First, I’d like to start off by giving you a little background on who I am and why I feel I can write about the retail world and specifically, the jewelry business. I have more than 20 years of experience as a fine jewelry manager and I’ve seen, heard and done just about everything that can happen when working with the public. I’ve seen merchandise trends, buying habits, clients, co-worker’s, management styles, malls and more evolve over the years. I’ll be sharing my experiences and I hope you’ll share yours. One thing I've learned over the years is working with people as they spend lots of money is always interesting.... and who amongst us doesn’t have a retail horror story to tell.
I grew up loving jewelry. My mother had beautiful jewelry given to her by my father who regularly brought it home from his travels in Italy in the early 60’s when gold was less than $35 an ounce! My sister and I had 18K gold religious medals, fleur-de-lis, charms, chains, bangles, rings, you name it. We were about 10 years old when our father started bringing home these treasures and as we got older we wove pieces of our mother's collection into our daily wardrobe. No one else we knew had this kind of jewelry back in the 60’s. For most girls it was signet rings and initial pins on oxford blouses. By junior high school, we were the only girls wearing diamond pins, three thick gold bracelets – one each white, yellow and rose gold, necklaces and earrings to school along with our knee socks, loafers and Fair Isle sweaters. Occasionally, an astute teacher would comment on “how much they loved” the Tiffany diamond crescent brooch we had pinned to our cable knit sweater. Was there something wrong with wearing a diamond pin to junior high school we later found out was worth about $30,000? I think it even went through the laundry a few times.
This appreciation for jewelry helped my eye to catch an ad in the local paper for someone to work nights on a part time basis in the jewelry department of a high end retailer near my home. I had just finished a maternity leave from previous employer and I was looking for something that would allow me to still be at home with my children and remain in the working world. So in 1989 I started a part time job that would progress into what I considered to be dynamic full time career that I truly enjoy.