Columnists Howard Kelrick 24 Karat Corner: News and Views from the 24 Karat Club Southeastern U.S.

24 Karat Corner: News and Views from the 24 Karat Club Southeastern U.S.


Bleeding the customer dry

It was a sticky, steamy South Florida afternoon, so I thought I’d swing by my friend Kenny’s store on the way back to the office.  It was mid-week and nothing was going on anywhere.  I figured his store would be quiet, and I know he keeps some cold ones in the back of the break room fridge.

As I turned the corner into his parking lot, I was shocked to find not a single place to park!  I pulled up next to the mobile home looking thing in the middle of the lot and saw Kenny in the middle of a crowd passing out ice cream.

“What’s going on?” I asked, pushing aside the ice cream in the cooler, looking for a beer.

“It’s our monthly blood drive,” Kenny told me as he handed off the scooper and led me out of the heat and inside the store.  The shop was buzzing with activity, which was not at all what I was expecting on this very humid afternoon with thunderstorms about to roll in.

“It’s a great deal!” Kenny continued, without offering me a beer.  “I partner with the Community Blood Center.  We both promote the event around town, they send over the blood-mobile and give out juice and snacks to the donors.  I pass out ice cream to everyone who comes by.  Blood donors get a pair of ruby earrings and gift certificate good on a future visit.  Everybody wins!  The Blood Center got 24 pints last month, and I had great traffic on a day where we might not have done any business!  Now, pull up your sleeve, and lets get you signed in!  You can have a beer later.”

So, now I’m laying in the blood-mobile, pumping out a pint of B positive, thinking what a wonderful idea this is.  There’s great publicity, very little over-head, a great partner to be affiliated with, and the promise of further business down the road!  A classic display of “doing well by doing good!”

And, whenever I hear that phrase, “doing well by doing good,” I think of my beloved 24 Karat Club.  Fifty jewelry industry leaders who give their hearts, time, and resources to make the jewelry industry a better place for everyone.  Whether raising money to award scholarships enabling jewelers to enhance their skills, or recognizing outstanding community service by retail jewelers, The 24 Karat Club exists solely to serve the industry.  Feel free to ask your favorite member vendor how The 24 Karat Club might help you do well too!

I had pulled into Kenny’s expecting a little conversation and a cold beer.  I left with a free pair of ruby earrings for my niece, a band-aid and a juice box.  I told Kenny to keep the gift certificate on file for me, I’d cash it in for that cold beer on my next visit.

Howard Kelrick is President of Finger Mate and a  board member of The 24 Karat Club, SEUS.  Finger Mate manufactures and installs expandable ring shanks and sells to retail jewelers throughout North America. Contact Howard at 954-458-2700 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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