IN THE PRESS: Green Lake Jeweler Jeremy Dunn

SPECTRA – the quarterly trade publication of the American Gem Society for the Nation’s gemologists, tradesmen, and members of AGS.

(Spectra (Summer, 2012) Retailer Spotlight: Green Lake Jewelry Works, American Gem Society Las Vegas, NV. )

Spotlight: Green Lake Jewelry Works – Green Lake Jewelry Works was founded by Jim Tuttle in 1996, where it originally opened in an impossibly small wedge of retail space overlooking Green Lake; a scenic Seattle park and charming neighborhood in which the shop owes its name. Before moving to Seattle, Jim learned the trade early on from his cousin and had made a career of working on custom creations, repairs, and restorations for a host of large jewelers in the Atlanta area (who either outsourced or otherwise hid the nitty-gritty of making jewelry). While it paid the bills, this distance between clients and the actual jeweler left Jim puzzled, and he became eager to change the way a jewelry store operates.

Jim Tuttle

Green Lake’s identity really gelled over the past 15 years. Instead of salespeople, their team includes jewelers, metalsmiths, and designers of the highest caliber are recruited to move between benches and display cases – each working with customers directly. With everyone bringing their own style to the place, it started to feel more like a gallery or collaborative, than just a retailer.

Spectra interviewed Jim to find out more about this unique AGS member store.

Describe the typical customer that walks through your door?

Folks have really come to recognize Green Lake as a custom design house – and typically they’ll seek us out with very specific ideas of what they’d like to have made. A majority of what we do is unique bridal pieces for clients who are referred to us by word-of-mouth. Rings will range from traditional estate-looking pieces to wild works that move, spin, or capture the free flowing lines of the natural world. And because the Seattle area is home to a slew of software and internet giants who employ young creatives with respectively larger budgets, our in-store clientele bring a ton of freedom and possibilities to the design process.

You offer your customers the unique experience of designing their own jewelry, but how else do you give them added value?

Green Lake strives to appeal to all the senses: We’ve worked very hard together as artists to showcase our collective talents; its apparent not only in the display cases but also on the walls, the floor, and the garden outside, that we’re open to wild ideas and dedicated to fine craftsmanship. Joined with the crackle from a flagstone fireplace, soft leather seating throughout, and the continual aroma of freshly ground coffee from our espresso bar, our Seattle studio makes a whole range of down-to-earth northwest sensibilities immediately available. People feel at home here.

Jeremy Dunn is your store’s titleholder. Tell us more about the role he plays in your store.

Jeremy Dunn, RJ

Jeremy wears a watchmaker’s loupe home with him. That’s just the kind of jeweler he is. He’s a dedicated, thorough and meticulous craftsman. As an in-store ambassador for AGS, he lends confidence to the quality and care of our work as well as our gemstone sourcing – just as he serves as a knowledge center for his colleagues on gemology.

While Green Lake has been a member of AGS for several years, we didn’t actually have a title holder to become an active member. It was Jeremy who highlighted the importance of participation and we’re proud to say that Jeremy became a registered jeweler at this year’s Conclave in Miami.


You’re very involved in social media – can you talk a bit about that?

As with most retailers, we’ve largely weaned off local print and turned our attention toward a host of social media platforms where our reach is more targeted, interactions more meaningful, and ROI more apparent. From blogging to design contests, we’ve recently placed an unprecedented emphasis on leveraging social media to raise our profile nationally. While the shop has maintained a Facebook presence for the past 3 years, for instance, 40% of our overall following was earned only in the past 6 months. Pinterest and other such photo-driven blog rolls are also the perfect venue to share our visually rich offering – and with a little web customization, we make it easy on our site for casual browsers to do the same.

Having recently become an Active member of the AGS, what are you most hoping to gain from membership?

With the AGS logo freshly adhered to the glass on our front entrance, we’re hoping to be recognized as a jeweler that is professional and responsible. As a shop, we also realize the need for ongoing training that highlights our association and how that translates to the client seeking to create pieces to last a lifetime. In this regard, Jeremy will assuredly continue to serve as a pivotal member of our team, educating those on either side of the display case – and keep us as a shop in cadence with the standards set forth by AGS.