Written by Smoak PR

Diamonds Direct to Celebrate Official Grand Opening of Greenville Store with Local Charity Partnership

August 23, 2021 | Greenville, SC – Diamonds Direct, worldwide leader in diamond sourcing and consumer education, is pleased to announce that local non-profit, Safe Harbor has been selected as the sole beneficiary of their official grand opening celebration on Thursday, September 23rd from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. The special event is intended to shed a light on a deserving local non-profit, while bringing community supporters and VIP guests together inside the beautiful new showroom located at 1113 Woodruff Road (across from Target). 

“Working with a local non-profit like Safe Harbor is what makes celebrating our official grand opening so special,” stated Lynn Tu, VP of South Carolina, Diamonds Direct. “A portion of sales generated from this event will go directly to Safe Harbor to support a variety of their important initiatives including, but not limited to, their safe emergency shelters, counseling for survivors and their children, and transitional housing. We hope that these proceeds will allow Safe Harbor to continue their much needed work with victims of domestic violence in the Upstate of South Carolina and make an impact for those seeking assistance.” 

During the grand opening, exclusive offers will be available from nationally renowned designers including Simon G and Amden, and the community is invited to shop these offers from Thursday through Saturday during regular store hours. 

“We have loved being a part of the Greenville community so far and are thrilled to finally be able to celebrate our official grand opening with such a deserving local non-profit like Safe Harbor,” said Igor Zak, general manager, Diamonds Direct. “Our goal at Diamonds Direct is always to help our customers celebrate both the big and small moments in life. I’m hopeful that there may be a bit more incentive to do just that knowing that their purchase will benefit those in need through with the help of  Safe Harbor.”

During the grand opening celebration, customers can enjoy the same incredible service that they have grown to love. The company offers an expansive selection of loose and mounted diamonds ranging in size from under a carat to over 10 carats. In addition, Diamonds Direct boasts an unmatched array of engagement ring mountings by America’s top designers, wedding bands, pendants, earrings, bracelets, pearls, colored gemstones, and fine fashion jewelry. 

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Diamonds Direct on their official grand opening celebration,” said Safe Harbor Executive Director, Becky Callaham. “Greenville is so generous with their support of our organization thus far and we look forward to continuing to spread awareness of our programs and help victims of domestic violence and their children through this unique opportunity.” 

Diamonds Direct provides industry-leading guarantees and warranties and delivers the highest level of customer service. Even after the sale customers can expect unrivaled and complimentary services, including jewelry maintenance, cleaning, sizing and lifetime upgrade on engagement rings diamonds, diamond pendants and diamond studs. Lastly, Diamonds Direct’s lifetime upgrade allows customers to trade their diamond for a different size, quality, or shape – and receive 110% of the original purchase price towards a new purchase. 


Diamonds Direct, founded in 1995, is a direct-to-consumer destination retailer headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Their vertically integrated concept allows the retailer to cut out the middlemen and maintain involvement in the entire diamond process. Today, Diamonds Direct is one of America’s largest and most successful jewelry companies. Diamonds Direct backs their products with industry-leading guarantees and warranties, including their signature 110 percent lifetime upgrade. Diamonds Direct is a socially-responsible company that thinks globally and acts locally. The company ensures all diamonds are ethically sourced via the Kimberley Process and is responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for local philanthropies and cultural organizations that are critical to the communities Diamonds Direct calls home. 

For more information visit www.DiamondsDirect.com.

Written by Smoak PR

Summer Internship Reflection

As our summer internship comes to a close, we reflect on our time here at Smoak PR. This summer has been a season of learning for all of us. We have learned what it means to adapt, roll with the punches, and take criticism as it comes. Beginning this internship, we all had different expectations of what was ahead, but we have come to learn that different strengths and weaknesses make up a team. Coming out of a pandemic made our internship unlike any other. We are very thankful for everyone at Smoak PR and the opportunity they gave us!

Julia W:

This summer I have learned exponentially more than I had expected. Coming into this internship I had no prior PR experience, so I had very naive expectations. I had learned a little bit through my college classes, but I have learned more this summer than I have my entire college career. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the Smoak PR team. They are skilled and informative about their field and are very eager to teach us anything and everything. My favorite part about this experience was getting to take photos with Ashtyn for client content and getting to do social analytics alongside Julia M. Having my images posted on social media allowed me to grow in how I took different pictures based on client personalities and needs. After posting on social media, we could then look at their reach and engagement with the audience each month by researching client analytics. Before this internship I didn’t know that looking at analytics was an important part of PR, but it allows us to adjust what we do based on what the audience likes and engages with. I have also made new friendships during this internship. I have bonded with the other interns this summer working closely with them. This has added to my summer experience because not only did I gain knowledge, but also friends.

Julia M:

While the summer internship at Smoak PR has come to a close, I feel an immense amount of appreciation for the real-world professional experience that I have learned about the public relations industry. As the world continues to reopen following the pandemic, I am extremely thankful to have had an in-person internship experience this past summer. Over the past few months, I have learned a variety of public relations skills such as graphic design, content creation for social media accounts, press release writing, and event planning. One of my favorite parts of my internship experience was attending client meetings with the ladies in the office, where I learned the importance of building strong client relationships and meeting their needs. The ladies at Smoak PR were always willing to include the interns with any of their tasks and make a truly memorable learning experience. I now feel more comfortable collaborating with coworkers, working in an office environment, and communicating with a diverse group of clients. After learning a wide range of skills throughout this internship, I can now enter the workforce confidently once I graduate, and I’ll forever be grateful for all of the experiences I have had at Smoak PR.


This summer seems to have gone by in a blur. I remember taking the first week or so to get a feel for Smoak as a company, and Smoak’s many clients. Starting about halfway through our second week, we were given real tasks with real results. Everything from content calendars, to photoshoots, to client meetings, to event planning. There was rarely a dull moment in the office. The interns make up a substantial part of the team here at Smoak, so the tasks that we have been given this summer are actual needs for their clients. This kind of hands-on experience has been part of the reason that I have loved this internship. Working full-time with a team around me, made up of amazing interns and exceptional executives, has been an education in the professional workforce for me. I’ve started to imagine more of the day-to-day of my career after college, and my experience this summer has helped me with that. I’m so grateful for the opportunity that I’ve been given this summer, and I’m excited to take what I’ve learned here back to my final year of college.


My time at Smoak Public Relations this past summer has been such an amazing experience. It was the perfect introduction to the public relations field. I was able to create content for numerous clients, get a feel for the daily work pace, and interact with many talented people in the industry. I am so grateful to have been able to learn such valuable bits of knowledge in a hands-on environment.  This opportunity has given me the basics in the field of public relations, I’m excited for the new opportunities to come!

We are excited to continue to move forward in our careers with the new experience and knowledge we have learned from Katherine and her team. The skills that we all have learned throughout our time at Smoak PR will be extremely helpful when entering the workforce and pursuing a future career. By making the most out of our time here, we have now formed lifelong connections with all of the amazing ladies at Smoak PR.

Written by Smoak PR

LyonJay Announces New Senior Vice President of Development

GREENVILLE, SC | August 3, 2021 – LyonJay is excited to announce their recent new hire, Blake Loudermilk, as the Senior Vice President of Development. Located in Downtown Greenville, LyonJay focuses primarily on opportunistic investments in the housing sector, including lot development for publicly listed builders, build-for-rent communities, and single and multi-family rentals.

Loudermilk comes to LyonJay with 15 years of experience as a civil engineer. He has a diverse profile of projects that range from residential and commercial land development to transportation planning and active transportation design. Loudermilk has provided leadership to projects that have improved the overall quality of his hometown, Spartanburg, SC, and surrounding communities.

“Blake has a proven track record of success in our industry, and we are confident he will make a positive contribution resulting in better communities,” said Jennings Lyon, Founding Partner and CEO of LyonJay. “We look forward to having Blake on the LyonJay team,”

LyonJay is a real estate investment and development firm located in Greenville, SC with over 75 years and 100,000 units of combined experience. The LyonJay team has constructed, developed, managed, and invested in thousands of units across 11 states. Ultimately striving to develop lasting legacies by providing superior quality and value for investors, clients, and residents, LyonJay is committed to integrity and excellence.

“I look forward to applying what I have learned over the past 15 years and continuing to improve the communities we work within to maximize resident’s quality of life,” Blake Loudermilk, Senior VP of Development at LyonJay. “I am excited to work alongside such an experienced and motivated team and look forward to what is ahead.”

“We know that Blake will be a tremendous asset to the LyonJay team. He is an incredible addition that we are excited to welcome into the family. His experience adds technical expertise and proactive thinking to our company,” said J.K. Jay, Founding Partner and President of LyonJay. “Having Blake as a team member will allow for us to continue our and expand our standard of excellence in our investments, the quality of communities that we deliver, and the product we provide to our clients in all sectors. .”


LyonJay is a real estate investment and development firm based in Greenville, South Carolina. We focus primarily on opportunistic investments in the housing sector, including lot development for publicly listed builders, build-for-rent communities, and single and multi-family rentals. With billions of dollars’ worth of
experience, our team has developed a deep understanding of how to maximize value in each investment class.