Jewelers retail a variety of luxury goods including rings, necklaces and earrings. Their products are often crafted from precious metals and stones. They offer in-store shopping experiences and online ordering and shipping. Jewelry salespeople may also specialize based on the product they sell. Those with a background in fashion or mechanical goods, for example, may find themselves selling watches, while those with a strong understanding of gemology are more likely to sell fine jewelry. Some jewelers also have their own design or manufacturing studios, which they use to create and market their wares.
Some jewelers work for independent retailers, while others work for large branded-jewelry companies. Their responsibilities include marketing and managing inventory, as well as handling sales and customer service. Many jewelers work long hours, particularly in peak seasons. Some have to travel about the country or abroad to trade fairs, spending overnights away from home. Some jewelers have to wear protective goggles if they’re cleaning or cutting stones.
A career in jewelry retail offers plenty of opportunities for advancement. Many begin as salespeople and move up to office or store managers. They can then move into buying or corporate management, if they’re interested in moving beyond the role of selling jewelry. Many people choose to stay in the field, though, and find satisfaction in a career that allows them to work with beautiful materials while building relationships with customers.
Many consumers prefer to shop for jewelry in a brick-and-mortar store. These stores are often perceived as trustworthy and reputable, allowing customers to feel comfortable asking questions and perusing the merchandise. In addition, these stores can provide a personalized experience that’s hard to duplicate online.
When it comes to purchasing fine jewelry, many shoppers liken the experience to getting a tattoo: They need to nail down their aesthetically preferences and lifestyle requirements before making a decision. This process can be time-consuming and stressful, but it’s essential to ensure that the jewelry will work for them over the long term.
For some, jewelry is a family heirloom, while for others it’s a personal statement or a sign of commitment. In either case, shoppers need a trusted resource to help them find the right pieces for them. A well-stocked, curated boutique can help consumers navigate the many choices available. Catbird, for example, combines locally-minded service with a global knowledge of the industry to create a welcoming environment.
A jewelry manufacturer that distributes its products directly to major retailers can enhance the customer experience for both online and in-store buyers. It’s important to find a partner that can maintain an extensive inventory database, with breakdowns of specs, materials and pricing, so that it’s easy for retailers to add new items or modify existing ones. A jewelry manufacturer should also be able to assign a unique Universal Product Code (UPC) for each piece. This makes it easier for retailers to add jewelry to their inventory and track sales. It’s also helpful to find a company that can ethically source the materials necessary for their designs.