Saturday, December 19, 2015

Countdown to Cubans

As Rudyard Kipling said: "A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke."

My cigar consumption has been on the rise again. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing. However, this Ramon Allones Double Corona Habana was definitely a good thing.

I've got a good friend who travels to Havana regularly and occasionally seems to have Cuban cigars somehow drop into his carry-on bag. He's a kind-hearted soul and often shares with me.

He tells me that all the major Cuban manufacturers are gearing up and believe that the ban will be lifted in the next 12 months.

That will be all good and I hope it helps continue to open up Cuba to everything else, but I will miss Cuban's being a secret and rare pleasure. I'm sure the huge initial demand will also really bring quality down for a long time. I can't say that the best cigar I've ever had was a Cuban, but I can say that I've never had a bad Cuban cigar. That's because most Cuban cigars are now smoked by Cuban's who know what a good cigar should be and won't tolerate anything else. Open to the U.S. market, I doubt that they will be able to maintain that uniform quality.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June  10, 2014

To All Diamond Nexus Friends and Customers:

Since we went public with the announcement of our support for marriage equality and our backing of the lawsuit in Wisconsin to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage, we have gotten a good deal of feedback, both good and bad, from our customers. 

Many of our customers have expressed their dismay at our position and have told us in no uncertain terms that they want to take their business elsewhere. Many have said that we should not mix politics and personal feelings with business.

Diamond Nexus has always had a relationship with our customers that goes well beyond the normal company/consumer connection. Because of that I feel that all of our customers deserve a explanation as to what our thoughts were in taking this stance that's free of marketing spin and hype. Just a straightforward honest answer that comes from my heart.

Since I started this company in 2005, I've always tried to have it reflect the things I believe in. It's impossible for me to not mix my personal beliefs into this company. The last thing I want to do is run a soulless, detached corporation that's only concerned with business results.

One of the things I believe is that people should not be judged by their exteriors. I've always believed that we should be a different kind of company. One of my first hires here was for a receptionist, I chose someone who had dozens of tattoos and enough piercings in his face to fill a tacklebox. Most everyone said that was a horrible choice for someone that would sit at the front desk. I thought he was perfect. And, he turned out to be a talented young man who went on to become a very good jewelry designer for us.

I also, almost more than anything else, believe in personal freedom and liberty, and the protections to those things that are granted to us in our Constitution. The 14th amendment of the Constitution contains what's called the "equal protection clause" that holds that all people will be held equal under the law regardless of race, religion, wealth, or social standing.

All people shall be held equal under the law. Regardless of anything.

Well, gay folks are people and they are Americans and they deserve the same treatment under the law as anyone else. You may not agree or like their personal behavior, you may not like their choices, you may even think that their lifestyle is contrary to your religion, and I would fiercely defend your right to feel that way and to express your thoughts and feelings openly because that too is a freedom granted us under the Constitution.

That's liberty and it's the most precious thing we have. Even though she may be a little tattered these days, that's still what makes America the greatest country on earth.

That's the first reason I decided to take my company down this path.

The second is that I have the great and blessed good fortune to run a company that deals, mainly, in love. What could be better than that? We sell thousands of engagement rings a year, each one of them is intended to be a symbol of love and commitment.

I believe that love and commitment, regardless from whom they manifest, are forces of good in this world. I believe that denying anyone the right to symbolize their love and commitment is wrong and hurtful.

I'm proud that we are the only major American engagement ring company to publicly back all people's right to love, commit to each other, and yes, marry. Love is a big tent and everyone has a place inside of it.


Gary LaCourt
CEO Diamond Nexus

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Yes We Can System

Diamond Nexus Yes We Can Team
The Yes We Can System Team! Printer is in the shot because the new ERP will reduce our internal printing needs by 70%. If the system launches well, the DN Pyrotechnic Team are going to blow it up in our parking lot on Friday.
I spend most of my time focused on DN marketing and external things. It's great when I get to celebrate some important news from the "back-office" part of our business.

For the last two years or so we have been searching for, and now implementing, a new ERP system. An ERP system, for those who are interested in these arcane things, is a centralized software system that helps manage and control the entire enterprise. ERP Stands for “Enterprise Resource Planning.”

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dont Forget your Mom!

Mother's Day. Seems out of touch that there is only one day a year dedicated to mothers; those incredible beings that are responsible for everything. The glue that bonds generations and creates the societies we live in. You'd think they would at least get a commemorative week or a federal nanny-state Monday-off holiday.

Tomorrow I get to spend the day with my wonderful, irascible and fearless mother. A brilliant and still beautiful woman with an amazing mind who put her own dreams on hold to support my dad and his crazy entrepreneurial dreams and boom or bust lifestyle. And, to raise me, an often difficult little bastard of a kid. She did it all while reading five books a week and smoking about 500 cigarettes a day.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Diamond Nexus Holiday Anniversary Party

I just had a meeting with our PR folks at Diamond Nexus and was soundly berated for not making a post here for months. Okay, I get it. I'm just not a huge fan of the whole social media phenomenon. But, I get that DN has 100,000 fans on facebook, a half a million customers, and that there are people who have a bit of an interest, for whatever unfathomable reason, in me.

So, I'll start posting again. I see that Blogger totally changed the interface, so I have to figure that out. So this is a "warm up post"

To experiment with posting videos, check out the awesome party we had for the Diamond Nexus 7th Anniversary

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Still Bucking the Unemployment Trend

Lots of opportunity at Diamond Nexus these days. Were on a growth tear this year and we're looking for people with the the talent and dedication to continue to drive us forward. To make it at Diamond Nexus you have to have the right set of skills and abilities, but, more than anything, we look for people who fit in with our culture.

We don't take ourselves too seriously. We have a lot of fun, but we also work very, very hard and perform at a high level. We are looking for people who are smart and focused and are looking to build a career and make a difference with a company that is shaking up the pretentious old-school jewelry world.

Right now we have openings for Sales Associates in both our Chicago and Milwaukee retail locations, We are also looking for an amazing Store Manager for our Woodfield Mall location.

In our Franklin, Wisconsin manufacturing operation we are looking for both a Polisher and a Finisher, these are entry-level positions, but there is room to advance in this fast-growing part of our business. 

We need to add another fantastic Developer to add to our our Technology Team. We also need highly customer-focused folks to join our Contact Center Team. If you like delivering amazing customer service and helping people find the jewelry of there dreams, this is a great and lucrative gig.  

For more details go to our career opportunities portal at


Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Most Gratifying Thing in My Business

A couple weeks ago two young people from DNL got married on an absolutely beautiful Sunday afternoon. Michael, who manages our finance department, and Allie, who is a talented goldsmith and jeweler in our production department, met at work, had a wonderful year and a half long courtship, and then were married in one of the most beautiful and idyllic ceremonies I've ever had the honor of being invited to. The wedding, and reception afterword, was one that was filled with happiness, love between family and friends, and good-natured fun which was best represented by the absolute joy on Michael and Allie's faces. They were kind enough to mention me in their little speech at the reception, and I felt a great sense of pride and fulfillment that I could be mentioned as part of the catalyst that brought these two great kids together.

Diamond Nexus, the company, is in its seventh year now, and in that time we've seen three weddings between people that met in the company and at least eight babies being born to our staff that I can think of. I love when our "DNL moms" bring their babies in and show them off around the office for the first time.

There are many goals that we have in business: Growth, profitability, competitive advantage, and others, but the thing that, probably more than anything else, brings me happiness at this stage in my life and career are these little moments of happiness and family-connection that I feel with my DNL tribe . One of the things I'm most sorry about in my life is that I do not have children. Watching these young, talented, people at DNL grow and succeed and launch lives and families of their own is tremendously gratifying and moving for me.

Michael and Allie, I wish you many, many years of happiness, joy and accomplishment. I hope that, not too long from now, I'll have an opportunity to bounce another "DNL baby" in my arms!