Friday, 26 July 2013
Kudos to those of you who have supported your fellow jewellers, Wayne and Joanne Austen of High River; in the aftermath of Alberta’s catastrophic flooding. Donations have been trickling in, and the amount continues to grow. Their showcases were literally obliterated and washed away. The restoration workers have stripped the building right to the outer walls. Think of an amount in dollars that it takes to build and furnish a medium sized jewellery store including showcases, flooring, lighting, furniture, computers, etc. While their home was covered by a flooding rider, jeweller’s block insurance does not cover such an event and government disaster relief is offering up to $15,000 in aid (should their application be accepted.) If you have yet to offer-up your contribution, please do so before July 31st. I’ve sent mine, and it’s heartwarming to see the sacrifices being made for a fellow jeweller in need.
***If you feel moved to contribute to their rebuilding, please send a cheque to one of three venues marked “AUSTEN’S”. Please make the cheque payable to the association, so that they can amalgamate the funds and then make a presentation on behalf of all of the caring jewellers who participated
8 Centre Street N
G7, 5550 - 45 St.
Red Deer AB
Friday, 12 July 2013
An interesting news clip came on this morning regarding a B.C. based company that was just about put out of business a few years ago, and today thrives. Imported work gloves can be bought for pennies, and easily undersold the value of Watson product. As soon as they came to “grips” with the fact that they weren’t going to compete on price with the flood of imported goods, they began to specialize. They looked to the energy sector and created designs that took into account their unique needs. They listened to other clients and found where certain designs were wearing quickly and tailored their gloves to provide significant advantages to mass-produced general purpose ones.
Consumers can purchase mass-produced general purpose jewellery from chain stores or online merchants and enjoy low pricing. There are significant advantages bricks-and-mortar jewellers can offer through personalization and custom design.
What says “I love you” better?
- “I got a great deal on-line on this million-of-a-kind diamond cluster for you, honey!”
- “I remember how much you admired that design we saw on vacation, so I worked with the jeweller downtown to create a similar look featuring your birthstone, and I hand-picked a Canadian diamond to go with it!”
I happen to think that the shine’s off the apple of Chinese imported goods. I recently saw a Facebook post that put the fear of God in me to eat anything produced in China, and to never allow my nephews to play with toys made there. Consumers are increasingly open to stories of local product and higher quality. If I’ve been remiss in telling you the story of any of the domestic companies I represent, please let me know and I’ll be happy to fill you in!
Wednesday, 3 July 2013
Since the weather has warmed, Canada Day has come and gone and a terror threat on Canadian soil has topped the news, it seems like the flooding in Alberta is fading into distant memory. The memory is all too real for one member of our jewellery-family. I wrote about the Austens of High River having suffered the loss of their store, and have since discovered that there is a way we can all help them recover. Following are excerpts from a letter to CJG member stores. I would hope that all of us could pitch-in and help.
Austen Jewellers, High River Alberta has been hit by the massive floods in Alberta and their store has been totally destroyed. From the pictures we have seen most of the windows are gone as are parts of the walls. We have spoken with Wayne Austen a couple of times over the last week. They still are not allowed into the downtown and therefore into their store or into their home. They are staying with their daughter Elyse in Okotoks.
Insurance coverage is unknown at this time, but as it rarely covers flooding they are basically without insurance to help recover. Provincial aid will likely be available but how long that will take is anybody’s guess. Building inspectors will have to verify the soundness of the buildings before plans can be made to rebuild.
This is far worse than a flood, it is a disaster area currently under martial law.
They will be needing new store fixtures and displays and some new merchandise to fill them, but now there is no income source to help pay for them and it could be weeks or months before they are up and running.
If you would like to take part in a Financial Assistance Opportunity and help out a fellow (jewellery) store … then please send a cheque made out to CJG, ( Tag it-"Austen's") and we will forward the funds on to them on everyone’s behalf.
We know that the CJG family of members and suppliers will come through for them.
Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Austen’s.
***If you feel moved to contribute to their rescue, please send a cheque to one of following three venues marked “AUSTEN’S”.
8 Centre Street N
G7, 5550 - 45 St.
Red Deer AB
Customgold Mfg. Ltd.
#529, 470 Granville St.