Archive for July, 2013

Sajen Silver, Honora And Michael Anthony Fall Under Warren Buffett’s Wing

July 31, 2013

It appears that a number of home shopping network vendors — Sajen Silver, Honora and Michael Anthony — are now either owned or designing for Richline Group Inc., which is a unit of Berkshire Hathaway Co.

Berkshire’s chairman, by the way, is master investor Warren Buffett. Richline Group makes and markets fine jewelry.

We were checking the website for Sajen Silver, which has been owned by Marianna and Richard Jacobs, and its homepage said that the Jacobs are now designing jewelry for the Richline Group. The Jacobs are former ShopNBC vendors who are now on HSN.

Marianna and Richard Jacobs, of Sajen Silver, are now designing for Richline Group

Marianna and Richard Jacobs, of Sajen Silver, are now designing for Richline Group

We went to the Richline Group site, and found that its companies include Michael Anthony, the HSN vendor whose specialty is rope gold chains.

There was also a press release, dated May 30, that said the Richline Group was acquiring freshwater pearl purveyor Honora, a QVC vendor. Honora President and CEO Joel Schechter is a frequent guest on QVC. That deal is supposed to close this month, July. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.

We’re assuming that formerly family-owned companies like Michael Anthony and Honora need the financial backing that the Richline Group can supply in order to grow and expand.

Here’s part of the Honora press release:

Click to access Honora-Richline%2020130528.pdf

For over 60 years of being family owned and operated, HONORA has stood for value and quality in the jewelry industry, and is now known as the premier freshwater cultured pearl brand in the USA.

Dennis Ulrich, CEO of Richline Group, said that “CEO, Joel Schechter and President, Ralph Rossini have created and managed a unique, branded entity that has a great product line, talented people and long-term relationships with its clients.”

Honora's Joel Schechter

Honora’s Joel Schechter

Joel Schechter commented, “We are tremendously excited about our future as a member of the Richline Group, and look forward to leveraging their tremendous strengths as we continue growing the HONORA
brand to consumers.

HONORA’s president, Ralph Rossini, said “The entire HONORA team takes great pride in the brand we have
built over the years. We look forward to utilizing Richline’s expertise and vast resources to expand our brand and strategic opportunities.”

In the new corporate structure, Mr. Schechter and Mr. Rossini will remain to run the company as a standalone brand within the Richline Brands division of the Berkshire Hathaway Company.

Dave Meleski, Richline Group’s President, stated “a key goal of this acquisition is the utilization of our financial support and collaboration to fully champion HONORA, as a brand, for domestic and International growth. HONORA expands our product assortment positioning as a dominate player in the pearl jewelry category.”

After Warning Letter, ShopNBC Wants Us Back! Fat Chance

July 30, 2013

In the New York metro area, we call this chutzpah. We don’t know what they call it in Minnesota, where ShopNBC is based.

In June, we blogged about ShopNBC sending us a warning letter, threatening to cut off our account for returning too many items.

Yes folks, despite the claim by all the home shopping networks that they have a no-questions-asked, 30-day money-back guarantee, customers get booted for allegedly returning too many items.

We have gotten the warning from both QVC and ShopNBC, with the No. 3 home shopping channel being the latest to crack the whip. Our return rate is over 50 percent there.

“Please be advised that if we are not able to meet your expectations in shopping with ShopNBC and your return rates do not reduce, we may regretfully need to take further steps including closing your account in the future,” ShopNBC said. “We will contact you in advance if that step is taken.

So we decided we won’t be ordering any merchandise, i.e. jewelry, from ShopNBC any more.

So what happened? Last Friday, ShopNBC sent us an email saying, “It’s not the same without you!”

It told us to “come on in” to enjoy six Value Pays, and sign up for the ShopNBC credit card.

Say what?

ShopNBC, and honcho Keith Stewart, you are “without” us because you threatened us. We will never return too many items again, because we will not be buying any items from you again. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

We are about to send back designer Deb Guyot’s Herkimer diamond necklace, a TS last week from HSN. It totally underwhelmed us.

We guess we’ll be getting a warning letter from HSN soon.

We’re All Invited To HSN Host Colleen Lopez’s Son’s Wedding

July 26, 2013

We wonder, will HSN host Colleen Lopez invite us to her son’s wedding in Puerto Rico?

After all, our maternal grandparents, RIP, were both born in Puerto Rico. Lopez’s husband Carlos is also of Puerto Rican descent.

Colleen Lopez's son Carlos and his bride-to-be in Puerto Rico

Colleen Lopez’s son Carlos and his bride-to-be in Puerto Rico

We blogged about Lopez’s oldest son Carlos proposing to his girlfriend Christie in Steamboat Springs, Colo., on the eve of Valentine’s Day.

Well, mother-in-law-to-be Lopez recently blogged on her own blog, which we didn’t realize she had, that the cute couple is planning a destination wedding in Puerto Rico next February.

“Between choosing the caterer, the venue, the flowers, the colors, the dress, the music, (the list goes on) it’s mind boggling how many details there are to consider when planning a wedding,” Lopez blogged.

She then put in a plug for HSN.

“To make a bride’s life easier, HSN has a beautiful Bridal Boutique that’s filled with great ideas to make shopping for gifts for the wedding party (and for herself) a breeze,” Lopez wrote.

The HSN bridal shop includes wedding shoes by designer Betsey Johnson, by the way.

“By the way, in a future blog I plan to write about how to choose the right ‘Mother of the Bride’ and ‘Mother of the Groom’ dresses – now that’s a whole nother story!” Lopez also blogged.

Our destination wedding, whenever that happens, will be in Arizona, girlfriends. You’ll all be invited.

QVC ‘Super Saturday Live’ From Hamptons, With Ripa, Comes Saturday

July 24, 2013

QVC and Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) are uniting once again for “QVC Presents Super Saturday LIVE,” which will broadcast live from the Hamptons on Saturday. We won’t be there. Jersey girls go “down the shore,” and that ain’t in Long Island.

Anyway, QVC’s designer charity sale will be selling fashion, beauty, jewelry, accessories and home items for half the manufacturer’s suggested retail price with net proceeds benefiting OCRF’s research grants and its patient support program, Woman to Woman.

This year’s broadcast will feature brands such as Philosophy, Mally Beauty, Jai by John Hardy, Laura Geller, Amrita Singh, Honora and more. “QVC Presents Super Saturday LIVE” will be doing celeb interviews from the red carpet.

“QVC’s role in Super Saturday LIVE exemplifies our ongoing commitment to support the success and wellness of women through the power of relationships,” QVC U.S. CEO Claire Watts said in a canned statement. “This year’s broadcast incorporates some very exciting premier brands, which we hope will help to increase awareness of OCRF even more.”

QVC will once launch a dedicated Pinterest campaign, “Pin it Forward,” designed to generate awareness and funds for OCRF’s cause. The home shopping network has created a Super Saturday board. Followers are encouraged to pin with a purpose now through the event. For every pin, QVC will donate $1 to OCRF, up to $10,000.

Jersey girl Kelly Ripa (traitor, for going to the Hamptons), will once again lend her support as the host of the event, while QVC’s Lisa Robertson will take viewers inside the event.

“QVC’s efforts have played a major role in accomplishing OCRF’s overall mission of advancing the field of ovarian cancer research and creating awareness of this often difficult to detect disease,” OCRF CEO Audra Moran said. “With QVC’s help, our message extends beyond the Hamptons community and into millions of U.S. homes.”

HSN Shoppers Blast Jay King Over Shoddy Sterling Cuff

July 22, 2013

Let us preface this blog by saying we are big fans of HSN rock god Jay King’s jewelry. Some of our favorite necklaces are by King. We love the enthusiasm and passion he exudes as he talks about his globe trotting hunting for his “mine finds.”

That’s why it pains us to ask what the hell happened with his HSN TS earlier this month? It was a sterling silver cuff bracelet with cabochons of either redskin turquoise, lapis, coral or variscite, a lovely shade of green (#269-813). The price tag was only $90, and you could purchases matching earrings and pendants.

When we got our cuff, we couldn’t believe our eyes. True, the stones was pretty, but the bracelet was so flimsy we felt it might break when we squeezed it to fit our wrist. We know the price of silver has soared, but this skimpy bracelet was back in the mail to HSN shortly.

The Leo Feeney pendant we bought in Cave Creek

The Leo Feeney pendant we bought in Cave Creek

But trying to be fair, we decided to see what other HSN shoppers thought about the cuff before we blogged on it. If they disagreed with us, we would not offer our negative review of this King piece.

Well, there were HSN jewelry geeks who gave the cuff five stars. But there were a boatload who had the same complaints that we did — and more! There were 146 comments last time we looked.

Many of them, and we mean many, said when their bracelets arrived with stones that had already fallen out of them, sitting in the box. Others complained that the first time they wore it, a stone fell out. Others blasted King for having the cuffs manufactured in China, with the resulting shoddy workmanship.

Many asked what happened to HSN’s quality control.

Still others said, like us, that the cuff was too flimsy and they would have gladly paid more for a sturdier piece. Others said the lapis was too dark, a deep navy blue. Others wailed that the stones on their pieces didn’t match.

We ordered the variscite cuff because we thought it would match a pendant we bought when we went to Arizona last month. The one type of turquoise we were looking for was Carico Lake, which has a gorgeous almost pistachio green color.

It is very expensive turquoise. We saw a gorgeous necklace made out of Carico in Scottsdale, and it was more than $3,000. Our pendant was much more modest, picked up in Cave Creek. It mixes the opaque Carico with gemstones, citrine and peridot.

We love turquoise and gems combined. And that is the specialty of the artist who crafted our pendant, Leo Feeney. The King variscite cuff actually matched the pendant, but again, we thought the sterling on the cuff was not wear well over time.

Here is a sampling of some of the damning reviews on

“This is my first time buying from mr king. i don’t like to much weight on my jewelry but not to light. But this is to light scare to bend it. i purchase 2 bracelet and 1 pair of earrings. Was so happy when i receive my bracelets and earring. But so sad when i open my package and the stone were loose inside the package. poor quality i could real see why he was saying they did not make money.”

“When I opened the box and saw this bracelet I immediately loved it and put it on. It fit perfectly, the stones were as pretty as they looked on TV and I was ready to wear it for the whole summer. However, within 5 minutes of first putting it on,I looked down and saw that one of the stones had fallen out. Fortunately I found the stone but unfortunately the bracelet is going back! I have many Jay King pieces but this does not meet their standard. Sorry.”

“Shame on the makers of this Jay KIng cuff bracelet! I received cuff with 2 stones flopping around the bag! I have many pieces of Jay King and love them all. When I called customer service I knew other people had the same problem. Then I looked at reviews, so many had the same problem. Again, SHAME on makers of this cuff. Apology should be given to us all. Need I say… it’s going back.”

“I used to not be able to resist Jay King’s items but I guess the glory days are over. I can’t believe how far the quality of his pieces have fallen. The glue was still on the stones on one of the turquoise bracelets I received. Very sad because he used to have such nice things. He now uses compressed stones or stones that are poorly set in China. Heartbreaking.”

“I ordered four of these bracelets and as soon as I am through writing this review all four are going back to the post office for their return trip. What a disappointment!”

“My bracelet had a stone fall out within 5 minutes of opening the box. The silver is really lightweight and when you squeeze it to close around your wrist, it creases — it’s that flimsy. And I have a 7 inch wrist — not small at all. Lapis was fine but it needs to stay in the ‘bezel.’ Not really a bezel — it’s just glued in and not well at that. Really disappointed since I had a necklace it would have gone well with. Going back.”

Sorelle Heads From HSN To ShopNBC Next Week

July 18, 2013

Some more HSN vendors have landed over at ShopNBC.

Anoush Hendiazad and Sorelle Avisha will debut their never-before-seen porcelain collection on the No. 3 home shopping network next Wednesday, July 24.

Anoush Hendiazad and Sorelle Avisha

Anoush Hendiazad and Sorelle Avisha

The pretty pair, who we believe are sisters, said on Facebook that have been working for over a year “to ensure that each and every one of the 14 handcrafted porcelain pieces are masterfully designed and ready for their debut.”

And, “each piece comes with a certificate of authenticity and royal sapphire carrying tote bag!”

The two women did a line of crystal nicknacks and such for HSN.

Earth, Wind & Fire To Perform Live On HSN Aug. 30

July 18, 2013

Hearts afire, love desire — Earth, Wind & Fire will be performing live on HSN next month.

The Grammy Award-winning group will sing tracks from its new “Now, Then & Forever” CD at part of the HSN Live Concert series on Aug. 30. The performance is coming from The Venetian Las Vegas.

The show will air at 11 p.m., with HSN hawking an exclusive CD bundle of Earth, Wind & Fire’s new release, along with a bonus CD featuring six of their greatest hits. That package is now available for pre-order at for $12.95.


“‘The Now, Then & Forever’ album is really about the legacy of Earth, Wind & Fire,” co-founder Philip Bailey said in a canned statement.

“The album gave us the opportunity to tie everything together musically and culturally,” said EWF’s co-founder Verdine White. “Without the support of the fans around the world, the Earth, Wind & Fire journey would not have been possible. We dedicate this album, Now, Then & Forever, to all the fans.”

And guess what? HSN is offering a travel package to Las Vegas for this event. Fans that want to be part of this shindig can purchase exclusive room packages for The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas.

These luxury suite packages start at $149 per night (2 night minimum) and include: two premium tickets to the “HSN Live” show; special dining, entertainment, retail and spa offers valued at more than $1,000: VIP check-in; late check-out; and special reduced rates for Vegas Nights helicopter tour.

HSN has also rousted music television executive producer Barry Summers and director Milton Lage. Summers has extensive experience producing 3D & high-definition music concert events for VH1 & AXS TV (formerly HDNET), while Lage has directed numerous MTV shows and live musical performances by superstars such as Mariah Carey, Carrie Underwood and Beyonce.

“HSN is thrilled to welcome Earth, Wind & Fire to the HSN Live stage at The Venetian Las Vegas,” said Andy Sheldon, HSN’s Chief Creative Officer and General Manager of HSN Productions. “Earth, Wind & Fire is known for their elaborate, high-energy live shows and with Barry Summers and Milton Lage at the helm, I know this will be our best HSN Live production to date.”

The concert will be a 90-minute live show, with 60 minutes on HSN TV, followed by a special 30-minute encore performance that streams live across HSN’s digital platforms.

Music streaming service Songza will offer a special Earth, Wind & Fire/HSN playlist for subscribers during the week leading up to the show and will stream the event live on Aug. 30.

The HSN exclusive two-disc bundle will include Earth, Wind & Fire’s new CD and an exclusive bonus disc featuring six of the group’s greatest hits.

“Now, Then & Forever” Track List: Sign On; Love Is Law; My Promise;Guiding Lights; Got To Be Love; Belo Horizonte; The Dance Floor; Splashes;Night Of My Life; and The Rush.

Exclusive HSN Bonus CD Track List: Let’s Groove (Restless Soul Mix); September (Beautiful Latin Mix): One World; Fantasy; Shining Star; and Boogie Wonderland.

QVC, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Unveil Grant Winners

July 12, 2013

QVC and the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) Thursday unveiled their two new Woman to Woman grant recipients, Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., and Stanford Women’s Cancer Center in Stanford, Calif.

The home shopping network teamed up with OCRF in 2012 for a three-year $1 million commitment for the national expansion of Woman to Woman, OCRF’s patient-support program. It pairs gynecologic cancer patients with trained and supervised survivor volunteers to provide mentoring and support.

“From the moment of diagnosis through treatment and recovery, Woman to Woman survivor volunteers have helped hundreds of women and their families,” OCRF CEO Audra Moran said in a statement.

“We hope to expand to at least 15 new cities within the next three years, building a strong community of support to empower more women to advocate for themselves and negotiate the many challenges of gynecologic cancers,” Moran said. “QVC’s generous national sponsorship will help ensure this continued success and propel the program to an entirely new level to support as many women and their families as possible.”

QVC’s relationship with OCRF began in 2007 with “QVC Presents Super Saturday LIVE,” a “designer charity sale” broadcast live from the Hamptons.

Since then, “QVC Presents Super Saturday LIVE,” has raised awareness about OCRF in millions of U.S. homes and generated $6 million for ovarian cancer research. It has also extended its support to the Woman to Woman program.

“We believe in the power of relationships to support women’s wellness and success,” QVC U.S. CEO Claire Watts said. “Woman to Woman addresses a critical unmet need for mentoring and emotional support for gynecologic cancer patients, helping strengthen their ability to cope and heal after a devastating diagnosis. QVC is proud to sponsor OCRF’s national expansion of this successful program.”

Woman to Woman started in 2003 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhttan, and in 2011 OCRF launched the program’s national expansion pilot at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

With QVC’s support, OCRF grew the program to two additional sites at Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, N.C., and Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven in New Haven, Conn., earlier this year.

“QVC Presents Super Saturday LIVE” is scheduled to air on July 27.

Viewers will be able to purchase premier fashion, beauty, jewelry, accessories and home items at half the manufacturer’s suggested retail price* with net proceeds** benefitting OCRF’s research grants and its Woman to Woman program.

Designer Mark Zunino Sued By Kleinfeld’s Over His QVC Line

July 11, 2013

Deceased designer Nolan Miller’s protege, Mark Zunino, has wound up in trouble for over his QVC gig, although we are a little confused by the brouhaha.

The New York Post reported Wednesday that Zunino is being sued by Kleinfeld Bridal, the famous New York wedding gown emporium, where he is creative design director. Kleinfeld alleges that Zunino “is undercutting its business by designing discount dresses for QVC,” the Post wrote.

The lawsuit charges that Zunino was barred from doing any designing that would compete with his work for Kleinfeld, where he is being paid $175,000 his first year and $200,000 his second year, according to the Post.

Mark Zunino and two press-shy sisters

Mark Zunino and two press-shy sisters

Then, Kleinfeld alleges, it learned that Zunino was doing bridal apparel for Nolan Miller Inc. The court papers say that Miller, known for designer dresses for “Dynasty,” was also designing dresses for QVC. In fact, Nolan did a glamorous fashion jewelry line for QVC, not apparel.

HOwever, since Miller passed away Zunino has designed some apparel for QVC, but none of it involved wedding dresses and would not seem to compete with Kleinfeld.

Nonetheless, the lawsuit charges that Zuninot can’t devote “his full efforts” to designing for Kleinfeld when he is also doing work for Nolan Miller Inc., the Post reported.

The wedding dresses that Zunino designed for Kleinfeld range in price from $6,000 to $15,000.

QVC’s Parent To Post Second-Quarter Earnings Aug. 6

July 9, 2013

QVC’s parent, Liberty Interactive Corp., will host a conference call to discuss results for the second quarter on Aug. 6t at 1 p.m., Liberty said Monday.

Liberty Interactive President and CEO Greg Maffei, QVC honcho Mike George’s boss, will discuss the company’s financial performance and outlook.

Please call Premiere Conferencing at (888) 312-3051 or (719) 785-1748 at least 10 minutes prior to the call. Callers will need to be on a touch-tone telephone to ask questions. The conference administrator will provide instructions on how to use the polling feature.

Replays of the conference call can be accessed through 1 p.m. on Aug. 13 by dialing (888) 203-1112 or (719) 457-0820 plus the passcode 9911968.

In addition, the second-quarter earnings conference call will be broadcast live via the Internet. All interested participants should visit the Liberty Interactive website at to register for the webcast.

Links to the press release and replays of the call will also be available on the Liberty Interactive’s website. The conference call and related materials will be archived on the website for one year.