How I am remembering Betty White at 101

“Does desire melt away with age? I’m waiting for that day to come.” Celebrating what would have been Betty White’s 101st birthday on January 17 by starting off with a quote of hers. Before the new year, a year had passed since Betty White left this life. She was a part of so much entertainment history it was hard not to feel a sense of loss at the news when it happened. I loved her most in the Golden Girls series but as years went on I loved her attitude about life.

Instead of immediately looking back at her death I wanted to remember her at a happier time like her birthday and go over how I came to find a piece that will be a good reminder of her moving forward.

It began with hearing about Betty’s items being auctioned in September, I wanted to think about what piece I would like to own to remember her.

Julien’s Auction did a wonderful job with the catalog. It was a massive 3 book set that I treated myself to. In it, it showed the pieces for auction but also how Betty last displayed them in her house. Items like art, sea glass and seashells caught my eye.

Betty White Needle Work
Needle work displayed in Betty White’s home
Photos of Sea glass and Seashells displayed in Betty White’s home

The jewelry came later, several pieces caught my eye like Betty’s wedding ring to her second husband Allen Ludden.

I really liked a sapphire ring that came with several photographs of Betty wearing it throughout her life. The ring was by Erwin Pearl and sold for $10,240, far above the estimate of $600-$800.

Erwin Pearl ring with Sapphires and diamonds owned by Betty White
Betty White wearing Erwin Pearl ring with husband Allen Ludden

As you could guess I was not going to attempt to bid on this auction, I have for others but haven’t won one yet, maybe that will change in 2023! I noticed several pieces by Erwin Pearl were in Betty’s collection, so I started looking into seeing if the company was still in operation. I found it was still selling pieces and I decided to find one to remember Betty by.

I looked through several categories and saw a pair of clip earrings that mimicked shell pieces. They were modeled after some pieces the designer found on his beach combing walks. Betty and her husband were mentioned as also enjoying walks on the beach picking up seashells and sea glass, a favorite hobby of mine too! So, I purchased them.

Earrings I purchased from Erwin Pearl

These earrings had a beautiful phrase etched on the back that I found fitting as a tribute to Betty. Engraved at the bottom it says ‘Treasure Life’ . In Betty’s photos and in her time on earth she seemed so grateful for everything she had regardless of how much time she had with her experiences and loved ones.

Engraving ‘Treasure Life’ near bottom of my earrings

I plan on trying to improve my outlook and work towards bettering my experiences. I had a lot of changes in my life last year as many of you reading have probably experienced too. I thank all of you for reading my blog I continue to think of ways to improve my content and reach to better the experience for those online. Please return soon to read more on my 2023 plans!

I will leave you with one more photo of Betty and her true loving enjoying life!

Tiaras: A Returning Trend?

Is the tiara making a comeback?

Another way to look at tiaras is to ask when did they go out of fashion? What is the history of the tiaras comeback? I just finished a short book titled, Tiaras: Past and Present by Geoffrey Munn, the book was published in 2002, making the present part of the book less up to date. This is a great start to the history of tiaras.


The reason I am looking at the trends for tiaras is due to a magazine I subscribe to. I mentioned in my August post that fall magazines were something I looked forward to in starting the season off. So imagine my delight when I saw the cover of my W Magazine over the weekend.


The cover model and singer Rihanna is wearing an amazing set of jewelry, one of those items that happens to be a tiara! For a moment I thought it was costume jewelry but quickly flipping to the details of the items, the jewels including the tiara are by Cartier! I went on the W Magazine’s Instagram site to get more photos of that tiara.


So how do you try and see the beginning of a trend? You need to start by looking at past patterns, the same as fashion, trends get recycled.

Beginning of the tiara

Tiaras originated from the Greeks but it was not until Alexander the Great reached a gold mine in Northern Kazakstan in 331 B.C. that tiaras were created into more fine works of art. Tiaras were enjoyed by the privileged and turned into ways to express great wishes for brides to be.  I have mentioned some tiaras in past posts as being wedding gifts. The first declined happened due to the spread of Christianity and the fall of the Roman Empire. The outward need to show allegiance to a new way of thought and put away the ways of the past created this lapse in having the tiara as acceptable fashion.


So what created a revival of the tiara? Napoleon. When Napoleon became the Emperor of France in the 18th century he needed to have symbols that created his own identity. He was inspired by the Roman Empire and adopted tiaras and diadems to create his own style.  See the painting featuring the garland crown below. This looks very similar to the garlands worn in ancient times. Josephine, the Empress of France had her own tiaras created to show her rank and position. Below is an emerald and diamond tiara created for the French Jewels in 1820.





I think the next wan in the tiara trend was around the first World War (1914-18). The Russian Royal family was executed in 1918 and those remaining with connections to the Czar and his family fled Russia and selling what jewels they came with to pay for their new home. I cover that period in this book review. In America income tax was implemented which changed how the wealthy operated after that.

The book mentioned hope in the coming jubilee of Queen Elizabeth’s to bring back a tiara revival. It has been 13 years since the anniversary of the Queen’s 50-year reign. I don’t recall a major shift in the tiara trend.

Spotting Trends

Do you see a trend towards wearing tiaras? W Magazine has 2 Ads that showed tiaras, one was for Miu Miu  and the other, Ermanno Scervino (below).



In an ad put out by W Magazine to increase awareness of their updated site, a familiar face and ironic tagline graces the page.


The mention of this not being a comeback near a photo of Lindsay Lohan is somewhat mismatched. Lindsay has tried to reclaim her acting crown or tiara, in this case, but has not seen the glory days of her career. This photo is a dated one, not a recent one (from the looks of it) but choosing her with a tiara makes for a case on the trend the tiara might see or W Magazine foresees. I hope it comes back in more settings than just weddings! I would love to hear your thoughts! Do you have a tiara (costume or real)? Have you worn it and where? I would like the tiaras that convert to a bracelet or necklace. I hope you enjoyed this article.  Please return for more on the trends in the jewelry industry!


For Retailers: Three Ways the Year of the Monkey can become the Year of the Millennial


For many ringing in a New Year starts on January 1st. For those that are interested in Asian culture or follow the Chinese calendar, the Chinese New Year (the Year of the Monkey) starts this week. So my question for retailers, have you made any business resolutions? If you have put your plans for the New Year in action then great! What is your plan for reaching millennials? You need to have a separate strategy for the different demographics that you hope to interact with in your store and online. Millennials and how to reach them are a common focus in the news and though out the retail industry. So how can you improve your message to refocus Millennials on your store and product? I have three suggestions broken into the store and online experience. Whether you have a presence in both or one you hopefully will get some ideas from my insights.


  1. Transparency: This word references many aspects of a business but my focus in this article is transparency on the price. Keeping a price secret or worse thinking that telling the potential customer to contact you for the price can end up wasting both your time and theirs.

Store: Have some of your window displays list the price or give a range. Millennial shoppers like to research and price compare, it is not a fact retailers always like but this is how it is. Jewelry is still an emotional purchase but with a little more thought than what previous generations used. An example of displaying prices is below from a jewelry store I visited in Boston.


Online: For social media the call to DM (Direct message) works for people familiar with your brand or have a personal relationship with you. For new comers to your brand or new to buying jewelry it is daunting to write if you do not want to buy right away and are just seeing what is out there. A price range would be a good start or mention where prices start in a certain category. For example, you Instagram a ring and mention that you can DM about a price and prices start at (amount). In addition, if your website has a gallery of photos but no price listed give a range or list the price for at least the low to mid-priced items. You do not need to sell everything shown online but again it helps Millennials research and become introduced to your brand. David Webb’s online site displays prices for some of their pieces even though they are not for sale online. Example pictured below:



  1. Informative: listed a report on, ‘Content Best Practices among Millennials’, I think the findings can be applied for online and in stores. Only putting out the message of ‘buy from me’ will not build that relationship necessary to sustain your business.


Online: Keep the message short, informative and shareable. On social media, you need to put out material that tells your story and how your product can be a part of your customer’s lifestyle. Show different skin tones wearing your product. Style your product for your audience, show your jewelry worn with jeans so your audience sees them in action rather than just telling the audience your necklace can go with a little black dress or blue jeans.

Store: Organize your jewelry by designer if you have well distinct brands that you represent. For the in store displays, list the name of the designer and a little about them. You can also show the designer’s website or display an article, that the designer has a feature.

  1. Patience: The graphs from another report listed on below are to illustrate the income gap Millennials still face compared to other groups.


For both online and store: Millennials are becoming the major consumer group but we are still not in the salary range or as out of debt as we hope to be. Each purchase even a small amount is a huge investment and value is a factor in buying jewelry not just ‘is it pretty’. Patience from retailers is necessary for open lines of communication with price sensitive Millennials. The world of retail, especially for jewelry is changing and it is better to start and adapt than try catch up later. I would love to get thoughts and opinions about your experience with the industry, please comment below.

Have a Happy Chinese New Year! I look forward to many more posts and discussions on this site! Please visit again soon and sign up for my email to keep up to date with new posts!


Faberge A Life of Its Own- A look at the history, the art and the business

When you think of the name Faberge, what image comes to mind? An imperial egg created for the Russian Royal family is a common image brought to mind when mentioning this famous jewelry house. The first images in the movie, Faberge: A Life of Its Own, took the viewer to an abandoned and run down house near Saint Petersburg. There were no diamonds, enamel or gold to view as the viewer got to understand the real meaning and splendor of Faberge.

The house belonged to the Faberge family. The family fled going abroad during the Revolution that overturned the Russian Royal family. The house was vandalized as those that stayed behind looked for anything of value to sell. Before the house was turned into a state of disarray, Faberge’s family enjoyed an almost fairytale existence, creating objects of art for wealthy families all over the world. There are several books to read to find out more of these stories of Faberge’s clients. This focus of this article is on the marketing that Faberge used and his personal beliefs in how to run his business that I feel get overlooked when recounting Faberge’s history.

Three areas of the jewelry business that put Faberge ahead of his time:

  1. Marketing~ One story from the film told how Peter Carl Faberge sold small objects that were reasonably priced so that it was affordable to a wider audience. The items were not low priced but by making smallercufflinks pieces, other people besides royalty, could afford these small luxuries. Another strategy was that these items could be bought in multiples for gifts. Faberge did not do the giving but instead had the clients endorse his product. The Tsarina entered Faberge’s shop and bought a single pair of cufflinks for her husband the Tsar. The gift went over so well and the price was reasonable that the Tsarina went back and bought more cufflinks as gifts. This opened the door to opportunities to create other small objects as gifts to foreign countries raising more awareness of the brand.
  2. Getting the basics perfect~ The small objects had just as much care over appearance and quality as the high end items commissioned for the Tsar. If these items were going out into the world no matter how small or who owned them they were in perfect condition. A testimony of this is due to the amount of Faberge items still   purchasedhenegg at auction or through second hand vendors that have withstood the test of time. The small object such as animals and flowers have an almost lifelike quality to them that is hard to find anywhere else. I believe that is one of the reasons Faberge for his first egg presented to the Tsar and Tsarina in 1885, created a simple gold chicken with two charms inside as a surprise and a clean, smooth, white shell egg to contain it. Getting the basics perfect is an art and Faberge had mastered it.
  3. Well managed employees~ Long before workers’ rights and fair wages, Faberge had created a system that Carl Fabergegave freedom to his employees and created a safe, pleasant work environment. Faberge housed all his workers in a large studio in St. Petersburg above the store. They had proper ventilation, light and an on-site doctor to care for them. The way Faberge set up his management system was that his managers were given the rights to put their mark alongside the house mark as a way to give credit to the team. The film looked at it as the manager running their own small business. The amount of workers under the same roof at one time was about 300, a large number for one person to manage so the work had to be delegated. Faberge knew that the workers needed to feel appreciated and have a sense of pride in their work, in order to maintain the quality needed for the thousands of items produced each year.

Faberge built a name that equaled the meaning of luxury and high quality. Another interesting fact the movie brought up was that the Faberge perfumes, shampoos and other consumer items had no ties to the original Faberge. It was a name decided on by two men discussing a marketing plan. A name with such recognition would be a great boost to getting it noticed. The Faberge family sued but won very little money from the case. An investment company bought the rights to the Faberge brand, which refocused it to return to fine jewelry and brought the Faberge family back into the business. However, had it not been for the original founder’s great skill in business and craftsmanship the comeback would have been more difficult.

Faberge has made a comeback, it has embraced this new age and managed to hold on to its traditions. Faberge is online and is selling some of its jewelry through this online platform. It also has 17 locations that sell their jewelry, 4 of which are Faberge boutiques. Faberge has hosted an Easter egg hunt for the past three years in locations like London and New York, with an app to track your progress and learn fun facts. It has also continued to make the imperial eggs it was famous for. This past spring a private collector bought the first imperial egg created since World War I. The movie had more views and explained that this was the first video viewing of the egg. Also an egg that was considered lost after the Revolution was recovered by someone in the Midwest that purchased the egg at a flea market. It was a great ending to the movie seeming both the old and new embrace by the House of Faberge. The movie had beautiful images of the jewelry, lots of history and also showed a promising future for this incredible brand.


Online store
Online store

Lost egg found at a recent flea market
Lost egg found at a recent flea market











Newest Faberge Egg
Newest Faberge Egg

Experiencing the World of Jewelry and Watchmaking as a student at L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels in NYC

lecoleL’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels has finished its two week program held in New York at the Cooper Hewitt Museum. I attended a two part class on Saturday June 6th entitled, Discover the Gemstones and Recognize the Gemstones. I have never taken any of the courses offered in Paris and was thrilled for the opportunity to experience this world, closer to my own. I’ll look at the people, the gems and the education on how to better understand gemstones.

The staff that greeted me, got me signed in quickly and directed to a room where I could get some early refreshments and start to talk with other students. These students were not all in fashion or jewelry design, I meet several that were hoping to break into these industries but the room have a variety of professions, from a lawyer practicing in New York to a Psychiatrist from Chicago, people were enrolled for the love of jewelry and desire to be a part of the world created by Van Cleef & Arpels. As you can imagine going to an event sponsored by this great jewelry house many of the students had some type of jewelry from this house whether it was the clover motif or a higher end piece both female students and teachers were representing Van Cleef & Arpels.

The class started out with the class giving an introduction about themselves and what they hoped to get out of the class. For many it was recognizing a quality stone and how to identify a fake gem. For the first part the class got to experience quality gemstones against a more flawed version of a similar stone. For example:


These are a type of garnet (hessonite, I believe was the name, the labels were in French so some names were easier to figure out than others), one is more flawed than the other. In this case it is the top gem, looking at it in the light you can see it is cloudy and lacks a brilliance that the more perfect garnet below possesses. Also by looking at it you can see the cut of the first is more inferior to the second, aiding to the lack of brilliance. Having the skills to tell some of the major points of quality stone are important if you are buying or trading in gems and are not in a position to magnify the gems for further inspection. The class did magnify the gems later but first we appreciated just looking at these gems. We were given sapphires, tourmaline, and amethysts among other equally beautiful gems to inspect.

We were also exposed to the rough in which the gems are mined from. Some examples are below:


left to right: (l)Columbine emerald in black lip shell, (m) malachite rough, (r) Ethiopian Opal Geo
left to right: (l)Columbine emerald in black lip shell, (m) malachite rough, (r) Ethiopian Opal Geo

Other pieces of opal geo
other pieces of Ethiopian Opal Geo

I think looking at the rough was my favorite part of the morning. The second half had us looking at how to differentiate between a synthetic and natural stone.


Certain flaws are necessary for the whole. It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks.  ~Goethe (German Author)


Substitute ‘old friends’ for gemstones and you will get an idea of how the second class of Recognize the Gemstones was conducted. Not all flaws are bad, in the case of gemstones some cannot be avoided if you want to use a particular stone. Emeralds have inclusions/fractures that in many cases can be seen as a way to show they are indeed genuine and can be used as a unique way to identify your stone, these flaws can be almost like fingerprints to the owner. For this class we were in groups of four to identify four gemstones in a similar color group, red, blue, or green were the classification for your stones. I looked at the red stones, which could range from a garnet to a ruby. The only hints were of the 4 stones: 1 was a precious stone, 2 were fine (semi-precious stones) and 1 was synthetic.

There are 3 terms used in the class for stones. The first, Precious, the traditional meaning is used for this term it refers to the hardest stones, Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald. The second, Fine, the instructor insisted on using this term as it is called in the jewelry industry, semi-precious is not an accurate term. These stones are softer and consist of stones such as amethyst and tourmaline. While many might see stones in this category as cheaper with the prices for quality stones increasing the prices for a good quality tourmaline or spinel (another stone in this category) is by no means inexpensive therefore labeling these stones as semi-precious is not accurate of their value. Third term is Ornamental, these are the softest stones like Amber.

So the 4 of us started with a packet outlining steps to take in making our decision, look at the color, cut, visible flaws and internal flaws. We did light tests and density measurements to help get us closer to identifying the stones. The class provided charts to narrow our results. All of the groups correctly identified the stones. The synthetic stone in our group was a ruby which had no flaws but did not measure up to the other tests to see if it had the properties of a real ruby. You need to do your research when you get ‘flawless’ stones.

The instructors were helpful and with it being a small class of 12 students everyone had an opportunity to ask questions and get extra tips on working with the gemstones and tools. At the end of each class each was given a certificate commemorating our completion of the course. The instructors had taught in Paris as well as Hong Kong when Van Cleef & Arpels went there last year. It was a great experience that I hope to do again. I asked several instructors about returning to New York, there was no definite answer but with classes being held in Hong Kong again it looks like the odds of the school return to New York our leaning in that direction. If you’d like to learn more about different events involved with jewelry or see more photos from this event please like the Data in the Rough Facebook page and follow for updates!

Iris: A look at the Lessons given in Iris Apfel Documentary

I didn’t give a damn about going to the party or being at the party, it was getting dressed for the party.~ Iris Apel

In the new documentary Iris by the late Albert Maysles, Iris’s blunt and honest statement summed up her philosophy on life and her fashion sense. Life is the journey not the destination.

Iris was told from an early age that she wasn’t very pretty. A comment that would drive many woman to seek alternative methods to achieve ideal beauty, but not Iris.

For women lining up to see this fascinating documentary, the take away is not dress differently to be fashionable but dress for you. If it looks good and feels good that should be the start of finding your look.

There were some tips Iris gives throughout her time in the spotlight in this documentary that are listed below to help  guide your fashion journey.Iris_bustle

1. Look in all venues for undiscovered items. Iris took the viewer on trips to Harlem in New York. This was not seen as a high fashion area but for Iris the colors and styles created some interesting style options. Iris also traveled all over the world going to bazaars. Looking at small boutiques and flea markets can lead to fun experiences and unique accessories.
2. For clothes pick quality pieces in a size you will fit in long after the style fades. Iris has seen styles fade and be revived decades later so having your clothes in material that will last to the next recycled trend makes investing in a pricier piece seem more as a value. Also Iris mentioned that staying around her same size helped her keep and reuse her clothes, another good benefit of being fit.
3. Don’t pay full price for an item. Iris told a story about her trips abroad and haggling for better deals on her treasures. She told of someone who paid the first price quoted by the merchant selling the item, instead of being happy about the sale the merchant was sad. When he was asked why so sad after the sale he replied to the effect, ‘if I knew he was going to pay the first price I asked, I would have asked for more.’ In some cultures Iris informed the viewer it is insulting to not ask for a better price. A thought when you feel less than sure about haggling when out shopping in an environment that allows it. Iris’s thoughts on not paying full price are also attributed to living through the depression and stretching your money.
4. Have a variety of interests, besides fashion. Another aspect of Iris’s life to look at is that she had a job as an interior designer, not just being a socialite. Iris worked with her husband in creating beautiful designs to adorn walls, furniture and other interior decorations.

iris_bg_window iris_bg_window_2 Iris_hsn

I think her work outside of fashion is one of the many novel and interesting facts that make her the fascinating and rare bird that she is. Fashion she claims is an important part of her life but it was only about her feeling good, not to gain attention. This documentary looking at her work with museums, designing windows at Bergdorf Goodman, and selling her own jewelry line on the Home Shopping Network shows how being yourself can bring these opportunities but looking closer you witness someone whom even without this fame has lived a happy and exciting life something many of us can appreciate.


Hollywood Glamour visits Beantown: A look at Fred Leighton’s jewels on display at Dorfman Jewelers

These gems have life in them: their colors speak, say what words fail of. ~George Eliot

The jewelry on display spoke volumes of the beauty, fun and extravagance that comes with donning these phenomenal works of art. The display of jewelry was cased in glass on a stand that also had a picture of the celebrity wearing the piece and a marker of where the event was at that the celebrity wore the item. The CEO of Fred Leighton, Greg Kwait was there for the event. The event held on April 14, 2015 drew in a number of socialites who either knew of the brand or were there in support of the newly renovated Dorfman Jewelers in Boston. Dorfman has host several jewelers for different showcasing of gems from Graff Diamonds to Alexandra Mor. This event is one in which the items on display are not for trying on but are hopefully going to drive consumers to buy the jewelry that Dorman carries of Fred Leighton since the reopening. The jewelry was left on display for the public to view from April 15-21, 2015.

Pictures of the event are below. For more information please read the interview with Greg Kwait and the Boston Globe’s coverage on the event.

Attends of An Evening of Hollywood Glamour admire Fred Leighton Collection, on display to public from April 15-21, 2015

Picture of star wearing jewelry on display
Picture of star wearing jewelry on display

Greg Kwait, Fred Leighton CEO on the right attends event held on April 14th, 2015
Greg Kwait, Fred Leighton CEO on the right attends event held on April 14th, 2015

Emerald Earrings displayed at event on left, picture of celebrity wearing them (Gisele Bundchen) on right.



















The Magic of Movies Part 2: Product Placement in Movies and the Impact on the Consumer

The last post looked at items inspired by a movie, another way movies can have an effect on retailers is by making movies a way for consumers to window shop. There are plenty of examples of how certain retailers handled the interest in their product featured in a movie. I have photos from items that were featured in a film. You can try and guess the film then scroll down for the answer.


Movie products 1: Hint these were featured in films from the 80’s

In the last post I looked at how the movies Disney creates can be used to help inspire a smaller business in its relationship with a product. Disney creates movies keeping in mind the revenue it can get from the merchandise. A topic for the sites mention the short Frozen Fever that was shown before Cinderella are the dresses that Anna and Elsa wear that little girls will be looking to own. For movies that aren’t animated the line between long infomercial and true product placement that works with the movie can be a challenge. Capitalizing on this also requires some organization. A few examples below will look at the best and the worst  companies for their ability to capitalize on their product promoted in a movie.


So first movie if you didn’t already guess on the left is E.T. Hershey’s saw major boost in profits about 65%, as well as major brand recognition.

Second, Risky business these shades by Ray-Ban are not only used in the film but also on the poster. Annual sales of this style were 18,000 pairs after the year this movie is released 360,000 pairs were sold. Added trivia these shades are the same that Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Third Back to the Future, another popular movie with an item it seems needed to wait until the future to be bought. Nike failed on this product placement strategy they only created 1,000 pairs to sell. I’m sure there were many people wanted to be rockin the Marty McFly look. The people in charge should have had better forecasting for that product.

What about jewelry though? It’s much cheaper to buy a bag of Reese’s Pieces than buy the necklace from a recently released movie like Focus starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie. Piaget not only had the necklace below featured but watches were worn by the actors and a major event in the movie is sponsored by Piaget so there name is visible. For larger retailers there is a bit of an advantage but smaller designers can have some luck as well.


The highly anticipated and watch movie know for what wasn’t on the actors had the surprise it piece of jewelry that was mentioned in a previous JCK article. Seattle based brand Veronica & Harold got a major surprise and rush in orders when designer Lisa Richardt saw her necklace on Dakota Johnson. A helpful site to view this and other related pieces is The Take.


This start-up featured in an article by Wired Magazine, can be accessed from your computer or on an iPhone. The concept is to let you locate an item in the company’s expanding database and buy that exact item or a similar item as seen in the example above for a different price point. If you see a movie that has a star wearing your item or a similar one, trying to submit it on the take would be one new media to use to get expose to that piece. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below or follow me on Facebook for more updates from Data in the Rough!

The Magic of Movies Part I: Incorporating Retailers Best Practices in Engaging Public Fantasy

‘Movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives in the realm of entertainment towards the ideals and objectives of normal adulthood.’ – Walt Disney

Movies can and should inspire the audience to look at life differently. Most can relate to seeing a movie as a child and taking the characters and stories with you. You dreamed… You imagined…You felt good.

The Movie Industry has had a long relationship with the Jewelry Industry. Getting jewelry on a celebrity is a big plus to marketing and branding that company. As a retailer there are other ways to have Hollywood be an inspiration to your business. The Walt Disney live action film Cinderella has hit the silver screen and everywhere from New York to the Home Shopping Network is trying to recreate some magic for their customers to help bring in some magical sales. On my trip to NYC I came across some retailers inspired by Cinderella and will look at ways that you might adapt your venue for future movie inspired opportunities.

Inspiration 1: Disney Store Display: Organize your pieces in one area.

Cinderella Display, Disney Store NYC


Cinderella glass slipper, Disney Store NYC


Looking at the Disney store from the outside it may feel like the experience could be overwhelming with all the characters, music and videos playing but it is organized so what you’re looking for can be found easily. The stores two main attractions Cinderella and Frozen are upfront and each have their own display area. Keeping your related products in one labeled area will be much better for the customer experience than having items scattered about hoping the customer will be intrigued to look around.

Inspiration 2: Saks Fifth Avenue: Keep the item concepts simple but make the display play to the fantasy world that they are a part of.

Usually Store windows, especially jewelry stores are crowded with merchandise. You pause for a moment to look but it can be overwhelming and you walk away thinking, ‘Where would I wear that?’ Not this display at Saks….

Cinderella Display, Saks Fifth Avenue, NYC

Cinderella Display, Saks Fifth Avenue, NYC; Glass Slipper

Cinderella Display, Saks Fifth Avenue, NYC; Fairy Godmother Costume

I watched the crowd gaze at the dresses from the movie and imagine the fantasy that they belong to. Now Saks knows that most won’t want to purchase Cinderella’s or the Fairy Godmother’s dress but in the windows next to it designer shoes were displayed keeping with the theme on a swing (it’s a part in the movie). There were only 3 in a window with the designer labeled on the glass window so once inside you could at least get closer to choosing your own glass slipper.

Cinderella Display, Saks Fifth Avenue, NYC; Designer Shoe display

Cinderella Display, Saks Fifth Avenue, NYC; Designer Shoe display










Inspiration 3: Heidi Daus Online: Be inspired to create your own version of magic

Merchandise inspired by movies is common but commercializing on it sooner rather than later is key to benefiting from the trend. Following Heidi Daus Facebook page she did not wait until the movie came out to introduce her collection she started showing bits and pieces to lead up to her launch on the Home Shopping Network of her gorgeous creations. The jewelry is not used in the movie but the artistic flare and personal interpretation of jewelry for Cinderella makes it feel like a more grown up option to still enjoy the magic of this new take on the classic.

Heidi Daus Facebook post

Heidi Daus Facebook post, Group photo












I hope you enjoyed the photos and were inspired by some of the comments. This is a two part series that will conclude with a look at product placement and branding for items in different movies, why some succeed in creating buzz and sales and others fall short of expectations.


How to Adjust Your in Store Experience as an Assist

I frequently go on Facebook to keep up with what my friends are doing, as many people do. I also go on to see what jewelery stores and designers are up to. Several weeks ago I went online and saw this message and photo from Chopard.

The message reads:

Take a break from the cold, and stop by Chopard New York to try on this stunning hybrid of Tanzanite and Tourmaline ring.












It’s a beautiful looking ring and when I went to New York last week I couldn’t help but take Chopard up on their offer. I really wanted a photo of my own but at the time I wasn’t allowed to take a photo of the ring. The ring was stunning in person with flashes of lavender in the tanzanite to complement the red in the Tourmaline. The pave work on the sides of the stone and throughout the design made it worth the effort of going in. The people working in the store were nice enough to point out the details and gave me a few look books to take back (at my request). The experience was pleasant but I couldn’t help but feel they were missing an opportunity to sell me on another type of product. The ring is out of my price range but there are other items that could fit my budget and lifestyle. Out of curiosity I checked out their site, Chopard has accessories ranging from perfume to eyewear, items that are more in line with aspirational shoppers. A shopper who hopes to buy the higher priced brand items but starts with more minor accessories that fit into their lifestyle and budget. I wasn’t shown or even asked about my interest in one of those products.

So I wanted to include some ideas for your store or show to help make your interactions more meaningful to a potential customer that could buy from you at a later time and at a different channel, by pointing out ways Chopard could have improved on their interaction with me.

  1. Touch on the different price points and merchandise – The ring wasn’t for me but I am in the market of smaller items. I’m in the store, so mentioning new collections that are in a more realistic price range and work with my lifestyle seems like a good next step in interacting with a customer.
  2. Talk about your online presence- I didn’t see a display for the smaller accessories and perfume but with a few perfume samples the employees could have made me more familiar with their online store
  3. Encourage the customer to try your item on and share it on social media – If the workers had been ok with my photo taking I was planning to post it back on their site, sharing with their Facebook fans the wonderful experience I had.

With more sales happening online adjusting your face to face interactions with a customer can bridge the gap between the in store and online experience. These ideas may not lead to an immediate sale but they keep your name out there, as you work towards reaching more people that will buy and enjoy your product!