By Ashley Davis
In a new series, National Jeweler is taking the pulse of the nation’s independent jewelers state by state. Here, we talk with Giamante in Anchorage.
Anchorage, Alaska--Amid the changing and challenging retail environment, the editorial team at National Jeweler wondered how macro trends--from online shopping to serving new generations of shoppers--have affected jewelers in disparate parts of the country.

In order to find out, we decided to launch a new series called 50 Jewelers/50 States, in which we interview one retailer in each of the 50 U.S. states.

The second installment features Giamante jewelry store in Anchorage, Alaska, a fairly new venture from industry veterans and husband-and-wife duo Joseph and Debi Gimeno, who face Alaska’s current economic uncertainties. 

20170426 50StatesAlaska headerGiamante in Anchorage, Alaska is a single-store operation. The store, which was founded in 2012, is 1,700 square feet and has two employees. It is owned by Debi Gimeno and her husband, Joseph, is the operations manager.

National Jeweler: What's the biggest challenge your store is facing?

Joseph Gimeno: It’s very particular to our state. Right now, because of the oil industry leaving Alaska, we are in a major recession and we’re doing OK, but we have to deal with a new economic scenario, which is affecting most businesses and leading to a lot of unemployment.

Oil was a major provider of jobs and money in Alaska. The challenge is adapting to the state’s new economic outlook over the last year and a half.

NJ: What’s the top-selling item or brand at your store?

JG: Definitely engagement rings. For brands, Danhov out of L.A. is one of the top-selling designers that we carry.

NJ: Describe your regional customer.

JG: We try to cater to higher-end customers. We specialize in bridal, so we seek mostly people who are looking to get engaged or married or celebrating anniversaries.

NJ: What’s the most popular style of engagement ring with your clientele now?

JG: Here, we’re definitely still selling a halo with a basic shank, very thin. Minimalist.

NJ: What about diamond shapes?

JG: Round diamonds are definitely the most popular.

20170426 50StatesAlaska insertPictured here is the husband and wife team behind Giamante jewelry store, Debi and Joseph Gimeno.

NJ: What’s your internet and social media presence like? What accounts do you have or actively use?

JG: We have a well-maintained website, but we don’t sell online. We’re very active on social media and our website is directly connected to all of our social media accounts: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram. We’re everywhere.

Our main focus online is on acquiring new clientele and keeping our clientele informed of what’s going on here.

NJ: Of the social media accounts you’re using, which is the most important to you?

JG: I would say Facebook.

NJ: What’s the best piece of advice you’d offer to other independent jewelry stores?

JG: You have to find your niche--how you are different than everybody else--and then do that.

For us, I think the quality of our customer service and the way that we care sets us apart. We genuinely care about our customers, and it shows.

NJ: What’s a fun fact about you we can share with our readers?

Debi Gimeno (in the background): You speak five languages.

JG: That’s not a fun fact … I’ve been a jeweler working in the jewelry industry pretty much nonstop since 1977.

DG: You like to jump off of really high things.

JG: (laughs) That has nothing to do with work, but that is true.

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.