Sixth Forevermark Forum Emphasizes Differentiation and Fascination in Consumer Experience
Boca Raton, FL—The sixth annual Forevermark Forum, held last week at the Waldorf Astoria Boca Raton Resort and Club, drew together 450 Forevermark partners, including retail jewelers, manufacturers, and diamantaires. The conference theme, “Forevermark Forward,” focused on leading with the Forevermark brand to gain a competitive advantage and improve overall diamond business.
“Forevermark offers a more engaging customer experience than any other diamond brand,” said Charles Stanley (left), president, Forevermark US. “By working with our retail partners and implementing a ‘Forevermark First’ approach, we will help them drive a bigger and more profitable diamond business and shape the future of the industry.”
The three-day conference offered attendees a chance to network, share sales strategies, and participate in seminars and workshops on creating an exceptional customer experience, the future of luxury retail, and tackling major industry issues like synthetics.
Sally Hogshead, branding expert, author, and “chief fascination officer” of Fascinate, Inc., delivered the keynote address, motivating jewelers to tap into their personal strengths to become the best, most dynamic version of themselves and use those skills to create irresistible customer interactions. Other guest speakers included Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president of market insights for Mastercard, and Michael Dart, co-author of The New Rules of Retail: Competing in the world’s Toughest Marketplace. They each offered insights into the changing dynamics of consumer spending and the future of the independent retail category.
Stephen Lussier, CEO of Forevermark and executive vice president of marketing of the De Beers Group of Companies, emphasized maximizing the in-store consumer experience during his keynote address.
Stephen Luissier, Forevermark CEO, with Sarah Quinlan of MasterCard.
“Forevermark was designed purposefully with the future of the luxury retail environment in mind. It offers the ability to build your business around an exclusive and global brand, one based upon beauty, rarity and responsible sourcing. Communicating this rich brand story provides the opportunity to create a second to none, engaging, exhilarating and unforgettable in-store buying experience for your customers,” said Lussier.
Forevermark also announced the 2016 Carat Club winners during the Forum. These top sales ambassadors sold 35 or more carats of one-carat plus Forevermark diamonds in 2016 will receive an exclusive trip to London later this year, to visit the Forevermark headquarters. They will also visit the Tower of London to see the Crown Jewels and head to Antwerp, Belgium, for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Forevermark Diamond Institute.
The 2017 Carat Club incentive will run through the entire year, and the top sales ambassadors who meet the requirements will receive a glamorous trip to Los Angeles during the 2018 Oscars for a behind-the-scenes look at the process of dressing Hollywood’s leading ladies in Forevermark diamonds.
Throughout the Forum, diamond artist Angie Crabtree live-painted the newest addition to the Forevermark Black Label Collection, the heart shape. The painting was then auctioned off at the closing party, along with several other experiential items, raising over $18,000 for Jewelers for Children. Charles Stanley will be honored at the annual Facets of Hope ceremony during JCK Las Vegas for Forevermark’s continued support of Jewelers for Children.
Leo Schachter’s Rebecca Foerster To Compete For LLS Woman Of The Year
Stamford, CT—Rebecca Foerster, executive vice president of strategic planning and marketing for Leo Schachter Diamonds, has been nominated for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2017 Woman of the Year. Candidates across the country compete for the title by raising the most funds for blood cancer research. Foerster is competing to honor her mother, a 10-year survivor of lymphoma.
“I am working to raise as much as possible in a 10-week period. My goal is a lofty one but I am committed to working hard to get to it! The cause is that important to me,” says Foerster. “My mom, my best friend, mentor, and inspiration, has been struggling with a chronic form of lymphoma for almost ten years. Her mental will power and the amazing treatment program at NYU Langone has made this a very manageable condition to live with. I could never imagine seeing my energetic mom, full of zest for life, not being able to enjoy and have quality of life. What a blessing!”
Rebecca Foerster with her mother, Ann, the inspiration behind her fundraising activities for LLS.
As one of eight local candidates for the Connecticut Westchester Hudson Valley LLS chapter, Foerster will help raise $1 million during a 10-week period from April 6 through June 17. Every dollar she raises counts as one “vote” in her favor to win the title. The male and female candidates with the most “votes” will be named Connecticut Westchester Hudson Valley (CTWHV) Man & Woman of the Year at the organization’s grand gala on June 17. Local winners across the country the enter competition for the LLS National Man & Woman of the Year titles.
“The Man & Woman of the Year program is a great way for candidates to partner with other influential people in their communities to bring hope to thousands of blood cancer patients,” said Deborah Barker, CTWHV Chapter executive director. “Candidates get to showcase their fundraising and community outreach skills as well as their humanitarianism.”
It’s Official: Ivanka Trump Exits Fine Jewelry Business
New York, NY—Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry is no more. After weeks of speculation following reports of multiple retailers dropping her brand of both jewelry and clothing, the company confirmed on Monday it will no longer be producing high-end jewelry. It will instead produce a lower-end line of fashion jewelry it terms “solution-oriented products at accessible price points.” Indeed, the fine jewelry collection was an anomaly for the brand as the rest of Trump’s products—shoes, handbags, and apparel—sit in the mid- to bridge price space; i.e. above budget but below designer.
Trump’s foray into fine jewelry began with a partnership with Moshe Lax, and the brand was later embroiled in a costly legal dispute with Indian manufacturer KGK, which produced some of the Ivanka Trump product. A court ultimately ruled in favor of KGK.
Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry did not return an earlier call from The Centurion Newsletter asking about the future of the line after reports of its demise surfaced.
Online Bespoke Retailer Rare Pink Rebrands As Taylor & Hart
London, UK—Three years after launching, Rare Pink, the online retailer of custom designed engagement rings, has re-branded itself as Taylor & Hart. The company hopes to position itself as the online leader in custom-designed jewelry, and plans to expand beyond the United Kingdom to the rest of Europe and the United States.
Rare Pink was founded in 2013 by David Sutton and Nikolay Piriankov. The founders felt the jewelry industry had failed to evolve while Millennials wanted more than “off the shelf” offerings of traditional jewelers. "Customers now care much more about transparency and ethical sourcing. They also want to use this highly emotional product to tell a story in a way that reflects their values and experiences together and have a ring they have played a part in designing,” said Piriankov. The firm’s goal is to make bespoke jewelry more accessible to a wider audience, instead of limited to a rarefied group of affluent consumers.
A bridal set from online bespoke retailer Taylor & Hart.
Sutton explained, “The brand 'Rare Pink', while loved by many of our customers, was not able to communicate as clearly as we wanted that we’re proud of our British heritage and we specialize in custom made. Each ring we design for our customers is hallmarked and hand-finished in London and carries a special story and meaning that is unique to them.”
Working with a branding agency, the duo settled on Taylor & Hart, both popular British surnames, with “Hart” being a play on the heartfelt emotion of love. The company has designed and delivered almost 2,000 engagement rings online and through its central London showroom since its 2013 founding.