Monday, April 4, 2011

my smart show experience

Two days ago, I “earned my keep” at the Smart Show in Chicago as a compensated speaker. The Smart Show is a national jewelry industry trade show with a heavy focus on education for retailers and designers. As such, it was certainly my honor to be asked to share whatever nuggets might benefit my colleagues.

I could not have been more flattered by the standing room only crowd, the thoughtful questions, and the enthusiastic audience members who approached me immediately after and also throughout the show.

Curtis Bennett of the legendary O.C. Tanner store in Salt Lake City, was particularly complimentary, and I assumed he had no idea exactly how far out of my league he is. He assured me that it’s really all the same: the big store that did the $25 million renovation of a historic building in order to make it a gift to the city of Salt Lake and the little store on the corner in Bozeman.

But, he’s right. We’re definitely in that same business, despite those differences. Our shared business goal is to make people happy as they seek out beautiful tokens to celebrate life’s amazing milestones and “just because” occasions, as well as creating tomorrow’s heirlooms and re-work ones from days past. It’s a wonderful business because of that. I imagine we get to know our customers on a much more intimate level than say, the average shoe seller does.

So I know it is out of that caring that a gentleman from Missouri approached me while I was on the exhibit floor, asking if I had suggestions for a new designer line to bring into his store. It was only because he knows his customers and wants to make them happy that he carefully described to me the demographic make-up of his area. To be asked to assist someone in their efforts to assist their clients is a very high compliment—-one I definitely don’t take lightly.

It’s nice to know that there’s a community of engineers in Missouri who will soon have a new collection of jewelry to appreciate at their local jewelry store, and a whole passel of women there who will suddenly find themselves bedecked in new jewels their men actually enjoyed selecting.