All That Glitters…

Four fine-jewelry professionals prove they have the mettle for the business

shop designs.

“It’s a lucrative job,” says Aníshéré. “I can get work anywhere in the world. [My skills are] universal.”

Nicole Davis VP of Marketing and Public Relations Goldstein Communications Los Angeles: Whether the perception appointed to jewelry is based on empowerment or romance, Nicole Davis knows her clients’ bottom line and brand identity rely on her ability to “build a bridge between an inanimate object and what the object represents.”
Davis is the vice president of marketing and public relations for Goldstein Communications (www.gold steincom.com), a full-service agency that specializes in marketing luxury jewelry and fashion. “Branding is a driving force,” says Davis. “Consumers are not just buying that ring, they’re buying into the lifestyle.”

When Davis, 34, spots a trend in design that benefits her clients, she communicates it to magazine editors, retail store operators, TV producers, and fashion stylists to accelerate buzz by getting jewelry placed on celebrities in photo shoots, music videos, and at award galas. She has provided jewelry for Renée Zellweger, Jamie Foxx, Elizabeth Hurley, and Oprah Winfrey.

Davis, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, is also account manager for Platinum Guild Inter
national USA (www .preciousplatinum.com), a marketing organization for platinum jewelry designers and manufacturers. And while she affirms that purchases are often driven by emotion, she believes that buying luxury jewelry is also very much an investment. “Jewelry should be a lifetime purchase that can pass from generation to generation.”

The York University psychology graduate was interviewing to enter the public relations industry in 1997 when she landed in the luxury jewelry division of VNU Expositions. For two years, Davis served as account manager for the Couture Jewelry Collections Conference, which exposed her to many facets of show production. She lists strong writing skills, event production experience, and the ability to build strategic relationships as highly desirable skills in her field. “You have to be a people person and able to tell a story in many different ways.”

Hugh Nelson Independent Jeweler Desiree Morgan Co. Naperville, IL: “Because you have an M.B.A. don’t mean anything; show me your commitment.” That was the hard-nosed response retail jeweler DeLois Walker offered her son Martin and his college mate Hugh Nelson when the wide-eyed duo were Perdue University grad students eager to break into the jewelry industry.

After earning his master’s degree in human resources, Nelson, originally from Canton, Michigan, registered for distance classes with the Gemological Institute of America. “With knowledge, the world opens up to you,” attests Nelson, 38, chief operating officer at Desiree Morgan (www.desireemorgan.com), an independent boutique launched in 2003 and the sister company to Mrs. Walker’s Alpha Gold.

Because the jewelry business is highly competitive, jewelers who plan to open their own store should have sales experience as well as marketing and business management skills.
To contend with retail goliaths such as Costco and Wal-Mart, Nelson–who oversees purchasing and marketing strategies, manufacturing decisions, and new product rollouts–stewards a proactive plan. “We review consumer data to create events tailored to our customers’ jewelry interests and personal passions,” he says. “For the independent

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