Jewelry 201 - Jewelry Information, Jewelry Tips and Trends

  • Top 8 Questions to Ask When Booking a Venue By Amber Small

    One of the many reasons I love Maine is the amount of variety that is offered in this stunning State. We have mountains, lakes, rustic barns, cities; all offering fabulous settings for a wedding ceremony. No matter what kind of setting your dream wedding calls for, Maine can fulfill it.  

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    When beginning your wedding planning, choosing an appropriate venue that fits your requirements is of absolute importance. Location, location, location! The venue is the one factor that will dictate your budget, design, and number of guests and overall feel of the wedding. Figuring out what kind of scenery you want your venue to have, whether you want to have a large or a small wedding, and if you want your ceremony and reception to be indoors or outdoors are all great details to decide before looking into options for venues.

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    With each decision you make, a number of pieces need to come into play… tented weddings means rentals and creating a location from the ground up. This can be more complicated and pricey then a resort or a venue that has everything you need on site. If you choose an indoor venue there are certain design elements that you will not be able to control such as structural elements and lighting choices. The most important thing to keep in mind is your overall vision for your big day.

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    Another part of booking the perfect venue is making sure that you take the time to ask the right questions. Booking your venue can be very exciting, as well as nerve wrecking! In the moment your feelings may cloud your judgment and you may forget certain details of your big day.

     

    Here are some important questions to consider while booking a venue:

    • What does the venue include?  Are tables, chairs, dishes, flatware, stemware, etc. included?
    • Who and how is the set up managed?
    • Who is the contact for the event?
    • What are the time constraints for coming in and leaving the property?
    • What are the constraints for decor: open flames, lightings, etc.?
    • What are your food and alcohol liabilities?
    • What is the parking situation for my guests?
    • Am I the only event on the property?

    There are some wonderful venues in Maine that can accommodate any size, budget, or style needs. Narrowing down your wants and needs will help you find it!

     

  • Engagement Ring Shopping: For the Guys that Need Help!

    download5While we guys do pay attention to what you want and appreciate the hints you have given us along the way...we need a little help finding that perfect ring; the diamond enagement ring that you have been dreaming about since you were a little girl.

    Besides your winning smile, your diamond engagement ring is the single most important adornment you will wear for the rest of your life.  As such, a lot of thought must go into choosing the right ring.

    Some might say, "let him pick the right one after all he did pick you, right?"  That may be true but, picking the right ring is a lot harder than it seems.  Especially for a guy!  Sure we can do research online and talk to our buddies but, that doesn't promise that we will find the right engagement ring for you!

     

    download_(1)1So as men, this is our plea: please share your thoughts with us! Take us into a jewelry store and show us some styles that fit personal preferences. Text me pictures of rings that adequately encompass everything you want in a ring. Share pictures on facebook, pinterest, take a selfie or post a picture on instagram. Tell your mother, your sister, your best friend, or any other relavant person your ring size and your center stone preference.  Spread the word!  Why? Because, us guys will need to know when we walk into that jewelry store that we are picking the "right" ring.

    For those guys that don't get the hints (there will be some) - there are guides to assist you when the time comes to find the perfect engagement ring. Start with the Ultimate Guide: How to Buy an Engagement Ring...Yes, this is the "in your face" type of hint (click on it)!

     

    dave-webAnother tip is to be sure to pay attention to her style of jewelry. What do other rings look like that she wears? What colors are they? Are they big or small? Take pictures of them when she isn't around, or look for pictures of the two of you together and see what she is wearing in them.

    While she is going to love any engagement ring that you pick for her, making sure you are paying attention to what she wants is a great start to a marriage - "happy wife, happy life." 

    We are always here to help too! If you have questions let us know.

    Blogger: Dave Smith, Waterville Day's Jewelers

     

  • 5 Ways to Involve Family in Wedding by Bride Blogger Amanda Aceto

    caption_vertical_acetoUnderstanding our family origins and what we are all about as individuals makes it easier to discuss our values as husband and wife and, hopefully someday, as parents. We both know that we are Catholic, we want children, and we both love our families. Perfect! But what is our plan? Where will we be in five or ten years? What are our hopes and dreams for our marriage? It is so easy to get lost in the process of wedding planning and lose sight of these invaluable conversations. If I can offer any bit of advice it would be to take some time away from all those incredibly overwhelming (and exciting) wedding planning to converse with your significant other about your values and what you will be contributing and bringing into your marriage. 

    caption_vertical_marsden_familyOur involvement with our families has been something we felt has made the wedding planning easier. We have called upon the help of families for creative input, timing, and guest lists. We have also asked our parents for their input in regards to tables and seating arrangements. We feel that with a lot of family friends attending we wanted to provide them with the best experience and our parents have given us great input with putting together appropriate seating arrangements. This open communication has really brought us all closer together and has provided clear expectations. 

    caption_vertical_tributeOne way Kevin and I have chosen to pay tribute to our family is to have photographs displayed of our parents and grandparents on their wedding day. Going through these pictures is incredibly emotional, but it also gives you a sense of where you came from and after all the flashes and fancy clothes are put away you have a lifelong commitment. Kevin and I have one terrific grandparent between us however the memory of our grandparents is something we wanted to keep ever present. We will have a tribute to our grandparents and those who have gone before us.  We deeply value our heritage and want to keep that as a part of our day.

    Our family is incredibly important to us. The conversations we have around our future as a married couple have made our transition from “dating” to “engaged” to soon-to-be husband and wife incredibly exciting. Having these sometimes difficult discussions about the future and our values, have brought us closer together as a couple and put the marriage back into the forefront.

     

  • How Old is 100 Years?

    I was talking to a gentleman a few months ago who has never been in Day's Jewelers and has had a bad experience with another jeweler.  His experience was so poor that he really had no trust whatsoever in jewelers....period.  He would have chosen never to set foot in a jewelry store again, but his wife wanted a new ring and she was going to have it!  She proceeded to drag him in to us (at great protest, I imagine) and stick him in front of our mounting case.  Her request was simple and easily met so we quickly pinned down what she wanted and even met the budget she had in mind.  All the while, her husband is telling us how much he hates jewelers and letting us know he would rather be elsewhere.  As we are finalizing the deal, her husband saves the best zinger for last.  He looks me in the eye and says “How do I even know I can trust you?"  I can only expect he was waiting for me to stumble over my words and give him an excuse to back out of the deal, but I have been at this for 20 years and have heard this one before!  I am fortunate to work for a company who values personal integrity and business ethics above all else, so I looked him in the eye and simply answered “Because you are in Day's Jewelers.  We have been around 100 years because people can trust us, not in spite of it."  The answer satisfied him and we finished the sale.

    13900487192_dc528967d3I really had not thought much more about that incident until I was looking at our 100 year logo while I was deciding what to write on my next blog.  I was reminded of the incident and thought:  How old is 100 years
    really?  I mean, we all get how much one hundred is as a number, but what is it in time?  How much has gone on in the world?  What changes have occurred?  How much has the company changed?  By asking these questions, I think one gets a true sense of what it really means for a company to exist for 100 years.  I wanted some answers, so I thought it would be fun to search the internet (which was not even a thought when Day's was founded) and see what it was like in 1914.

    Take a walk down history lane with me and imagine the world when these things were new...

    In 1914, These Events Happened.

    1. The first scheduled airline flight took place.

    2. Merrill/Lynch was founded.

    3. The first steamboat passes through the Panama Canal.

    4. Henry Ford introduces the assembly line for the Model T.

    5. Beverly Hills, Ca. is incorporated.

    6. Charlie Chaplin debuts “The Tramp ".

    7. The first stone of the Lincoln Memorial is laid.

    8. Titanic's sister ship, Britannic is launched.

    9. Babe Ruth plays his first professional game of baseball.

    10. President Wilson proclaims Mother's Day.

    11. Greyhound Bus Company is founded.

    12. World War I begins.

    13. Mahatma Gandhi’s first arrest for Indian rights.

    14. United States Army Air Corps is founded.

    15. The Federal Trade Commission is formed.

    16. Ford wages go from $2.40/9 hr. day to $5.00/8 hr. day.

    17. ASCAP is formed in NYC.

    18. The first successful blood transfusion took place.

    19. The first air flight out of sight of land takes place.

    20. The first motorcycle race takes place in Dodge City, Kansas.

    Take a walk through the history of Day's Jewelers.

     

    mark-poulin2-web20111Blogger: Mark Poulin, Store Manager,

    Auburn Day's Jewelers

    Sixteen years ago, Mark joined the Day’s Jewelers family. A manager from the start, Mark came to Day’s from a management career at KB Toys. with a vast amount of retail experience, Mark has managed three Day’s Jewlers locations - Auburn, Brunswick, South Portland and now he is back in Auburn. He has also worked as a Service Manager and Customer Service Manager at Day’s Waterville location.

    Mark is a very devoted father spending every chance he can with his children.

     

     

  • REACTOR Traveling Trunk Show Comes to Day's!

    With Father’s Day right around the corner, the REACTOR Traveling Trunk Show is right on time…no pun intended. REACTOR Watch Representative, Stuart Hubbard, will be in Maine this Wednesday, May 21st through Friday, May 23rd, at 3 different Day’s Jewelers locations with an expanded selection of REACTOR watches you won’t find anywhere else in the state. 

    photoof_stuI sat down with Stu to get the inside scoop on what makes a REACTOR watch nearly indestructible, why it is the perfect Father’s Day gift for Dads that live and play hard, and what the special surprise is that he’s bringing for Red Sox fans.

     

    KL: Can you describe what makes a REACTOR watch so special?

    SH: It comes down to REACTOR’s DNA. There is a set of unique qualities that go into each and every REACTOR watch. All together, these qualities make a virtually indestructible timepiece.

     

    KL: How many factors make up the REACTOR DNA?

    SH: There are 5 core features that make REACTORs outlast and outperform any other watch you’ve ever owned. Solid forged cases, solid screw bars, screw-down crown, forged caseback, and Superluminova markings.  All cases are forged from solid marine grade type 316L stainless steel or titanium for the ultimate in strength and corrosion resistance. Bands are attached with solid threaded screw bars providing 500% more strength than typical spring bar construction. The screw-down crown and forged caseback also add to the extreme durability of each REACTOR. All together, these qualities make a virtually indestructible timepiece.

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    KL: The Superluminova is exclusive to REACTOR isn’t it? How does that technology work and why is it a benefit over “glow-in-the-dark” technology?

    SH: REACTOR’s proprietary layering of Swiss Superluminova makes their dials the brightest and longest lasting on the market.  Never Dark®, REACTOR’s patented dial technology, goes one step further than being just “glow-in-the-dark.” By combining their proprietary layering of Superluminova with tritium tubes REACTORs provide both short term and long term readability in any light or no light at all.

     KL: What about water resistance?

    SH: Every REACTOR was built to thrive in the water but models like the Trident, Poseidon, Gamma, and Gryphon were specifically designed to excel underwater and serve as diving watches. Some models were tested in water as deep as 1,000M and performed flawlessly. All models and are good choices for Fishermen, boaters, and others that work or play in close contact with water.

     

    reactor_brunswickKL: Rumor has it that you’re bringing something really special to giveaway at the Traveling Trunk Shows. What is this special surprise and how did you come by it?

    SH: Anyone who comes to at least one of the Trunk Show dates can enter to win a Boston Red Sox jersey autographed by Jon Lester. Jon is a fan of REACTOR and owns a couple of his own. When we told him about the shows he signed the jersey and sent it up to us to give to one lucky fellow REACTOR Connoisseur.

    KL: We know that REACTORs can take bullets, catch 300lb bull sharks, and are the best built Sportswatch… Period, but what drew you to Reactor?

    SH: A REACTOR watch will last you a lifetime. That's what attracted me to the REACTOR line, the strength and durability of these watches are hard to match. Having been in the watch industry for as long as I have, l have access to a lot of different brands and follow closely the trends and styles. Reactor watches crossover into all aspects of my life, it looks just as good when I need to wear a shirt and tie as it does when I'm standing on the sidelines watching my kids lacrosse games. I can even wear that exact same watch doing yard work or fixing my antique jeep.

    KL: What’s your favorite REACTOR?

    SH: That’s a tough question! I wear my Poseidon a lot. I like its boldness. My second favorite is the Valkyrie. My wife wears a Critical Mass and loves it. She wears it anywhere with anything and never has to worry about it getting hurt or damaged. I really like the new Protons too, and the new all black Gamma in Titanium is sharp. I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one favorite.

    You can come try to narrow down a favorite at one of the REACTOR Traveling Trunk Shows at Day’s in Bangor this Wednesday (May 21st), Day’s in Auburn this Thursday (May 22nd), or Day’s in Brunswick this Friday (May 23rd). All shows are from Noon to 8p.

     

    About the blogger:

    katie1Katie is a former radio DJ that loves music, movies, photography, and making people laugh. For Day's Katie manages the Pinterest boards, contributes to blogs, and coordinates the marketing efforts. Her favorite looks are casual but classy with lots of layers and fun accessories like scarves, long necklaces, rings, unique earrings, belts, bags, and anything else that will jazz up jeans and a favorite band t-shirt. She prides herself on being the Frugal Fashionista of the Day’s social media team and loves vintage resale shops like Madlyn’s in Waterville, Maine. 

  • Top 5 Wedding Invitation Tips by Bride Blogger Amanda Aceto

    At first I was incredibly stumped by the invitation design process. After visiting website after website and designing my own on many generic templates I was at a loss! I wanted our invitations to be representative of our event but be budget conscious. Enter Hannah Sherwood and E&H Creates. Hannah reached out to me and introduced her services as a paper goods expert.

    The invitation design process was tricky. Kevin and I were fine with non-traditional phrasing however after sharing the template with our families it was clear that my parents wanted to be included on the invitation. We chose to show that respect to my parents and included the traditional language on our invites. “Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Aceto Jr. request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter...” Wow! That just makes the wedding seem so real! Hannah was a creative genius when it came to listening to my thoughts which were all over the map. She got inside my head and designed an inspiration board that we absolutely fell in love with. She used the textures, colors, and style that Kevin and I were so desperately trying to incorporate into our wedding invitations and paper goods. This inspiration board has been the anchor for our whole wedding. When Kevin and I were working  floral design, cake design, and tablescaping we had the inspiration board with us to share with vendors and see if they could match our theme.

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    caption_vertical_addressingOne part of the process that was incredibly time consuming was addressing all those envelopes! Because I have “teacher’s handwriting” I took on the responsibility of addressing all the envelopes. I would highly suggest setting aside a lot of time for this process because it is incredibly exhausting! Kevin was a huge help as he was in charge of stuffing the envelopes and sealing them. It was our own little assembly line. One other really awesome decision we made was that we bought a self-inking stamp with our return address. We stamped each RSVP envelope so that saved some time and it looks really nice. It is fairly inexpensive and so worth it. Don’t forget to budget for the cost of stamps! Between save the dates, invitations, and stamps for RSVP envelopes you are looking a big chunk of money. We asked for stamps for Christmas so that saved us a lot and we were so grateful. Don’t forget to stamp your RSVP envelope as a courtesy to your guests. 

    Our invitations and our design are incorporated throughout our whole wedding. The table numbers, fonts, signage, menus, bar menus are all tied together from our invitations and inspiration board. Our theme for a “subdued nautical” look is ever present in all our goods which adds uniformity and a clear direction. It was really important to me that guests feel like there is a clear direction and feeling for the wedding and that all our hard work didn’t fall flat. E&H Creates made that possible through a communicative and creative design process. Enjoy this process as I believe it is a huge part of the overall design of your wedding.

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  • An Act of Friendship

    2014 is Day's Jewelers 100th Anniversary and in celebration of 100 great years, we have established the "100 Acts of Kindness" program. During 2014 memebers of the Day's family will be going out to "commit" Acts of Kindness. When I heard about the program I thought of my son Casey.

    casey_and_leviCasey met his best friend, Levi, in first grade. They became fast friends, and like many kids learning what friendship is all about, they planned a sleepover. When Casey visited Levi's for the first time he noticed a bunch of machines and asked what they were for. Levi explained that he had Cystic Fibrosis and the machines helped him with his condition. Levi showed Casey the machines and explained what each one did and how it helped him. 

    Over six years, Casey and Levi's friendship has grown and Casey has learned more about Cystic Fibrosis through school and doing research on his own. Many times Levi has had to spend time in the hospital and each time they continue to keep in contact with each other. Most recently Levi was hospitalized for 3 weeks. Casey talked to him every night and asked me to take him to visit. They talked on the phone and were even able to play on online game together. 

    deanna_and_caseyThe support Casey has shown his friend has made his father and I very proud and reminded us that something as simple as understanding, a phone call, or a visit are among the best act of kindness. This Saturday, Casey will take part with Levi's family in the Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Walk to raise money that will be used in research and drug development in hopes of finding a cure.

    I believe that Casey and Levi will have a friendship that will span a lifetime and I believe this will be the first walk of many that he participates in to help find a cure. His goal for this walk is $200 and anyone that would like to help him get there can visit Casey's Cystic Fibrosis Page

    About the Blogger:

    DEANNA-WOLFE-webDeanna Wolfe is originally from Austrailia and has been with Day’s Jewelers since June 2011. Deanna is a Sales Associate and Watch Specialist at Day's Jewelers in Brunswick. She describes herself as "very much a people person." She loves to meet new people and has an obsession with jewelry, a combination that really helps her find those special gifts for the Day's guests she works with. Her favorite part of her job is getting to be a part of someone’s special moments and memories.

  • What is Your Diamond Engagement Ring Style?

    What are the basic setting styles for engagement rings?

    It is always daunting for a young couple to come in and explain exactly what they are looking for in an engagement ring or wedding band.  Descriptions like "  It has lots of little diamonds"  or " It has a big one and some others around it" are very common, and unfortunately, not very helpful when a jeweler is asked to show you an item like what was envisioned.  It leads to a frustrated guest when the jeweler cannot immediately come up with the right product, so I thought it might be helpful to explain some of the styles used in today's jewelry.

    Let's start with the setting styles which are the most popular.  These are far from the only styles available, and there are numerous variations on each.  However, you will likely find these basic styles everywhere you look for diamond engagement rings.

     

    1.  The Tiffany Solitaire.

    sampl0432_1This is the traditional engagement ring and consists of a shank (the band) and the crown (the part that holds the diamond).  It usually has 4 or 6 prongs to hold the diamond and places the diamond high and away from the band.  This has the effect of allowing the most light to enter and exit the diamond freely, enhancing its beauty and light return.  It usually fits most wedding bands and can handle wedding wraps in most cases, should one wish to add a little more side sparkle at a later date.

    Strengths of this style: durability and beauty. 

    Weaknesses:  Prongs may bend more easily and wear a little faster than other styles. 

    Overall diamond security: Excellent.

    2.  Trellis or Lucida Solitaire

     

    sampl0572_2This is a lower 4 prong solitaire with a wider shank and heavy, short prongs.  It is named due to the side design that sweeps up around the diamond like a trellis.  It is best used in Platinum, White gold, or Palladium, as it is usually a one piece design and will add color to the diamond if made in yellow gold.  It is a mounting that lends itself to standing alone and will not take wraps at all.  Women who chose this style generally are traditional, but want something a little different.

    Strengths of this style:  Durability and increased strength in the shank. 

    Weaknesses:  Not good for yellow gold and has a slightly more limited band selection. 

    Overall diamond security:  Very high.

     

    3.  Trinity (Past, Present, Future) 

    dshf0819This is a relatively new design and highly popular.  It consists of three diamonds set in a row that stand for the past, present, and future.  The center diamond is usually twice the size of the side diamonds and is set slightly higher.  As a rule, the whole ring is similar in height to the trellis design and therefore sits lower than a standard tiffany solitaire.  Also, like the trellis, it is usually set with four very low, heavy prongs to ensure the security of the diamonds.  This setting cannot use wraps and generally needs a curved wedding band to fit against it properly.

    Strengths of this style:  More brilliance due to 3 diamonds, heavier shanks, durability.

    Weaknesses:  Wraps cannot be used and wedding bands may be more restrictive in choices. 

    Overall diamond security: Very high.

     

    4.  Center of My Universe or "Halo"

    sampl0995_1This style has the most sparkle of all the others and certainly one of the most romantic.  It consists of a large center diamond encircled by much smaller diamonds.  This creates a very vibrant look that makes the center diamond look one to two sizes larger than it actually is.....it really pops!  Although a more modern setting style, the addition of the smaller diamonds makes this ring look like a vintage piece you may have seen in the roaring twenties.  In short, it's a great blend of fashion and tradition!  Better still is the message behind the design:  The center represents her as the center of your universe and all the smaller diamonds are all the things she does for you and the family.  It still gives me goose bumps when I think of it!

    Strengths of this style: Major sparkle! and a modern/traditional look.  Bands are usually readily available.

    Weaknesses:  Sizing restrictions exist on many of them due to the stones they usually have down the shank.  Be prepared...it may need to be made to size.  Skipping regular six month checks are not an option. 

    Overall diamond security:  High to Very High. 

    This primarily depends on the manufacturer.  Going for the lowest price usually results in a lower durability ring.  Trusted "Halo" companies like Forevermark, Ritani, Martin Flyer, Michael M and Artcarved provide a slightly more expensive setting, but are far more durable than their cheaper counterparts and would rate very high in durability.

    The above four styles are still the most popular by far, yet there are several others that bear noting as well.  Though not as popular as they once were, they are still requested and have proven themselves to remain timeless.  You may not find all of these in all jewelry stores, but you will surely find some of them in all jewelry stores.

     

    5.  Bezel setting.

    dsfe0319_1The bezel setting is usually a solitaire setting, but can come in a three stone setting as well.  It consists of a shank usually similar to the tiffany solitaire, however the diamond is 1/2 to fully encircled with gold.  This is a very secure setting style that is highly durable and eliminates prongs from the design.  It is a very clean, modern look that appeals to people who work with their hands a lot, like nurses.

    Strengths:  Highly protective of the diamond.  Usually low set.  Smooth clean lines. 

    Weaknesses:  Bands may need to be custom made or hard to find.  Diamond loses some brilliance due to more gold over the diamond. 

    Overall diamond security:  Excellent

     

    6.  Tension setting.

    rsemi1063_1This one is sometimes confused with a bezel setting.  In a tension setting, the diamond is suspended between the two sides of the ring, unlike a bezel where the gold is folded over the top of the diamond to secure it.  Approximately 100 pounds of force are used to keep a tension set diamond in place.  It is truly a modern marvel how they get the diamond in and keep it there!  If you have never seen this.....I encourage you to check it out.

    Strengths:  Diamond is more vibrant due to minimal metal around the diamond.  Mountings are very rugged and heavy.  Design is very modern. 

    Weaknesses:  Heavy equals more expensive.  The tension setting requires substantially more metal to maintain the force on the diamond.  Usually must use their matching bands due to the weight.  All work must be done by the factory. 

    Overall diamond security:  Excellent

     

    7.  Vintage.

    sampl0311_1This style focuses on times gone by.  It usually mimics styles from the 1920's to the 1950's that were highly unique compared to anything in today's more modern assortment.  They usually are characterized by large amounts of filigree and hand engraving that makes the ring look much more like a work of art.  Styles are focused much more on form melded with function to produce a one of a kind feel.

    Strengths:  Very unique looks that will appeal to those who want different. Designs hide wear and scratches better than most other styles.  Prongs on these styles are likely more protected and last much longer than other styles.  Diamonds are recessed many times, providing extra protection. 

    Weaknesses:  Bands are usually custom fit, limiting you to as few as one choice.  Some styles will not support a wedding band.  More metal is usually around the diamond, giving a more blended look to the ring...especially in white gold or platinum, therefore the diamond my not be as prominent.  

    Overall diamond security:  High to Excellent.

    The vintage style being copied dictates how secure the diamond is.  Some with more filigree will be more susceptible to damage, while those with recessed diamond setting can wear for decades with little to no work.

    How to Pick?

    Within these 7 styles, there are still many, many variations.  There are also many more styles that mix elements of these styles together or even exist as a separate style altogether.  Simply put:  We could continue to list style after style or variant after variant and work ourselves into a ball of confusion.  My hope is that a guy might look at this list and say " I basically want a trinity!" and at least have some starting point.  From there we could look at variations that may address other wants for the ideal ring.  In the end, it's all about finding the ring that he is proud to give her and she is proud to wear.

     

    mark-poulin2-web20111Blogger: 

    Mark, Store Manager,
    Auburn Day's Jewelers

     

    Learn more about Mark!

     

  • Modern Day Fairy Godmothers Wanted

    dropoff-01-resized-600.jpgProm dresses are incredibly expensive when you consider that you (realistically) are only going to wear it once and then it will sit in a closet. When I was in high school my friends and I would share dresses to save on the cost but we always would have preferred to have something that everyone hadn't seen before. There is something magical about going to find the perfect dress and when you wear the one your best friend wore the year before, some of that magic evaporates.

    In 2007 I was a radio DJ and held a live broadcast from the second Cinderella Project Giveaway. The organizers told me all about how they had started the Cinderella Project a year before, had collected all the dresses and held "Giveaway Events" to give the dresses to girls who otherwise may not have gone to Prom.

    The Cinderella Project's mission is to promote a positive body image and increased self esteem by uniting girls in the state of Maine with fabulous and free, new and gently used, prom gowns. Over the past 7 years the project has taken off in a big way. The organizers have gone from giving away 13 dress in the first year to seeing girls line up outside the venue the night before the giveaway to get first pick of all the dresses. The Cinderella Project also added a new giveaway event in Gardiner for 2014.

     

    aadress_with_caption-resized-600.jpgWhile some are gently used, the dresses found at the Cinderella Project are far from being thrift store specials with puffy sleaves from the 80's.  At this years Belfast giveaway, a dress was chosen that had a glamourous history.  The dress arrived at the Cinderella Project's office in a Macbook Air box from Los Angeles. When "Fairy Godmother" Tabitha Lowe opened it, there was a note that said "If you feel it is appropriate, please inform the girl who chooses this dress that it has been worn to the Academy Awards." 

    mariah_with_cap-resized-600.jpgThe project is more than just dresses. Last year the Cinderella Project held an essay contest to find one young woman who possess the essence of the project's values of giving back to the community. The winner would be crowned "Cinderella for a Day" and receive a full Prom package including hair, make-up, tanning, corsage, dinner for two, and first pick from more than 1,000 dresses. The purpose is to help girls understand that doing something for someone else is what it is all about because without the kindness of others, the Cinderella Project wouldn't be possible.  In 2013 they also asked girls who took dresses to pay it forward and do something generous within their community.

    When Day's introduced the 100 Acts of Kindness program in celebration of the 100th Anniversary I knew I wanted to get the Cinderella Project involved. The first thing we wanted to do was become a drop-off location and accept donated dresses at every Day's location in Maine. Project organizers and a few participants visited Day's headquarters in Marchfor a Prom photoshoot where they could show off some of the stunning dresses they have collected for the giveaways. We paired the dresses with some of our favorite prom jewelry and spent the day playing dress-up. Professional make-up and hair stylist Ariel Johnson donated her services for the day and made all the girls look like it really was Prom day. In attendance was 2013's "Cinderella for a Day," Mariah Ross with her gorgeous blue gown she wore to the Prom she'll never forget.

     

    sparkle_blow_all_3_with_cap-resized-600.jpgProm is an important part of the high school experience and shouldn't be limited by the amount of money a girl can spend on a dress. Thanks to the Cinderealla project organizers & Fairy Godmother volunteers, girls across Maine aren't faced with that difficult decision.

    If you'd like to become a Fairy Godmother and get involved, contact The Cinderella Project.

    If you're looking to clean out your closet and want to donate a dress, all Day's locations in Maine will accept donated dresses year-round, or find a list of all drop-off locations close to you.

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    About the blogger:

    katie1Katie is a former radio DJ that loves music, movies, photography, and making people laugh. For Day's Katie manages the Pinterest boards, contributes to blogs, and coordinates the marketing efforts. Her favorite looks are casual but classy with lots of layers and fun accessories like scarves, long necklaces, rings, unique earrings, belts, bags, and anything else that will jazz up jeans and a favorite band t-shirt. She prides herself on being the Frugal Fashionista of the Day’s social media team and loves vintage resale shops like Madlyn’s in Waterville, Maine. 

  • The Day's Jewelers $100,000 Challenge

    In 2014, Day’s Jewelers is celebrating 100 years in business by raising $100,000 for Jewelers for Children. Jewelers for Children (JFC) is an organization that was founded in 1999 with a mission to help children suffering from illness, abuse and neglect. This monumental effort is the result of seeing the power of giving change lives. In December of 2012, Day's Jewelers guests helped raise more than $3,000 through the Day's Jewelers Holiday Celebration to benefit Jewelers for Children. 

    css_graphicIn October of 2013, Day's partnered with Jewelers for Children again by participating in the Local Grant Program. JFC set aside $100,000 and challenged Jewelers across the country to nominate their favorite local children's charity and mobilize their community to garner as many votes as possible on Facebook. At the end of the contesting period the 10 local charities with the most votes would each earn a $10,000 grant. Day's nominated Camp Sunshine and Day's employees and guests responded with overwhelming enthusiasm and support that catapaulted Camp Sunshine into the top 10 and earned the $10,000 grant that was used to fund a trip to camp for 5 families. 

    In February of 2014, we received the letter below from one of the families that were able to attend Camp Sunshine because of the grant:

    Dear Jewelers for Children,

         The past few days have been a tremendous blessing to our entire family. We are so grateful to you for making this experience possible. Our 11 year old daughter, Vanessa, was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma Alveolar (soft tissue cancer) when she was 2.5 years old. After 1 year of chemotherapy, radiation and countless surgeries, Vanessa was in remission. Unfortunately, she relapsed 1 year later. Our spirits were shattered when we received the news that our sweet little girl would have 6-9 months to live. Vanessa edured over 15 months of chemo, radiation and several surgeries. At the end of her chemo, we attended Camp Sunshine. We found a magical place with humble families who all understood each other. Vanessa has been in remission for over 5.5 years. Last August we received a new adjective to describe Vanessa--> "CURED!"

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    Vanessa has always been a strong fighter with a love for life and an infectious smile. She loves to perform on stage. She danced for over 5 years, but no longer can do so. Her left leg and foot bones are shorter than her right. She continues to have surgeries and sees an orthopedic surgeon on a regular basis. These obstacles don't stop her from following her dreams. She loves to sing and act! Vanessa loves vanilla ice cream, rice krispies treats, marshmallows, corn bread and bacon! 

    Vanessa's cancer has had a big impact on our family. As a parent, it's hard to juggle doctor's appointments, work and family life. Our family loves spending time together and Camp Sunshine provides this amazing opportunity. During this week, our family has had the pleasure of snowshoeing, skating, skiing and spending many hours away from the hectic lives back at home. Thank you for making it possible for us. We also met some wonderful families and had the chance to bond with them, which helps immensely with healing and finding a "new normal" in our lives.

    Through your donation, our family was able to travel over 400 miles, one way, to attend Camp Sunshine. This week has been an excellent opportunity for us to recharge and bond. It has given us hope for a happy future and makes us humble and forever grateful to know that wonderful people helped our family in such a special way. Thank you again for such a wonderful experience. For the first time in our lives we went skiing, snowshoeing, and skating and it was all thanks to your generousity.

    With much hope, love, and gratitude,

    Al, Vera, Brandon & Vanessa

    This letter meant the world to us and made us even more grateful to be in a position to support Jewelers for Children's mission. Jewelers for Children supports four amazing orgainizations that are changing the lives of children every single day. Make-A-Wish ® America, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital ®, The National CASA Association, and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation can only continue the work they do by receiving generous support and JFC is a leader in making sure that support continues.

    In 2014 Day's Jewelers invites you to be part of the hope and be part of the answer by making a donation to the Day's Jewelers $100,000 Challenge, spreading the word about our efforts on social media, and submitting a photo of yourself holding up a sign with your #ReasonToGive written on it.  We hope you'll join us because while there are hundreds of #ReasonsToGive, the best reason to give is yours.

     

    firman

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HASSLE FREE RETURNS

If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase within 30 days of receipt, you may return any merchandise that has not been altered, engraved or customized for a refund, credit or exchange. Merchandise returned must be in its original condition.

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All orders are fully insured and require a signature at time of delivery. Each item is cleaned, polished and inspected before it is wrapped and shipped to you. For engravings and ring sizing, please add an additional 2-3 business days to your order. Special orders or customizations may take 3-4 weeks. Please click here for full shipping information.

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Day's Jewelers requires suppliers to provide a written warranty, for every diamond purchased, that it was acquired from non-conflict sources. Furthermore, as a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, Day's is committed to supporting and promoting the highest level of social, ethical and environmental responsibility in our communities and in the areas of the world where our products are sourced. Learn more...

100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE

If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase within 30 days of receipt, you may return any merchandise that has not been altered, engraved or customized for a refund, credit or exchange. Merchandise returned must be in its original condition.

LIFETIME WARRANTY

Your jewelry purchased from Day's Jewelers is warranted for a lifetime against defects in materials and craftsmanship. To be eligible for this warranty, your piece of jewelry must be inspected at any Day's store at least once every six months. If you should live in an area where there is no Day's store located, we would be happy to recommend a reputable jeweler to perform the required semi-annual inspections. Day's also offers a low cost extended care plan that covers normal wear and tear of items not deemed as defective.

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DAY'S BEST PRICE PROMISE

Day's adheres to an everyday low price policy so you can always shop knowing you’re getting the best price possible from an authorized retailer.