Quick. What’s on your mind? With political rhetoric reaching election-day fever pitch, news headlines trumpeting Wall Street bailouts and mortgage market meltdowns and the peak-selling Holiday season just around the corner, it’s pretty safe to say it’s the economy. Will sales be strong this season? How are my clients being affected? Should I shift my sales strategy? Alter my inventory?
We’ve been through economic bubbles before. The Millennial dot-com boom and burst presaged this current housing-based bubble, which has proved to be wider-reaching and more intractable. The billion dollar question is – when will the bottom be reached and the recovery begin? Because we all know that the economy moves in cycles. Even the Great Depression of the ‘30s was followed by a period of full recovery and greater growth.
How we approach the current crisis depends on how we view it. It’s the old glass half empty or glass half full question. Donald Trump was asked what advice he would give to ordinary folk during the current crisis. Most advisers counsel keeping your money as safe as possible – buying Treasury Bills or similar safe instruments. Trump’s advice? Buy a house. It’s a great time to buy a house. And, of course, it is. Housing prices are near rock-bottom, mortgage interest rates are low and it’s a buyer’s market. A perfect time to invest in a house that will increase in value as the market recovers.
The moral? There are always opportunities. An alert, resourceful mind will see the glass half full, the opportunities available in a complex, shifting situation.
What should the jewelry entrepreneur do in the current economic climate? Conventional wisdom might seem to dictate to play it safe: reduce inventory, offer lower priced options with sales incentives, wait it out. But is this what the most successful will do? Consider a fresh approach.
Instead of focusing on less expensive merchandise, consider promoting your high-end options, including designer jewelry. Your upscale clientele may not be worried about their mortgages in the same way that customers living paycheck-to-paycheck are. Although their preferred portfolios are undoubtedly affected by stock market gyrations, if they are wisely invested and in it for the long run, they may well have the confidence that these portfolios will continue their long-term growth over the decades.
It’s a truism that people turn to gold in times of economic instability. As the price of gold has skyrocketed, many have looked for cheaper alternatives – silver, lower-karat gold and alternative metals. But a quick review of the television shopping networks reveals strong-selling pure gold, including high-karat gold, Italian and designer pieces. Gold’s increasing price has had the effect of making gold even more desirable.
The savvy, current marketer will emphasize the lasting value of pure gold, precious gems and fine heirloom jewelry in a time of economic instability. Diamonds are forever. People are still getting engaged, having birthdays and anniversaries, buying holiday gifts. As an alternative to the newest electronic gadget that will quickly be outdated, suggest to your clients heirloom-quality tangible investments.
You will hear consumer fears that because of economic uncertainty, they are playing it safe, not spending – even that this is what’s currently appropriate. But the proposed economic stimulus packages reveal the importance of keeping the economy liquid and growing, rather than pulling back. It’s consumer confidence that spurs the economic growth that will pull us out of a recession. Wise consumer investments help the economy recover and grow.
What’s responsible for the current crisis? A corrupt culture of greed, famously echoed in the “Wall Street” character Gordon Gekko’s “Greed is good,” has been a factor. Greed is a corruption of growth. But growth is good. We still believe in the American Dream. Growth and progress are its fuel.
Investing in fine jewelry of lasting value offers a haven in the current storm. That inherited heirloom platinum diamond ring your client wears may well have weathered last century’s depression and still be going strong, increasing in value into the current millennium. Today’s successful entrepreneur will leverage options creatively. Wise growth opportunities are always available to those who see the glass half full.
Mia Katrin is an award-winning, internationally celebrated couture jewelry designer, specializing in one-of-a-kind and limited edition high-end necklaces with precious gems in 18-24 karat gold and platinum. Her Collections, which have been worn by A-List Hollywood celebrities, are featured in many top galleries and stores throughout the country, where she regularly hosts Trunk Shows. Contact Mia via her website, http://jeweljewel.com, e-mail email@example.com or call (877) JEWEL-MY.