Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Going for GOLD!

Haitian Heroes Go for GOLD!

You know how websites give you free content for a while and then, WHAM, they hit you with the cost in terms of advertising or subscription fee?  Here’s my “Wham.”  I’m travelling to Haiti in February.  I’m asking you to help me raise funds that will go 100% to helping Haitian orphanages and schools.  I’m collecting scrap-gold which will be refined after Christmas at Customgold’s expense so that every penny’s worth of gold goes directly to the “school and orphanage account” at Foursquare Relief and Compassion.  Since there is no administration cost, 100% of money raised will pay for housing, food and educational supplies of Haitian children (mostly orphans.)

I have designed a counter card to request old-gold from your customers (repair remnants, jewellery not worth fixing, maybe a portion of gold they're coming in to sell…). All you need to do is delegate a staff member who can make this project their “baby.”  I would like someone who is on Facebook and who seeks to assert leadership on this project for the next two months.  If they are active in the community and can promote this to a wider audience; that would be a huge bonus.

Once I hear-back from your project leader (or Haiti Helper) I will email them a counter-card, instructions and links to our website and facebook page.  Your Haiti-Helper might even earn your store a half-day sales training event courtesy of yours-truly!

Email ( or Fax (250-591-0226) me with:

Our official project leader will be:

Our Haiti Helper’s email address is:

Thank you for joining me in the most important work I do,

Todd Wasylyshyn

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Trick or Treat

… with thoughts and prayers going out to the many victims of Sandy’s devastation.

My first year in retail, I was given the Hallowe’en shift.  I recall sitting at the diamond counter with a couple and lobbing candies over their heads at the children parading by.  It was pretty difficult to give my attention to paying customers when those little leeches were everywhere.  Maybe my manager didn’t expect any shoppers that night, but here’s the thing…

When you are open, it’s an invitation to come-in and receive the “Acme Jewellers” experience.  You should be ready and able to deliver that experience no matter who’s on shift and no matter what events are happening in the mall or on the street.  The best practitioners of this are those who participate in hallowe’en, sidewalk sales, pancake breakfasts, etc. with extra staff (usually friends and family) at the front of the store, or outside the store while leaving the inside of the store for business-as-usual.

Hat’s off to Geoff at Woodlands for the great pumpkin carving…  the diamond in their logo is obviously an “ideal cut!”

Monday, 29 October 2012

Purple Gold?

Doing a lot of restyle work, I often stand across the showcase from clients who worry about the future inheritor of their new design disapproving of the gold color.  I simply advise, “we don’t know what the trend will be in 10, 20 or 30 years.  By then purple gold could be all the rage.  Then they will come see someone like me and have the piece restyled to reflect their taste.”  This response also applies to someone stressing over selecting a new item of jewellery in either yellow or white gold.  If the proportion of gemstone value to gold is high, then it is safe to assert that changing gold color in the future is no big deal.

A recent article by Rob Bates in JCK Magazine talks about a new process whereby silver can be turned any color of the rainbow and gold; any color but blue.  This process involves etching “nano-patterns” onto the surface that absorb different wave-lengths of light.  I’m not too worried about this transforming the jewellery industry; as we’re having trouble enough with rhodium plating.  Imagine having to send a ring away to have its’ “nano-patterns” reapplied every few months!  From the sounds of things this would either be appropriate for pendant/earring product or require some sort of transparent coating to protect the effect.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Keeping Fresh - Part Deux

…still not talking about hygiene.  Yesterday I blogged about how us older folks need to keep fresh by taking advantage of modern technology such as smart-phones to broaden our horizons and remain active learners; just as the younger generation do quite naturally.

Now Young ‘uns… Your generation is leading the world into some new ways of relating and learning.  However, in order for you to be able to sell to the older generation who control a huge share of the wealth, you need to learn to relate to them. 

  • ·      You need to learn to sit and talk with people face to face. 
  • ·      You should try hosting a dinner party. 
  • ·      Go to a music store and buy a CD, and experience the joy of breaking fingernails trying to get the cellophane off. 
  • ·      Go to a chamber of commerce mixer and try real networking.
  • ·      Research something at a library.
  • ·      Try living without your cel-phone for one entire day.

I consider myself between two worlds.  I think I know how to relate to people in person, but I’d be a little lost without my smart-phone and laptop.  When it comes to generating rapport with people who you hope to sell to, it’s good to be able to relate to as many people on the planet as possible.  The best way to do that is to walk a mile in their penny-loafers.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Keeping Fresh

No, I’m not talking about hygiene.  I’m talking about your mind.  If you work the same shifts, read the same kinds of books, watch the same shows on TV and have coffee at the same shop every day, you’re “best before” date will come sooner than you think.

Today’s smart-phone generation is all about FRESH.  Without instant access and rapid sharing of trends, Korean artist Psy, might never have reached a world-wide audience with Gangnam Style, and bullying and teen suicide might not have become so real to so many.

The antithesis to the way the younger generation experiences the world is to get-up, watch Global News, go to work and conduct each day like the last. 

Without having to learn the moves to Gangnam Style you can use modern technology to freshen-up your perspective.  You can see how BBC or Al Jazeera interprets what constitutes news.  You can surf Amazon to learn about new authors.  Without having to go to a travel agency, you can see pictures and learn about exotic destinations that you might add to your bucket list.  Or, go to a travel agent or library and take a young person along to show them how to “surf” old-school.

The world is becoming smaller by the nano-second.  Your current and future customers are absorbing information at a torrential rate.  By experiencing a bit of this yourself, you can learn their ways, like an archeologist studying a remote tribe.  You can feel what it’s like to read-up on the 4-C’s from a smart-phone on your way to a jewellery store.  You can know how easy it is to believe a website over your local expert who is less transparent with their wisdom.  You can find-out how a massive part of your competition is luring your clients to shop online.

Become the Indiana Jones of Jewellers.  Go into those dark caves and discover the wonders therein.  The treasure is your ability to relate to and sell more to young shoppers.