Saturday, April 18, 2015

Custom jewelry YOU design - gold bars, new tools and MORE - we visited Stuller, Inc.

We have been doing business with Stuller since the day we opened. They supply thousands of independent jewelers in the US and around the world with pretty much anything you can imagine. The company started in the trunk of a car, but Matthew Stuller worked hard and promised fast service. Now his company has hundreds of employees and they offer Just In Time delivery. We can literally call in an order for any of the thousands of items they have in stock on any given day at 4:59 pm and it will be in our hands the following day.

Stuller LOVES independent jewelers, even little mom and pop stores like ours. In an effort to better serve us, they came up with a Bridge event - to bridge the communication between themselves and their customers. They wanted to show us everything they can do AND they wanted to hear from us any feedback we might have.

We have had an invitation to visit Stuller, Inc. for a Bridge since they started. It is not that we are their biggest account by any stretch, but we do order consistently (64 times last year) AND we order from all they areas they supply - everything from a "finding" such as a new head for Julie to re-mount your diamond in to the solder to hold a ring sizing together to a strand of freshwater keshi pearls and even the cute boxes we put our jewelry in. Stuller appreciates our loyalty and wants to keep our business.

Julie and I were excited to go for similar and different reasons. She wanted to spend some quality time with the tool department and I wanted to watch diamonds being faceted. I wanted to find ways to boost our internet sales and she wanted to learn how to do more at her bench. We both wanted to see how the heck they can get the right items in the box for us so quickly and efficiently. We went with high expectations - and the people at Stuller went above and beyond what we had imagined.

They started by reminding us how the jewelry business is constantly changing. We learned about the new ways in which the millennial generation shops and purchases. We also learned how Stuller was enabling US to more effectively market to them. Cliff zeroed in on this and spent some quality time with 2 different people at the Solution Center to learn how to fine tune our website. (Meanwhile Julie was across the hall in the Tool Department.)

Thanks to the tutoring, Cliff was able to reconfigure the Stuller Showcase program. He had been using it as an in-store tool, but NOW it is available to anyone on the web right here: Chimera Designs Showcase . The best feature, one which Cliff did not know how to integrate properly, can be found in the middle of the page - click on "Flexible Designs" and you will experience a virtual jewelry gallery that will blow your mind. You can customize hundreds of pieces of jewelry - change the color of the metal, add accent diamonds - use different shape and color center stones - all with a few clicks of your mouse or finger swipes. What is more - the estimated price shown changes to reflect each modification!

Here are two different versions of the same ring Cliff put together in about 7 minutes. They are made with different metals (rose gold vs white gold) as well as different shapes and different gems.

They are vastly different in price as well. The top ring is made with a genuine pink sapphire center accented by diamonds. The bottom one has an amethyst flanked by lab created alexandrite and is THOUSANDS less. The possibilities on this ONE ring are in the hundreds! The first thing Cliff did when he got home was to get our Stuller Showcase up and running. Try it - you will love it! Either of these rings can be custom made FOR you in about 3 weeks. Once you have your creation tweaked to how YOU love it, you can save the quote - let Cliff know and he will get a solid estimate and you can order your special piece of jewelry - unique to you and designed by YOU.
Meanwhile, Julie found a method to help her work more effectively and to help eliminate some of the physical difficulties that can come when you are hunched over a bench. One of the tool guys showed her a new, smaller version of a tool she uses now. It is more suited to her hands and will save her time and effort, and at the same time increase the flexibility of what she can do. We ordered one for her before we left Stuller. The best part is that we already have a new home for her older, bigger one.
Did I mention that we were allowed in to watch diamonds being faceted? The man we talked to trained for FIVE YEARS before he started doing it on his own. He explained that faceting one diamond can take a whole day or even longer. We also learned that Stuller can re-cut diamonds for us at a very reasonable rate. If you inherited an older diamond that is poorly cut or even if you chipped their girdle of a newer diamond - it can be made beautiful again for as little as $340 by the amazing diamond cutters at Stuller. (The cutting wheel spins at 4,200 rpm but is so smooth they can touch it with their fingers!)
We had the opportunity to hold a gold bar - the day we were in there it had a value of slightly more than $497,000! Cliff picked up almost a half a million dollars. (Now you can understand why they did NOT allow us to bring cameras into most of the facility.) Speaking of pictures - this one of Cliff putting in his two cents in one of the classes made it to the Stuller blog:

(Hard to imagine Cliff speaking up in a group, isn't it?)
We had an amazing, educational two days at Stuller. Everyone we met was very friendly - the place was spotless and amazing. They fed us the most wonderful selection of Louisiana style Cajun food you can imagine. They closed the event with a 2 minute video thanking US and then we were surrounded by dozens of employees who were clapping for us and thanking us. Julie teared up pretty quick and Matt Stuller gave her a hug. Cliff didn't cry, but his eyes were running because of a very high pollen count that seemed to flood the place right after the video. Odd - the same kind of pollen event has shown up at some Lowell Chamber of Commerce events in the past.
Thanks for reading this - now go have some fun designing jewelry. Click on the link below and then scroll down to FLEXIBLE DESIGNS and have at it!
BONUS - tell Cliff or Julie that you learned about the Showcase here and they will take 15% off of the price of ANY custom piece of
jewelry YOU design.

1 comment:

Randi said...

Thank you for the kind words! We loved having Cliff and Julie down for Bridge! Come back anytime!
-Randi Bourg, Stuller Marketing and PR