Commercial Construction & Renovation

MAY-JUN 2017

Commercial Construction & Renovation helps our subscribers design, build and maintain better commercial facilities by delivering content to meet the information needs of today's high-level executives.

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THE DISRUPTORS experience while educating them on various aspects of the company and its product. Walk us through how and why it designed the way it is? In designing our U.S. store concept, it was important to us that we reinvent the jewelry store shopping experience. The industry is experiencing slowed growth with many retailers looking dated. We really wanted to revive the image by creating a very unique shopping experience. I think the two things that stand out the most is our use of technology through digital displays, smart glass and a paperless system. As well as our open bridal cases, that allow our customers to reach in, and try on any ring they like (they are prototypes) without feeling intimidated. We have married style with technology. Take us through your construction and design strategy. With the opening of our first three U.S. stores, I was a one women team (internally). So, it was really important that I create a close working relationship with my GCs, architect and suppliers. We all became a team, working together in unison. The design of the stores is really still a work in progress. We took what we knew worked in the Canadian stores and combined that with our vision for the new U.S. concept, to create what we call Spence 2.0. We are constantly reviewing feedback and looking at ways we can improve for the next store. Over my career, I have been lucky enough to work with some amazing contractors, so when I joined Spence they were excited to be a part of a new and exciting project. I really lean on them to help me keep the project on track and on budget. They have been great in finding ways to continue to improve our design and processes as well. What's the biggest issue today related to the construction side of the business? For me, I'm extremely passionate about the environment and so the footprint construc- tion leaves is an issue. I do everything I can to reduce this on a job site. From working with like-minded contractors, mandating onsite recycling, manufacturing processes, to shipping fixtures in re-usable/recyclable materials. Although it is impossible to be perfect, we consider the impact of everything we do. Talk about sustainability. What are you doing? We are proud of our Artisan Created Diamonds, which are more sustainable, ethical and of better quality than mined diamonds. By creating these diamonds in our American-based manufacturer, we can guarantee that its origin is conflict-free. We are also able to minimize our environmental footprint by removing the intense impact of traditional mining. From a store perspective, we are changing our operational processes to allow for paperless systems, installing water filters instead of giving out bottled water, using manufac- turing processes that reduce waste while building long lasting fixtures and, of course, always looking for ways to improve. 30 COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — MAY : JUNE 2017

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