Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The 2014 WCJE

It's a whole new ballgame without DiGem and The Martin Ross Group

WCJE 2014

Well another show is in the books.  How was the show you ask?  Let me tell ya.  The big buzz was about the pending closure of the Martin Ross Group.  When A&A closed down it was big news in the industry, but Libman and Master Design both at the same time?  Monumental!  The void was already felt with their absence as exhibitors.  They weren’t the only ones missing, and the show was noticeably smaller than last year.  Without those two suppliers, this show offered their dealers a chance to source alternatives, but more on that later…

The Canadian Jewellers Association, JVC and the “Connect for Success” committee produced an educational day on Thursday ahead of the show.  Due to set-up I couldn’t attend the whole thing, but it was very well-received by those who took the time.  I will do what I can to encourage and promote this effort in upcoming years.  Increased show participation depends on the value and excitement that this show provides to retailers.  An engaged and successful retailer will do their Fall buying at the show, offering value to the exhibitors.  And truthfully, waiting for the sales reps to come see you will NEVER give you the front-of-the-line selection, networking opportunities and one-stop shopping that the WCJE offers.

I haven’t heard any official numbers, but I’m pretty sure attendance by retailers was down.  Without the annual general meeting and festivities surrounding the disbanded DiGem buying group, their members had one less reason to make the trip.  Some have joined the CJG, and attended the buying show the previous week in Toronto.  But little of the drop in attendance can be blamed on buying groups as there were quite a few former DiGemmers in attendance, including my good friend Connie Kitigawa.  We will always welcome her participation in the industry and our lives due to the contributions she’s made to Digem, the industry and her friends.  Over the past 5 years, DiGem raised over $75,000 for charity through their “Digem Decadence” dinners and the Edmonton show, and even though the event was missed, the amazing impact on those charities endures as a legacy of the group!

…back to the Martin Ross thing.  Corona put on a very impressive 55th anniversary show of their own with a large addition to their usual space, including diamond cutting demos and a luxurious hospitality lounge.  While they stand to gain a lot of business from Libman and Master Design faithfuls, there will be circumstances where exclusivities, loyalties, flier program conflicts and capacity issues will have to be weighed-out.  It’s going to be a busy season for Corona and other suppliers (including myself) trying to adjust to these new realities!

I hope that it’s a long time before we forget the innovation, inspiration and enrichment that Mark Libman and the late Varouj Arkarakas (Master Design) contributed to our industry.  They were only successful because they helped so many retailers enjoy their own success.

Okay, so this turned into a sort of obituary for Martin Ross Group and DiGem.  On the bright side, those who came were upbeat about their prospects for a robust Fall season.  We sold some pretty amazing one-of-a-kind delivery pieces, leaving us working hard to assemble like-product for me to show you if I’m coming to see you soon.

Monday, 4 August 2014


Why some attend every motivational talks and others give up on life...

I recently attended a one-day conference for keynote speakers, teaching us how to develop multiple streams of income from the basis of a platform presenter.  My eyes were opened to a whole world of professionals who do nothing but go from corporate retreats to business conventions to trade shows and motivate people to excel in their businesses and in their personal lives.  What I discovered is that they cater to the millions of people who are pushing to do better.
I recently acquired a dilapidated property at foreclosure court.  It is a half-duplex which was an absolute mess.  There were holes in, and graffiti on the walls.  Mounds of clothing, fast-food boxes and bags, dishes and drug paraphernalia were in every room.  The yard was unkempt, the dryer vent wasn’t hooked-up and patchwork caulking of windows and doors only served to worsen the water infiltration problems.  What I discovered is that there are millions of people who don’t push to do better at all.
If the world’s wealth was redistributed evenly on January 1, 2015 with a capitalist system still in place, then the wealthy would have their mega-fortunes back by Christmas and the unmotivated would have squandered their increase by mid-summer.
I don’t seek wealth itself.  I motivate myself so that I can bring a better me to the table to serve my clients, my family and my neighbors.  If I am a good servant to these, I stand to gain respect, lasting friendships and possibly wealth. 
This reminds me of the biblical parable of the talents (or bags of gold.)  The master before embarking on a journey gave 5 talents to one servant, 2 talents to another and 1 talent to a third.  The first two invested their lot and earned a 100% return and the third buried his in a hole, and then returned only the principle.  The master upon returning rewarded the first two, and scorned and cast-out the latter.  He then gave the one who had doubled his 5 talents the 1 talent that the unsuccessful servant had hidden.  The conclusion is that those who are faithful when trusted with little things will be entrusted with more. 
If you are entrusted with a business, look upon your clients as talents.  Your sacred quest is to double the number of clients you serve.  By increasing your capabilities to handle twice as many clients, your labor will be rewarded with more opportunity. 
There is choice in this world.  You can position yourself anywhere along the spectrum between the seminar-gobbling masses who want to take over the world and the lazy bums who inhabited our dilapidated abode (which due to Mrs. Toddwaz’ and my effort is now a beautifully renovated rental suite.)
If it’s a matter of balance between business achievement and personal growth or recreation, it takes thought, effort and some degree of motivation to get there.  Take a moment today to reflect on where you are in your career or business and make a commitment.  Do you want to strive to do better?  Is your career or business satisfactory and you need to commit yourself to improving your health, relationships or recreational persuits?  Have you lost your motivation?  If you are currently executing a plan to achieve your goals, then good for you!  If not, you may want to clean up a few messes in your life, or seek some coaching to help you along.