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Designer Showcase

Has anyone out there had good results from advertising in the
Designer Showcase?I was thinking of advertising in it but perhaps my
money would be better spent sending packages out to individual
galleries or stores.I’d appreciate any feedback. Thanks,
Susan Hoge


I placed an ad in DJS 2000. It is the first year that I have
advertised in it or any other magazine/publication. My original idea
was that if I only got one or two orders from the book and got the
postcards they offer, it would be worth the price. I plan to use
postcards quite a bit at the shows I attend for people to take with
them as a visual reminder of my work. They have my email, phone #
and web address on them. Since my work is rather high end (average
sale so far is around $1,200.00 but I have quite a few pieces in the
over $3,000.00 range) I don’t need to sell many pieces to make an
advertising investment such as the one in DJS pay off.

However, I have been somewhat disappointed in that all of the
responses to date have been either for additional i.e.,
“please send me your catalog” via my email address, which I supplied,
or consignment requests. I made a decision several years ago that my
work was just too costly and my capital too small to afford to do
much consignment. Plus, I have had very poor results with
consignment (as has been a frequent subject of orchid posts of mine).
Further inquiries I made have found that for higher end jewelers,
DJS is not very effective. Others who I have contacted who sell more
silver/gold mix and other media have given rave reviews.

So, I guess that it really depends on what kind of jewelry you’re
selling. I suggest you get a copy of the DJS and contact some of the
people selling items that are similar to what you are selling. If
your selling beads and they’re not too expensive you may have better
results than I have had.

Good luck,
Larry Seiger

Anyone on Orchid considering advertising in any media should be aware
that it will take any potential customers seeing your ad many, many
times to respond to it. I highly recommend Jay Conrad Levinson’s
books (Guerilla Marketing, Guerilla Marketing Attack) for more
on how to approach advertising. While geared more toward
a retail level his principles apply to all types of sales. His claim
is that you need to run an ad 27 times for it to work (a figure that
was exactly on the money from our own experience). While on a
wholesale level you may not need to run quite as many, people have to
see you around for awhile before they believe you are real.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140


I also placed an add in the DJS 2000. It ha been out now for about
four months and I have not had one call. I know they tell you that
its all about the picture and and how you handle the phone, but my pic
was taken by a professional, and to date I have not had one call to
handle. I would suggest that you go ahead with the package mailing.
I did get one gallery thanks to one of the postcards I mailed to a
gallery, but that was a gallery I approached and you can surely get
postcards cheaper that what they charge. Hopefully, by the end of the
year though Ill be eating crow, Y2K is only half over.

Chris Slater
Kansas City

Thank you, Daniel, for pointing out the need for consistency in

Back when I was associate publisher for AJM, one of my greatest
frustrations was advertisers who would place one ad in the magazine
and then drop it, complaining they hadn’t gotten a response. We always
tried to tell them that consistency was more important than splash. If
you can afford full page, four-color ad in every issue, great! If not,
opt for 12 small black-and-white ads instead of one giant blockbuster
ad. Color does help an ad stand out and improves response, but
frequency is even more important and should come first on your
priority list.

Although there’s plenty of marketing research to support this
approach, you can probably think of the reasons it works without going
to the experts. Make a mental note over a couple of months of how
you respond to ads. Do you usually pick up a magazine or newspaper,
see an ad, and race off to the phone to call the company? You might if
the product advertised is something you’ve been looking for for
months, or just a really great new idea. But more often you’ll see the
ad, put the publication away, and not think of it again until weeks or
months later, when suddenly you need something like it. (Maybe your
current supplier quit carrying something you need, you’re no longer
happy with a supplier for some reason, or you have an idea for a new
product and you need a new finding, caster, etc.) You’ll remember
seeing the ad for the product, you may have some idea what publication
you saw the ad in, and you might remember the name of company – but
you won’t remember the company’s address or phone number or exactly
what issue you saw the ad in.

So what do you do? You grab the last couple of issues of the magazine
you think you saw the ad in, and start leafing through, or checking
the advertiser’s index if you remember the company name. As the
advertiser, you want your ad to be in the first issue that’s opened.
And since it may be months after the customer first saw the ad,
there’s no way to be sure the first issue they look in will be the
issue they first saw your ad in. But if you have a small ad in every
issue, they’re certain to find your ad anyway. If they don’t find the
ad in the first issue, they may keep looking until they find you, or
maybe they’ll find a competitor first, or maybe they’ll give up in
disgust after looking through three or four issues and settle for a
different product.

For advertising to work, people need two things: to trust that you’re
genuine and not a fly-by-night, as Daniel pointed out, and to be able
to find you when they need your product. Advertising consistency is
the key to both – and don’t trust an ad rep who tries to tell you


Suzanne Wade
Phone: (508) 339-7366
Fax: (520) 563-8255

Dear Jewelers,

When the first posting came up regarding the Designer Jewelry
Showcase, I wrote directly to the jeweler since I respect the
prohibition on Orchid regarding advertising oneself. However, I
think I can be helpful in regard to the question of results from
advertising in DJS. First I must say that this is my project so I do
have an interest in it.

Regarding the results achieved from the DJS 2000, please note that
the edition has been out less than six months; the book will be used
throughout the year and into the years ahead. Retail jewelers and
galleries keep these books in their stores and refer to them over and
over again.

Regarding consignment: I always advise designers to work out a
compromise with the galleries when this comes up. Most designers
have work in a range of prices, with earrings usually their least
expensive items. Ask for an order for earrings (or your less
expensive work) and then agree to consign one of your blockbuster
pieces for a specified, and contracted period of time. Cover all
this with paperwork. While it’s a fact that high-end work sells more
slowly, it must be seen to sell and what better place than the right
gallery or jewelry store? A suggested contract on consignment
appeared recently in The Crafts Report.

We have indeed had rave reviews from designers across the board,
including the high end. For many designers, this is their first time
at advertising. It requires follow up just as you follow up in other
areas of your selling efforts. It may require a number of phone

I appreciate the opportunity to offer these words of encouragement
and advice. I welcome any questions to me directly so as not to tie
up the entire site!

Ettagale Blauer

Hi folks, Beth Pierson here. I’m a sales person for Designer Jewelry
Showcase. So, of course, I wanted to respond to some of the points
that Larry brought up. See my comments interspersed with his.

    I placed an ad in DJS 2000.  It is the first year that I have
advertised in it or any other magazine/publication... 

The DJS book has only been out since late February. It is still early
in the year to be trying to evaluate its success. MANY times we have
talked to some of our advertisers at this juncture and they’ve had
some response, but perhaps not great. When we talk to them a little
later in the year, sometimes just a couple of months later, we find
they are very pleased. It takes awhile to turn inquiries into sales,
for one thing. Also this book is not like a magazine. It is used
throughout the year, and probably in later years, too. These don’t
get tossed after just a couple of weeks, and you can’t evaluate it the
way you would Niche, for example.

Many of the stores have told us they keep the book on their counter
and allow their customers to go through it. Often the store is
limited in how much inventory they can stock, but they want their
customers to have access to the really unusual pieces in DJS. You may
get some special orders this way.

I was talking with a designer last week who told me that she’d just
been to the Vegas show. She asked a lot of people about our book and
she said one comment she heard repeatedly was that the book performs
better the longer you are in it. You can certainly expect to do
better the second and third years. I’ve been told this is also a
well-accepted fact about doing shows, too. The buyers are maybe a
little hesitant when they’ve never seen you before and feel more
comfortable in the following years.

This is a basic principle of advertising anyway. You don’t run just
one TV commercial. And all the various facets of your marketing are
designed to work together.

Often I’ll hear someone say, “Of course so-and-so (a well-known
jeweler) does well in DJS, they’re well known!” Well, yeah, that’s
true. But how do you think they got to be well-known? Part of it was
consistently doing all the marketing: Going to the bigger shows,
advertising in DJS and other print media, sending out postcards or
handing them out at shows. Eventually they also have enough accounts
that you tend to see their work around a lot. ALL of this reinforces
the rest of their image. They didn’t start out well-known; they got
there through hard work and investment-spending.

However, I have been somewhat disappointed in that all of the
responses to date have been either for additional >i.e.,
"please send me your catalog" via my email address, which I >supplied,
or consignment requests.

There are definitely advantages to using a website or email address on
your promotional materials, but as Larry found out, there are also

If you consider how the typical phone call happens with a buyer, you
see where the problem lies. They’ll either ask quickly for a catalog
(without telling you where they saw you! UGH!), or they’ll ask for
the price of a particular piece and hang up! UGH, again!

Ideally you want to ask THEM questions before you answer theirs. Find
out what kind of store they have, what kind of customers, what kind of
price points, where did they see you? That way you can answer them
intelligently. If you have multiple lines, you might steer them
toward the one that’s most appropriate. If you only have one line,
you might be able to make up the pieces with less expensive materials,
if that is all they can manage. Even if they aren’t immediately
interested, you probably want to add them to your mailing list. If
they took the time to contact you at all, they are definitely
interested in your work.

When you are contacted by email, you have no opportunity to talk with
them and make a sale. Sales don’t just happen, they are made by
finding out how you can help them. Sometimes you never get their
address, so you can’t even add them to your mailing list.

 I made a decision several years ago that my work was just too
costly and my capital too small to afford to do much consignment. 
Plus, I have had very poor results with consignment (as has been a
frequent subject of orchid posts of >mine). 

I think you have to make a distinction between the consignment you
don’t want and the consignment you DO want. Your decision can be
based on many things: the caliber of the gallery, their reputation
for paying reasonably quickly, the caliber of other artists you would
be displayed with, the caliber of the customers who would be buying
your work.

Many times you can reach a compromise with a gallery where they buy
some pieces, and you let them have others for a limited time on
consignment. This would at least pay for your materials upfront and
also show some good faith on the part of the gallery.

I’m not trying to sell anyone on consignment, but we have had very
positive feedback from some jewelers who were able to make very good
money from even one account, and do so with minimal hassle. Certainly
you can have your work out there much more widely than if you are
selling it yourself retail.

     Further inquiries I made have found that for higher end
jewelers, DJS is not very effective.  Others who I have contacted
who sell >	more silver/gold mix and other media have given rave

As you all probably know, there are three tabbed sections in the
Designer Jewelry Showcase book: Gold-Platinum, Silver and Mixed
Media. We have very successful designers in each section. While it’s
true that you will probably sell more pieces at the lower price
points, it’s also true that it takes less sales at the higher end to
make your effort worthwhile.

I was talking with a guy last year who was very solidly in the very
upper end of the market and he knew ALL of the chi-chi galleries. I
had a print-out in hand of our book distribution, and he and I walked
through some of the nicer markets: The Hamptons, Aspen, Santa Fe,
Beverly Hills, areas of San Francisco, and so on. He said we had done
an outstanding job of assembling our list, that all of the main
galleries he wanted to reach were there. So our book is certainly
being seen by the right people to buy the more expensive pieces.

I just flipped through the books from 1999 and 2000, reviewing the
comments we’ve received from the advertisers. (We haven’t even talked
to all of our advertisers this year, so I don’t have current feedback
from all of them.)

Looking just at the Gold-Platinum section, I see LOTS of advertisers
who seem pleased. In no particular order, here are some that seem to
be the higher end within this section: Just Jules, Gordon Aatlo,
Patricia Daunis, James Binnion, Zaffiro, Canmore Creations, Doni,
Steven Hamm, Carolyn Tyler, Alexandria Moseley, Penelope Kay, Toni
Budelier, Metal Art Studio. If you have access to a copy of the book,
you can check out their work.

Thanks! Sorry I went on so long. You know us sales people, we like
to talk! :slight_smile:

Beth Pierson
Designer Jewelry Showcase


I got at least 15 calls within the first two weeks of the DJS 2000
coming out and have made several sales from it. I think it has paid
for itself at this point. Is it going to work for you? I don’t know,
it all depends on what your work looks like and how good an ad you
put together and finally does the store need something that you make.
James Binnion Metal Arts
4701 San Leandro St #18
Oakland, CA 94601