As a consultant to the Designer Jewelry Showcase, I have been
involved in the creation and ongoing production of this advertising
medium for more than a dozen years. I hope you will afford me the
opportunity to provide another point of view.
Just as many designers don’t understand why some people get into
juried shows and others do not, things are usually more complicated
that they seem at first glance.
The Designer Jewelry Showcase, as noted by one of the members who
posted, is a beautifully printed book. Like many art books, including
my own book, Contemporary American Jewelry Design, it was printed in
Hong Kong. This allows us to get the best quality work for a
reasonable price. If you do any advertising, then you know that the
cost of a page in any magazine – which is usually tossed quickly –
is expensive. Compare that with the high gloss, substantial pages of
the DJS. The story about a person who said a copy of the DJS was left
behind on an airplane sounds a bit like an urban legend. We would
love to know who did this, however. That person would be taken off
the mailing list immediately.
The staff at DJS goes out of its way to assist jewelers in creating
a page that will reflect beautifully on their jewelry. Some designers
find it difficult to understand why they are not capable of doing
their own photography and page design. I always point out that there
is a difference between artists, like yourselves, working in three
dimensions and creating work that is suitable for the printed page.
It takes a completely different kind of expertise.
Creating a selling page takes expertise, too. Some jewelers persist
in sending out of focus or poorly lit pictures. When these pages are
printed, they are not likely to attract attention, especially when
seen in contrast to well photographed, well designed pages.
Some people believe that once they have placed a page, they can just
sit back and watch the orders roll in. This would be like hanging up
a sign on a door that said “jewelry designer” and then wait for
people to march in and place their orders. Successful advertisers in
the DJS do intelligent follow up. They use their postcards, included
in the price, to contact potential buyers they have met at shows.
They make sure the galleries that carry their work have a supply of
cards to give to prospective clients. And they follow up with the
people who do call after seeing their pages in the DJS. Anyone who
has done a wholesale show knows that buyers often want a second
look, a second conversation before they place orders.
If you find that people are calling around just to get catalogs,
they may be doing some follow-up on their own, checking out how
jewelers run their businesses. Obviously we have no control over
Distribution in a timely fashion has its own stumbling blocks.
Customs, for example, is backed up as a result of the tragedy of
9/11. Everything takes longer to be cleared into the country. The
publisher of the Designer Jewelry Show case makes every effort to get
the book distributed as early as possible. Please consider how
unlikely it is that any salesperson would say “we don’t care when the
book is distributed.”
If anyone would like to receive tear sheets and sample postcards
showing the quality of the DJS, please send your name and address to
firstname.lastname@example.org. We are very proud of the book.
I have been writing about, and working with jewelry designers, since
the 1970s. It has always been my goal to help designers promote their
work and gain a wider, appreciative audience for it.
I appreciate the chance to reply to these postings. If anyone would
like to contact me personally, I would be happy to respond