Still Bullish After All These Brands
Hearts on Fire® remains optimistic about the future
of its brand
Four years ago Di-Star was a diamond company with about $7.5
million in annual sales. Three years ago CEO Glenn Rothman created
Hearts on Fire,® a brand based on the Hearts and Arrows cut,
a "zero" cut diamond with "excellent" proportions
and symmetry. Early in 1999 the name of the company was changed
to Hearts on Fire Diamonds to reflect the brand. Rothman expects
sales to have increased to $30 million by the end of 1999.
"We're exactly on-target with our projections,"
Rothman says of the business plan he wrote in April 1997. He
expects to have his product in about 350 stores by 2000 and plans
to continue expanding. "We want to be in the top 100 media
markets," he says. "That's where we're looking to expand."
Rothman will maintain Hearts on Fire's policy of granting exclusive
territories to retailers, though the size of the area of exclusivity
depends on the size of the market. He has three retailers in
Detroit, for example. "It increases the visibility and recognition
of the brand and actually increases sales," he says. "It
encourages retailers to cooperate."
Rothman says one key to the company's success, in addition
to its brand and the product itself, is its training programs
developed for retailers. He has hired Performance Concepts LLC,
Olympia, WA (360-754-7763), to handle in-store training. His
company also sponsors Hearts on Fire University, an intensive
three-day education program on how to sell diamonds.
A third tier of training is what he calls "Boot Camp,"
in which inexperienced sales associates travel to the company's
headquarters in Boston for two days. They role-play in sales
presentations then go into a real store to try the techniques.
They are videotaped before and after, and a tape is sent home
with them to show their progress.
Rothman hopes the company will go public within 18 to 24 months.
- Hearts on Fire Diamonds, Boston, MA; (800) 343-1224, fax
(617) 523-1437, www.hearts-on-fire.com
by Jack Heeger
Hearts on Fire's classic promotion photo of its branded
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.