Friday, October 31, 2008

october newsletter is up

Check out our October 2008 newsletter and subscribe through the website, if you wish.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

JOOLZ in the news

Today's Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester's daily newspaper, features a Business Section article about the state of local retail shops and expectations for holiday sales. Debbie Alexander, a D&C business reporter, called this past week to get my read on the national economic situation and how we were relating to it locally. Upon reading the article, I was glad to see that my take was exactly like that of her business school expert: small, local retailers are doing OK, have a niche and will hold their own, focusing on superior customer service and unique products.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

trick or treat

Soggy, rainy, ugly weather does not lend itself to a parade of happy kids trick or treating through downtown. The 400 kids that were expected turned out to be about 25, along with drenched parents and lots of umbrellas. But Suzanne, my assistant at the shop, was decked out in her witch outfit, ready to hand out candy to any and all trick or treaters. And the kids were adorable, despite the fact that most had costumes hidden beneath raincoats and in some cases, large garbage bags. We'll hope for better weather next year and will do our best to eat the leftover candy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

going green

Artists find their inspiration in a myriad of ways and it's always fascinating to me to see how different artistic visions create such different styles of jewelry.

A couple of the artists at JOOLZ have "gone green" to such an extent that they find and re-use everyday objects to create really striking, conversation-provoking joolz.

Sue Rosengard of Chicago has recently added a line called "Flying Paper." Taking paper objects and preserving them with a protective coating, Sue makes fun, lightweight and unique earrings that are definitely one of a kind. New to JOOLZ are her paper map and sheet music earrings - perfect gifts for anyone who loves to travel or appreciates music.

Artist Amy Pfaffman of California has taken recycled object jewelry to the outer limits. Her entire line is made of everyday objects she finds and repurposes into joolz that send a message: "I dare to be different." We have Amy-designed necklaces and bracelets made from guitar picks, rulers and colored pencils. People will stop you on the street and ask about your joolz. Just be prepared to explain that you're "going green."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

omg, there's snow in the air!

First snowflakes in the air this afternoon...and I am NOT ready for winter. Just bought tons of candy for the 400+ kids who will march down Main Street on Saturday at noon, decked out in their Halloween costumes and gathering up mountains of candy from all the merchants. Also got a couple of "emergency" backup bags of chocolate candy to be held in reserve. I'll just have to eat the candy myself if we run out of kids...such are the wiles of a confirmed chocoholic!

Friday, October 17, 2008

rochester choice awards 2008

Each year the Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester's daily newspaper, gathers votes for the Rochester Choice Awards. Strictly subjective and a total popularity contest (no questions from the judges or bathing suit competition - phew!!), the award winners are published in the paper after votes have been submitted online and through ballots available around town.

One of our customers said she had entered JOOLZ as a write-in candidate in the jewelry store category and encouraged me to get the word out. Thank goodness for e-mail...I sent out dozens to friends and customers, asking them to vote for their favorites and asking them to consider voting for JOOLZ. Now I see that JOOLZ is included in the category listing, so write-ins are no longer necessary and a click will do.

This is a great way to get visibility for the store, painless and really cheap (free) for the voters, and the end result could be that many more people in the Rochester area will learn about the best store in the area for extraordinary handcrafted jewelry! And if you click HERE you can vote too. Thanks!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

beautiful design, beautiful fabrication

Always on the lookout for fantastic new finds, I have been doing a little pre-holiday shopping, getting ready for the season.

No mail on Monday, but our UPS guy, Jay, was on the job. He delivered a much-anticipated package from Shirley Price of Villa Park, California. Shirley and I met in April at the ACRE show in Las Vegas and I just loved her work. I knew it would be a special addition for the holiday shopping season and purposely waited several months to bring it in at the right time.

You see, I have a teensy little problem with the waiting game - I just can't wait to display something if it's in the store. If I put it away in the safe, it stays there only about 24 hours before I have to tag it and put it out. I want to see it in the mix and I want to see our customers' reactions to the new work. So sometimes I make myself wait to order so that once it comes, I can put it right out.

We have 4 new neck pieces from Shirley, all perfectly stunning. Working with extraordinary cabochons, highly polished but very organic, Shirley sets the stones in sterling and fine silver, and adds her signature single pearl to each piece. Hinged pieces of silver form the collars so that the neck pieces lie perfectly and are extremely comfortable. Each piece makes a statement, bold yet somehow understated at the same time. Beautiful design, beautiful fabrication. Come see for yourself.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

fashion show fabulocity

One of my all time favorite stores for classic but updated clothing is Jane Morgan's Little House in Aurora, NY. Located in a charming little village on the shores of Cayuga Lake, JMLH is a shopper's paradise. The owner, Randi Zabriskie, has an eye for style like no other. She knows what's in, what's out, what's coming and what to avoid. She throws out little fashion tips such as "showing your wrists makes your hips look smaller!!"

For several years Randi has taken her clothing on the road, producing fabulous fashion shows at a few different venues. Today the show was at a women's club in Rochester and Randi wanted to accessorize a few of her outfits with joolz from JOOLZ. I drove over to Aurora on Sunday with a selection of joolz and let her take her pick - sterling silver ribbon earrings by Reiko Ishiyama, a white cotton ball neck collar by Abra Gorby and a peach-colored keshi pearl and sunstone necklace by Gretchen Gray. It was such fun to watch Randi match the joolz to the outfits - like the pairing of a good wine with a gourmet meal. She really knows her inventory and her models - both were a perfect match for the chosen joolz and the show was a resounding success. Thanks for the collaboration, Randi. I hope we can do it again sometime.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

welcome to JOOLZ, tahmi!

In April, my daughter Kate and I attended the ACRE (American Craft Retailers Expo) show in Las Vegas. We saw several artists whose work is already at JOOLZ and discovered others whom we thought would fit in nicely. One of those was Tahmi DeSchepper of Fairfield, Iowa.

Tahmi (pronounced Tammy) handcrafts silver and other metals into links forming bracelets, earrings and necklaces. Her work is classic but updated, just like a lot of our customers. She's also designed a great clasp that goes on easily and stays closed while wearing the jewelry. No need to call for help while getting dressed and no worries about losing the joolz when you're out and about.

We learned that JOOLZ is the 100th gallery to carry Tahmi's work - quite an honor to be included in that group. Welcome to JOOLZ, Tahmi!

Friday, October 3, 2008

simply elegant

Toronto artist Lisa Ridout comes up with the greatest names for her jewelry pieces. Her latest creation is her "Charlotte's Web" necklace, available in both black and brown stretchy nylon mesh, combined with a large, faceted Swarovski crystal and Lisa's handmade sterling silver chain. The black necklace comes with either a jet black or a clear crystal, and the brown comes with a choice of smoke, champagne or copper. The necklaces are lightweight and comfortable to wear, go perfectly with a darker clothing palette and make a pow! statement. Simple elegance at its best.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

it's a new year

Our trip was planned so that we would return before the end of our fiscal year (September 30). There are always bookkeeping bits to tie up and our insurance requires that we do a physical inventory at year-end.

QuickBooks has a physical inventory worksheet that can be printed and I also do my own listing of total numbers for each artist. Our inventory is so unique that we can tell if something is missing from the items that we put in and out of the safe every day. However, we have several artists whose numerous pieces are keep out of the safe at night, and keeping track of their individual pieces is not quite as easy.

We learned that one inexpensive pair of earrings was missing and was probably taken by a visitor to the shop. I won't call him/her a customer because it wasn't paid for, wrapped, etc. We try hard to keep an eye on anyone visiting the shop, but when large groups of friends come in at once it can be a challenge.

The loss isn't bad financially (our only loss that we know of, since we opened in May, 2007) but just the idea that someone would come in and take something that wasn't theirs is disturbing. I'm not so naive as to think that no one would shoplift in a nice, upscale gallery, but now that it's happened, it saddens me. I was raised to be honest and to treat others as I would like to be treated. What doesn't everyone else feel that way?