Thursday, May 23, 2019
[Pictured: Southern Brazil Gemstone Mine]
Written by Lucian Lee, President & CEO of Hales Jewelers
[Pictured: The author, Lucien Lee]
The Experience…Every day as a brick and mortar retailer, we strive to create the best experience we can give to our customers. It is the service, the knowledge, the professionalism and the relationships we create that differentiate us from the competition. We want them to put the cell phone down, drive by two other retailers because of the joy and experience we give them.
Put yourself on the other side for a moment. See yourself in the buyers’ shoes, and then ask yourself as a retailer, “What do we have that cannot be found online?” I would submit to you that it is beyond the beauty and rarity. It is the power of the story we are able to present to that client. It is the story of your visit to the precious topaz mine in Brazil. The 200-meter drop into the shaft of an emerald mine on a little more than a bucket and a piece of rope.
Or a boating trip, out into a pearl farm to understand and see how pearls are cultured. When we connect a story to a beautiful piece of jewelry, it enriches the experience not only for the buyer but for the recipient as well.
I have just returned from a trip to Hong Kong with Gemstone Expeditions and Joe Menzie. I highly recommend traveling with Joe. For more than 40 years, Joe Menzie has worked with fine jewelers throughout the world to provide them with unique, extraordinary and beautiful gemstones in all sizes and price ranges.
Joe's career began in the jewelry business as an intern in his grandfather’s wholesale jewelry business where he learned the color gemstone business. Ten years later, he formed his own company, Joseph Menzies, Inc. The business has taken him to every corner of the world to buy precious gem stones.
In 2003, he was elected to the Presidency of the International Colored Gemstone Association, a position he held for 12 years. Menzie was instrumental in bringing the gemstone trade to Dubai, Korea, Russia, and most important, China. In 2013, he was honored with The lifetime Achievement Award by the International Colored Gemstone Association.
A trip with Joe will be not only an incredible experience, but it also will give you a powerful story to tell your clients when you return. The hospitality and warmth of the people in the mountains of Brazil made a lasting impression on me.
I understand the difficulty and the argument of, “How can I leave my store for a foreign trip?” It is hard enough to justify trips to the trade shows in this country. I will tell you that the cultural experience alone is worth it.
My experience reminds me of the smiles that the Brazilian gemstones that left my store gave my clients. I am excited to tell the story of the sapphires and rubies acquired in Hong Kong and the value of the Akoya pearls I bought just for them. The trip will pay for itself and will give you a lifetime of stories to tell.
The experiences and the friends you make will last forever... Kudos to you Joe.
To learn more about Gemstone Expeditions, visit their website: www.gemstoneexpeditions.com.
For more information on Hales Jewelers, please visit www.halesjewelers.com.
AT: 05/23/2019 02:42:24 PM
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