Monday, November 5, 2007

On the Cutting Edge of Jewelry Fashion

In the Spring/Summer 2007 Issue of JCK there were two trends that we noticed and loved. Both relate to nature, earth and the elements, but are very different in style. We showcased both these trends in our holiday catalog which hit homes this month.

The first is “Be Wilderness” and takes a look at earth inspired themes in jewelry this year. Since we were planning our catalog at the time this issue was published, we felt somewhat validated with our choices for the John Hardy pages especially. The new JH Kawung collection is, in a word, divine! The entire collection is bold and elemental with gold and sterling silver in the natural patterns and shapes of leaves and gemstones in colors that could only be found in nature. The mailing of the JH catalog on November 19 went into 30,000 of Fink’s customer’s homes to share this collection and win them over, like it did us!

Another mention was the use of different golds. White, yellow and rose gold, oh my! Roberto Coin specifically carries gold in these hues in several collections, like the Chic and Shine collection that is featured side by side with white, yellow and rose gold bangles and earrings in our holiday catalog as well. We also mailed 5,000 Coin catalogs to our customers on November 5 that show not only varieties in gold, but some animal inspired designs as well.

Speaking of animals as inspiration . . .

The second trend is “Animal Attraction” and focuses on the literal and implied use of our 4 (or more) legged friends in jewelry design. Roberto Coin uses crafts beautiful pieces in his Animalier collection that are named Cobra, Giraffe, Leopard, Lizard, Nemo and more! John Hardy also takes the animal theme quite literal and makes gorgeous creepy crawlies out of gold and silver. In fact we used some to highlight our about JH page in the spring JH mailer we produced in-house at Fink’s.

Another, less literal way in which animals are used is in the David Yurman Men’s line. Alligator, Rhinoceros, Tiger’s Eye, Dinosaur Bone and Thoroughbred are all par for the course in this line. Whether in style, texture or stone depends on the individual piece.

Have you seen these trends in stores this season? Are you wearing them, wanting them?

Friday, November 2, 2007

The catalogs are coming... The catalogs are coming!!

Triangle Town Center Store Manager Claire Brown w/ Emily Karlinski on Halloween

This time of year is always exciting for me. As with anyone, I love seeing my own family and giving thanks. The Fink's holiday catalog, released near Thanksgiving each year, specifically brings back a lot of memories for me.

Far before I ever worked for the company, or even went to school - for that matter, I roamed the halls of SouthPark mall- catching a free ride on my father's shoulders (We'll forgo the stories of the trips to Sears that I thought would never end). I remember the fountain at the main entrance, and the blindingly beautiful chandeliers at Fink's, which was on the same corner. I stared with amazement at everything in the store as if it was a museum and every piece in there was a prized possession.... Needless to say, that fascination never went away.

Growing up near Charlotte, everyone drooled over the pieces that were in the Fink's Christmas catalog. We looked and dreamed and wished about every item that we saw... and (I can't believe I'm actually admitting this) even cut out pieces from the book and 'tried them on.' What better way for a little girl to play dress up, than with the most fabulous jewelry she's ever seen?!?

So now, a couple decades later, I get to work with those fabulous jewels daily. I love meeting new customers, and seeing loyal customers, who catch me up on the latest & greatest with their families and how they have grown over the years. It's a joy beyond words to have someone, whom you sold an engagement ring years ago, bring in their children to help select a 'prize' for their wife for Christmas.

The holidays are an amazing time for each of us. I look forward to the season, and am grateful for the opportunity to continue to grow in a company that has such a rich history of providing memories to so many.

Wishing everyone an amazing season - building new memories of your own,

~Claire Brown
Triangle Town Center

Catalog Season

We all have memories from childhood of holiday catalogs. Sitting and dog-earring pages, circling our carefully selected future gifts and hoping for the best after we turned it over to our parents, and maybe written a letter to Santa detailing our goodness over the past year.

This article in Jewelers Circular Keystone (or JCK as it’s known around these parts) goes into the methods behind the production madness of a holiday catalog. If you didn’t click the link, I’ll sum it up for you. Basically, a catalog is a great way for Fink’s to get in front of our customers while defining our brand, highlighting our key vendor collections and showing what we’re made of. Each of our buyers works with our vendor partners to choose merchandise that is relevant and of the latest style. In addition, Fink’s always tries to show pieces that you’ll only find here, like our Fink’s diamonds.

The Fink’s Jewelers holiday catalog is the biggest marketing project of the year. Our in-house ad agency, Marc Advertising is responsible for almost all aspects of the catalog. The process starts around June and doesn’t end until all 250,000 catalogs have been delivered to customer’s homes and are displayed in our stores in November.

There are two main aspects to the catalog: Prep and Production. Prep includes choosing the merchandise to feature, laying out pages, choosing a photographer, model and location and some color correcting and touching up photos where needed. Production is basically the execution of everything involved in prep. More details and a view of the catalog from a store’s perspective coming soon!