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Nurture Pearl Sales and Watch Them Bloom

Longtime sales and marketing pro, Kathy Grenier, reminds us why pearl is the most storied gem and the answer to today’s search for a modern jewelry category that will resonate with shoppers.

As with most anything in life, what you give attention to blossoms. In my career, I’ve focused on fine watches, jewelry, and a lot of pearls! The secret to success no matter the category? Give each the attention they deserve.

Retailers who have success with pearls offer selection and variety, host in-store events and promotions, but confidence and passion are key. (Chances are you already have these qualities but doubt your abilities when it comes to pearls!) For some, the pearl category is a mystery—an old-fashioned, misunderstood gem with limited appeal and reserved for weddings. It’s time to shift those thoughts.

Photo by Marc Josse of a Jewelmer diver turning oyster nets to foster better growth of pearls

Jewelmer diver turning oyster nets to foster better growth of pearls

Photo by Marc Josse

You already have what it takes—you’re the go-to retailer for fine jewelry in your community, the trusted engagement-ring source, and your in-house custom design business rocks! Plus, you’ve got a robust social media plan. In other words, you are doing everything right. But, like any successful business person, you keep thinking, How do I continue to offer clientele the meaningful jewelry experiences they expect with the fashion-forward styles they crave?

The answer is pearls. Pearls are what’s next.

Photo by Marc Josse of the South Palawan Sea where Jewelmer pearls grow

South Palawan Sea where Jewelmer pearls grow

Photo by Marc Josse

In this moment, you may be battling an inner stream of consciousness that wants to shoot down the idea based on your prior knowledge or experience with pearls. Stop—you are a smart, successful business owner looking for answers; keep an open-to-listen mindset to see the open-to-buy opportunities.

What other category commands triple or more markups and are virtually impossible to price shop? What other niche has such exotic beginnings in pristine waters worldwide? (By the way, beautiful pearls only come from healthy environments and happy people in remote places with little to no other means of employment, so they’re ethical and altruistic.) From seed to harvest and market to jewelry, pearls are the perfect story of mystery, originality, drama, passion, adversity, triumph, and celebration. Best of all, this story isn’t fabricated—no agency created this campaign, it’s the real deal and has been for years! The story and experience that everyone seeks has always existed with pearls.

Golden South Sea pearl photo by Harvey Tapan for Jewelmer

Golden South Sea pearl from Jewelmer

Photo by Harvey Tapan

Pearls are not a commodity, and there is pride and profit in them, so they’re good for business.

There are also openings for great retailers to become pearl authorities in destinations nationwide. Yes, the gem with the storied past is the gem for today; modern pearl jewelry is your future. Seize this opportunity to expand your bottom line and your clients’ expectations.

Comments on this post (2)

  • Jan 30, 2018

    Hi Kathy,
    Very well written article. Some great points… couldn’t agree more :-)
    Looking forward to your next article.

    — Perrin Jones

  • Jan 30, 2018

    Thank you for this wonderful newsletter. I love pearls and I loved reading it!
    I really wish there were more examples of unusual ways to string pearls. I have been collecting and working with freshwaters in MANY ways, though I am not a “jeweler” who knows metal settings, etc.
    I work with leather cording, regular stringing material, and so forth, while mixing in many colors and sizes of other beads. I make long strands, sometimes closing with ribbon. I have no patience for “nice” strands. Mine must always be noticeable and related to my own wardrobe, as well as the wardrobe of the friends for whom I make them. I even wear my FW, on brown leather cord, while I play golf! They shine so beautifully in the morning sunshine.
    Keep those interesting designs coming!

    — Kirsten Giving

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