5 things that working in jewelry has taught me

By Esther Ligthart on Thursday, 20 April 2017, in Stories

Ever since I laid my eyes on jewelry, way back in the late ‘80’s, I have fallen in love with the world of jewelry. Although I had my moments of deep love for a certain piece of jewelry, it has always been about the business around jewelry for me. Sales and marketing on one side, creativity, craftsmanship, and strategy on the other side. And I have learned so much along the way! Here are the 5 things that working in the world of jewelry has taught me:

Flower jewelry gioielli fiore Jewellery

 

Ever since I laid my eyes on jewelry, way back in the late ‘80’s, I have fallen in love with the world of jewelry. Although I had my moments of deep love for a certain piece of jewelry, it has always been about the business around jewelry for me.

Sales and marketing on one side, creativity, craftsmanship, and strategy on the other side.

1. The lesson of jewelry sales

My career in jewelry provided satisfaction for all my curiosity.

Sales have taught me to step into the world of the person on the other side. To listen carefully. To not ever just overwhelm people with a lot of specifics about a piece, a brand or a collection. But to understand, through listening, what it is they need. An empathic nature has proven an asset rather than an obstacle many claimed it to be.

I am the first one to admit, that one never stops learning and that it has been a process. I can still cringe a little when I think back to my own early days in sales! ;-)

Sales have taught me, most of all, to eliminate my own story and listen truly to the other person. 

2. the lesson of jewelry marketing

I have always enjoyed reading and learning about marketing. The tips and the tricks were very different before the crisis. What I loved most was the marketing shift after the crisis. With the upcoming effects of social media ánd the arrival of the Millennials, everything changed. For the better, I would say.

Today, brands and retailers are still struggling to do it right. Even if you do not aim at a Millennial market, you still will have to deal with a changed customer behavior landscape and different values.

What marketing has taught me is to observe. I have learned to observe behavior, reactions, and values. I observe how we shift from a product-wanting society to an experience-graving society, with lots of room in between to fill with goods (and services) that are relevant and add value to the lifestyle of people. And I especially love how this makes you look at jewelry in a whole new perspective and challenge our creativity and honesty, about how to make jewelry relevant and desirable in a changing world. 

3.The lesson of creativity

I will never stop feeling in awe when I look at certain designs. I am talking mostly about jewelry, but of course, this relates to art, books, design, architecture, cars, interior design etc. I am called a creative, but I know that I don’t even come close to all these fantastic designers out there!

Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel, today a jewelry and fashion icon, but she should be known even more for creativeness and business sense. For me, an inspiration!

Creativity, both the one I observed and the one felt within myself, has taught me to look at the world through rose-colored glasses. We kind of tell ourselves we should not observe the world through rose-colored glasses and here I am telling you that you should try to look through them as much as you possibly can.

What creativity has taught me: to dare more, to step out of my comfort zone, to create a jewelry blog and create training, workshops and starting the adventure of writing a book. And the beauty of it all is that my young son observes me and started to explore his own creative side.

4. The lesson of craftsmanship

When you look at bench jeweler, a stone setter, an enamelist and of course, also a designer, you see what true craftsmanship is all about. Whilst the world is filled with people that are doing their work fine, recognizing a master is something that still thrills me today!

I can watch them at work for hours. But even if you are not into jewelry, isn’t a joy to see somebody create something? Furniture makers that skillfully create stunning, yet practical pieces. Painters, creating something that make people feel emotional. Chefs, some are able to create the most beautiful dishes in their minds, knowing all the tastes so well that they can instruct how to make it, just by imagining it. The list of craftsmen and their capacities is endless.

Craftsmanship has taught me dedication and patience. No one becomes a craftsman without an incredible amount of practice. It also taught me the value of failure. Knowing that failure is great because it teaches us something, I still always felt terrible when I failed and it took me years to overcome this feeling and embrace the lessons it teaches me. Still not great at it, but I no longer dwell too long in the sad part that failure, inevitably, brings also. Craftsmanship has also taught me to appreciate things that are well made and has opened me to the world of possessing less, but trying to buy very consciously only well-made, created-with-love, products.

5. The lesson of strategy

Strategy is very much about informing and programming yourself, your brand or your company for the nearby future. Strategy has everything to do with being a realist. Off come the adored rose-colored glasses and on comes the reality check. To observe the world as it presents itself, without judgment, isn’t easy. We are all biased in the end, but strategy is what trend-forecasting is all about. Strategy should look at what is coming, in the broadest perspective. Culture, humanitarian developments, politics, crisis, street fashion, pop culture, music, performing art, subcultural phenomena, architecture, technology...the list is long.

Neelie Kroes

Neelie Kroes, a formidable woman, European Commissioner for a long time and not just a great strategist but also a fond lover of brooches

The idea is to open your eyes as wide as you can. Open all the windows in your mind and observe without judgment. Once you think you really looked what is happening in the world, you bring it back to yourself, to your company, to your store...and try to apply what you think is added value that will make you, your collection or your brand relevant in the nearby future.

Strategy has taught me to open my mind even further, to take images and ideas and pour them into words and actions. Strategy has taught me to be more pragmatic and less judgemental. Strategy has also taught me to truly observe and become more analytical.

Working in jewelry is not superfluous

There is a tendency, whenever I mention that my blog is about jewelry, as well as my whole career has been about jewelry, to judge this business as superfluous. That glamor and possession must be what attracts me and others, so much. But that’s just such a small part of this business! And honestly, fun but no more than that.

Emotions

As a down to earth,- genuinely interested in people-person, I can only say that what I perhaps love most about jewelry itself, is what it means for people. Stories are created, emotions often are captured in a piece of jewelry. Emotions about love, friendship, motherhood, fatherhood, relationships, memories….

This is why I still adore sales so very much, even though I no longer am selling jewelry myself.

It is why I write about jewelry on my blog, with the passion it takes, because, people, believe me, blogging is all about passion and if you do it for the money? Believe me, there are a million ways that make you earn money faster than blogging!

Store LocatorJewelryBizzitaphoto

I want you to enter a jewelry store inspired and with confidence! 

With my blog, I want to engage people in the world of jewelry. To inspire and sometimes educate. To inform and to connect. Yes, my aim is that in the end, people, you, enter a jewelry store and search with more confidence, for that one piece that matches your desire, your emotional state, that creates the perfect gift or simply says it all.

To make that easier, I have come up with the idea to create a store locator. If you are inspired you can now easily find online and offline retailers that might suit them perfectly for what they want to buy. Although in very early stages, we hope really that it'll grow and add just that little more value.

And it thrills me really to think that you come here to Bizzita.com for inspiration, tips or ideas and feel confident and happy to enter your local jewelry store, or even search online and find that one perfect piece for you! Will you let me know? I would love to hear your story! To connect you to jewelry that suits your emotion or the occasion is what I love most about blogging!

Wow, that sounded almost like this is a jewelry dating site! ;-)))) 

With love, 

Esther


Check out our jewelry store locator.

Comments (2)

  • marcia hill

    marcia hill

    07 June 2017 at 06:22 |
    thank you for this very thoughtful and interesting article

    reply

    • Esther Ligthart

      Esther Ligthart

      07 June 2017 at 08:31 |
      Thank you very much Marcia! :-*

      reply

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