Friday, February 27, 2009

Back away from the cruise ship jewelry counter and no one gets hurt.

I can’t begin to tell you how much jewelry (I use the term loosely here) that we’ve had to repair from such cruise ships.

The number of my customer’s that say things like, “The cruise ship recommended we go to this jewelry store.” Or “We purchased it on the cruise ship for a great price.”

I’m beginning to think that cruise ships are nothing but floating jewelry stores. The quality of jewelry is always substandard. That is why I see so much of it. We don’t carry this type of substandard jewelry I want to be able to look you in the face after you make a jewelry purchase, and I don’t have the ability to sail off into the sunset.

It’s funny while we are out in the middle of the ocean our common sense goes on vacation as well, only to be put back into commission when we arrive home. My customer’s quickly run to see me to let me know they've dropped anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars at the counter of the cruise ship. It’s a cautionary tale my friends. My customers are always surprised that their floating bargain isn’t such a bargain. If it seems too good to be true IT IS!!

Here are a few photos of actual cruise ship jewelry:

This is a tennis bracelet that is extremely rough. My customer wants me to fix it. There is nothing to fix it's just poorly made too light weight and industrial quality stones.


My advice is purchase jewelry from your local jeweler. You wouldn't accept substandard from us why would you accept substandard just because you're on vacation?


Stones are already coming out of this bracelet, purchased on board.

How nice the cruise ships don't have to deal with all the repair. This jewelry isn't a bargain it's just bad.

Rhonda Irizarry

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's Spring let's Add color

It's spring, introduce some color into your wardrobe. We tend to be very cautious of color in general. I often hear my customer say that they, don't wear blue, or yellow.. or whatever the given color is.

Open your mind to new possibilities . For example take this beautiful turquoise necklace. It can be worn with more colors than you think.

This particular piece is from the Lorenzo line it's beautiful Sterling silver and 18-karat yellow gold.

The turquoise is called, Sleeping Beauty blue.. it's fabulous, my photo doesn't do it justice
There is such depth to the stone.

We just happen to have great matching earrings.
They dangle for just that wonderful bit of moment.

I had to try it on and give you an example of the colors you can pair it with.. I know, how hard.. but hey someone had to do it.. You have to admit it looks good against the green. It would look good with white, black, blue, imagine how great it would look with brown. So, invest in some color it's good for the soul. And it perks up your wardrobe with more versatility
than you might think.

Rhonda Irizarry

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Branded or Unbranded

Seems the thing to do is to brand yourself these days. Oh yeah, go with the big players, those with great name recognition. They have "proven" track records.. etc, etc.. Let's face it, we've heard all that. I'm not saying that isn't needed or wanted, but to a degree.

I personally want people to recognize the name, Countryman's Village Jewelers and have it mean a jewelery store with unique and wonderful jewelry with honest pricing and integrity. That is my goal.

But what about all this branding of jewelry lines? Which many of the big box stores find important.

Many of the companies we carry are smaller, innovative designers that are under the radar as far as name recognition, and I think that is a good thing for you. The quality, of the designs are stylish and the workmanship, innovative and current.

These smaller artisans are more accessible, often we know the designer. This creates a good relationship, and a designer that knows what is desired. For you this means you get all the style without having to pay for the big ego.

Also we at Countryman's design jewelery, it can be a very rewarding experience to purchase a piece that is locally made, often it's one of a kind, or made in limited editions. You're supporting a local artist and that helps the circle of keeping the money in our community.

So I say, keep an open mind looking for that perfect wedding set, don't be name driven but rather look for the design the quality, workmanship and the jewelry store that will actually meet your needs now and in the future.

(designed by Marie Countryman)