Michael Schechter

April 14, 2023

Welcome to Brilliant Rough

Hi there! I’m Michael Schechter, a third-generation, lifelong jeweler. I’ve spent the majority of my life and my career at the crossroads of fine jewelry and emerging technology. As anyone who has ever spent more than five minutes with me knows, I love to overthink and discuss how our more traditional industry can leverage modern tech. After an intervention from close friends and colleagues, we all mutually agreed that a weekly (for now) newsletter seemed a more productive outlet for these thoughts and ideas.

Who is this for?

Figuring out what you want to say is easy, especially when you’re passionate about the subject. Figuring out how to make what you want to share relevant for others is a far greater challenge. Identifying who can benefit most from what you know, well… that’s the key. 

This newsletter seeks to reach companies and individuals in the jewelry business who are struggling to leverage technology online and in store. It’s for those who know technology is essential, but have yet to make their website, email presence, social media and internal systems essential to driving their business. 

Why listen to me?

Over my 23-year career, I’ve had the good fortune to be in the right places at the right times. 

For the first decade I had the great fortune to work for my family business, Honora, building our first websites, evolving our internal systems to meet our growing needs and being a pioneer in crafting a digital presence. I was also privileged to see Freshwater Pearls emerge on the market and change the shape of pearl classics and fashion.

Following Honora’s 2013 acquisition by the Berkshire Hathaway-owned Richline Group, I spent the second decade of my professional life working with many of the largest retailers in the world as ecommerce went from its exciting infancy to its awkward early childhood. 

Over the past three years, I split my time between helping wind down the more niche Gemvara ecommerce business while partnering with technical and jewelry team members to leverage its innovative made-to-order configuration platform for mid-market and luxury retail jewelers.

From overseeing web development, to ecommerce, to social presence, to software development, I’ve done it all. And I’ve seen it all through the lens of an industry that, in my professional opinion, is struggling to make the most of digital possibilities. 

Challenging as applying technology to the jewelry businesses can be, I believe our brightest days are ahead and I want to do my part to help as we shift toward an omni-channel future.

Why a newsletter?

There are no shortage of possibilities for creating content these days. I chose email for two reasons:

  • Ownership - Along with your website, an email list is one of the few digital assets you actually own. Social Media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok can change the rules at any moment and will often do so to benefit their own paid advertising. 
  • Experience - Much as I want to experiment with video and other content formats, I have years of experience blogging and writing for industry publications like JCK. I know I can regularly deliver content that I am confident will create value for you.

Why am I doing this?

To some extent it’s free advertising, lead generation and sponsorship possibilities (figure it’s better to say the quiet part out loud). To some extent, I just love talking about these subjects and miss having a place to share my thoughts online. Regardless, my mission is to ensure this newsletter remains more valuable to those of you reading than it is for me. 

What should you expect?

To start, it will be a weekly update in the form of a blog post in a similar tone and format to this welcome letter. I will look to blend my experiences with insights that I believe can help you. If that’s not for you, no worries! I will always make it easy to unsubscribe. If this is right up your alley, please do me a favor and share this with others who you believe could benefit as well.

About Michael Schechter

Hi there! I’m Michael Schechter, a third-generation, lifelong jeweler. I’ve spent most of my life and career at the crossroads of fine jewelry and emerging technology. Subscribe to receive weekly advice for jewelers struggling with new possibilities online and in store.