FUQ: Frequently Unasked Questions

Before we dive headfirst into retail hell the holiday season and my fun-o-meter stops registering, I’d like to ask you — the consumer — a few questions. Since you’re certainly welcome to ask me anything**, I assume you wouldn’t mind returning the favor just this once.

Some of these questions might be new to you, and that’s okay. Just ask me to wait a moment while you go get someone else who can help me. Offering me a beverage while I wait is recommended, but not required.

Anyway, back to me and my questions. The first one is this: why are your price expectations so low? I mean, you love to ask me why my prices are so high, so I think it’s only fair that you give me a solid, well-composed response to just why you think my prices are so out of line with every other retailer you’ve ever been to (and some you haven’t).

Where did you get that unique scarf/bag/hat/coat? I’m obviously asking because I’m a genuinely interested person who loves fashion and accessories and I know my mother-in-law would love one just like it.

Next question: what’s in that little shopping bag from Competitor Jeweler around the corner? And as a follow-up, wouldn’t it make more sense to attempt a comparison shop before making a purchase?

While I sip this complimentary lukewarm beverage you brought me, could you please explain why you’re surprised that a 2-millimeter micropave diamond eternity band in 18 karat gold has lost a diamond or two, following your rock climbing expedition at Yosemite? I can certainly fix it for you, but my goldsmith is overloaded and we’re now at a 3-plus-week turnaround. Please understand that we want the repair done right, not fast.

This one’s for the romantically-inclined: why, why did you wait until now to design an engagement ring that you absolutely must present on the family vacation in nine days? I’m not saying we can’t handle that request, but you (and we) would feel ever so much less stressed if you had come to us, say, last month. Or even last week. Why do you add so much pressure to an already important event? This is a wonderful time in your life, and we hope you make the most of it!

Finally, please do me the honor of telling me what lucky person in your life you’ve decided to gift with a beautiful, timeless piece of jewelry. I want to hear about her favorite color, his love of working with his hands, and the special celebration dinner you have planned. These are the details that make my job worth doing, and I cherish every story you choose to share.

Oh, and one more thing… will that be cash, or charge?

(Just kidding). (Kinda).

**It’s that time of year again, folks: send me your burning, long-held jewelry questions. I’ll be collecting them for some upcoming Q&A posts. Think how many other people you can help by voicing your questions and finally getting some answers!

Go Organic — Wear Pearls!

Are you looking for a healthier, more natural alternative to your usual jewelry? Have you been diagnosed with “diamond sensitivity” or another contact-related disease? Are you concerned about the origin of your jewelry and its environmental impact? Do you want less processed, higher-quality ingredients in your daily accessories?

Your local jeweler has the solution! Come see us to solve all of your modern organic jewelry woes with The Amazing Cultured Pearl.

Our staff will expertly match you with the perfect pearl accessories: strands, earrings, pendant, rings, even coordinating sets! We will examine your personal style, skin tone, hair & eye color, and even your current accessories with the utmost care to ensure you’re matched with the perfect size, shape, luster, color, and style of pearl that’s right for you.

You can feel confident that our pearls are cultured using the most modern techniques. Our pearl farmers maintain strict environmental standards to preserve the cleanliness of their facilities, allowing a long and productive mollusk lifespan while producing top-quality pearls.

Our variety is unparalleled: select from freshwater, Akoya, Keshi, Tahitian, and South Sea pearls in every color of the rainbow. We carry round, off-round, circled, teardrop, baroque, and fantasy shapes; our necklaces can be purchased in choker, collar, princess, matinee, opera, and rope lengths (see a specialist for proper fitting).

Our Pearl Care experts will give you all the information you need to maintain your beautiful pearl jewelry, including tips on when and how to wear them (first on, last off), cleaning practices (soft lint-free cloth), and restringing recommendations (at least once a year if worn often).

Stunning organic beauty!
Stunning organic beauty!

Consumers are demanding organic in all aspects of their lives, and we believe they should have the same wide array of options in their jewelry. We are here to represent the beauty of the pearl in all its forms, and invite everyone to come in and try them on. We know you’ll love your pearls just like we do!

P.S. Do you like our new advertising slogan? Its copyright is pending, so please refrain from using it in your own advertising. But don’t hesitate to talk it up with your friends — word of mouth is how movements begin!

Tongue (Ring) In Cheek ;-)

{Disclaimer: people are nuts. We’re all nuts, and we all have those days. I love people and the inherent challenge of meeting their needs each and every day, but to quote my favorite Jimmy Buffett song, “if we couldn’t laugh, we’d all go insane!”}

Service-type industry workers the world over know that there are universal truths: the holidays will be exhausting. The customer is always right, except when they aren’t. Under-promise and over-deliver. Staying open the extra 10 minutes is almost never worth it, except that one time (urban myth), but we’ll always do it. And so on, to infinity. We’re united in the ability and willingness to serve others in some capacity, and we really do try our best to take the masses as they come.

Consumers are a notoriously fickle bunch, pledging firm allegiance one moment and turning their collective backs the next. We know this, we expect this, and as consumers ourselves, we forgive it. But it is the individual, rather than the group, that can make or break our day — and I really, truly don’t mean by how much money is spent. It’s how you act (or react) to the world around you that makes all the difference, so the following is but a brief summary of Dearly Beloved Consumer behavior & attitude.

— I want you to look at my ring because _____________ but it can be tough to get off the finger. So obviously, sticking my entire finger in my mouth, swirling my tongue around it, then pulling it off and handing it to you is the BEST idea. You’re obviously eager to embrace the totally unsanitary situation, including when you must bring said ring up to your face to inspect it with a loupe.

— Do you clean jewelry? Great, because I was just outside all weekend gardening, spreading mulch, shoveling out the horse barn, and painting the shed. Can you get all that out of my ring right now, and by the way it’s 22K gold so don’t use a brush and scratch it!

— I’d like to purchase 15 of these little charm bead thingies, and have each one wrapped individually. But I’m double-parked in a no-parking zone during a snow ban, so why aren’t you hurrying? And since I’m buying so many, can I have a discount?

— I want this sterling silver ring my now-married daughter gave me when she was five sized up from a 6 to a 10 right now so I can wear it to her baby shower in ten minutes. Your goldsmith isn’t here, and even if she was she can’t do it on the spot? What kind of jewelry store is this?!

— I can’t wait two weeks to have my grandmother’s strand of faux pearls restrung for my cousin’s wedding in three months.

— I’m looking for a 1.63ct E, VVS1 round diamond. I have a friend with a buddy in the jeweler’s building in X city but I wanted to see if your prices were as good as his. He said I could probably get close to what I want for {ridiculously low price}.

— I found a ring EXACTLY like that one over there online for half of your price. Obviously you guys have a HUGE markup and you’re bad business people and scammers.

— If it isn’t made with 100% recycled, fully sustainable, zero-carbon-footprint, conflict-free materials and locally-sourced labor, I’m just not interested. You guys should work on that.

P.S. Yes, the featured image is my very own Maine Coon. Meet Perkins, doing his best sleepy/grumpy cat impression. That’s the face he’d make if he heard a customer ask, in all seriousness, why we aren’t open until at least 11pm 7 days a week.