Celebrations boost our well being; major milestone and daily win alike. One of the main reasons celebrating is so important to humans is because it reflects an overall attitude of gratitude for what we have, instead of focusing on what we don’t have or what we want in the future.
Commemorating special occasions has been a part of who we are as humans since at least several millennia B.C., when ancient Egyptians celebrated things like the annual harvest with festivals.
Research shows that celebrating even the smallest things is good for body, mind and soul. When you celebrate, endorphins are released inside your body and you feel elated! If we don’t take the time to celebrate, we are robbing ourselves of an important feeling that reinforces our success.
While COVID-19 may be disrupting our gatherings, it does not stop us from celebrating life’s moments, with jewelry perhaps the most compelling marker of the human experience.
People are searching for ways to commemorate and connect with one another that are meaningful, experiential, and offer value and convenience. Jewelers who know their customers and communities well can advocate creative solutions with curated jewelry and engaging shopping experiences online.
“Jewelry is such a beautiful way to say ‘I love you, I care about you’ for so many different reasons,” underscores Theresa Namie, merchandise manager for Ostbye, Minneapolis, Minnesota. “During these times it will mean even more.”
She shares that, after 9/11, Ostbye saw a big upswing in family jewelry and expects the same post COVID-19. “We have a wide range of bestselling birthstone gifts in every price point in-stock and ready for same day shipping, including drop shipping directly to retail customers,” says Namie.
Ostbye is promoting social media posts about these special moments and how jewelry can uplift our spirits. “We will have available affordable price points in our quality designs so that jewelry is obtainable and still commemorative fine jewelry,” Namie describes, noting the company offers weekly Top 10 gift lists.
Moreover, Ostbye is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year with its “100 Acts of Kindness” campaign through its employees and retailers, shares Namie, which began in January and runs through December. Recently, it donated gowns and gloves to a local hospital, and one of its employees made facemasks for the staff.
“It’s hard to think about selling jewelry while the country is in such turmoil, but we have to keep business going as much as possible, for our vendors and customers to weather the storm,” says Valerie Fletcher, vice president of design and product development for Original Design Inc. (ODI). The New York manufacturer developed several jewelry designs that celebrate love, hope and the frontline heroes of this crisis, with a portion of the sales benefiting the Covid-19 relief organization of the retailer’s choice. “This is just a small way for us to do our part to convey positive sentiments and to help during these unprecedented times,” shares Jeff Weinman, executive vice president of sales.
Up Online Game
Helping its retail partners up their online game, Quality Gold of Fairfield, Ohio is delivering content for newsletter articles and social media on topics like how to sell remotely, create virtual shopping experiences, raise spirits, and use eCards.
“We have been addressing a lot of the topics [our retailers] have asked about,” says Cora Lee Colaizzi, QG marketing director and senior merchandiser. She says they’re cross promoting content through newsletter and social media channels to sell products, and to help jewelers help their customers celebrate major events in life.
Consumers may not be in stores, but they are engaging, researching and shopping online, underscores Florian Hochmuth, managing director of Breuning, in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He reports strong online business for many of Breuning’s customers. Bestsellers continue to be huggie and hoop earrings of all sizes and styles.
Hochmuth reminds that couples are still planning weddings and getting married, and the brand’s 3D wedding band design tool on its website, which connects consumers with their local jewelers, has been very popular. It’s all about engaging, educating and entertaining customers online.
Neil Shah of Shah Luxury says that while his company and customers have been following stay-at-home orders, the New York manufacturer has been working on innovating its platform to serve its customers in what will be a world more reliant on digital technology post COVID. “It’s an important time to upgrade website functionality, content, interaction, and engagement,” he says. “Every company is examining how to use technology more effectively to interact with customers.”