Mark Noelke and Sunshine Hommes from Altemueller Jewelry, Washington, recently attended the 2018 Retail Jewelers Organization (RJO) Winter Buying Show in Savannah, Ga.

The three-day event, themed Savannah Sparkle, provided jewelers the opportunity to purchase new items at prenegotiated prices, network with other top jewelers from across the nation, and check out the latest industry trends.

“Being able to purchase jewelry at prenegotiated prices at the RJO show is a huge draw to attend because we’re able to pass along those savings to our customers,” said Noelke.

“But, just as important, is the continuing education opportunities that are offered,” he said. “We want to make sure we understand everything that is happening in our industry.”

Altemueller Jewelry was able to participate in seminars highlighting some key industry topics such as selling to millennials, building action plans for successful events and improving productivity.

They were also included in roundtable discussions allowing peer-to-peer sharing to ensure the best practices, ideas and information is being brought back to their store to share with their customers.

In 1966, RJO was founded by a small group of independent jewelers who joined together to command better vendor prices by buying collectively.

Since that time, RJO has added hundreds of members, essential support programs and marketing services while remaining owned by its jeweler members.