It's that time of year again when time, budgets, and patience are stretched thinnest and because of that frustration ensues. As a retail jeweler, goldsmith, and watchmaker of over 40 yrs I think I may have some wisdom and advice which may help. First - What your lady wants more than anything else is something frivolous. That frivolity should be something that shows you've listened to her and thought about what she likes. How much you spend isn't really what's important. Make the effort to ask her jeweler, her mom, her siblings, or her besties, about what she's been pining after or talking about. Love isn't ever about a price tag and your jeweler should know that. When a client comes in to me and they're looking to buy a holiday gift I will specifically ask to know a bit about the gift recipient (if I don't know them already). Once I know a little, about the person who will open the little gift box on Christmas morning, I can guide the buyer in finding the perfect gift.
In my shop we always offer a hot beverage (in a real ceramic mug), holiday cheer, or a nibble to soothe and relax you. Reducing a buyers stress makes the experience a lot more meaningful and fun. For my second probing question I'll ask what the budget for the purchase is? I consider it my personal challenge to find something that will make her eyes twinkle and take her breath away for a much lower price than was budgeted. Once I have gathered information I let my buyer relax, with the beverage or nibble, and I get working. Like the good holiday elf I try to be I search the shop and our vendors for items that seem "just right" for their special someone. Hopefully, I provide the buyer with easy choices tailored to their special needs. Once a choice is made I write up the sale and before you leave the shop I'll make sure it's gift packaged. If I think it might enhance the impact of the gift I may even make a suggestion for a local florist, card or candy shop for those special extras...
All my effort and attention is because I love what I do. I want you to have such a great experience that you recommend me to friends and return when you need something else (even if it's only for advice or service). It's not that difficult, boys... She loves you. She just wants to feel a little pampered and a lot appreciated. Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays.
Bill - the barefoot jeweler
I'm a GIA graduate and have been a shopkeeper, bench jeweler, and watch repair person for more than 40 yrs. I've been a raconteur and storyteller for most of my life. Many know me as "the barefoot jeweler" since I rarely wear shoes in the shop or out in the world. From my experience with Native American artisans, Mexican silversmiths and jewelers, to studying and practicing in the U.S.A. the jewelry and watch business has been my passion and my home for much of my life. I hope I'll be able to shed light on some issues that vex us all and offer a few laughs along the way. If you ever have ideas for my blog or questions you'd like me to answer or pontificate over email me.