Report by ICA Ambassador to Canada 6/21

ICA Ambassador Reports,

By Martine Lavoie

Dear ICA members,

Here in Montreal and it applies to the whole country, summer has arrived and for us Canadians it means a lot.

Little by little we are getting back some of our freedoms.

Each province manages the pandemic issues, the end of the lockdown, distribution of vaccines because all provinces were touched differently. Canadians are very receptive to being vaccinated. I think we will get 80% of the adult population vaccinated by September. This is giving us hope for the close future and helps mental health. It will also reflect on the economy for sure.

Business has been good since last may 2020.

I would say this applies to every jeweller all across the country. We are ourselves in contact with hundreds of them coast to coast and everyone is doing well and even quite happy. With the exception of the ones located in malls which is very sad.

The trend is definitely strong with sapphires (all colors, including Montana’s) and emeralds. Tourmalines and aquamarines are also popular. So, I would say it is a very traditional gemstones market.

It’s more difficult to sell fine gems such as spessartine garnet, chrysoberyl, Malaya garnet, etc.

As for the future we might change some habits. Traveling might be less often than before – sales trips and trade shows. This pandemic showed us new ways to work and we might keep some of these habits. We realized that we can work with a little less travelling.

It’s still important for us to attend at least one trade show (Tucson) to be up to date with market pricing, gems availability, education, network, and so on. ICA Congresses are also attractive in many ways.

Lots of people have shifted with transactional websites. But it’s for the same numbers of existing customers worldwide, so it will also take a long time before getting good results. We personally think it’s one more tool to reach customers and make some sales but not the main tool.
We see a lot of people doing “live video” on Instagram or Facebook. I’m not sure about the positive results. I don’t see many attendees but it gives them content to post after. There is so much time you can spend on social media, video, learning, and then managing your business.

I think people are doing it because you have to, but many people are a little disappointed with all the Internet. It’s a love and hate relationship!

So, we still have to be creative in any possible ways, work hard and give 100% excellent service and things should be ok!