Robert, Sales for September were up this year, and it was probably the
best September we’ve had. This is normally a very slow month, and I
expected that this year would be very quiet. Our gallery specializes
in very fine custom work, and we have a lot of customers who live
(and work) in close proximity to the Pentagon.
Instead, I have seen a lot more wedding sales than usual, and a lot
of customers ordering significant gifts for their loved ones. Perhaps
we appreciate each other more these days. I also know that a lot of
people have canceled their holiday vacations and business travel is
more carefully considered. The money that would have been spent on
travel is still in the bank, and people are now beginning to spend it
on things for the home, and on jewelry. Not jewelry for the sake of
status, but as a token of love.
Our public image has always been that of a caring, compassionate, and
socially conscious company. We have always been public about avoiding
not only conflict diamonds, but other similarly “tainted” gemstones.
Instead of advertising, we openly contribute to support the homeless
shelter, Hospice, Habitat for Humanity, the shelter for battered
women, and similar organizations. Quotes from Rumi often appear in
our display windows. Our competition has always courted the upscale
"carriage trade" and emphasized status jewelry. With all the type A
corporate climbers who live here, they have always been more
financially successful. Now, their sales are down significantly.
Americans will continue to spend because that’s what we do…we’re a
consumer-driven economy. But I think we will see a significant change
on what we spend our money on. I hope that we will see more people
sharing and giving to others. We, as a nation, had a great “wake up
Let’s hope we don’t roll over and go back to sleep.