While the pandemic has surely been hard on many within the jewelry industry, thankfully many have begun to rebuild. In an interview with JCK, Ben Bridge CEO Lisa Bridge discusses her strategies during the pandemic for her business and more.
"Having the perspective of more than 100 years helped us weather this challenge, recognizing that we had weathered challenges in the past and that we have wonderful values to draw from," said Bridge when asked about her experience as the fifth-generation CEO of the company and how it helped it through the pandemic. "I had support from my father and my uncle and my grandfather, who were here to provide a sounding board, and a team of incredible people who have knowledge and experience and a passion for this business. It was a lot to navigate in each different market, but we closely followed the CDC recommendations and were clear all the way through that people’s health and safety were the number one priority."
When asked about the positioning of her stores as well as safety guidelines during Covid, Bridge said, "That definitely took some rethinking. We had redesigned our stores a few years ago to open them up so traffic could flow through. It took a bit of reorganization to think about how to control the flow—and I could never have anticipated having to ask people to wait to enter the store. Thankfully, our customers were understanding, because they saw how we were caring for each person who walked in the door. Many of our long-term customers were calling our associates to see how they were doing, which speaks to the kind of relationships we have. We were lucky that customers were ready to continue celebrating the important moments in their lives [with jewelry]. The industry fared quite well, once we were able to get open again, [because] jewelry is deeply meaningful and incredibly lasting. That’s what people were looking for during this time."
"My favorite projects to tackle use both sides of the brain, the creative and the analytical, and I think both are needed as a designer and a CEO," said Bridge about how both her roles as CEO of Ben Bridge and a fine jewelry designer work together to push the business forward. "With jewelry design, I’ve always wanted to create pieces that people will want to wear. I looked at my friends who were wearing jewelry that wasn’t necessarily real. They didn’t know that they could own and wear precious metals and genuine gemstones every day. I didn’t see anything in the marketplace that struck the right chord, so I created it. [With] the CEO hat, I see our company as a creative venture as much as looking at spreadsheets and doing analytics. You have to have a vision and also know how to make it work."
Information originally sourced from JCK.