A Little Reminder

One of my primary roles here at work is to manage the inventory: accurate entry, tags, pricing, photographs, re-orders, show orders, invoice processing, etc. It’s a job that can be tedious from time to time (ahem, the Popular Bead Bracelet Brand era) but is usually rather interesting because it appeals to my inquisitive, detail-oriented brain and allows me to get my hands on every single piece of merchandise in the store as it arrives.

I also attempt what I call a self-inventory every so often, taking stock of my life and its various components and running down a list of places to improve, discard, or enhance. Recently my mind has been occupied with family, health, summer plans (golf lessons, new hiking boots), and of course my gemological studies. I tend to continue mulling over my educational material long after I’ve put it away for the day, which causes a disproportionate mental emphasis on the very technical details I’m currently learning. I end up totally engulfed in the bloodless and unromantic side of this industry, focusing all of my energy on numbers and figures and diagrams.

That’s great for test-taking and fundamental progress, but is ultimately useless in my day-to-day job until I work to distill it down into something I can use on the sales floor. I’ve been feeling waterlogged with minutiae, unable to climb onto solid ground from the watery bog of information overload.

So it was with genuine pleasure that I found myself on the business end of a diamond engagement ring sale just this week — and not a moment too soon.

The gentleman was polite and earnest; his female “helper” lived up to her job and was supportive but not pushy. We discussed settings & styles, diamond sizes & qualities, and priced out a few options. A brief lunch break on the sunny restaurant decks (them, not me) later, and a ring was born. Hooray!

This was not a “big” sale, or a tough one, or a thank-goodness-that’s-over interaction. The clean simplicity of selling a meaningful object to a happy and eager buyer was exactly the refreshing reminder I needed when terra firma seemed very far away. Clearly I required this experience in order to remember what we really do, what the purpose is behind all the numbers and calculations:

Joy. Happiness. Excitement. Love. Hope.

That’s our real business, our own small contribution to the betterment of the world. I am a facilitator, nothing more, as I gently nudge people toward an object that stands to represent all the best emotions we could ever want. And amidst the structure of carbon atoms and lengthy history of mining, I needed a little reminder about why I do it at all.

Ring, Ring!

Clients often ask me when “engagement season” is. I’m not sure why they want to know (it’s usually not an engagement customer doing the asking), but my answer is the same: it’s always engagement season.

While it’s true that more proposals happen during the winter holidays, the rings themselves aren’t necessarily purchased between November and January. We simply see an uptick in foot traffic during that time, so it sometimes feels like the diamonds are flying fast and thick.

On the other hand, I can say with some authority that there is a “wedding band season,” and it’s starting right about now. The most popular months for marriage are June, August, September, and October, which means we’re 3-6 months out and the checklists for the intended couples are getting their boxes ticked bit by bit. Couples often want to wrap up what they perceive as important or expensive (or both), to reduce stress and long-term financial burden. It’s a winning strategy, and one that’s encouraged by the multitude of published and online planning tools that are so ubiquitous today.

If your style is simple or popular and your finger is stock or sample size, you could walk into and out of a jewelry store with wedding band in hand after about twenty minutes. You’ve probably also never missed a flight, always get green lights when you’re in a hurry, and should purchase a lottery ticket immediately — that is to say, you’re one lucky duck.

For most, the wedding band search is a slightly longer process. Try them on, price them out, and then purchase or order with a minimum of one month until your wedding.*** We’d prefer two to three months, because we like tight and important deadlines even less than you do (trust me, the idea of combining a special rush order and a bad hurricane season is not an appealing one).

I want your wedding band to be perfect, and that can sometimes mean a custom creation to accommodate an estate setting that won’t allow a straight band to sit comfortably on your finger. This is probably going to take longer than a month, and we’d like to take our time to get it exactly right.

Take this as a pleasant PSA, from our beautiful industry to all you soon-to-be-newlyweds: if you’re getting married in the near future, come in and see me. We’ll talk wedding plans and weddings bands, and get one of thing checked off that lengthy to-do list.

*** Cautionary tale: a client once told me she had two months until her wedding, but neglected to mention she’d be leaving for Mexico — her destination location — three weeks prior to the actual wedding date. We got the rings completed on time, but it was a pretty near thing. Keep in mind your actual plans, not just the wedding bubble. Please.