(NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.) - Members of Leading Jewelers Guild (LJG), a prestigious member-owned jewelry organization of independent retailers, assembled at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa for their 54th annual July Meeting and Show from July 7 to 11.
“I couldn’t believe the turnout; at the opening session it was almost standing room only,” said Leading Jewelers Guild President, Nate Morgan (Morgan Jewelers, Salt Lake City, UT). “I’ve never seen the vendor show so full, with so much activity.”
“Our primary focus the past few years has been growing our membership,” said Leading Jewelers Guild Board Chair, Tony Prater (Jensen Jewelers, Twin Falls, ID). “It’s pretty evident that each new member brings the group new expertise and new points of view. It’s great to be in a setting where nearly all the content comes from within the membership.”
Vince Rath of Morgan Jewelers (Salt Lake City, UT) gave the keynote address “Making the Sale at Morgan’s.” Member Steven Singer led a group discussion on the book, “Winning” by Jack Welch. He had a palette of 1 x 12 x 12” boards delivered to the meeting room, to prove that anyone can burst through self-imposed limitations and take decisive action. Each participant was challenged to break a board in half with their bare hands, and everyone did. Other presentations included “Running an Effective Estate Department” by Chris and Peggy Coleman (Nelson Coleman Jewelers, Towson, MD) and “What Your Gold Refiner Doesn’t Want You to Know” presented by Jack Brown (Mid States Recycling and Refining, Chicago, IL).
Company presentations from select existing members were interspaced with introductions by prospective new members. “The more we share our strengths, the better we can help one another develop as individual businesses,” said Leading Jewelers Guild Vice President, Josh Halpern (Albert’s Jewelers, Shererville, IN), “and our group becomes stronger in the process!” A concurrent Supervisor Seminar gives supervisors and managers at member companies a chance to connect with and learn from their peers.
Embedded in the five day meeting is a two day vendor show where 65 select vendors were invited to exhibit their lines and services. These included key Leading Jewelers Guild suppliers for the group’s upcoming fall catalog program, as well as a number of new vendors including: Bombay, Bufkor, Charles Garnier, Fable Designs, Hetal, LeVian, Lieberfarb, R. A. Riam and Rosy Blue. “Last year our vendor show sold out in early June,” said Leading Jewelers Guild Executive Director James “Jimmy” West. “This time we started receiving vendor inquiries in November and we were fully sold out by April!”
The meeting’s “grand finale” address was presented by Matthew Perosi (Jewelry Website Advisory Group) on “Holiday Email Blasts: Avoiding the Mistakes Jewelers Made in 2011.” This was an expanded version of the program Perosi presented at the JCK Las Vegas Show in June. “LJG is such an attentive group of jewelers who understood that the review of past marketing performance is important before starting anew,” said Perosi. “While reviewing the 2011 mistakes everyone responded so earnestly with questions to help improve their own individual results. It was my honor to be a part of the July Show.”
Members, vendors, staff and their families relaxed together at the outdoor Vendor Party, held at Marriott’s Seaview Terrace, which included Leading Jewelers Guild’s annual awards presentation. Jeff Weinman of Taché Jewelry (NYC) received the 2011 Vendor of the Year award for outstanding product selection and customer service. Steven Singer (Steven Singer Jewelers, Philadelphia, PA) received the 2011 Leader of the Year, for outstanding leadership on the New Membership Committee.
Leading Jewelers Guild, is a strategic alliance of independent, family-owned jewelers that develops competitive advantages for its members; it is 100% member owned. Leading Jewelers Guild is an invaluable merchandising, marketing, catalog advertising and production resource dedicated to the overall business needs of their member companies. For more information contact James “Jimmy” West, Executive Director at 310-820-3386.