Archive for October, 2009

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Meet Peter Luplow: The King of Diamonds

October 28, 2009

peterMeet our “King of Diamonds” – Peter Luplow. Peter has been with Ben Bridge Jeweler since he graduated from college in 1977. He started in sales and managed stores in Washington, Oregon and Colorado. He is now the Vice President who oversees all of the jewelry buying here at Ben Bridge. He travels the world to find unique and beautiful jewelry at outstanding values for our customers.

Peter’s high expectation of excellence in jewelry quality extends to his personal life as an avid distance runner. He qualified for and ran the Boston marathon in 2009. You’ll also frequently find him in a heated game of table tennis. Buying a diamond from the “King of Diamonds” will make you a “King of Hearts.”

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Interview with BB Associate Mimi Pak in News Korea

October 13, 2009

Mimi

The following is an interview from News Korea of Ben Bridge Associate Mimi Pak. Mimi works in our store at The Domain in Austin, Texas.

Congratulations on a terrific profile Mimi, we are so proud of you!

-Marc

(Article translated by Mimi Pak)

“Introducing the Highest Quality and Greatest Value”

An interview at The Domain with Mimi Pak, a Korean employee at Ben Bridge Jewelers.

There are numerous luxury brands inside The Domain, a new and upscale mall in Austin. Near Border’s Bookstore and Macy’s is the Ben Bridge Jeweler’s sign.

Mimi worked at Ben Bridge in Denver, Colorado before transferring to Austin this past August. While she’s only been at The Domain for two months, she’s had a career with Ben Bridge for eight years. Even before that, she was working with fine jewelry for many years. Mimi has a total of 22 years of experience, including owning and managing her own jewelry shop back in Seoul, and working at JC Penney’s fine jewelry dept.

The Domain has a Tiffany’s, a Bailey Banks, and a Ben Bridge Jewelers, and I asked for more details on the company itself. “Ben Bridge was established in 1912, and has been passed down through four generations. Nationwide, there are almost 80 stores,” Mimi said. “Ben Bridge places a heavy emphasis on trust and tradition to build their customer base.”

If I want to buy jewelry, why should I go to Ben Bridge? Mimi answered, “At other stores, you pay a premium in order to get the brand name. At Ben Bridge, we price our merchandise fairly, without inflated markup. You’ll find the highest quality, greatest value and widest selection with us.”

Mimi continued with, “Ben Bridge follows the rigorous standards of the American Gem Society. There are strict rules and regulations related to compliance with the quality, as well as fair trade that comes with being a part of AGS. Because Ben Bridge is a member of the AGS, we can be trusted with the fairness of the price and the quality of the diamonds that have been purchased from us.” In addition to that, Mimi said, “we offer a limited lifetime diamond warranty.”

While we’re talking of diamonds, I ask her for some common sense advice when thinking of purchasing a diamond, so Mimi gave us a few quick tips.

Q: How can you tell the quality and value of a diamond?

A: Remember the 4 Cs, the qualities that diamonds are valued on determine the price. The Cut, Carat (weight), Color, Clarity (flawless transparency). Lately, however, there has been been a trend of how precise the ‘Cut’ is as being a very important factor of a diamond’s brilliance.

Q: Is it true that you can trade in your diamonds that have been purchased at Ben Bridge?

A: Yes! When trading in your diamond piece for another one, you receive credit for the full price you paid to put towards your new piece.

Q. Do you have any baby jewelry? (I asked unexpectedly, but Mimi was prepared–she showed me a large selection of pieces).

A: Ben Bridge does not carry the Korean traditional style of 24 karat gold baby rings, but we have a variety of 14 karat baby rings. There are also necklaces for baptism gifts, bracelets and earrings.

Q: There is a large sign for Rolex inside Ben Bridge, a very well known brand.

A: Ben Bridge is the biggest Rolex dealer in the United States. They have a very wide selection of styles. Also, Ben Bridge offers free watch cleaning and a battery changing service.

Ben Bridge is a certified Rolex dealer, but they also sell the well known Mikimoto Pearl, Tag Heuer watches, Italian Toscano 18K gold products, and various birth stone jewelry as well. The designs are fresh and a wide range of prices should appeal to a lot of people. Over by the manager’s desk, I saw a familiar face in the pictures and I had to stop. Warren Buffett, the world’s richest investor, was standing with the staff of The Domain’s Ben Bridge in a picture, all of them smiling.

When asked about his relationship with Ben Bridge, Mimi answered, “In May of 2000, Ben Bridge Jewelers merged with Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. Mr. Buffett’s policy when he acquires a company is to let the original owners continue operation as they always have, while making sure they’ll be around in the future. Berkshire Hathaway has demonstrated a legendary record of protecting the unique characteristics of individual businesses in a diverse portfolio of companies.”

Mimi’s usual work schedule is Tuesday through Saturday. Sunday is by appointment only. She has 22 years of jewelry experience, is very knowledgeable and is a solid choice for your personal Registered Jeweler, because of her wisdom, confidence, and energy. Mimi Pak thanked us for “the chance to introduce me to the Korean people of Austin,” before she ended the interview.

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Celebrate Italia!

October 9, 2009

BBItalia09SS

We are excited to celebrate the jewelry producing regions of Italy in conjunction with the Italian Trade Commission! We are featuring Italian gold jewelry in magazines and on the radio and will continue to showcase it during the coming holiday season on television.

This stems from a trip that Laura Barringer, our Color and Gold Buyer, and Peter Luplow, Vice President of Merchandise, participated in this past May which was documented in a KING-TV Evening Magazine segment.

Next week we are hosting parties in our Alderwood, Bellevue Square, and Southcenter locations. The Italian Trade Commissioner will be at the Bellevue Square party and various members of the Commission will be flying in to attend the Alderwood and Southcenter parties. 

 

Alderwood Mall–Wednesday, October 14 5:30-8:30pm

Bellevue Square–Thursday, October 15 5:30-8:30pm

Southcenter–Friday, October 16 5:30pm-8:30pm

We will have authentic Italian music, regional wines and fantastic Italian hors d’oeuvres. Hope to see you there!

Arrivederci!

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The Diamond Divas 3 Day, 60 mile Walk for Breast Cancer

October 7, 2009

Mary Banta, our IT Director, wrote this story about her experience participating in the Susan G. Komen 2009 Seattle Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk. Her team, the appropriately named “Diamond Divas,” included Colleen Stansbery, Diamond Buyer, Karen Donnelly, Inventory Control Manager, and Alla Ivanchenko, Audit.

Congratulations to them on two terrific acheivements–both completing the walk and raising over $12,000 for the fight against breast cancer. Wow!

-Marc

By Mary Banta

What an incredible experience!

All in!

All in!

The walk began bright and early, (well actually it was still dark as the opening ceremonies started at 6am) on a Friday. We gathered with about 2,200 other walkers and after a very emotional and uplifting ceremony, we hit the pavement. Along our route there were many supporters cheering us along. People in front of their homes, cheerleaders forming gateways for us to pass through, children with bowls of candy and later in the day with water misters to cool us down as the temperature rose, were just a few examples of those that encouraged us to “keep walking”. That first day we walked close to 22 miles from Shoreline Community College through Edmonds, Lynnwood, and completing the day in Everett. Needless to say we all slept well that night.

Go Diamond Divas!

Go Diamond Divas! Colleen Stansbery, Karen Donnelly, Mary Banta, and Alla Ivanchenko

Day two started out early as well.  We looped around Everett completing another 22 miles of our journey. We were greeted by church groups with dozens and dozens of cookies, we passed through a balloon archway, and the Parrot Heads of Puget Sound provided delicious green Gatoritas (Gatorade with crushed ice).  We passed by dozens of people at two large cheering stations, everyone encouraging us on and thanking us for walking. I walked for a while behind a woman pushing a wheelchair.  She was a survivor and was determined to do the entire walk. I am thrilled to report she accomplished her goal. There were also five Sea-Tac Airport fire fighters; one had lost his mother a year before to breast cancer that walked the entire route in full firefighting gear.

Mercifully, day three was only 16 miles. We were bussed from Everett back to Northgate where we proceeded to walk south past Green Lake, through Gas Works Park, up “the hill” at Capital Hill, then beautiful Volunteer Park, winding our way down through downtown. Our route took us right past store #9. Terry Gibson and the crew working that Sunday afternoon were quite surprised when the Ben Bridge Diamond Divas decided to slip in one side door and say hello, barely breaking stride as we continued out the other side door. We proceeded to walk along the waterfront, through the Olympic Sculpture Park finally arriving at Key Arena to an emotional welcome from hundreds of spectators, volunteers, and other walkers. A celebratory Closing Ceremony at Memorial Stadium was a beautiful end to a beautiful weekend.

A city of pink tents!

A city of pink tents!

These pictures focus on the actual 3 Day Walk but there is so much more that goes into this event. Roughly eight months ago, Karen Donnelly, Colleen Stansbury, Alla Ivanchenko, and I made the decision to commit to raising $2,300 each and to training for the 3 day 60 mile walk. Over the course of the winter, spring and summer we worked together doing various fundraising events. Many of you at Ben Bridge participated in these events and helped us along our journey. Because of your generosity we were able to increase our goal to $2,500 each and actually exceeded that goal with a grand total of $12,258! THANK YOU SO MUCH, the money we raised will help Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund save lives.

I would also like to add a special THANK YOU to the crew at store #13 Alderwood Mall for raising money to pay for our Ben Bridge Diamond Divas team t-shirts. What a thoughtful idea, we really appreciated your generosity!

And last but not least, another special THANK YOU to our fabulous “walker stalkers” support team, Susan Good and Debbie Robinson. Your support throughout the year and during the walk was priceless!

Will I do the 3 day walk again in 2010? I’m still deciding. Anyone interested in getting more information can go to www.the3day.org

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Ed Bridge Elected President of Jewelers for Children

October 1, 2009

Ed Bridge

Ed Bridge, President of Ben Bridge, has just been elected President of Jewelers for Children.

Jewelers for Children is a terrific non-profit organization that has donated nearly $32 million to programs benefiting children whose lives have been affected by illness, abuse or neglect.

It works with groups including the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Make a Wish Foundation, National CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Association, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help children in need.

Congratulations Ed–we are so proud of you and all the work you do for the jewelry industry and for children!

Article from Diamonds.net

Article from IDEX Online