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Issue Date: , Posted On: 8/18/2009

WEB EXCLUSIVE --- Direct, To The Point
By Melanie M. Clarke

To many in the fine jewelry industry, sites like Blue Nile and eBay
turned e-commerce into a four-letter word.
As consumers’ buying habits have evolved with technology, however,
even the most traditional brick-and-mortar retailers
and generations-old design houses are embracing online—
like it or not.

“If [a fine jewelry company] is not making their website the brand central for all of their fans and all of their wannabe fans, by next year they're going to be out business for sure,” says Marty Hurwitz, CEO of MVI Marketing, Ltd. Hurwitz asserts that it’s more important than ever for companies to really connect with consumers online. “Your brand loyalists are your advocates,” he explains. “It's like having 3,000 sales people.”

Elias Vayas, lead designer of EV Jewelry Design (products seen at right), initially built his business by creating one-of-a-kind pieces, mainly by means of referral. In order to market himself beyond that circle, Vayas created a direct-to-consumer website in early 2009. Today, even though many of his pieces have a five-digit price tag, the designer enjoys consistent business online. “I constantly get linked to all kinds of marketing and business opportunities, especially lately. Since we really started pursuing the internet role, we have noticed a substantial increase,” reveals Vayas. “The internet is THE WAY TO GO!!!

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