#47: Jaya Oleksnianski, Founder of Jewelry Display of NY

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Jaya Oleksnianski is the founder of Jewelry Display, the first choice for all your jewelry displays, jewelry boxes, jewelers tools and jewelers supplies. We have the largest selection of jewelry displays on the web with over 3000 different products including ring displays, necklace displays and necklace stands, bracelet displays, earring displays as well as earring stands, watch cases and watch winders, showcase risers and all types of acrylic jewelry displays.

What do you consider your top 3 core values and how do they affect how you lead your business?

My 1st core value is providing excellent service to every prospect regardless of the size of the opportunity.

Being in a service industry enables me to differentiate myself and Jewelry Display of New York by providing my prospects and clients with the most customized, personal and technical level of service possible. Making my customers feel comfortable and confident that I understand their needs makes them feel at home and not pressured to just buying any item or product.  I strive in my approach to make our conversation about their needs collaborative and consultative to realize their vision or create one for them. My goal of this level of service is to ensure that my solutions are the ones that best represent their brand.

A quick anecdote; Sometimes, my clients come in just to say hi, talk, to laugh and to have chocolates - I always have chocolates in the showroom.  A client of mine was once with another client at another location when they noticed they were both eating Hersey’s kisses (my signature chocolate) and the other client simply said, “were you just with Jaya at Jewelry display?”

My 2nd core value is developing a true repertoire to understand my clients need is extremely important.

I must get to know my client to be able to realize their needs.  It’s critical to understand their business, where they are located, their customer segment, their competition and what are they trying to accomplish. Whether it be just buying stocked goods or determining if they are looking for made to order displays – this process enables me to develop a plan for them that is unique and distinguishes themselves from other jewelers.  They need to feel confident that my creation for them will showcase and be an extension of their brand equity.

Our clients are television shows, movie sets, up and coming jewelry designers, fashion houses, stylists, assistants and anyone trying to sell jewelry.

My 3rd core value is the importance I place on the attention to detail of custom orders.

My client is relying on me to be the specialist, the creative and inspirational support to showcase their brand. Custom orders require a significant amount of detail and specifications that a client usually isn’t aware of. It’s not simply crossing “all the T’s and dotting all the I’s” but it’s my job to make my client feel it is.  Making sure my clients’ needs, desires and deadlines are met with ease so they don’t have to worry about the execution of the order is my job. They need to feel excited about what we have created and know it will arrive in their store ready to showcase their brand with the vision we created together.

A client once said to me, they love working with me because I make them feel at ease by insuring that I will take care of every detail possible and they don’t have to worry about their opening deadline and the ordered goods will be exactly as they had requested.

Can you share a time you either thought you failed, or actually did fail? How did you react and move past it, and what impact did it have on business decisions?

I find the word failure to mean “game over” or a giving up sort of way. I never give up.

Life is a journey full of ups and downs.  Every day is a new learning experience with hiccups and mistakes along the way. Mistakes are just setbacks in the moment that teaches us and allows us to work better moving forward.

My biggest mistake was telling a client “don’t buy from me ever again”.  To this day, that moment haunts me. I feel that I should have found a solution to the problem.  But, in the moment, I couldn’t deal with the client’s rudeness and unprofessionalism.

The jewelry industry has always been a man’s industry.  Many men don’t believe a woman is the one in charge of running a store.  They always come into the showroom and say can I speak to the man in charge?

The client that I turned away wanted to return made to order goods that were bought six months prior, only because he no longer had use for them.  He was always condescending in his demeanor when talking to me. I always tried to accommodate his requests and demands. That day, about 15 years ago, I had had enough.  I always felt that if I was man, he wouldn’t talk to me as if I didn’t know what I was doing.

That day taught me to formalize my processes; to make sure all requests are documented with terms on paper and signed off by clients so that there are no misunderstandings.

I learned to be strong in a profession that favored men.

Not related to failure, but I’m so pleased to watch our industry changing.  Only in recent years has the industry become more friendly to woman entrepreneurs like me.  I love to see more women designing jewelry! Working with creative women is amazing. They inspire in finding new ways to showcase their goods. I feel camaraderie when I work with them. I always try to go the extra mile for those starting out. Having started this company at a young age with no little support along the way allows me to use my knowledge and experience to provide them with guidance and support.  Whether their budgets are large or small, I try to do whatever I can to accommodate their needs and requests. I was once in their shoes.

What types of projects do you have coming up that we can look forward to seeing in the future?

Aside from my wholesale showroom and made to order design work (which has been growing in the past few years through referrals), I am focused on steering my company into a new market segment, one-on-one design of closet interiors specifically created to organize client’s jewelry collection.

I have worked with stylists and personal assistants organizing their client’s jewelry in effective designs and methods that enables them to configure their jewelry with their outfits. I am working with architectural firms to manufacture made to order inserts for client’s closets for jewelry and upholstering the interiors of their drawers.

I would love to get more referrals in this offering to continue and use my creativity and skills developed over decades to reach new markets and grow this division of my company.  I truly love the design and build aspect from start to finish.