Why the Jewelry Industry Needs Consolidation

I was reading a post on Facebook yesterday where a friend discussed how every week, the neighborhood moms meet in an alley to buy a week’s worth of prepared Korean food from a woman’s car. A Korean woman cooks delicious meals at her house and packages them to distribute once a week to busy moms. There was a flood of comments from friends who wanted in on this secret meet up too.

I thought about how it’s our human nature to get excited about opportunities like this – insider connections to get the best stuff at the best values. A friend knows a friend who can get that special thing you’ve been coveting for half the price. Whatever “IT” is, it’s always helpful to “know someone.”

Jewelry Insider who is working for YOU

I am the “in the know” jeweler with connections to get the best quality diamonds & gemstones, and the best quality workmanship pieces you can find for an unbeatable price. How? Because I’ve eliminated all the middle man costs and overhead that do not add value to the customer.

  • No fancy store with security. In fact, no store at all.
  • No salespeople or dozens of employees.
  • No cases of excess inventory.
  • No huge marketing spend.

I am the “friend” you call when you want the very best quality diamond ring, bracelet, or diamond studs without overpaying.

Why am I operating this way?

Because the Jewelry industry is inefficient and way too fragmented. I believe it needs consolidation, more transparency, and streamlining. I’m hoping to start with my little world of blog followers (thank you for being here) and locals, with the hope that it spreads from there.

More power needs to be shifted to the consumer to make buying fine jewelry easier, and I want to be one of the people who helps shift it. 

How Do I Know? 

Initially, I entered the fine jewelry industry as a 3rd generation jeweler to pay homage to my father who died when I was 9 years old. I didn’t know him well growing up, so entering the jewelry world made me feel a bit closer to him.

Jewelry also happens to be a passion of mine. I love all the details about how a piece is made, the intricacies of the stones, and the sentimental meanings of the finished pieces.

I spent the past year learning details about the trade and how business works inside the fine jewelry industry. I made all of my contacts – diamond and gemstone dealers closest to the stones’ sources, the best suppliers, and the highest quality tradesman with the best workmanship.

With my 10 year background in finance and accounting with a focus in looking at how businesses run, I noticed very quickly that the industry is extremely inefficient.

The Jewelry Industry Today

On one end, there are thousands of small shops trying to make a living selling fine jewelry. Marking up 3-5 times, they depend on a few large sales a month to pull them through. On the other, there are the aspirational luxury designer brands who invest in high-dollar marketing and branding to command their 10-15x mark up on their products.

But here’s the thing. All of the materials come from a select few companies. Diamonds, gold, gemstones – they are commodities controlled by a small number of corporations around the world.

It trickles down to all the retailers after many layers of markups. 

Craftsmanship, design and artistry are large variables, yes. Especially for unique pieces by designers. And I discuss in my “Must Knows Before Investing in an Eternity Band” how good jewelry setters (the ones who actually put the pieces together) can be 3x the price of a lower quality setter.

But for mass appeal products like diamond earrings, rings, and tennis bracelets, the source of materials is the same.

Why Don’t I Just Open a Store?

With a gifted eye for jewelry and since I can now source, design, and create the best contemporary classic fine jewelry pieces – I could open a shop and sell jewelry the traditional way. 

Or, I can take the visionary approach to try and shift the jewelry industry to make it more efficient and consumer focused.

Costco and Amazon are companies that saw an opportunity to change their industry. Before they came around, things were “just the way they are.” I mean, could we have imagined ordering something online to get it the very next day, and for less than at the store? 

Online diamond sites have started consolidating the industry to bring more power to the consumer. But they are doing so mostly by commoditizing engagement ring diamonds through listing all the specifications of each diamond from a shared database to their sites. 

It’s Time for the Jewelry Industry to Consolidate

There is a long way to go for making online jewelry purchases easy. These sites have no faces to them. No design advice to help the consumer make their choice.  No personality. And where are the lifestyle shots of each product to help the customer envision how the pieces will look on?

We have a long way to go to make purchasing fine jewelry easy, especially online. But we need it. 

So no traditional overhead model for me. No fancy store or “designer” title with huge mark ups on my creations.

I am the girl next door connected to everything fine jewelry who can get you the beautiful, luxury piece you want at an unbeatable price, with absolutely no compromise on quality.

Will you be lucky enough to invest in a piece you can pass down for generations? I hope so. Because we all deserve to sparkle. Let’s see how this goes! I’m excited to see where the business is one year from now. 

Now, what’s for Valentine’s Day? Visit my Ounce of Salt Jewelry Site and let’s get you a piece of fine jewelry. And if you have something on your wishlist, send me an email at [email protected] and I’ll give a hint to your partner!

Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt.