While the stresses of the pandemic have been slowly diminishing as of late, many people in the jewelry industry are taking the time, not only to rebuild, but build higher than ever before. One such business is Scottsdale, Arizona's Oliver Smith Jewelry, whose founder, Oliver Smith, sat down with JCK to talk about the newest Cairn collection and more.
When asked about how he comes across his clientele, Smith said, "They are not traveling internationally yet, so all that money [that they would have spent on travel] is going to buy things they have put off buying for the last 5 to 10 years. Color is making a comeback from the ’80s. People don’t want to buy more diamonds, don’t want to be too showy. We sell fine quality and that’s become more recognizable by our clients; that’s why good jewelers last for many generations. Always take the high road—eventually your clientele will appreciate your integrity and refer people, and you’ll continue to grow."
"My staff has gotten stronger through the pandemic," said Smith when asked about how he manages to stay on top of both his store as well as the new collection. "We were able to find some key employees who were not happy at their previous jobs. This has allowed me to focus on some new designs and collections. My focus is now more on inventory. I’m on the floor every day now tweaking pieces that haven’t moved. Example: I’ll take a pair of earrings and make them into a ring and a pendant.
"Buying for our Prism collection [of fancy colored sapphire jewelry] takes time. Sourcing fancy colored sapphires overseas from my desk has its challenges. Importing, wire transfers, WhatsApp, and trust in sourcing partners have never been more important."
"Over the past 10 years we’ve been buying estate jewelry that we would tear apart because it’s not selling," said Smith when asked about the new Cairn collection. "The odd-shape diamonds were starting to pile up on my desk. I was at Rincon Point [Calif.] one day watching a guy stack rock cairns [human-made stacks, mounds, or piles of rocks] on the beach. It was really cool. I had followed rock cairns for years on my hiking trips, but this was the first time I thought to bring the design into jewelry. Many of the pieces in the collection are unique because the stones are all unique cuts. People started to buy the pieces up, so I expanded it into a collection. "
Information originally sourced from JCK.