National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Hearts on Fire names top retailers for 2013

November 08, 2013

Singer and songwriter Jewel was a surprise guest performer at this year’s Hearts on Fire University, held last week in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas--Bernie Robbins Jewelers took home Global Retailer of the Year and Northeastern Retailer of the Year honors at this year’s Hearts on Fire University (HOFU), which took place Oct. 27 to 30.

Held in Las Vegas, HOFU is a motivational and educational event organized by the brand. It brings together Hearts on Fire-carrying retailers from all over the world and recognizes top-selling retailers and their sales associates.

At this year’s event, Wimmer’s Diamonds in Fargo, N.D. was named Midwestern Retailer of the Year while Thomas Markle Jewelers in Houston was the Southern Retailer of the Year.

Simmons Fine Jewelry in Meridan, Idaho won Western Retailer of the Year while Majesty Jewelers from the Caribbean island of St. Maarten was named International Retailer of the Year. Beaverbrooks, with stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland, took home the award for Rookie of the Year.

The sales associates who earned best-in-class championship status were: Frank Krause of Lucido Fine Jewelry, Shawn Rummel of Meyers Jewelry, Mukesh (Max) Kumar of Noble Jewelers, Hae Yon Domingo of The Wedding Ring Shop and Shelley Fitzgerald of Smales Jewellers.

In addition, Hearts on Fire welcomed five stores into its Hall of Fame: Greenberg’s Jewelers in Iowa, Hursts’ Berwyn Jewelers in Illinois, Michael C. Fina in New York, The Wedding Ring Shop in Hawaii and Walters & Hogsett Fine Jewelers in Colorado.

HOFU has been an annual event for more than 15 years. It offers a comprehensive training program for HOF retailers that aim to develop stronger business strategies and develop teams.

Guest speakers, seminars, and small class sessions are all part of HOFU.

The brand focused on digital innovation this year, offering retailers extensive education on digital marketing and expanding its course schedule with hands-on workshops taught by experts in the fields of business, sales and personal development.

“Consumer shopping habits have changed dramatically in the past few years, and our goal was to refocus and reinvigorate the HOFU experience to reflect and embrace those changes. This year, we were able to integrate changes to the program and provide educational and motivational tools that will impact our retail family immediately … and most importantly during the upcoming holiday season,” said Gilly Strauss, executive vice president of global sales at Hearts on Fire.

This year’s HOFU was held at the Bellagio Resort, with more than 650 Hearts on Fire retailers in attendance.

Speakers at the event included Erik Wahl, a graffiti artist and author of Unthink: Rediscover your Creative Genius; Jeffrey Gitomer, a New York Times bestselling author; Susanne Conrad of Lululemon Athletica; and Scott Gallway of L2 Think Tank, who also is a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

In addition, Grammy nominee Jewel performed at the event.