By: Philippine Retailing Magazine
Hearts and Arrows began its operations in the country in 2003, and from a single store in Robinsons Galleria, the exquisite jewelry retailer has now grown into a network of 19 stores and five department store kiosks all over the country, and still growing.
Best known for their signature Hearts and Arrows cut diamonds, hence the name of the store; Hearts and Arrows continues to touch Filipinos who decide to seal their vows with their unique diamonds.
Its General Manager Ms. Alice Cheng shares with the Philippine Retailing magazine about how their unique products shine and how they strive to make the customer experience even brighter:
Can you share more about your trademark hearts and arrows diamonds? How are these manufactured and what makes it appear that way?
The Hearts and Arrows cut is produced through expert craftsmanship involved in stone cutting. The facets have to be well proportioned to ensure optimum light reflection which is what makes the diamond exude extraordinary brilliance. The ideal proportions also create a visual phenomenon, in which one may be able to see eight hearts (when viewing the stone facedown) and eight arrows (when viewing the stone faceup). Our diamonds are known not only for their brilliance, but also for their precision and beauty.
While you are known for your hearts and arrows diamonds, what are other products that are uniquely offered by your store?
We have a line of toddler and children’s jewellery called Piccolo Mio (an Italian word meaning “little one” in English); as it is part of most cultures to celebrate a baby or a child’s milestones (birthdays, baptism, progressing through school). We have foreseen a demand for this product line which began mainly with earrings, but has since expanded to bracelets, pendants and necklaces. We are also a proud dealer of Nina Ricci jewellery, a collection of elegant western-designed pieces fit for those with sophisticated taste. We continually strive to create a brand that grows alongside our beloved customers.
What are some of the biggest milestones of Hearts and Arrows that you are most proud of?
We pride ourselves with having cultivated a strong relationship with newly-weds and jewelry enthusiasts alike. Apart from being a premier jewelry store in the country, that offers top-quality Hearts and Arrows diamonds and jewelry, we are very proud of our growing network of stores that cater to much more Filipinos today than we did back in 2003. Through the years, we have also developed a strong and continued relationship with our clients. From engagement rings, to wedding rings and jewelry for their little ones; we are happy for customers who return to us and become our lifelong partners and friends.
What are the most important things you learned from handling the business?
We value relationships. Handling Hearts and Arrows has taught me that beyond business, people are the most vital part of our lives. It is in treating not only our customers, but also our employees well, that we create a lifelong bond with those we serve. Every person who shares a moment of happiness with us in our stores, or the end-recipient of our jewelry whose special day is marked by our products, helps us take another step forward together.
Giving back to the community is also a strong point for us. As such, we conduct our annual outreach program based on our chosen advocacy. These often include, but are not limited to, orphanages, elderly homes, and hospitals in order to share the love that our customers give us with the larger community.
We read that you have completed the Diamond course under Gemological Institute of America (GIA), can you share with us how does it help the company?
I attended a Gemologist program before entering the jewellery business. Due to the competitive nature of the industry; I made it a personal goal to gain more knowledge in order to help customers select pieces best suited for them. We want to give our customers the peace of mind knowing that their purchase is not only genuine, but also suited to their taste.
What trends have you noticed about people buying jewelry nowadays? Is there more interest for people to buy jewelry for themselves or for their loved ones?
While the design scene has moved towards minimalism over the past years, we now see people seeking simple yet elegant pieces of jewellery for themselves and their loved ones. There is also an emphasis on practicality, with a growing number of people seeing jewellery not only as an ornamental piece, but also as a long-term investment.
What value do you get by becoming a PRA member?
It is a prestige to be a part of the PRA and know that we are among the elite retailers of the country. Being a part of the PRA helped expand our network further, as we’ve met more business partners who’ve become our close friends. PRA’s seminars have helped us become more aware of current trends in the market, which is invaluable to a growing retailer like us.
First published in the Philippine Retailing Magazine Q1 issue.