Professional Jeweler Archive: Personal Style

February 2001

For Your Staff/Customized Selling

Personal Style

Selling fashionable jewelry isnšt always the answer ­ customize selections to your customer

‘We have to take our customers from buying pretty jewelry to buying jewelry that makes them look pretty,” Calla Gold of Calla Gold Jewelry, Santa Barbara, CA, told her audience during her seminar, “Jewelry Consultant: Match Your Jewelry to Your Customer,” at The Professional Jeweler Show & Conference in Las Vegas. The seminar was organized by Charlotte Preston Catalysts, White Bear Lake, MN. Gold recommends jewelers become image consultants, helping customers determine their face shapes and the image they wish to project.

The Inspiration

A realization close to home sparked Gold’s interest in this way of selling. Her grandmother wore what Gold calls “big honking rings,” and Gold couldn’t understand the attraction when she tried them on herself. Then one day she found herself watching her grandmother speaking and gesturing with a flourish; Gold found she didn’t notice her grandmother’s large arthritic knuckles, only the graceful movements of the former ballerina’s hands. “I got it then,” Gold says. “A mature hand needs larger stones, settings that float off the fingers and larger bands.” Once she pointed this out to her male customers buying jewelry for their wives, she says, the husbands and wives loved her. “The women got bigger, better diamonds and shanks,” she says. “It’s a wonderful way to make higher-ticket sales.”

Theory and Practice

One of the most difficult choices a woman makes is finding earrings that flatter her face, says Gold. Help your customers determine whether they have oval, square, round or angular faces. Knowing what your customer does for a living and her mode of dress will also allow you to find the perfect type of earrings.

When you’ve chosen the correct style of earrings, Gold advises having your customer put one of them on one ear and place an unflattering earring on the other.

Walk your client about 10 feet away from a full-length mirror. While facing the mirror, cover the unflattering earring so your client can see how the right earring complements her. Cover that one and show her the unflattering earring – she’ll see immediately the difference it makes, says Gold.

Oval Faces

Women with oval faces can wear the largest variety of earrings, just about everything except dangling styles, says Gold. Dangles are wrong for this shape because they add length, especially those that are long, narrow and angular. If a woman just has to have dangles, steer her toward wide ones. Particularly attractive choices for this face shape include open knot earrings because they add fullness to the cheekbone, where oval faces need the interest.

Small hoop earrings are good also, Gold explains, because they make the woman’s smile look bigger and tend to create a friendly impression. The hoops should be three-dimensional with curves in them. Classic studs are a good choice also, she says, but lean toward larger ones with round or princess-cut gemstones. Studs should be set with noticeable metal in the designs.

Square Faces

A square face is created by a straight jaw line from ear to ear. Not many people have truly square faces, but those who do should not wear earrings designed with flat bottoms. Instead, a pointy or rounded earring bottom is ideal.

A woman with a square face who needs to project power should wear an elongated oval earring. And the bigger the earrings get, says Gold, the simpler they should be.

Round Faces

Anyone with a round face is judged to be trustworthy and friendly, says Gold. If a woman with a round face needs to project a more powerful and decisive image at work, then you should recommend she choose a long, simple three-dimensional oval earring to focus attention on her features. Studs make a strong statement, but choose marquise, trillion or emerald cuts in simple settings.

Oval earrings with details at the edges are a dressy choice for evening, and they tend to elongate a round face also.

Angular Faces

Bold angular faces can be a problem for earring-wearers. Because women with these face shapes can be perceived as snobby or forbidding, Gold explains, help them to create a more friendly appearance with softly curving small hoop earrings.

In addition, heart-shaped earrings can add warmth on a subconscious level. Stud earrings are a good choice also, but make them round, oval or pear-shaped.

– by Liz Smutko

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications