Manner Monday: Happy Valentine’s Day

With this particular holiday being one of the busier times of year when people are shopping for jewelry, I asked friend and local jeweler, Daniel Gordon, to share some etiquette tips from his perspective to help make the most out of your trip to the jewelry store.

Highlights from his post include:

  • Be a friend to your salesperson
  • Communicate clearly with your salesperson
  • and Due Diligence; spend a little bit of time to find a reputable retailer for the best shopping experience possible

Click here to read his entire post.

And don’t forget, when complimenting someone’s personal jewelry; don’t ask “how much” or “how many carats”? A simple, “that is a beautiful ring”, will suffice…no matter how much you are dying to know!  If you’re ever faced with such an awkward question: an easy answer is “Thank you, that’s a great question, I think it’s lovely as well”.

Are you running short on personalized stationery?  Please visit: we have hundreds of styles and designs from which to choose.

Please visit my post ‘What is Manner Monday?’ to learn more about how to make the most of Manner Monday. Do you have a ‘manner’ you would like to see covered on Manner Monday?  Feel free to send me your thoughts.

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Thank you for reading Manner Monday!

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Etiquette, Guest Blogger, Manner Monday, Manners

Jewelry Shopping Etiquette with Daniel Gordon

I asked friend and local jeweler, Daniel Gordon, to share some etiquette tips from his perspective to help make the most out of your trip to the jewelry store. I hope you enjoy his response:

Over the 15 years I’ve spent in the jewelry business at my family’s four-generation store in Oklahoma City, I’ve seen a lot and experienced many different types of interactions with thousands of clients. Some good, some leaving something to be desired. For the most part, the experience has brought me lifelong customers and even beyond into making true personal friendships. There is tried and true method to extract more value when shopping in any retail environment through simple steps of appropriate etiquette. As you might be shopping for jewelry or other gifts that require research and knowledge this upcoming Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share what I’ve seen work to hopefully help you get the most out of your shopping experience.

Be A Friend
The better you treat your salesperson, the more likely it is that they will go the extra mile for you. I find that when shopping for any item in a retail environment, if you treat your salesperson just like you would your friends, you will maximize your chances of getting exactly what you want. In a world where we expect much more for much less, the simple act of being kind can go a long way towards getting you what you want. The secret to doing this is simple. Ask their opinion, listen to their answers, and consider some of their options. Once you do this, make it clear what you are looking for and make a final decision based on all of your information. In the end, you are far more likely to get what you want and also you just may learn a little bit more to help you make better buying decisions.

You always extract more value with more effective communication. I always recommend that buyers go in with all of their research and that you are upfront about what you’ve learned. It helps those of us behind the counter to understand which direction you are leaning towards and makes for a much better buyer/seller collaboration. The seller’s reaction to this should give you a pretty good idea on whether or not they are there to help or if they only see a commission. I find that if someone comes back to you with options, tries to educate you with valid documents to back up the information, and respects your opinions, you are on the right track. It’s human nature to not want to show our cards, but I find that in most cases this leap of faith will tell you if you should move forward or move on to another place of business.

Due Diligence
Before stepping foot in a jewelry store, make sure you research and list the places you want to go. Blindly popping in and shopping each and every place you’ve ever passed will only serve to frustrate you and is a far less efficient use of your time. Ask friends, relatives and co-workers for recommendations, because no one will give you a better answer than those whom you already know and trust. Reviewing websites can be a nice repository of information, but take what you see with a grain of salt. Sites like Yelp and others can give you a good gauge, but one negative response is no reason not to give a local business a shot (several negative reviews is another story altogether). Once you’ve narrowed down your options, be sure to go in with an open mind, a clear picture of what you want and a smile on your face. I promise, it works every time!

Well, that’s about it: a base, and some guidelines that I have learned over the years that really will go a long way in your journey on finding that perfect item for the special occasion. Please don’t hesitate to contact me on Twitter, Facebook or by email I love to answer questions and be of service whenever I can.

Love to hear your feedback in the comments section down below & Happy Valentine’s Day! Good Luck on your “Shopping Journey”.

Daniel Gordon

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Etiquette, Guest Blogger, Manners

Workshop Etiquette

While ‘surfing the internet’ the other day, I stumbled upon this great blog post by Amber George, who lives in California.  I found it filled with great advice for workshop participants, from the organizers point-of-view.  Although her post is focused on art, I believe her advice can be applied to almost any ‘camp’ or ‘workshop’ experience.  I contacted Amber to ask if she would mind sharing her information as a guest blogger… and she happily agreed.  Please enjoy Amber’s post and feel free to leave comments for her here, or visit her website and thank her for sharing.

Enjoy Amber’s post:

… “I am getting ready to teach a two-day monotype workshop this weekend.  I have five students so it will be a nice small group, leaving me plenty of time to really help each person and maybe even pull a few prints myself.  I’ve taken dozens of workshops over the years along with leading workshops in a variety of subjects, and it occurred to me that there is an unspoken set of rules that apply to workshops that is seldom talked about.  So here’s what I think is important to keep in mind if you are taking a workshop, chime in if you think of one I miss.

1. Be on time, even 10 minutes early, but don’t be late.  Nothing is worse for me than feeling like that last student or two will walk in the door any minute, so I’ll hold off on starting. At some point I have to weigh starting without someone and wasting the time of the students who were on time.  Plus, once I am in the groove it’s hard to go back and catch someone up.

2. Don’t show up too early and expect to have the instructors undivided attention. This happens fairly often for me. I have students that show up 45 minutes before the start of the workshop, excited to start the workshop, filled with enthusiasm and I really appreciate the positivity. But honestly, I am trying to get everything in it’s place so that I can effectively teach and students have everything that they need to have a successful first day.  As much as I’d love to sit and chat, I can’t.

3. Be prepared to share.  In a workshop situation, I supply a generous quantity of what I think students will need and want but I don’t always have enough on hand for everyone to have one of everything.  Usually people end up sharing and while it’s not always a problem, if you are used to having something all to yourself, bring it. And if you have something that you’d like to share with others, you’ll earn the appreciation of your fellow students.

4. Be tolerant of other personalities. Every once in a while, someone comes to class and they don’t want to play nice. Whether they are pushy, bossy, politically incorrect or a slob, sometimes you have to look the other way. As an instructor, I try to deal with the offenders quietly and privately to see if I can moderate their behavior, for instance pointing out that their stuff is crowding someone else’s workspace. Grin and bear it if you can.

5. Label your personal things. I hate at the end of the workshop trying to figure out which brayer is mine and which is yours, and it happens more than you think. So mark your tools like scissors, brushes, x-actos and anything else that you bring so that we can tell them apart at the end of the workshop.

6. Avoid controversial topics. Try not to bring up issues that are controversial like politics and religion. While I find that most people that take workshops are open minded and well informed, you never know when someone in the room really believes that they were abducted by aliens, and they have the marks to prove it.  I am not saying be fake, just bear in mind that it can make it awkward to have these conversations go awry. And for the record, I neither believe nor disbelieve in alien abduction, just in case someone who took a ride on a space ship wants to take my workshops. wink.

7. Clean up after yourself. I know, this seems really silly to have to mention this to adults but it’s true.  Enough said.

Those are the things that I think a workshop participant should keep in mind when they take a workshop. I really love teaching workshops. I have developed friendships with many people who have taken my classes over the years. Teaching helps me be a better artist too, watching people create and solve problems, and as the Chinese proverb so wisely states, “When one teaches, two learn.” …”

Please visit Amber’s blog at

Amber’s Biography:

Amber George is a painter and printmaker. Her work is informed by her observations of nature.  Whether in her garden or on a sailboat, her eye is keen to search out shapes and patterns in nature. Growing up in California, she studied art from an early age.  She spent her summers around her family in the Midwest, where family vacations were spent camping, gardening, horseback riding in the Rockies and being outside.   She attributes these experiences to her profound love of nature and plants.

Amber George received her BA in Fine Art from UCLA in 1994 where she studied with some of the most notable contemporary artists in Los Angeles. Her work has received attention from writers and gallery owners alike. In 2008 she had a solo show, Roots and Branches, at the Museum of the Southwest in Midland Texas. Her painting Parasol Landscape was featured in the 2008 book Embracing Encaustic written by Linda Womack. She currently shows her work in galleries across the US.

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Etiquette, Guest Blogger, Manners