I started my career in the jewelry business in 1977 when Claude Shane and Pat Clancy hired me as a sales associate at Smith’s Diamond Brokers, a subsidiary of Trading Company of America, dba The Shane Company. After 13 months on the sales floor I was promoted to the position of Director of Merchandising, charged with implementing merchandising programs for a total of 6 retail stores. It was about this same time that the company undertook a massive expansion plan, growing from 6 retail stores to 37 retail stores over the next 10 years.
To accommodate the additional stores our buying habits changed dramatically and I began traveling overseas to the Diamond Capitals of the World. Thus began my transformation from simply placing orders to that of becoming one of the youngest International Diamond Traders in the world. Over the course of the next 16 years I spent between 100 to 120 days a year overseas. An average trip would be 17 days with some trips lasting as long as 30 days.
Opals were sourced in Hong Kong, along with custom made shirts and suits, while pearls were bought in Kobe, Japan. In 1990, I was part of a management group that bought The Shane Company and continued running it for a number of years. However, because of my international travel schedule, I retired early to be able to become more involved with my children as they reached High School age.
Shortly after retiring, I reunited with my former business partner Pat Clancy and started The Diamond Connection, a wholesale and retail operation. While I was still traveling overseas, 2 to 3 trips per year, it was much easier to manage than 6 to 8 trips. Since 2002, I have concentrated exclusively on consulting for retail stores and jewelry wholesalers as well as assisting my personal clients I have developed relationships with over the decades. I look forward to assisting my 3rd and 4th generation of clients from the same family and all our new clients in the coming years.