By Jennifer Heebner, Editor in Chief
Dudley Blauwet may be the moniker on his eponymous gemstone wholesale business, but it’s his wife Mui Blauwet who discreetly drives some of his most important sales.
Mui hails from the south of Thailand where she once lived on a rubber plantation. Her father believed in feng shui, a practice that Mui eventually adopted, along with a few other uniquely Asian beliefs and customs.
For example, some Thais believe that every day of the week has its own auspicious colors, and others are firm believers in lucky numbers and dates. Having grown up in a culture rich in those ideas, Mui brought them with her to the U.S., often leaning into them for success in the Blauwet’s family business.
A case in point: how Dudley dresses. On the opening day of trade shows, she picks out the clothes she wants him to wear to increase the likelihood of sales. Certain colors are better than others to attract business.
Typically, she has him wear a red tie with a white shirt, but on the first day of the 2018 Tucson Gem & Mineral show, she insisted he wear a pink shirt. “But I always wear white and red,” he said, confused. Mui was adamant—and exasperated—and told him, “If you don’t wear the pink shirt you won’t sell the big Aquamarine.”
The Aqua in question was a 6- by 8-inch specimen from Pakistan with a nice cluster of multiple crystals. “I was one of the first to go to this mining site,” he says about how he obtained it.
Not wanting to spend a lot of time talking about clothing choices for the day, he did as he was told, putting on a pink button-down shirt. Then he went to work the fair.
Shortly after opening, a man from Malibu, Calif., wandered over to his booth. It was his first time at the show, and he admired Dudley’s Aqua specimen. That happens at a trade show—tire kickers galore—so he didn’t think much about it. But the man returned around 3 p.m., at which point Dudley joked with him, “My wife says you’ll buy this Aqua today because I’m wearing a pink shirt.”
The shopper wasn’t fazed. “My wife is Filipino, so I know exactly what you’re saying!”
The deal was done—the man bought the gem. Mui was right, and it wouldn’t be the last time her color intuition would ring true.
“Sometimes she’ll just say, ‘Today will be a big day’ and may not say which particular item will sell, but I’ll wear what she tells me to,” says Dudley. “It’s not always a red tie day, sometimes it’s a blue tie day. She usually goes with her gut feeling.”
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