For some reason, the word Morehead keeps popping up in my life. I’ve written many articles citing the wisdom of Lisa Morehead of Masman Jewelers in Morgantown, WV. I’ve got clients in Morehead City, NC. I know a few people that have graduated from Morehead State University. And now, the small city of Morehead, KY, a few hours north of me, finds itself thrust into the spotlight of the nation.
Little ole Morehead, KY, which boasts one of the top 100 public school systems in the country, is a hotbed of activity for people acting like ‘they ain’t got no lerning.’ Now mind ya, with the exception of the County Clerk, most of the people causing the ruckus aren’t even from Morehead. Most of them are those darn nosey Washington types coming in and trying to push their ideals on the good people of Rowan County, KY. Heck, CNN has been camped out there for weeks watching this epic battle between good vs. evil, the Bible vs. the devil, Heaven vs. Hell, and anything else they can come up with. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m talking about the Supreme Court’s decision to allow any two people to marry each other, regardless of gender.
Let me start by saying that I’m not choosing sides here. Honestly, being divorced and single for the last 11 years, I can’t imagine why any two people would even want to get married, but that’s a discussion for another time. But, if you’re willing to bet half your stuff that you’re going to be with this person for the rest of your life, I say; “Go for it, it’s a free country!”
I must admit, when the Supreme Court handed down the decision, I was kind of shocked. I had to do a lot of checking to find out what this meant exactly. We’ve all seen the stories about someone that sues a big corporation and wins a judgment of $20 million. Then the corporation appeals the decision. A few years later a new decision is handed down, and one of the parties in the suit appeals that decision. A few years pass and another decision is handed down. Then, after a decade or two of appeals, the process finally reaches the end of the line and all of the lawyers are really sad, but $20 million richer. All while the person who was wronged in the first place gets a check for about $100 with a pat on the back for fighting the good fight, while asking themselves; ‘why didn’t I just take the initial settlement of $5 million before the attorney’s got involved?’ That’s how the system works I suppose. But, let’s get back to this marriage thing.
When it was first announced, a lot of people were outraged, a lot of people were elated, and lot of people simply didn’t care. I personally hadn’t heard a thing about it until the Supreme Court handed down their ruling out of the blue on June 27. I somehow missed the 20+ years of lower court decisions. I also missed the countless reversals, and appeals to the higher courts until it finally reached the end of the line and became the law of the land. I guess I must have been busy minding my own business or something.
But enough about the process let’s talk about how it relates to us. More business! Like I said earlier, I don’t know why anyone would voluntarily offer up half their stuff, but I’m in the jewelry business, and whenever a newly engaged couple is in the store shopping for wedding bands, I just keep my mouth shut and sell those crazy kids some rings. And in about 10 years I’ll probably sell one or the other new rings again.
On the day the Supreme Court decision was handed down, I had a long time customer come in with his longtime partner to order custom wedding bands. They had just returned from the county clerk’s office (not the one in Kentucky mind you) where they had just gotten married. Now they needed wedding rings for the first time in their 49+ years together. So you know what I did? No, I didn’t make a federal case out of it. I sized their fingers and helped them choose a design. Their only stipulation was they needed them by the next Friday because they were leaving on a cruise to celebrate their 50th anniversary together. I said I could handle it, and you know what they did? They handed me a credit card and paid for something they never needed before. Go me, go us!
Then the next day it happened again. All of a sudden I realized that a whole new market has opened up for those of us in the jewelry business that we didn’t have before the Supreme Court decision. We have a brand new set of customers that didn’t exist beforehand. And, I’ve discovered, it’s a pretty lucrative market.
We’ve all got that one customer that has been married 3 or 5 times, all happy and in love needing new wedding rings again. We gladly sell them another one; wishing them luck, knowing full well that we’ll be seeing one or the other in a year or two doing this whole song and dance again.
I can only assume that this new market of same sex couples will marry and divorce at about the same rate as the rest of us. Hell, if you were to ask me about my ex-wife, I’d have to ask; “Which one?” What can I say; I used to be my own best customer.
We live in a country that has a government that is very good at taking from us. It’s rare they give us something back. A whole new marketplace is not a bad thing in my opinion. Now look at the calendar, it’s almost Christmas. Cross your Ts and dot your Is and get ready for the new wave of happy couples coming in to buy wedding rings at your store this season.
And, a quick reminder to all of the bench jewelers out there. With the cold winter approaching, don’t forget to order the Mary Kay Satin Hands Soap. It’s a great soap for your hands with a moisturizer built in that will keep your hands from cracking over the winter months. If you don’t have a Mary Kay rep, use mine, you can contact Venessa at: www.marykay.com/vmadrid1, e-mail: email@example.com, or Facebook: Venessa Madrid Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant.
Chuck is the owner of Anthony Jewelers in Nashville, TN. Chuck also owns CMK Co., a wholesale trade shop that specializes in custom jewelry and repair services to the jewelry industry nationwide. If you would like to contact Chuck or need a speaker or instructor for your next conference/event he can be reached at 615-354-6361, www.CMKcompany.com or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.