Clean Jewelry GapPosted: 11/26/2014During this peak holiday shopping season, are you doing all you can to keep your customers happy with their purchase over the long-term?
Whether you are working with customers buying for themselves or others,offering care and cleaning education and products can help ensure that
the gift is enjoyed for years to come.
We conducted a survey of women about their jewelry cleaning habits, with astonishing results. Eighty-two percent of the women we spoke with admitted that they were not wearing some of their jewelry because it was dirty. Meanwhile, only 16 percent of those women said that they had received jewelry care education from their jeweler.
What can a jeweler do to bridge that gap? It's that gap that can keep your customers from fully enjoying the beautiful jewelry they buy from you. With each sale, be sure to educate your customer on routine care and cleaning of the piece. This can be done verbally, by offering a "how to care for your jewelry" collateral piece, and by offering care and cleaning information on your website. In addition, it is helpful to offer liquid cleaners and polishing cloths appropriate for home cleaning.
This gap also offers jewelers a great opportunity: to demonstrate their expertise, to cement the relationship with a customer, not to mention to enjoy add-on sales of jewelry care products. When your customers (and their gift-recipients) are educated on proper care and cleaning techniques, their jewelry will be worn and adored rather than languishing in a jewelry box. And when that jewelry is worn, it garners compliments for your customers and referrals for you.
of women have dirty jewelry that they cannot or do not wear
of women received the jewelry care education they need
Go Green, Get GreenPosted: 11/07/2014The October edition of InStore featured their annual Big Survey, in which 670 retailers shared their thoughts on a wide variety of issues related to retail jewelry. One tidbit that stood out to us was the continued growth of environmental
awareness in the industry, including the growth of "green"jewelry as a product category and the importance of an eco-friendly store to customers, particularly Millennials.
Forty-two percent of retailers surveyed shared that they use environmentally friendly chemicals and collection practices in the shop. Are you one of them? As a customer of The Kingswood Company, you are. Our Fine and Gentle jewelry cleaners have always been non-toxic and biodegradable, great news that you can share with your customers who buy your jewelry care line or when you share what products you use at the bench.
And, earlier this year, we launched a new formulary to our trade-secret line: Natural Jewelry Cleaner. This innovative, all-biological, non-chemical jewelry cleaning formula works beautifully and is the only jewelry cleaner to be EPA listed. It too is available as a private-label product, one that will resonate with Millennials and other environmentally conscious customers.
Going green doesn't just help the planet; it helps position jewelers well with their customers who increasingly choose green products. And, in turn, that helps jewelers' bottom line.
The Kingswood Company Named to ICIC and Fortune Magazine's
Inner City 100Posted: 10/24/2014
The Kingswood Company Among ICIC and Fortune’s Inner City 100 Winners Annual ranking showcases the 100 fastest-growing urban businesses in America. COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Kingswood Company, the industry’s leading supplier of private-label jewelry care products, earned placement on the 2014 Inner City 100, based on the company’s accelerated growth over the past five years.The Inner City 100 honors the fastest-growing inner city businesses in the U.S.
The Inner City 100 program recognizes successful inner city businesses and their CEOs as role models for entrepreneurship, innovative business practices and job creation in America’s urban communities. The Kingswood Company results indicate a five-year growth rate of 138.5 percent. The City of Columbus, Office of Mayor Coleman nominated The Kingswood Company for the Inner City 100. Kingswood was one of two Columbus businesses to make the list, out of 86 local nominees.
“We are very honored to have been chosen as one of the 2014 Inner City 100,” said Kristie Nicolosi, CEO and President of The Kingswood Company. “We remain committed to growth and expansion of our business in the heart of Columbus, Ohio, enjoying the benefits of operating in a vibrant urban center.”
“We are proud to have The Kingswood Company chosen as part of the Inner City 100,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. “Kingswood’s success demonstrates that companies are thriving and growing in our urban core.”
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since 1956, The Kingswood Company is the world’s leading manufacturer of private-label jewelry care products, serving thousands of retailers, designers and manufacturers worldwide.
Inspection or Cleaning Choose Your
Words CarefullyPosted: 09/25/2014During the warm glow of a successful sale, a
jeweler may not always pass along the clearest of information regarding care and cleaning of the customer's new piece. Jewelers know that to properly care for a piece of jewelry, it should be taken to a jeweler once or twice per year for an inspection. But when
jewelers communicate with their customers, this message doesn't always come across.
Often they warmly tell their customers to "bring it back anytime for a cleaning." This well intentioned statement can cause confusion, though. In the jeweler's mind, this means an inspection and a cleaning. But the customer may hear "how nice that I can bring it here for a cleaning, but I can do that at home too."
It all comes down to the language used. A "cleaning" sounds like a nice offer, but an "inspection" sounds like an important appointment. It's a call to action, not to be missed. Jewelers who minimize an inspection by referring to it as a "cleaning" miss an opportunity to establish themselves as experts in their field. While an inspection does include a very thorough cleaning, it also requires that the jeweler use her expertise to examine the stones and settings for damage or weakness.
This is not to say that jewelers shouldn't share the importance of cleanings, both professional and routine/at-home. Ideally they will explain how to safely clean a piece using at-home products, while also emphasizing the importance of returning to the jeweler annually for an inspection.
The jeweler's choice of language is key. It is easy for experts in a field to forget that terminology may have a different meaning for the layperson. So it's best to be clear about the importance of both annual inspections and routine care and cleaning. Your customer will appreciate your expertise and will enjoy her inspected and well-cleaned piece for years to come.
It Can Be
Easy to be GreenPosted: 08/15/2014Hey, Kermit, it can be easy to be green. That's what we at The Kingswood Company have learned as we have embraced efforts to achieve
greater environmental sustainability. We were environmentally aware back before it was cool; most of our products have been non-toxic and biodegradable for more than fifty years. This year we added a new trade-secret formulary to our product line: Natural Jewelry Cleaner. This all-biological, hypoallergenic formula is naturally derived, water soluble and devoid of volatile organic compounds. Yes, our product line got even greener.
In our efforts to do all we can to help Mother Earth, we redesigned our jars in 2006. By doing so, we reduced the amount of plastic we use by more than 25,000 pounds every year. Our customers still get the same fantastic jewelry care products, just in a lighter jar. The lighter jar reduces the amount of fuel required to ship to our customers too, so reduced shipping costs are a nice side benefit for us all.
We have reduced fuel usage in other ways as well. One hundred percent of our suppliers are based in the United States, so the cost of shipping raw materials to our facility in Columbus, Ohio is much less. Whenever possible, we use local and regional suppliers, especially for heavy materials such as corrugate and chemicals. Less road to travel; less fuel used. When we must use suppliers outside of the region, we work to ensure that inbound shipments are consolidated and use backhaul shipping lanes to conserve fuel. It takes a little more planning on our part, but Mother Earth is worth it.
We also use recycled materials as much as possible when manufacturing our jars, caps, brushes and baskets. And many of those same materials can be recycled by the end-consumer of our products. We encourage our end-consumer to recycle, but we aren't asking them to do anything we don't do ourselves. We have instituted a recycling program in our facility that has reduced manufacturing and office waste by more than 65 percent since 2009. Last year, we partnered with a local moving and storage company to have roughly 2,500 pounds annually of cardboard that would have been recycled instead reused as moving and storage boxes.
Plus we do the little things, like making sure all the lights, computers, and heating and cooling systems are turned off when we aren't there. But the little things add up to big changes, and we will continue to look for other ways to reduce our impact on the environment. Really, Kermit; it's easy being green.
As Seen In: Keeping Vintage Jewelry CleanPosted: 08/02/2014Vintage jewels are all the rage, from engagement rings to watches and more. In June, InStore featured an in-depth story on
vintage jewelry, including trends, celebrity influence, education and cleaning how-tos. Lorraine DePasque reached out to our President & CEO, Kristie Nicolosi, for information on safely cleaning vintage pieces. DePasque quoted Kristie, "We once did a survey and found that 82 percent of women had at least one piece of jewelry they weren't wearing because it needed to be cleaned, but only 16 percent of women had received how-to-clean information from their jeweler. And when it comes to vintage pieces, cleaning jewelry comes with a different set of rules."
Rubies are Red: Caring Properties for this Gorgeous GemPosted: 07/04/2014Update: InstoreMag.com recently reported on a
consumer affairs report conducted by The Today Show exposing four major retailers for not properly identifying lead-filled rubies to their customers. You can read the report here.
Colored gemstones have made a comeback, with gorgeous rubies, emeralds, sapphires and more adorning lovely ladies everywhere. When purchasing rubies, buyers need to be very aware of whether they are lead glass filled a fairly common practice that will be disclosed by reputable dealers. Unfortunately, not all dealers are so reputable, so jewelers and their customers both need to be certain of what they are buying.
Lead glass-filled rubies look beautiful, but they require much more careful treatment. Their chemical make-up is altered in ways that make them more easily damaged. Merely being exposed to acidic product like lemon juice can cause white marks on the surface, while solvents such as ammonia used in household or jewelry cleaners can also cause damage. Buyers who choose to purchase lead glass-filled rubies in order to get a lower price should be made aware of this and told how to properly care for them. It is best to use a non-ammoniated cleaner ; simply immerse the piece in the gentle cleaner for a couple of minutes, rinse it carefully and blot it dry.
Most other rubies are treated with heat to enhance their color and quality, and some are heated with compounds to heal fissures. These treatments are common and do not make the stones more susceptible to damage by standard household products. Again, it is recommended to clean these stones with a non-ammoniated gentle cleaning formula.
In recent years, there has been an increase in dealers not disclosing lead glass-filled rubies. Therefore, jewelers are encouraged to be vigilant in identifying them by looking for telltale gas bubbles and for blue flashes when viewed under a Hanneman filter. This precaution can prevent selling a misidentified piece to a customer or damaging an item brought into a jeweler for repairs.
Make it Easy!Posted: 06/20/2014Dentists really have it figured out. When you go in for your twice yearly check up, they clean the heck out of your teeth and send you on your way with instructions on how to keep them clean and healthy until your next visit. Out you walk, baggie
in hand, with a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss, plus instructions to brush and floss twice a day. Easy peasy.
We know from a survey we conducted that as many as 82 percent of women are not wearing a piece of jewelry because it needs to be cleaned. If their jeweler could make jewelry care as easy as tooth care, that statistic would be much lower. But when customers buy a new piece of jewelry or take a piece in for an annual inspection, they may not be getting such easy instructions. Many customers walk out admiring a beautiful, sparkling piece, lamenting that it won’t look that good again until it gets another professional cleaning.
Jewelers might take a cue from dentists to make it easy on the customer. What’s not easy?
Don’t offer vague instructions like “put a few drops of ammonia in water.” The customer is thinking, “What? I don’t have ammonia. I could get ammonia, but how much water do I need? Do I use hot or cold water? How many is a few drops?” Easy doesn’t require a degree in science.
Don’t recommend a product that is made with harsh chemicals. Easy doesn’t require wearing gloves.
Don’t require customers to come back in as the only recommendation for routine cleaning. That’s not easy, because they have to make time, get in their car and come in. Easy doesn’t require a car trip.
Don’t suggest they clean their jewelry in boiling water. Easy doesn’t require pots, pans and time waiting for that watched pot to boil.
What is easy?
Do have information on your website to educate your customers on how to clean their jewelry. It's easy when she doesn't have to leave her desk.
Do offer a variety of cleaning formularies. You can help your customer find the safest way to clean every piece of jewelry from single stones to mixed metals. It's easy when she can get the right information and product right from her jeweler.
Do offer a professionally printed cleaning instructions that can be given to your customer at time of purchase. It's easy when she has the information right at her fingertips.
Do offer your customers an annual inspection and periodic cleaning in your store. It's easy when she knows that her jewelry has been inspected and cleaned by a professional each year - no loose stones to worry about!
Sometimes when you are an expert, you forget what it is like to be a novice. Dentists get this concept. They recognize that their patients didn't attend dental school and they don't expect them to be dentists. Your customers aren't educated in gemology, and they don’t want to be. They just want to keep their jewelry looking beautiful. Just like the dentist with her clever bag of cleaning tools, jewelry store customers can also leave with the correct tools and information to keep their purchases sparkling. If you just...make it easy!
the JCK Shark TankPosted: 06/03/2014On May 29, I dove into the Shark Tank and came out unscathed! It was super exciting to be part of the inaugural Shark Tank JCK at the JCK
show in Las Vegas Our newly launched Natural Jewelry Cleaner was chosen as one of six emerging technologies to compete in this program based on the TV show of the same name.
Mark Smelzer, Publisher, and Victoria Gomelsky, Editor-inChief of JCK Magazine, kicked off the event highlighting the importance of emerging technology and explaining that JCK chose to hold the Shark Tank in order to nurture innovators in the jewelry industry.
It was exciting to present to the group, especially because our product is very different from the more techy products offered by the other contestants. Our Natural Jewelry Cleaner is the first new formula added to our line in many years and only the fourth formula in all. I am very proud of the research and development that went into bringing this all-biological, non-chemical but super-effective jewelry cleaner to the market place. As I told the Sharks, we noted a void in the marketplace and worked to fill it with a “green” cleaner that really makes jewelry sparkle.
Congratulations to the other contestants. It was a great experience and I am proud to show off my Shark Tank JCK plaque this week at our booth at JCK.
The Kingswood Company Newest Product Chosen as Part of JCK Shark Tank CompetitionPosted: 05/24/2014
The Kingswood Company, the world’s leading supplier of high-quality, private-label jewelry care products, has announced the addition of a new cleaning formula to their line. The Kingswood Company’s Natural Jewelry Cleaner is an all-biological cleaner, which offers customers an eco-friendly jewelry cleaning option. The product will be debuted at JCK Las Vegas at the end of the month and has been chosen as a competing product in the inaugural JCK Shark Tank Program.
In the company’s 55 year history, this is only the fourth formula to be introduced, joining Kingswood’s trade-secret Fine Jewelry Cleaner, Gentle Jewelry Cleaner and Silver Jewelry Cleaner jewelry cleaning formulas. Sensing a demand in the Market, the company embarked on a research and development process which culminated in this innovative, all-biological, non-chemical jewelry cleaning formula, the only jewelry cleaner to be EPA listed. Like its predecessors, The Kingswood Company’s Natural Jewelry Cleaner will be available as a private-label product.
JCK Shark Tank pits six chosen products in a competition designed after the popular ABC TV program of the same name. The competition will be held on May 29 from 1 – 2 p.m., with participants offering a seven-minute presentation on the value of their product. The winner will be announced during the JCK Opening Ceremony on May 30 at 9 a.m.
The JCK Shark Tank judges chose The Kingswood Company to be a finalist “because its organic, non-toxic jewelry cleaner is a simple, on-trend and very important product for retailers who are more focused on running a sustainable business.”
“We believe that this formula fills a gap in the jewelry cleaner market,” explained Kristie Nicolosi, President and CEO of The Kingswood Company. “Other eco-friendly cleaners on the market quite frankly do not work well. Our Natural Jewelry Cleaner is not only ‘green’ but makes jewelry sparkle as well as the other fabulous cleaning formulas we offer.”
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since 1956, The Kingswood Company is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality, private-label jewelry care products.
The Kingswood Company Tapped as Jewelry Cleaning Sponsor of the Couture ShowPosted: 05/20/2014
May 19, 2014 The Kingswood Company, the world’s leading supplier of high-quality, private-label jewelry care products, was chosen by The Couture Show as its exclusive jewelry cleaner and the sponsor of the new Sparkle + Shine Lounge. Couture, the premiere destination for luxury jewelry and timepiece brands, retailers and media, tapped Kingswood because their jewelry cleaning products meet Couture’s high standards in design, creativity and execution. Couture will be held at the Wynn Las Vegas, May 29 – June 2.
“We searched the world for the finest jewelry cleaning products to best represent the Couture brand,” said Gannon Brousseau, Show Director. “It is very exciting to share these outstanding jewelry care products with our exhibitors, knowing that they meet the same high standards as the jewelry and timepiece brands exhibited at Couture.”
Kingswood has designed a private-label line of products exclusively for Couture. Samples will be provided to each exhibiting salon as well as to the media. They will also be available at the Sparkle + Shine Lounge, where retail buyers and other visitors to Couture can learn more about jewelry care and cleaning from Kingswood experts or simply relax in the beautiful space.
“It is such an honor to have been chosen by Couture as the exclusive jewelry cleaning sponsor,” added Kristie Nicolosi, President & CEO of The Kingswood Company. “The standard held by Couture is the ultimate and to be chosen for our products and our leadership in the industry is very rewarding.”
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since 1956, The Kingswood Company is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality, private-label jewelry care products. The Kingswood Company is the exclusive jewelry cleaner of The Couture Show and sponsor of the Sparkle + Shine Lounge.
Trade Secrets from the Queen of Clean: Catch the WavePosted: 04/18/2014I spent the last few days at Catch the Wave, the annual conference of the Ohio River Valley
Women's Business Enterprise Council. It was exciting to serve as a sponsor of the event with outstanding companies like Proctor & Gamble, Macy's, L Brands, Accel and Kroger. The event provides opportunities for woman-owned businesses to network with one another and with private-sector companies and government agencies seeking supplier diversity.
The luncheon on Monday featured a keynote speech from Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, Editor-in-Chief of Dot Complicated and the former Director of Market Development and Spokeswoman for Facebook. (Yep, she's Mark Zuckerberg's sister.) Her speech was fantastic! As introverted as Mr. Zuckerberg is purported to be, Ms. Zuckerberg is a big personality, who shared the story of her career thus far with funny stories, words of wisdom and even a few bars of song.
The evening program was excellent as well, recognizing Lauren J. Richardson of L Brands and Tara Abraham of Accel, Inc. My good friend TaKeysha Sheppard - Cheney was the evening's emcee and had fun with a little giveaway I had organized. We announced that the person at each table wearing the oldest piece of jewelry would win a fabulous jewelry gift care set. I always say that jewelry is part of our life stories, so people really enjoyed discussing their jewelry, telling their own stories and figuring out whose piece of jewelry was the oldest. After the dinner, a number of women came up to me to tell me about their jewelry. One woman was wearing her mother's necklace; another wore a ring that had been a gift from her father. What a great reminder that the caring and cleaning of jewelry helps preserve one's special memories.
The Kingswood Company Announces Four-Year Average Annual Growth of 26 PercentPosted: 04/04/2014
The Kingswood Company, the industry’s leading supplier of private-label jewelry care products, announced that strong growth in 2013 resulted in an average annual growth rate of 26 percent over the last four years. Such growth demonstrates the strength of the company in a continued difficult economic environment. Kingswood opened over 100 new accounts both nationally and internationally during the past year, including customers in new distribution channels such as direct sales and international distribution.
“Ten years ago, our company was almost exclusively focused on retail jewelers,” explained Kristie Nicolosi, CEO and President of The Kingswood Company. “In recent years, we have expanded into new distribution channels including retail pawn, direct sales, manufacturers, as well as international distribution.”
The company has invested in operations and staff changes that have allowed for such expansion. Expanding in-house product assembly capabilities lets Kingswood deliver smaller orders on a more regular basis, rather than shipping bulk orders annually or semi-annually, and reduces minimum shipments from 10,000 to under 1,000. The company has also invested in additional printing presses and higher speed bottling equipment, increasing production roughly 30 percent.
Such flexibility is vital to meeting customer needs. The vast array of options available in terms of jar sizes, jar colors, cap colors, formula colors, polishing cloth sizes and colors, and boxed packaging means that all customers, manufacturers and retailers both large and small, can customize a product line that best meets their brand requirements.
Kingswood also continued its international expansion in 2013, participating in its first ever trade show in Asia. Kingswood now supplies products to customers in North America, Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia.
Headquartered in Columbus, OH since 1956, The Kingswood Company is a member of the American Gem Society, the American Chemical Society and the Private Label Manufacturers Association and is certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.
As Seen In: In Store January 2014Posted: 02/28/2014In the New Arrivals segment in January's edition, In Store Magazine ran a feature on bridal jewelry. In addition to trends and facts, they
included a cleaning how-tos call-out with fabulous cleaning tips from our own Kristie Nicolosi. Our thanks to In Store for helping us get out the word on the importance of proper care and cleaning for bridal jewelry.
Trade Secrets from
the Queen of Clean:
It's Bridal SeasonPosted: 02/06/2014Last weekend I was invited on the NBC4 Today
show to discuss proper care and cleaning of bridal jewelry with Mindy Drayer. I am always excited to share the secrets to shine, so I jumped at the chance. Watch the segment below and let me know what you think. Can you think of another bridal jewelry topic we should have covered?
As Seen In: AGTA Prism December 2013Posted: 02/04/2014Thank you to AGTA for asking us to contribute to their December edition of Prism. We always appreciate the opportunity to share information
on care and cleaning of jewelry. Please take a look below.
A Holiday GiftPosted: 01/03/2014It was wonderful celebrating the holiday season and a successful year with our team, our suppliers, vendors and friends. One highlight was the lovely surprise presentation from Christie Angel and Shannon Hardin of Columbus
Mayor Michael B. Coleman's office, who were on hand to honor two of our long-time employees with a Certificate of Recognition from Mayor Coleman for their years service to The Kingswood Company. Congratulations to Dave Lynch and Scott Spencer for this well-deserved honor. Ms. Angel also noted that The Kingswood Company is "a real gem, no pun intended. You are what Columbus is all about." What a lovely holiday gift.
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