Posts Tagged ‘Lisa Bridge’

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Ben Bridge Buyers in Las Vegas: Days 2 and 3

June 6, 2010

The 11 strong Ben Bridge buying team checks out all the latest products at the JCK Show in Las Vegas and has a little bit of fun!

Highlights include lots of beautiful Italian gold jewelry and giant Victorinox Swiss Army watches (read: Wall Clocks) as well as stopping by the “Kardashian Suite” in the Venetian to visit our friends at Gucci. We got to spend some time with supermodel Amber Valletta and Lisa ogled a tiny little bauble (35 carat D Flawless Emerald Cut).

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Live from Las Vegas: Day 1

June 3, 2010

The Ben Bridge buying team explores the latest offerings at the Couture Show in Las Vegas, June 3, 2010.

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Omaha Round Up (with video!)

May 3, 2010

It was a fun weekend in Omaha!

The Oracle was in typically fine form–answering questions all day about topics ranging from Goldman Sachs (he was supportive), derivatives (they continue to be dangerous when parties don’t understand them), and the long term prospects for the US (bullish). Even the usually taciturn Charlie Munger piped in with a few gems and added to the levity of the day. At one point a questioner asked about how to cope with potentially high interest rates in the future. Munger, 86, responded, “If I can be optimistic when I’m nearly dead, you all can handle inflation.”

Before the meeting began, there was a very amusing movie featuring Warren and Charlie and a few friends. This year’s movie included ABC’s Desperate Housewives plotting to land a billionaire and ending up with Charlie. Another segment had Warren pitching for the Boston Red Sox and striking out Alex Rodriguez to win the AL pennant. The movie included a preview of a new animated series called “The Secret Millionaires Club,” where Warren teaches kids about financial literacy.

There was also a cool video showing the history of Berkshire’s latest acquisition, Burlington Northern Santa Fe. BNSF dates back to 1849 and the railroad “Empire Builder” James J. Hill. BNSF has played an integral part in the growth of the United States and it is exciting to have the railroad as part of the Berkshire family.

Another highlight of the event is the chance to visit many Berkshire companies in the convention hall adjacent to the arena where the meeting takes place. Companies ranging from See’s Candy to Justin Boots, Dairy Queen, GEICO, and Fruit of the Loom hawk their wares to shareholders. Watch the video for more on that.

Because of the growth of the meeting, to get good seats we had to be in line at 5:45am! As unpleasant as it sounds to stand outside in the cold Omaha morning, waiting to get in only adds to the festival atmosphere of the meeting. It is so much fun to meet shareholders from all over the world and swap stories about meetings past, the boss, and speculate as to what Warren’s take will be on a great many issues.

It is truly a unique weekend–unlike anything else I have ever been to and likely unmatched by anything in the world. It is a fitting tribute to one of the world’s most admired and distinctive companies.

I look forward to next year’s meeting and encourage you to make plans to get to Omaha at least once for a spectacle unlike any other.

-Marc

From the floor at BRKFest 2010!

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Off to see the Oracle: Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting 2010

April 29, 2010

Warren Buffett and Marc Bridge, Ben Bridge Headquarters, May 2009

For the past ten years, Ben Bridge has been a proud member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies. Every year a number of us from the company join the thousands of pilgrims who make the trek to Omaha, Nebraska for the annual meeting that has been called “Woodstock for Capitalists”. This year is no exception.

Marc will be blogging from Omaha this weekend, and if he is really nice to her, our favorite travel blogger Lisa might contribute a word or two!

Last year more than 35,000 shareholders filled Omaha’s Qwest Center (and a number of nearby overflow rooms) to listen to 6 hours of questions and answers with Berkshire Chairman Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger. With the purchase of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, the stock split, and the company’s addition to the S&P 500 Index, thousands of new shareholders will be flocking to the Cornhusker State to learn from the masters.

“The Warren and Charlie Show”, as it is affectionately known, regularly covers topics as far reaching as the relative performance of the US economy, the impact of derivatives and government regulation, the rise of China, what small children should do with their lives, and every once in a while touches on the performance of Berkshire businesses in between bites of See’s Peanut Brittle and Cherry Coke. (Berkshire owns See’s Candy and is the largest shareholder in Coca-Cola).

In addition to the meeting itself, the weekend has sprawled into a celebration of business, investing, old-fashioned American values, and Omaha steaks. It is as much a carnival as a business meeting and the perfect embodiment of the Chairman’s worldview.

It is always an enjoyable, educational, and fun weekend. I hope you will check back periodically for updates from BRKfest 2010!

-Marc

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Ben Bridge Style: Lisa’s HOT DIAMONDS

April 16, 2010

HOT DIAMONDS Echo Pendant in Sterling Silver

HOT DIAMONDS Serenity Bracelet in Sterling Silver

“I’m Lisa Bridge and I’m here to share a fabulous new collection, HOT DIAMONDS. It’s a great new collection because they are fun, easy, completely affordable pieces that can be mixed and matched. I’m wearing my favorite necklace which is from the Echo Collection. It’s comfortable and fun and easy to dress up and dress down. Every piece is Sterling Silver with a little accent diamond. They are really great gifts to give people for birthdays, for just because, for anniversaries, or just to get for yourself. They’re not very expensive. The pieces range from $50 to $220. I’m also wearing the Pebble Bracelet. It is a fun piece, really comfortable and light weight to wear. It comes in great packaging. They have a really nice box. I’m really excited about this product. We’ve now launched it in 11 of our stores and on our website and I’m excited to see how it does. We’ve already sold a number of pieces and it’s going to be great. I’m looking forward to seeing it!”

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Lisa in Asia: Day 5

March 10, 2010

Well, it’s our last full day here in Hong Kong.  We have a number of appointments but also want to take a bit of time to walk through the show and look for potential new vendors.  The show is absolutely enormous filling level after level of the convention center.  It’s hard to even see one whole floor let alone the five that exist!

Our team at the end of the day

This trip, we have found some great new engagement rings and bridal sets.  One ring in particular grabbed Peter and I from inside a display.  It is just perfect, and got an ‘ooh’ from Laurie when we showed it to her.  It is an emerald cut diamond with small diamonds around it, and an intertwined band.  I particularly liked the motion of the band, it had dimension and visual interest.  It’s a size that will make it very affordable, but is also just beautiful, any woman would be happy to wear it.  I can’t wait for it to come in and have customers fall in love with it like we did!

It was exciting to see different jewelry than I’m used to seeing.  This show is so international, that we saw a different variety of styles and gemstones highlighted.  I fell in love with Jade. lavender Jade in particular.  Jade isn’t something often seen in traditional U.S. jewelry stores, but is extremely popular in Asia.  It can be extremely valuable, with the best pieces being worth more than diamonds.  I know very little about the stone, so I simply enjoyed looking at the windows of beaded, carved, and ornamental Jade.

When we were in Italy, Laura mentioned that there weren’t many people in my age group at the show.  We talked about the future of our industry and how important it is to have the next generation coming up through the ranks.  In Hong Kong, it was totally different, there were lots of members of that next generation.  At many of our appointments we talked with not only the owners of the company, but their forward thinking children as well.  I think that the mix of experience and enthusiasm is essential to the future growth of the industry.

It has been a great trip.  We have found some new, different merchandise, and I can’t wait for our stores to see it!

That’s all for this trip.

Good Night!

Lisa

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Lisa in Asia: Day 4

March 6, 2010

Today we saw some beautiful jewelry!

We started the morning with a company we have worked with since their inception.  In fact, we found out that we were their second customer when they founded the company in 1992.  Ben Bridge was second only because we had an afternoon appointment and they met with someone else that morning.  They really understand who we are and know how to create merchandise for us.

After lunch, Laura and I went to an appointment that was focused entirely on colored gemstones.  The vendor is extremely knowledgeable about different gems, and he had stones that were reasonable for us to buy, as well as fabulous specimens.  I have always loved colored gems, and that love only increased after getting my G.G. (Graduate Gemologist degree).

Laura sorts through gemstones

My favorite part of the meeting was getting to see unusual gems.  I held an enormous hunk of Rhodonite that was about the size of my hands.  We also saw a pile of the most fabulous, enormous, rough Morganite.  The peachy-pink color was quite intense!  I’m not sure I’d know what to do with those large stones, but they were very impressive.  I saw Brazilian Green Opal for the first time.  The stones were cut in to cabochons (smooth tops) and had a mysterious luminescence to them.  It is unbelievable what is able to come out of the ground!  At this appointment we were mostly looking for special collections for our Festival of Gems.  It is a show that will travel from store to store this summer.

Tumbled Morganite and other beautiful gems

This afternoon we saw some new concepts.  There was a new idea for men’s jewelry that was interesting, but ultimately decided it was targeting a younger customer than a BB customer.  We also saw a collection of adorable tiny charms.  There was everything from a Chanel bag to a colorful ice cream cone.

We had a very brief moment to walk the show at the end of the day, but tomorrow we have set aside time to do so.  We want to make sure we have the opportunity to really see what else is out there.

Good Night!

Lisa