Fireside Chat: Denise Richards

Denise Richards is a Certified Gemologist Appraiser, is a member of the management team at Underwood Jewelers and is the current Young Titleholder President of the American Gem Society (AGS).

At Underwood’s, Richards is responsible for operation management, inventory control and social media. Her Facebook posts have exemplified successful implementation of a social media plan to reach a younger diamond buying demographic.

We are excited to have Richards joining us at JCK Tucson 2019 to speak as a Fireside Chat panelist for Can Inspiration Influence Your Business? taking place February 7 from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. See our conversation with Richards herself and get to know our Fireside Chat panelist:

Describe your day in numbers.
10% social media, 10% digital marketing, 10% gemological work, 10% accounts payable/bills, 10% vendor reporting, 10% website maintenance, 10% inventory control, 10% helping staff with problems or questions, 10% buying, 10% conference calls, 10% company reporting. My day is never boring!

What is your background in the jewelry industry? How did you get your start?
I have a BA in Dance from Leeds University in England. My plan was to move back to my hometown in Jacksonville, FL and dance/teach, but as it turned out, that didn’t fully pay my bills. I started at Underwood’s as a temp employee in 2005 and Michael (my husband now) bought me out of my contract because I got in a giant dumpster to find jewelry in which another employee had lost. I fell in love with the industry and the people pretty quickly. Michael likes to tell people he purchased me now.

What is your favorite type of jewelry to wear? Do you have a special piece of jewelry that you always wear?
Only yellow gold! My favorites are my 36mm Presidential Rolex, my Erica Courtney engagement ring and a long Marco Bicego necklace.

What are your most memorable moments from one of our JCK events?
This is hard because many of them are nights at Eye Candy which are a little unmemorable! I would say 1) Last year’s party with JCK, WJA, GenNext and the AGS Titleholders at Libertine Social was incredible. It’s been really great to see the younger generations come together to form a truly large group of future leaders. I remember 5 years ago our first party just had a few people and it’s now grown to hundreds!  2) Being at the JCK show for the first time in 2010. I had NO idea how big a jewelry show could be, no idea that I would need to make appointments at least 30 minutes apart, no idea I should not wear high heels and no idea that I would walk at least 5 miles in one day. JCK Vegas should have stock in Band-Aids. 3) The Plumb Club when we saw a private show of Michael Jackson’s One. My feet could touch the stage!

What are you most looking forward to in 2019?
Industry event: AGS Conclave in Seattle, Personal event: hiking to Machu Picchu

What’s in store for Underwood Jewelers in the future?
We’ve been in business since 1928, and you can’t do that without evolving.  Underwood’s will continue to stay relevant to our industry and customer’s needs by keeping up with everything and anything that comes our way.

Would you consider expanding to other locations outside of Florida? If so, what cities or areas would you be interested in?
We have a sister company in Birmingham, AL called Bromberg’s that has two locations and has been in business since 1836. It is the oldest family run retail store in the United States.

What does it mean to you to be an American Gem Society (AGS) member and how does it align with your brand identity and company culture?
As an AGS jeweler we stand behind our philosophy of quality, ethics and education. Through the American Gem Society and GIA we send each of our sales staff members to become Registered Jewelers, making us the most educated jewelry store in the South and providing consumer protection.

Can you share with our readers a small glimpse of the topics and conversation that you think will prominent during JCK Tucson 2019?
I hope that we’re finally over the millennial topic! Turns out there’s a group of us willing and wanting to work in the jewelry industry. And when the leaders are millennials, their friends will be customers! I’m sure a huge hot topic will be lab grown diamonds and gemstones, and it should be. The industry as a whole should come together for everyone’s protection in regards to synthetics or lab grown in manufactured jewelry (unless it’s disclosed!).

Learn more about this Fireside Chat featuring Denise Richards here.
Discover more inspiring events at JCK Tucson 2019 here.
Haven’t registered for JCK Tucson 2019 yet? There’s still time! Register here.

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