November 2008


happy-holidays-webcopyThe news is in:

Even though prognosticators are calling for a slow shopping season, people are heading out early to find deals in malls and shopping centers.

But, as if you didn’t already know, you can find all those deals without leaving your chair. If you’re looking for unique, high-quality, handcrafted gifts–whether they be rings, bracelets, charm bracelets or personalized engraved crystal–you can always find what you’re looking for at John Christian.

Happy Holidays from all of us!

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The families of John Christian and Carved Creations wish you a safe and festive holiday season.

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For combined helpfulness and coolness, it’s hard to beat Apartment Therapy. They have such a great eye for decor and style, and they’re always cognizant of price. It was a real thrill, then, to see their posting on jewelry display.

Here’s one of the examples, from a “cool and kitschy” apartment in Austin:

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And here’s one that uses ice trays!

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See? You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to have a nice (and convenient) place to store your rings, pendants, cuff links and bracelets.

brassemheadshotJan Brassem–founder of Eclipse Global Consulting LLC, a firm that assists jewelry retailers’ expansion into foreign markets–wrote a nice article on Platanium®, the metal allow developed by and available exclusively from John Christian and Carved Creations.

Mr. Brassem praises the innovative allow, claiming that it “could, to some degree, take the place of foreign gold and/or silver.” He also praises the initiative: “I hope other firms take a chance and launch innovative jewelry products too.”

For the full article from 10X, click here.

For a list of John Christian’s Platanium® products, click here.

Here we are, a little more than a week away from Black Friday and you’re scrambling to figure out where to spend your money (or lack of money) on holiday gifts. With newspapers and magazines encouraging consumers to (a) make gifts, (b) consolidate gift-giving and (c) skipping Christmas entirely, it’s hard to get psyched up for any kind of shopping at all.

If you want my advice, don’t skip Christmas. It only comes once a year, and you don’t want the moment to pass you by. Also, don’t make your gifts. It sounds like a great idea, but once you break out the glue, construction paper, cotton balls and such, you’re looking at a huge mess and a waste of six hours.

Rather, I would say, go with a “less is more” approach. Instead of buying a lot of inexpensive (or, gulp, expensive) things for your loved one, why not get them one special gift to commemorate the season and the end of a long year. Yes, you can get something special without breaking the bank. Here are a few ideas from the jewelers at John Christian:

For under $100, you can get a Personalized Engraved Crystal Diamond, Emerald or Heart.

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Choose from their 4″ diameter Crystal Diamond cut exactly like a real diamond, their 4″ wide Crystal Emerald or the 3.5″ Crystal Heart–each are spectacularly beautiful heirlooms, engraved with your name, date, family crest or corporate logo.

For $165 you can find one of their monogram sterling silver key rings, featuring a cool, classic design:

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The way it works is, one of the little balls unscrews to allow you to insert your keys. The hook shape allows it to hang easily over your finger. Meanwhile, the Sterling Silver tag can be engraved to have your monogram in Somerset (script) or Sutton (block) letter styles.

Also under $100 is John Christian’s Crystal Bud Vase, which can be engraved with names, dates, family crests or even corporate logos.

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This year, $100 may seem like a high-ticket item. But, keep in mind that it’s often one gift people remember during the holidays. Make sure your one gift counts!

For many people who own (or manage) companies, this is a difficult time. If you’re not laying off employees, you’re having to convince them that their jobs are secure. As sales come and go–like during October’s pitiful retail showing–business owners have their own serious concerns about how long and deep this economic crisis will last.

So, it can be tough right now to remove the blinders and take a look around the office. Are employees happy? Are they motivated? Do they feel appreciated? Your business may be struggling to hold on to good people during these tough times, and you don’t want to give your top performers any reason to jump ship. Especially not now.

Two major things any company should do are:

1. Recognize employee successes

2. Give regular awards

Everyone loves a bonus here and there, but there’s nothing like having a nice plaque or trophy to hang in your office to show clients and other employees that you are indeed recognized by your company for your achievements.

John Christian offers several options for companies to offer branded, keepsake gifts, all of them crafted and engraved in beautiful crystal. Here are a few:

Personalized Engraved Crystal Box

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An ideal gift way to reward top performers, these crystal boxes are perfect for keeping jewelry, special coins, or just about anything. Light is brilliantly reflected through beautiful crystal.

Personalized Engraved Crystal Bowl

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Another amazing design, deep and clear, that would look perfect on an office desk or bookshelf.

Personalized Engraved Crystal Decanter

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This might not be the best employee recognition award–unless you’re a liquor distributor or single malt scotch distillery–but it’s an excellent birthday present for the CEO of a company.

And John Christian couldn’t make the process easier. Simply email an image of your logo to their Design Team, and they will create an artful rendering, which will be sent to you for approval prior to production.

personalizedringOuch. Yesterday, the Associated Press ran a story that was not a surprise to those of us in the jewelry business: Sales are down, and the holiday season is not looking so shiny.

According to the article, demand for rings, pendants and bracelets has declined due to high food and energy costs. Also interesting is the fact that everyone is cutting back, even wealthy customers, which is creating real chaos in the economy.

Standard & Poor’s Marie Driscoll said, “People that shop luxury, who demand a certain brand, they just don’t trade down… They simply do without until they feel comfortable to purchase again. Women who wear Prada and Chanel shoes — I don’t see them trading down to Cole Haan, even though it’s a great brand.”

I disagree. In my experience, big-ticket purchasers always always love a little bargain. Take your typical David Yurman customer. Is she going to wear that $1,350 Garnet & Ruby Square Ring to the grocery store? Probably not. But I guarantee that if she walks into a store and finds some $20 knockoffs, she’ll buy 10 in every color and wear them all the time.

Which brings me to Carved Creations. Simple, elegant, stylish, these are the kinds of rings that really make a statement without being too loud or blaring or garish. Each of Carved Creation’s Roman Numeral rings, Mother’s Rings, bold pendants and the rest deliver personalized jewelry at its finest–but at about a third of the cost.

Time will tell just how far jewlery sales will drop. The shopping period that kicks off after Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and then we’ll see where the chips fall.

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