when necessary. The Milas County Courts recently approved the first conviction of an illegal miner who will face 12 months in prison and substantial financial fines. Some 35 other individuals are being sued and more convictions will follow.

“As this lovely gemstone grows in popularity, it’s especially important that the quality and purity of natural Csarite is protected,” states Murat Akgun, president of Milenyum Mining Limited. “With the granting of the name and slogan trademarks, our already transparent supply chain instills even greater confidence for our buyers”.

Akgun urges consumers interested in purchasing Csarite, and especially those traveling to Turkey, to only buy the gem from MML’s authorized retailers and distributors, which can be found on the web site www.csarite.info.

He urges all buyers to check the web site frequently, as MML is constantly monitoring its distributors and the list may change due to their strict screening policy.

Csarite will be available for wholesale purchase at the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, AWE #10U31. For appointments contact info@courtneycollection.com.

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