Ready, Set, 2018: Updated Member Benefits and a Revitalized Website
You are reading this because you are listed in CPAA records as a member of this pearl-loving nonprofit! This note is the first step in what is now regular, monthly correspondence with CPAA members and benefactors.
The organization has been busy for the past few months making big changes for the benefit of members, the group moving forward, and pearl promotion on a grand scale. Perhaps the biggest change is the person inking this letter—I’m Jennifer Heebner, the newly appointed part-time executive director. Many of you know me from my tenure as an industry journalist and market editor (I was a staff editor at JCK for 19 years and have been freelancing for the past year and writing for my own online publication). While I will continue writing for myriad industry publications and attending trade shows to cover what’s current and trending in jewelry design and business, I will now also be helping the CPAA better share the message of pearls. Working with me in this role is my dear friend and now colleague, Kathy Grenier, the CPAA’s public relations and marketing director and vice president of business development for Imperial. Together, we will spearhead new initiatives to help you better tell the story of pearls, to sell them more often, and to excite consumers about purchasing more of them.
The purpose of this letter to you all is to explain the new website and its contents. Every aspect of the site has been refreshed to make it current, clear, and easy to follow. Under the About CPAA drop-down menu, you will see information about the organization, the board, benefactors, and staff. There is a section for Pearls As One education, Membership—including a membership directory by level and alphabetical order—Initiatives (think the International Pearl Design Contest), the Shells Newsletter, and the Shop. Additions will be made as needed on a regular basis.
You’ll notice that membership names have changed to reflect a monetary pledge instead of a business-type one. Annual dues are as follows:
- $500 for Affiliate members
- $1,000 for Associate members
- $1,500 for Foundation members
Also notice that member benefits (listed under Membership) have been enhanced, and we encourage feedback. Check out the online list to understand the different levels and what is included with each. Among the new benefits: an active social-media program on Instagram at @pearlscpaa. We’re sharing, or “regramming,” images from your existing social media accounts according to membership level—Affiliate members will have a minimum of one image per month shared, Associate members will have two, and Foundation members are entitled to three. If you do not have an Instagram account, you are welcome to send me images to post to the CPAA account, but be sure to include the name of a retailer’s Instagram account so we can drive viewers there for purchases. At trade shows, we’ll also add fresh photos as well as live-stream video interviews and create other content that will live on the CPAA website.
All new and original content can be found under the Shells drop-down menu, but please know just two content sections to date are live—Currents With Kathy and Market Report With Jennifer. More original pearl content will start appearing on the site weekly and will be delivered to you and a massive Shells subscriber list of more than 24,000 trade and consumer readers. This proprietary list is more far-reaching and powerful than any of the trade publications on the market today! Since CPAA is a paid-member organization, member profiles are also on the horizon.
This members-only section is not visible to cpaa.org viewers—you must log into your cpaa.org account to view this content. You can always log in and find the content here. This members-only section will also feature business tips, timely insights, links to more pearl articles in the media, as well as access to benefits info reserved only for members. All this content is for you to use as tools to drive more awareness to your own business. Take advantage of it!
Please know that this is just a start—the CPAA and its offerings will be constantly evolving in order to remain competitive and, most important, to address members’ needs. Have an idea? Please do share it with me at Jennifer@jenniferheebner.com or with Kathy at Kathyspearl@gmail.com.
CPAA News to Know Now
CPAA Members at Upcoming Tucson Trade Fairs
The American Gem Trade Association Tucson GemFair is quickly approaching! Many of our members will be exhibiting at AGTA (at the Tucson Convention Center) and across the street at the GJX show. Below is the list of exhibiting CPAA members, their booth numbers, and the shows where you can find them. Know a member who is missing from this list? Email me at Jennifer@jenniferheebner.com and I’ll add them. Also, will you have a show special? Let us know so we can share the news.
CPAA Members at the AGTA Tucson GemFair
American Pearl Company Inc. , AGTA #802
Brenda Smith Jewelry, AGTA #1623
Continental Pearl, #108
CPAA, AGTA #1900
Cybel Trading Co., AGTA #110
D.S.L. Pearl, AGTA #410
Eliko Pearl, AGTA #1306
Gems of the World, AGTA #107
King’s Ransom, AGTA #1010
Mastoloni Pearls, AGTA #517
Tara & Sons, AGTA #1126
CPAA Members at the Gem and Jewelry Exchange (GJX)
Baggins, GJX #142
Continental Pearl, GJX #223 and #323
Jaco Import Corp., GJX #317
Mastoloni Pearls, GJX #204 and #304
Pearl Exporting Co., GJX #812 and #912
Annual CPAA Party
The annual CPAA party takes place on Wednesday, January 31, 2018, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Cushing Street Bar & Restaurant in Tucson, Ariz. Each Foundation member is entitled to two complimentary tickets, available from Kathy Grenier. Additional tickets for Foundation members may be purchased at a cost of $25 apiece. All other members must purchase tickets at a cost of $25 apiece; everyone else—all non-members—must purchase a ticket to attend at a cost of $45 apiece. This sum covers the cost of the open bar and loads of delicious food and gelato that are served the entire night. Purchase tickets before the event from Kathy by texting her at 508-951-6613. Be sure to state WHO YOU ARE!! (Kathy is amazing, but she doesn’t have ESP.) You can also email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You must have a physical copy of the ticket to enter!
Kids Touring AGTA
On Wednesday, Jan. 31, Rebecca Shukan, newly appointed director of the Diamond Council of America’s Jewelry Career Readiness Initiative, will bring several groups of local high school students through the fair to learn about gems and jewelry. The kids will either be currently enrolled in the DCA's Jewelry Career Initiative or will be enrolling the following semester. This is a good opportunity to help attract the next generation of jewelers or at the very least, excite and educate a fresh crop of emerging jewelry consumers.
CPAA member Betty Sue King of King’s Ransom has already agreed to speak to the kids about pearls at her booth, but Shukan is also hoping to add a pearl or pearl-related item to the gift bags that the kids and their teachers will take away. Might you have something—some loose freshwater pearls—to contribute to the bags? Shukan needs 50 items. Other bag contents to date include jewelry cleaner, a loupe, and various types of educational literature. Donors would also be permitted to visit the kids that day during their lunch break (happening from about 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in a room in the convention center) to address them. Another opportunity: CPAA members are welcome to loan special pieces to Shukan during that time period to allow the kids to snap pictures of themselves in pieces for social media. Jen and Kathy can be on hand to be sure the kids know who to tag in their images so that you have some content to share on your own company feed, and to make sure your jewels are handled with care. Interested? Email us at Jennifer@jenniferheebner.com or email@example.com.
Pearl Mentions in the Media
These are some links to pearl articles in the media. Tweet out or share these links on your own social media accounts to help keep pearls a topic of regular conversation. Have a recent link you want included in the February members-only correspondence? Email it to me at Jennifer@jenniferheebner.com.
- UAE’s first cultured pearl farm to open its doors
- Pearls And Coral In Spotlight At CIBJO
- The Pearl Girls store in Athens, Ga.
- Meet Ani Shirinian of Victoria Six Pearl Jewelry
- Galatea Flower Ring Blossoms When the Temperature Changes
General Business Know-How
Sharing Articles on Social Media—Never Copy and Paste the Entire Story!
Sharing articles that you like in your own company newsletter, on social media, or on your own website is a great way to drive attention to your business, pearls in general, and to others. However, a word of caution: Never copy and paste the entire story onto your own website or newsletter! That breaks the laws of copyright; after all, the source invested his or her own funds to write the story, so it belongs to them exclusively. The correct way to share? Reiterating the headline of the story and one sentence from it, then including the link to the entire piece. State “Click here to read the entire story on …” and then state the name of the original publisher and a direct link to the story. This way, the firm that paid to produce the story gets web traffic and you get to look like a hero by directing readers there. Have questions about this? Email Jennifer@jenniferheebner.com.
What’s in it for you? Sites can track traffic sources, so once a publisher knows you are sending eyeballs their way, they will know you as a reputable source to consider highlighting. Plus, you avoid the embarrassment of them finding out that you are illegally using their copy and the ensuing stigma that forever haunts your firm.
Member Sale of the Month
People love pearls! Here’s a recent sale to inspire you to sell more.
Christmas Joy in Aspen
Before the holidays, Affiliate Member Clare Ullman sent a box of special jewels to one of her retailer accounts in Aspen, Colo. [Store name is being withheld on request.] Among the items was an 18k yellow gold charm bracelet loaded with Tahitian keshi pearls and diamonds. It was the first time Ullman had worked with such large keshi pearls, and she had made the piece extra fabulous in order to enter it into the 2017-2018 International Pearl Design Competition. Though spectacular, the piece didn’t nab an award. Since Ullman didn’t have a specific buyer in mind, she decided it would be better off displayed in a client’s store than hidden out of sight in her own safe. So off it went and into the cases of the tony little boutique nestled in the hills of the fabulously chic ski town, a store that she had been working with for several years.
After just a week in the store, Ullman got a 9 p.m. text from the shop owner: “Guess what sold?” Her $9,000 bracelet! A well-known architect and his female companion wandered into the store and within 45 minutes had purchased $45,000 worth of jewelry, including Ullman’s piece. “It was just waiting for the right person,” she says.
Reach Ullman at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 510-207-0867.
Do you have a special pearl sale to share? Email me at Jennifer@jenniferheebner.com.