After 30 years in the jewelry industry working as a bench jeweler, sales professional, manager and owner, Michael Gerwig had a very clear image of how he wanted to establish and build his new store in Fayetteville, AR. He envisioned Michael-Seigler Jewelry & Design as a unique jewelry design and custom manufacturing salon built exclusively on the foundation of CAD/CAM technology.
The Owner and Visionary
Gerwig entered the world of CAD technology in 1995 when he bought and learned to use Digital Goldsmith, Gemvision’s 2-dimensional jewelry design software. He found that he had a knack for design and presentation in this new venue and, realizing great success with his customers, he began to see the future of his operation solidify. So, when he was invited by Gemvision to be in the first group to learn about and use Matrix, Gemvision’s 3-dimensional jewelry design software, he dove into the opportunity with characteristic Gerwig enthusiasm.
10 Key Ingredients of the Michael-Seigler
Jewelry & Design Retail CAD/CAM Success
Upon entering Michael-Seigler Jewelry & Design, customers are immersed in Gerwig’s design world. Beautifully crafted showcases feature original jewelry pieces, designed and created by Gerwig and his staff at their in-store shop. Displayed on the walls of the professionally-designed contemporary showroom are several 2-foot-square images of Gerwig’s original jewelry designs, which serve well to highlight his innovative style as well as communicate the store’s niche. The images are 3D renderings of designs that he created by using Matrix, Gemvision’s 3D design software. The Matrix-generated design images were printed on canvas by a local print shop â and look like oil paintings.
The showroom features a specially designed Computer Aided Jewelry Design center where customers are comfortably seated to discuss the creation of their new jewelry with Gerwig. The center includes a 50-inch flat panel monitor for viewing the various design ideas and finished renderings. When not in use for consultation the screen displays a series of Matrix images of Gerwig’s jewelry designs in a slide show format.
The Design Interview
The sales staff at Michael-Seigler is instrumental in working with clients and inspiring custom orders. There are several finished original designs in the showcases that provide examples.
Here, Lynn Coy shows a customer one of the finished pieces that is also featured in the jewelry image to his left. Coy says “Having original finished pieces that are also featured in our wall images or slide shows allows me the opportunity to explain what we do. It is easier for customers to envision how we can work with them on pieces they are considering having designed or remade. The fact that our design and manufacturing is done on the premises is very important to our customers”.
If it’s a custom design customers are seeking, they are seated at Gerwig’s design center. Here they can sit comfortably, share ideas and discuss parameters. As customers communicate their design ideas, Gerwig shows similar elements from previously designed pieces on his computer using Gemvision Matrix software. He has a library of design elements and finished work, all categorized and easily accessible. Images are displayed on the 50-inch flat panel monitor above.
The Final Design Consultation
Here customer Amy Bain is reviewing the final details of her soon-to-be-upgraded wedding and engagement set with Gerwig. Bain was inspired to have her jewelry redesigned after hearing one of the store advertisements on the radio. Terry Seigler, the vice president and shop manager writes and narrates many of the store’s radio commercials. The advertisement compared recycling of unworn jewelry with recycling in general. According to Bain, “The radio advertisement started me thinking about my interest in upgrading my wedding set and combining it with an anniversary ring that I seldom wore”.
Gerwig had recorded enough information from Bain’s initial interview to produce a design using Gemvision’s Matrix. After completing it, he sent several views of the design to Bain via e-mail. According to Bain, “It was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. I have had custom designs made in the past and was previously shown my piece in a wax format only. Seeing several finished views of this design with all of my diamonds in place made my choice simple”.
After reviewing the design with her husband, Bain returned to the store to make arrangements for the project to begin.
The VP & Bench Jewelers
Terry Seigler’s name is on the door and is the vice president of the business. His key role is shop manager and chief bench jeweler, providing the expertise to make customer dreams and Gerwig’s designs a reality. He also writes and narrates store advertisements for radio. Gerwig, an accomplished and capable bench jeweler no longer works at the bench, focusing on design, sales and day to day management of the store. The store is actively seeking another bench jeweler to work with Seigler to keep up with the stores quickly growing demand.
Jewelry making, stone cutting and casting were among Seigler’s and his father’s hobbies as a teenager. While attending college to become a forest ranger, he determined jewelry making would be his true passion and wanted it to be his avocation. He left college and attended the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology to learn the trade. He worked as a bench jeweler for a retail store then ran a trade shop providing repair and custom order services to the trade prior to hooking up with Gerwig.
The Shop and Equipment
|Gerwig bought the very first Revo 540 Model A mill from Gemvision. He recently sold it and purchased Gemvision’s new 540 Model B mill. 100% of the stores 500 plus product, custom and corporate jewelry designs are made using Gemvision’s Matrix. About 90% of the models are done on the Revo 540 Model B mill.|
This piece was designed using Gemvisioin’s Matrix and then the wax carved using the Revo 540 B mill. The ring, a gift to a mother from her husband has their two children’s initials, “x’s and o’s” to represent hugs and kisses and is made in white and yellow gold.
According to Seigler, “This and other designs are easier and faster to complete when they have been generated by Matrix and carved by the mill. They more or less become a simple casting, finishing and setting job”.