Trade Secrets from the Queen of Clean: Visiting the PeacockPosted: 12/20/2011On Saturday December 17, I was a guest on the NBC4 Today show in Columbus, Ohio. It was
fabulous spending some time with Mindy Drayer walking through the do's and don'ts of jewelry cleaning, dispelling some "old wives' tales" and sharing how to get your jewelry sparkling for the holidays. She even tried to get me to give up our trade-secret formularies!
Check out the clip of the segment and let us know what you think. Do you have another question you'd like to see answered? Maybe Mindy will have us back for a follow-up!
Trade Secrets from the Queen of Clean: FAQPosted: 12/17/2011I have one of those jobs where people don't always "get" what I do. I get asked pretty funny questions about my job sometimes, so in case
any of you are curious, here are some answers.
Q: Do you work from home?
No, I do not make jewelry cleaner at home in my bathtub!
Q: One time, I got this great jewelry cleaner at the fair! Do you sell it all the fair?
I do not sell The Kingswood Company jewelry care formularies at state fairs countrywide. We are not Sham Wow. The person who sells it at the fair probably did make it at home in the bathtub!
Q: Can you drink it?
We drink it all the time! Fountain of youth, baby, fountain of youth.*
*For insurance purposes, we do not actually drink it.
Q: Does your jewelry cleaner come in purple?
We're workin' on it!
Trade Secrets from the Queen of Clean: How Does She Do It?Posted: 11/16/2011I saw the trailer for the movie "I Don't Know How
She Does It" and realized that I have heard versions of that statement said about myself on a number of occasions. I am sure that every mom, whether she works outside of the home or not, has heard it. How do I do it? The easiest answer is that I love what I do. We all want to involve our
kids in what we love. So I have figured out ways to incorporate my daughter into my life at work. Eva has her own desk here, with a computer and some software, like Pixie, on which she loves to “work.” Not to out myself for violating child labor laws, but Eva also has some little jobs at The Kingswood Company for which she gets paid. She enjoys these, really!
I do travel quite a bit on business, which is one of the joys of my job. At this point Eva does not travel with me; she has her own schedule at home. But I do look forward to traveling with her as she gets older, and when it doesn’t interfere with school and other commitments. She has a phenomenal rock collection, so when I travel, I like to bring back treasures for her collection. She has a rock from the Great Wall of China, one from Mt. Olympus and several beauties from the Tucson Gem Show. As soon as she is old enough, I will bring her with me to Tucson. She will love it!
I don’t know what she will choose to do with her life, but for now, Eva loves to be a part of The Kingswood Company. We wouldn’t be the same without her. And for all of you wondering about when we will offer purple jewelry cleaner, Eva’s been mixing some up!
A Sparkling Not
Spooky HalloweenPosted: 10/29/2011We at The Kingswood Company have always known that we have the best customers! Want some proof? An employee of The Gem Gallery
went all out for Halloween, dressing up as... a jar of jewelry cleaner (private-label, of course)! Thanks to The Gem Gallery for sharing the photo evidence. We are sure she must have won a "most creative costume" award somewhere. Happy Halloween to one and all; make it sparkle!
MORPC Award Winners!Posted: 10/19/2011Last week, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission held their annual Summit on Sustainability and the Environment, an event that explores and celebrates efforts to "go green." We at The Kingswood Company were proud to
be nominated for a MORPC Sustainability Award in the Materials Management Category. Our efforts to improve environmental sustainability are an important part of who we are, and we will continue to do all that we can to minimize our impact on the environment.
Congratulations to The Kroger Company, Columbus Division, for receiving The Materials Management Award. They are to be commended for their outstanding efforts to reduce waste with their Kroger Compost/Recycling Program. We also extend congratulations to the winners in the other categories, including: Local Matters; Anheuser-Busch; the City of Westerville, Central Ohio Rain Garden Initiative, The Ohio State University; and the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, Smart Growth Overlay.
As Seen In: Southern Jewelry News: Cleaning up a Hot TrendPosted: 10/18/2011
As Seen In: In Store Magazine Fall 2011Posted: 10/05/2011
Answer the Question!Posted: 09/16/2011We conducted a survey among consumers which yielded some interesting nuggets of information. But two statistics really jumped out and got us thinking.
Eighty-two percent of respondents told us that they are not wearing some of their jewelry because it needs to be cleaned. Sixteen percent of respondents stated that hey were not given instructions on how to clean their jewelry by their jeweler.
We're sure that many times customers aren't asking their jeweler how to clean their purchase. It looks so beautiful and shiny in the store, cleaning may be the last thing they are thinking about. But sometimes they do ask, "how do I clean this?" What answer are they getting?
If the answer hey receive involves bringing the piece back to the jeweler for cleaning, then they aren't getting the answer they need. Of course, jewelers must educate their customers on the importance of annual inspections, at which time the piece will, indeed, be cleaned. And most jewelers are sure to share that they are happy to clean a piece if the customer drops in.
But that is not the question the customer is asking.
The customer is asking how she, herself, can clean her jewelry. When a jeweler gives her an answer to that question, his/her customer will be wearing the piece much more frequently. She will enjoy watching it sparkle on her finger, neck or earlobe, and she will be a happier client. She might even tell her friends who her jeweler is, when she's asked where she found such a beautiful ring, necklace or pair of earrings.
When jewelers work on increasing the 16 percent statistic, the 82 percent statistic will fall, fall fall. And their customers will fall, fall, fall in love with their jewelry all over again.
Meet Lillian SchmidPosted: 09/03/2011We are so proud of our staff at The Kingswood Company and would like to give you the opportunity to get to know them like we do. So periodically, we will share a brief interview with a staff member so you can get to know him/her
better. Lillian Schmid, Account Executive, has been with The Kingswood Company for about three years.
Could you give us a little background about yourself?
I grew up in Holmes County, Ohio and have lived in Columbus and Chicago since. Just this week I am moving to Santa Fe, which is an exciting new adventure out west! It has been wonderful that I have been able to continue to work with The Kingswood Company due to the wonders of telecommuting.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I spend the majority of my free time cleaning jewelry. Just kidding! I love to spend time reading and writing fiction, non-fiction and Haiku poetry. I actually write a Haiku everyday; they are so quick and fun. I also walk my dogs, visit museums, go to concerts, and I love to travel.
Where in the world would you most like to travel? Why?
I would be pretty much happy to travel anywhere! But if someone were to hand me tickets for a trip right now, I would choose London. There is so much history there – of art and literature; plus I have become a little obsessed with The Tudors.
What is the last great book you read?
The last great book I read was Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. He is an amazing writer, with so many different characters, places and themes working concurrently. I was surprised by the humor in the book. Who knew old Russians were so funny?
Describe your favorite customer experience.
I love all of our customers, of course! Recently, I had a chance to land a prominent new account in Chicago. Over the course of developing a relationship with them, I had the opportunity to learn about their business, visit their store and really get to know the team. Bringing them on board and setting them up with our program was such a satisfying experience. They have told us that the cleaner looks wonderful (which it does!) and that the program has been doing very well. I am always happy when I have the chance help satisfy a customer.
What is your favorite thing about jewelry cleaner?
My favorite thing about jewelry cleaner is how much better you feel wearing your jewelry after you clean it. It is easy to ignore dirty jewelry, but impossible to ignore freshly cleaned jewelry. It sparkles!
What do you like about going to trade shows?
I really enjoy going to trade shows and meeting my customers and prospective customers face-to-face. Many times, I have been talking to these people for nearly three years before we were able to meet in person. It helps to establish our relationship – to make it feel more “real” – when I can shake hands with someone and thank them for their business, in person. I also love the opportunity to travel and visit new cities.
What product would you most like to see The Kingswood Company offer? Purple Fine Jewelry Cleaner. That may not be a new product, but purple is my favorite color and a lot of our customers ask if we sell the cleaner in purple. It’s such a regal color!
Do you have a fun ritual at work? Like something you have to do before you can work?
I don’t have any really fun rituals, but I do like to put jewelry on because it helps me get “in the zone!” I also always have a Kingswood polishing cloth next to my computer, and I like to start my morning with energetic music, maybe folk or Irish pub songs.
Trade Secrets from the Queen of Clean: WJA Awards of ExcellencePosted: 08/11/2011During the last week of July, I had the
opportunity to travel to NYC for work (and for fun – how can you be in New York and not have fun?). The week began early Monday morning with the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) National Board meeting. This wonderful organization supports women in the jewelry industry by offering mentoring, scholarships and networking opportunities throughout the world. I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of this organization.
The WJA Board meetings are always stimulating for me, and this time was no exception. As I looked around the table, I saw friends, acquaintances and talented women from across the country. I saw women with vision for the organization and women with the skills to execute that vision. I saw doers and leaders; mothers and daughters; entrepreneurs and corporate CEOs. I saw women who inspire others to participate, to give, to lead, to mentor, to serve and to grow.
And as I took in all the talent and dedication in the room, I also recognized the gift of time. In a world where everyone is so, so, so, so, so busy, the commitment of these women to serve others, to give selflessly of their time and talent, was and is inspiring.
That evening, the annual WJA Awards of Excellence dinner was held on Chelsea Pier in Manhattan. Widely recognized as one of the best networking events in the industry, the dinner brings together established executives, successful entrepreneurs and aspiring women and men from all aspects of the retail jewelry industry nationwide. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit with customers, both new and old, to see long-time friends, and make a few new ones. It was a wonderful evening that celebrated the successes and hard work of many women across the country, and it was a delight to share in the success. The team effort required to pull off such a successful event with such style and power was awesome.
Congratulations to all of the winners celebrated that evening, and to all of the other nominees in each of the categories. And, kudos to the women of the WJA for establishing an event that not only celebrates the success of women throughout the industry, but which creates an opportunity for new relationships to flourish – all while raising many thousands of dollars for scholarships. For more information about the WJA, visit here. More on the rest of my trip later…
Cleaning Up a Hot TrendPosted: 09/09/2011With jewelry trends running heavily toward fashion pieces featuring beads and pearls, The Kingswood Company is launching a campaign to remind customers that The Kingswood Company's Gentle Jewelry Cleaner and
Polishing Cloths are the perfect products for cleaning beads, pearls and other stones requiring gentle care.
“The popularity of bead lines today is unbelievable,” explained Kristie Nicolosi, President & CEO of The Kingswood Company. “The trend has exploded in the market, and many jewelers we work with are being asked by their customers how to properly clean their beaded jewelry.”
Part of the popularity of bead charm bracelets and the like is that they are appropriate for everyday wear. But such routine wear means that beads are exposed to things like sunscreen, hairspray, lotions and more. At the same time, many women are afraid to clean their beads and pearls for fear of damaging them.
Certainly many cleaners, particularly household cleaners like ammonia, are too harsh; beads and pearls should be cared for with a non-ammoniated cleaner specifically formulated for cleaning jewelry. The Kingswood Company’s Gentle Jewelry Cleaner formulary removes dirt, hairspray, oils and more without damaging the bead or stone. And periodic wiping with a soft polishing cloth will keep beads and pearls looking beautiful.
Jewelers who are finding great success with the sale of today’s popular bead lines also find The Kingswood Company’s Gentle Jewelry Cleaner an excellent add-on sale.
“We at The Kingswood Company strive to work with our customers to integrate cleaning products into their stores,” added Nicolosi. “Jewelers who are riding the trend with beads can build better relationships with their clients by educating them on proper care of their bead purchase. And our gentle cleaner and polishing cloths are the perfect products to use.”
For more information on The Kingswood Company’s private label jewelry cleaning products, visitwww.thekingswoodcompany.com.
Trade Secrets from the Queen of Clean: In the Chinese MarketPosted: 07/30/2011In the spring, I traveled to China for an opportunity to meet with both customers and
suppliers. It was such a fabulous experience, and as foreign travel so often does, it opened my eyes to our market at home. The market in China is changing rapidly. Not long ago, most women did not own any fine jewelry; now the average Chinese woman has three pieces of jewelry, including her wedding ring. This is so different from women in the Western world.
As more women in China become jewelry owners, they are embracing the experience. They are extremely interested in their jewelry and how to clean and care for it. It struck me that their excitement and enthusiasm for their jewelry correlates to the bridal customer in the United States. For many bridal customers here, their engagement ring is their first piece of fine jewelry, and they approach its care and cleaning with such fervor. Chinese women of all ages demonstrate the same eagerness.
I was honored to present at three events in the Shanghai market for VIP customers of a 25-door jewelry store chain. As I conducted my presentations, I was so impressed with the audience participation from the women in attendance. These were sophisticated customers in the Chinese market with an age range of 22 to 52. But regardless of age, their experience with jewelry was roughly the same. They asked fabulous questions, and they were very engaged and eager to learn proper care techniques.
It struck me, and I want to share this with customers of The Kingswood Company, that these Chinese women are very much like young bridal customers here in the United States. The bridal market is a sweet spot in the market today, and it is important to recognize and embrace the enthusiasm and passion these customers have for their new piece of jewelry. It is an opportunity for jewelers to harness that eagerness to build a life-long relationship, and cleaning and care of the piece is part of cementing that relationship.
Customer Testimonial: Jenny-O Calleri of M.J. ChristensenPosted: 07/27/2011We value our customers and their opinions of
our products. Thanks to Jenny-O Calleri of M.J. Christensen for sharing her thoughts of our self-assembly option for the Revitalizing Jewelry Care System.
“When I sell a piece of jewelry to a client, I believe it is so important to educate her on how to care for her purchase. The Revitalizing Jewelry Care System makes that easy. I open the box, show them the care products and explain how to clean all the jewelry in their wardrobe properly. It’s a great add-on sale, and it’s a great way to build a relationship with my client.
After selling through a small order from Stuller, we placed a one-gross order of private label systems with the self-assembly option with Kingswood. We were able to assemble the entire order in about twenty minutes with three staff members. It couldn’t be easier. They are easy to assemble, and the beautiful presentation makes them so easy to sell.”
- Jenny-O Calleri, M.J. Christensen
Customer Flexibility: New Options for Revitalizing Jewelry Care SystemPosted: 06/21/2011Since its launch in 2007, our Revitalizing Jewelry
Care System has been a big hit! Offering a stylish presentation of several cleaning products, the system is a fantastic add-on sale. To offer further flexibility to our customers, Kingswood has announced the launch of two new options for the Revitalizing Jewelry Care System.
For customers who want to further customize their offering, the system is now available in a three-product format. Customers can choose which of our cleaning patented cleaning formularies they wish to include along with our professional polishing cloth, the fine jewelry cleaner, the gentle jewelry cleaner or the silver cleaner. Your label. Your choice.
And for customers who would like to order private label care systems in quantities less than 1,000, Kingswood has the answer. Now available for orders as low as one gross, the Revitalizing Jewelry Care System can be ordered with the boxes unassembled. The order arrives with the care products, cloths and folded boxes, ready for easy assembly. A pilot program was offered in 2010 with great success; our trial customers loved the product and found the assembly a breeze.
Does the Revitalizing Jewelry Care System sound like something you’d like to try? For customers who want to see for themselves what a great add-on sale it is, Kingswood encourages you to place an order for the system through Stuller under their Klean Karats label. You can order as few or as many as you’d like, before committing to a larger private label order.
Caring for Pretty PearlsPosted: 05/13/2011Toothpaste is great for your pearly whites, but not your pearls!With spring in the air and the pearl trend running hot, our team would bet you are fielding many questions from customers about how to properly
care for pearl jewelry. Most jewelry owners know that pearls are soft and require gentle cleaning. And this knowledge has made many afraid to properly care for their pearls for fear of damaging them.
While a traditional strand of pearls really only needs periodic wiping with a soft cloth, the huge trend in pearls has brought many stunning, unique and fashionable pieces to the market beyond the classic strand of pearls. Pearl earrings, pearl rings set in gold and sterling, and other fashion and fine pieces set with pearls have become very popular. They are designed for regular use, and with routine wear, these pieces can become very dirty. Despite our polite firm suggestions to do otherwise, everyday wear means that these pieces of jewelry are getting hit by sunscreen, hairspray, cooking oil and more. To properly clean these beautiful pieces, pearl owners need a non-ammoniated cleaner specifically formulated for cleaning jewelry.
The Kingswood Company’s Gentle Jewelry Cleaner is the perfect product for cleaning pearls in all types of jewelry. In fact, some of our customers have asked us to label this formulary “Pearl Cleaner” to better fit their product line. Just ask us – we are here to help you find the right cleaning product for your store and for each piece of jewelry in your customers’ jewelry box.
The Kingswood Company Launches New Product OfferingPosted: 05/12/2011The Kingswood Company has launched several
new offerings to their Revitalizing Jewelry Care System line. The Revitalizing Jewelry Care System, originally launched in 2007 as a four-product box set, is now available in a three-product set which includes two jars of jewelry cleaning formulary and a cleaning cloth in an attractive point-of-sale display box.
This addition to the line allows customers to further customize their purchase by determining which two care products to offer. For stores that do not specialize in fine jewelry, for example, they could choose to carry just the gentle cleaner and silver cleaner.
“We want to offer our customers as much flexibility as possible,” explained Kristie Nicolosi, President and CEO of The Kingswood Company. “We added the three-product option and have found a way to make the System available to customers interested in making smaller quantity purchases.”
For customers who would like to order private label Revitalizing Jewelry Care Systems in quantities as low as one gross, Kingswood now offers a self-assembly option. The customer orders the care products and the boxes unassembled, which lowers both the price-per-unit and the minimum order required. This option is available for both the three-product and four-product systems. Customers who order a minimum of 1000 units can continue to order the box sets pre-assembled.“
We ordered the Revitalizing Jewelry Care System kits from The Kingswood Company and have been thrilled with how well they are selling,” said Jenny-O Calleri of MJ Christensen. “The assembly was so easy and the presentation with our label makes it a high quality add-on sale for our customers.”
For customers who do not want to purchase private label Revitalizing Jewelry Care Systems, they are exclusively available from Stuller, under their Klean Karats™ logo.
For more information or to see the Revitalizing Jewelry Care System in person, stop by The Kingswood Company’s booth at JCK Las Vegas, June 3 – 6. They will be located in Lobby Booth 150 at the bottom of the main lobby escalator. In addition, the Klean Karats™ product line will be exclusively available in the Stuller booth in ETS.
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