Gemstones & Pearls:News
Chatham's New Creation
Get set for gem-set jewelry from a familiar name
Chatham Created Gems has created a new opportunity for independent jewelers
to sell more color man-made color. The San Francisco-based producer
of lab-grown gemstones has introduced a jewelry line with a strong retail
The line, the Chatham Collection, was launched at the JCK International
Jewelry Show in Las Vegas in June. It features Chatham created gemstones
in 14k or 18k white, yellow or two-tone gold rings, pendants and earrings,
sometimes with natural diamond accents. President Tom Chatham describes
the collection as well-made traditional jewelry with a twist. "We experimented
with a lot of different designs over the past three years and came to realize
far-out styling wasn't our niche," he says. "That would have added
another obstacle for the retailer: in addition to selling a high-fashion
piece, the jeweler also would have had to sell the created gem concept."
The resulting collection costs $1,000-$6,000 keystone. "We created
a line that gives the consumer a rich look at an affordable price and gives
the retailer comfortable margins and great sales support," he says.
"There's a vacuum in the marketplace for better-quality created gemstone
jewelry. We are aiming this collection at better independents such as American
Gem Society member stores."
Creating jewelry was a natural move for Chatham, says Robert Metz, owner
of Robert Metz & Associates, New York City. Chatham hired this marketing
consultant last year to help launch the Chatham Collection. "It's easier
for the retailer to sell a finished piece than a component," says Metz.
"Moreover, it's very difficult for a component to retain its brand
Metz was impressed by the brand recognition Chatham created gems have
among consumers. "Everyone knows Chatham in the trade, but I was surprised
to see how many consumers asked for his gems by name. In fact, many Chatham
clients special-order loose goods because consumers ask for them. That's
the strongest selling point for this line we know there are consumers
who want it."
Chatham offers a lacquer, wood and Leatherette modular display system for
the collection as well as new point-of-purchase brochures, counter cards
and stock balancing. "This is not a one-time package," says Chatham.
"We want to build an active partnership with our customers, who will
be exclusive Chatham retailers in their communities."
A national consumer ad campaign this autumn will list retailers who sign
on now by region. The company also is redesigning its Web site [www.chatham.com] which receives more
than 20,000 hits a month to include a retailer referral service.
Additionally, co-op advertising will give participating retailers a chance
to recoup up to 50% of their cost for advertising the collection in any
venue they choose. Chatham also will help retailers to launch the line with
public relations activities in their community.
by Deborah Yonick
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.