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July 07, 2009


Dear Cindy,
I'd concur with Bruce Rand - But I feel we're realistically looking at 18-24 months before inventory levels adjust and modest demand returns, for the industry as a whole. The real question is "it returns to what". When Warren Buffet declares that up to 40% of jewelry stores won't be in busines within three years, and Berkshire Hathaway is looking at buying even more of the best of what remains, we're looking at a major change in the retail landscape.

With regards to what Bruce calls a cancer, the consignment trend, Todd and I couldn't agree more. This is an unsustainable business model by any definition. When a store has no real investment in a designer, knowing that they can get thier stores basically stocked for free, it starts to turn designers into lending institutions, in partnership with businesses that in many cases, couldn't stand tall on thier own resources, or aren't willing to commit to thier buying choices. In the eighteen years that Todd has been designing and making truely unique jewelry, he has required stores to buy the work. If the dealers know thier clients well and they are passionate and invested in the designer, The work always sells - plain and simple.

What designers really need to do is collectively get this situation back to a level playing field - Require stores to buy into your work, do everything in your power to support them, and develop a real relationship that will endure.

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