Professional Jeweler Archive: Jewelers Endorse Cause-Marketing

December 2003

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Jewelers Endorse Cause-Marketing

Retailers of all sizes support worthy causes


As this season of giving edges toward a climax, it’s time to pay tribute to jewelers who help others through promotions and sponsorships. This popular impulse not only makes you feel good – it’s good for business. “There’s now a very clear expectation that companies have to have a soul – a state of mind that represents a social conscience,” says Jorma Ollila, chairman & CEO of cell phone giant Nokia. His remarks were highlighted by Cone Inc., a marketing company that also tracks cause-branding.

During the 2002 holiday season, 58% of consumers polled by Cone Inc. said they would buy a product in which a percentage of the price is donated to a cause. More than half of that same group said they would also buy from a retailer who supports a cause. In fact, cause-related shopping was the second most popular activity planned among the 91% of Americans who intended to engage in charitable acts.

Jewelers who would like to be a part of this growing movement can do so even without the elaborate planning done by some of the retailers highlighted here. A simple percentage of sales donation is easy to arrange, either with a local charity or a national one. Make sure you get a photo of yourself making the donation for local media distribution. Or make a contribution to the Jewelers Charity Fund for Children (see box on facing page).

Meanwhile, kudos to the jewelers highlighted for their efforts to help good causes. This list is an assortment of events reported to Professional Jeweler by the retailers highlighted.

Bailey Banks & Biddle Fine Jewelers’ store in The Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey donated the proceeds from its Ultimate Diamond Experience event on May 7-8 to the Jewelers Charity Fund for Children. Ten percent of the proceeds from sales of Ritani jewelry during the two-day went to JCF. In addition, customers were given an opportunity to bid on a one-carat, Ideal-cut Ritani diamond during a silent auction. JCF received 100% of the proceeds.

Quinn’s Goldsmith, Occoquan, VA, hosted its fifth annual Make-A-Wish event, raising more than $24,000. The jeweler received more than $30,000 in donated merchandise from its suppliers, local business and friends. Owners Terry and Sherry Quinn started the event in 1999 in memory of their daughter, Michaela Lee Quinn.

Harold Jaffe Jewelers, Toledo, OH, created a collection of Breast Cancer Awareness jewelry for 2003. A portion of the sale of each piece was donated to the Northwest Ohio Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Visit www.haroldjaffe.com and nnwohkomen.org to view the Breast Cancer Awareness Collection. Earlier this year, the store also created the Harold Jaffe Jewelers Survivor Award, recognizing breast cancer survivors in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. The winner received a custom-designed gold-and-pink-diamond jewelry award and prize package donated by the jeweler. Harold Jaffe Jewelers also was selected as a recipient of the 2003 Governor’s Award for the Arts in April for its contributions and sponsorships of numerous arts events in the Toledo area.

Roman Jewelers, a New Jersey retailer with stores in Flemington, Bridgewater and Short Hills, held a month-long breast cancer awareness fund-raiser in October that kicked off with a panel of healthcare professionals discussing health and support issues. Wolf Designs, a Southern California and UK-based designer and manufacturer, supported the effort. Roman donated a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Wolf Designs’ fuchsia First Class Travel jewelry case to the Hunterdon Medical Center’s Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center. The jewelry boxes were on sale throughout October. “Many of our customers own a limited-edition light pink tourmaline and ruby ribbon pin that we designed and they have purchased to show support for the fight against breast cancer,” says owner Sophie Shor. “When we saw the new Wolf fuchsia lizard box, we felt it was the perfect place to keep one’s pins and a creative way that we could support this charity.”

Sites Jewelers, Clarksville, TN, assisted in organizing “Operation Eagle’s Nest” for soldiers and families at nearby Fort Campbell in April. Bill Sites, the store owner, worked with other community leaders to create a fund with a goal to raise $1 million in support of relief organizations at the fort.

Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry was honored by the Jewelers Charity Fund for Children for collecting the most of any independent jewelry store in the industry for the year. The West Hartford, CT-based jeweler raised money by waiving the fee for small jewelry repairs, including watch batteries and necklace clasps. Instead, it asked customers to donate to a JCF canister in the store.

Thalheimers Fine Jewelry in Naples, FL, committed to building three Habitat for Humanity homes in the area. Erikka Thalheimer (with hammer) and family members closed their store one Saturday in July so they could work at one of the houses, which go to low-income families. The family and friends will continue to provide labor until the three houses are built.

The Siegel family, owners of Hamilton Jewelers, with stores in New Jersey and Florida, was recognized by the New Jersey legislature for raising money for The Greenwood House for the Jewish Aged in May. Attended by former President Bill Clinton and New Jersey Gov. James McGreevy, the event raised over $500,000 for Greenwood.

Capri Jewelers, Richmond, VA, created “Carats for Kids,” a partnership between the store and the Association for the Support of Children with Cancer. The store donates a percentage of every diamond sale between September and December to the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals to benefit local children with cancer. Over the past three years, the partnership has generated nearly $40,000. Owner Chris Capri battled Hodgkin’s disease as a teenager.

Jewelers Charity Fund for Children

A perennial favorite charity for this industry is the Jewelers Charity Fund for Children, which has raised $10 million for children’s charities since 1999. JCF recently suggested several ways jewelers can contribute, according to an article in The J Report, Jewelers of America’s bimonthly newsletter. They include:

  • Run a raffle at your store.
  • Order JCF holiday cards that tell your customers the proceeds support JCF.
  • Contribute to JCF in important customers’ names (JCF will send an acknowledgement to your customer for any donation over $20).

To order cards or discuss other special programs, contact JCF Executive Director Pattie Light at (561) 744-3222, plight@jewelerscharityfund.org.

Copyright © 2003 by Bond Communications