Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Experience with Designer Jewelry Showcase

Was wondering if anyone had any experience- good or bad- with
designer jewelry showcase. I'm thinking of doing it this year. 

Well, personally, I got three calls regarding my 1/3 page ad in
Designer Showcase, all three were from jewelers interested in how the
ad worked for me.

Rick Hamilton

Well, personally, I got three calls regarding my 1/3 page ad in
Designer Showcase, all three were from jewelers interested in how
the ad worked for me. 

Unfortunately, my experience with running an ad in Designer Showcase
several years ago produced similar results.

Victoria Lansford

I have to add my two cents here. Most of my calls were from other
jewelers and people who never purchased, just wanted my catalog. I
did make one sale to an airline stewardess who found the book lying
on a seat after the passengers had departed. I sold her a wedding
ring. That was it. I advertised two years in a row.

Frank Goss

Go to for details. The three
components are the DJS book, postcards and website design options.

Most aspects of the DJS experience were good, like the new website
design (included in the price) and 1000 postcards for each picture.
The price seems expensive at first, but the booklet is impressive and
everyone is very professional. I think the more you work with them
the easier and more profitable it will be, like anything else in this
business. Repeat exposure is the key.

There is a reduced rate for returning advertisers.

The book comes out in February, so this being June I don’t know if I
will get any contacts from it this year. The pictures are true to
the color of the original slide. They give you a chance to review the
page and make corrections for spelling, design and color. It is best
to have your slides done by a professional jewelry photographer. My
hope is that galleries keep these books and glance at them from time
to time for new Jewelry Designers.

They will mail a booklet to any gallery or store you give them an
address for. I believe they limit you to 100.

There are three categories of the book: Gold-Platinum; Silver and

The process was overwhelming because of the time of year the
paperwork, slides, etc. are due and the art festivals I participate
in are all during the same months. The deadline for early
reservations is June 22nd. Final reservation deadline is July 20th.
Artwork is due August 21st.

I haven’t done a mailing yet, but will pass the postcards out at art
festivals I attend and customers who come to my studio or to special
order customers.

I have gotten a couple of special orders from the postcards that are
in a local Inn where my jewelry is showcased. 14K Yellow and 14K Rose
gold patterned rings that I make on my Karat Rolling Mill.

Yvonne Pankowski

My experience after several years of trying was pretty much similar
to those who have already responded. Also found it somewhat amusing
that their sales rep, when calling to ask me how my ad response had
been, told me that the lack of response was my fault due to the
photography that I supplied, etc. I thought then and still do that
it is a beautiful publication, the quality is very good, even for a
piece that is printed in China. That was also the reason given for
the book and associated postcards not being ready for the major
February shows each year. In fact the folks at DJS told me they
really did not care about having the materials ready for those of us
who were doing any February shows. After that, and the cheap shots
at my photos, I gave up. It was a lot of money to spend to be
treated badly on top of getting no results.

Peggy on the Outer Banks of NC
Catchin’ limits of tuna today offshore!

I was approached several times with phone calls following the
mailers. I found the sales reps to be pushy, impatient and, in the
end, rude. When I told them that I was not looking for this type of
marketing opportunity they responded by saying “I guess you just
don’t want to sell your work…”

What an amazing amount of gall…


I had the same experience as Andy Cooperman, with Designer Jewelry
Showcase some years ago. I kept getting phone calls and high
pressure tactics. The caller was downright rude.


Many years ago, when the Designer Jewelry Showcase publication was
still relatively new, I also received repeated unsolicited and
intrusive phone calls from the sales and marketing staff.

They were persistent, aggressive, rude and argumentative, and seemed
unwilling to listen to my side of the conversation. Although I
consistently told them I was not interested in participating, it was
difficult to get them to respect my decision. They continued calling
and tried to provoke me into an argument about the huge opportunity I
was missing out on by not being in the book.

Didn’t seem like a beneficial approach to developing good customer

Michael David Sturlin

I have received phone calls from the same Designer Jewelry Showcase
representative every year for about the last 4 years. She has been
courteous, respectful, and helpful.

I told her that my industrial jewelry sells at a price too low to
justify the cost of the showcase — and that I design websites,
including websites for artists, so the showcase website feature is
of little or no interest to me.

She has suggested combining gold, rather than the sterling silver I
often use, with the industrial parts as a way to get higher prices.
Although I am not ready to take this step yet, I think her
suggestion is valid and I appreciated it.


My experience has been the opposite of most who have posted - we
continually advertise, as we have made some excellent contacts and
opened new accounts. It think the major keys are:

  1. Size of ad - minimum of two pages

  2. Repeat exposure

  3. Quality photography - I use Robert Diamante in Portland, ME and
    could not be happier

  4. Repeat Exposure

  5. Quality work

  6. Catalog and other info ready to go when the ad hits the streets
    (first year I did not have a catalog, etc… in hand, and it nearly
    cost a lot of business)

  7. The ad helps when contacting galleries. If we have a gallery we
    want to carry our work, it really helps to be able to say “have you
    seen our ad in Designer Jewelry Showcase?”. If not, oh well, we
    direct them to the website and ad them to our list to send the
    Designer Jewelry Showcase to next year. If they have it, we know our
    page numbers and direct them to the ad - lends a lot of credibility
    to “the artist” to have a major ad.

I’m advertising again in 2008, and will continue to advertise.

Now - all of this being said, I do get many calls from jewelers
wanting to know how the ad works for me - but also lots of sales
calls, from retailers wanting one ring to retailers hoping we
consign (nope) to retailers willing to purchase work.

Good luck if you try it - deadline is tomorrow!

Just my two cents,

Chris Ploof Studio

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 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

Ettagale Blauer


You are right about Quality work (that is subjective); quality photos
of that work; repeat exposure. Work on the part of the artist to do a
mailing after the postcards come out. Getting the booklet into the
galleries of your choice.

The early deadline (Contract and initial deposit) is due June 22nd.
The late (more expensive) deadline is July 20th. Artwork (slides)
aren’t due until sometime in August. They send postcards to remind
you of the deadlines, etc.

Go to; or call Serbin Communications in
Santa Barbara at 805-963-0439. Also you can FAX Adrian Johnson,
Marketing Representative at 847-713-2447 or call her at 847-713-2439
with questions.

Serbin Communications is a very busy company; they work with many
medias, not just jewelers. That is why the timelines are important.

This type of advertising may or may not suit your needs. Only you can
access that for yourself. I am not getting any remuneration for this


After looking at the 11 entries on this subject, including my own, 7
appeared to reflect negative experiences and 3 were positive, And of
course, and rightly so, Ettagale’s was in defense of the product. I
don’t think anyone is negative about the quality, just their
treatment by the DJS sales staff. Perhaps another look at how the
staff is interacting with the artists who are paying the fare is
warranted. Again, I loved the book. When I sent my photos and ad
copy, all professionally shot and prepared, the staff told me it all
looked great. When the rep called me to see how it was going, and
heard the news that I had gotten no responses, she told me it was
because my 2 page ad did not have good photos. I will not reveal
which of the major jewelry photographers did my photos- which have
been recieved very well elsewhere. And I would never tell him what
she said. In any case, Ettagale, you are right to defend DJS, but you
should also listen to how certain DJS folks are treating their

Peggy on the OBX
An otter swam up on our pier today!

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. 

I posted this story and while you may or may no believe it to be true
that is certainly your privilege. I do take exception to you
questioning my integrity. Trying to imply my true life experience is
an urban legend smacks as a bit of spin doctoring on your part. You
may be trying to preserve an image that is more than somewhat
tarnished but I believe the truth will out. I have been posting on
this forum for a lot of years and have never been so insulted.
Perhaps your publication would be better served by improving the
distribution and production schedules rather than by attacking those
who relate honest opinion and true experience.

Frank Goss

They were persistent, aggressive, rude and argumentative, and
seemed unwilling to listen to my side of the conversation. 

My experience exactly, Michael.



Thank you for the insight into the DJS process. I signed my contract
for the 2008 book yesterday. I don’t expect guarantees in life. A lot
of work on my part is called for.

My problems with DJS have been communicated to DJS staff. Most of my
stress came from personal pressures. Also I opted to have my website
redone by DJS last year, I need to do more work on it. But I have
gotten a lot of favorable feedback.

I was a legal secretary/paralegal for 25 years. Jewelry is a lot more

Also, thank you for the lovely book Contemporary American Jewelry
Design that you signed for me through Jima Abbott at the Mendocino
Art Center a few years ago.



Yes, correct - I forgot they also have a late deadline.


In regards to the tallying of negative versus positive responses,
and the respect I have for all who answered, I do believe Frank’s
story about the copy being left behind on the seat of the airplane,
and certainly believe Michael, Andy, Teri and others who have
described less than positive interactions. My different experience
may come from the fact that three years ago when I saw a copy of the
Showcase, I contacted them to be an advertiser, and was not hounded
by sales calls (and a good thing, too, otherwise I would not have
advertised - I hate that stuff!

And, regardless, it has been working well for me - I just hate to
think there are readers of the forum who would miss the opportunity
to sell lots of work based on bad experiences read about here. For
the ten or so responses given are a small number compared to the
repeat advertisers from year to year, and it is a reasonable way to
get the “word” out about your work. It has certainly opened
previously closed doors to me, and hope it can do so for others.
And, it is much, MUCH less expensive than advertising in national
magazines, something we have just started doing.

Best Advertising Wishes to All,

Chris Ploof Studio

Regarding my comment about Frank Goss’s posting, I certainly did not
mean to impugn his honesty. I merely wanted to express my dismay
about someone leaving the Designer Jewelry Showcase on an airplane.
We work very hard to ensure the security of those who advertise in
the DJS and to learn that someone threw it away like that is very
unfortunate. Please accept my apologize for this unintended slight.

Ettagale Blauer

Dear Ettagale,

I just finished reading the recent newsletter from Wharton. There was
an article about study done on category of customers which are called
as “Dead Men Walking”.

It is a group of customers who have dealt with the company in the
past or have heard of the company, but experience with the company
was less than perfect.

The research indicates that it is much better to leave these
customers alone, than trying to reach them as your experience in
this forum aptly demonstrates.

If you want to read the article, you should be able to find it on
Wharton’s website.

Leonid Surpin

merely wanted to express my dismay about someone leaving the
Designer Jewelry Showcase on an airplane. 

There is also the possibility that the flight attendant obtained it
in some other way, but for whatever reason said that she picked it
up on the plane.

Everyone accidentally leaves things on planes at least once.

Hard to FInd Tools for Metal Clay