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Eileen McClelland

A Few Last Minute Words of Advice from the Brain Squad

Start by staying hydrated and wearing comfortable shoes this holiday season.



A Few Last Minute Words of Advice from the Brain Squad

AS WE ENTER the home stretch of holiday retail, I’ve compiled a few last minute words of advice and encouragement from Brain Squad members, who contributed to our December survey.

In summary: Stay hydrated, wear comfortable shoes, keep snack bars on hand, smile, stay awake and plan a post-holiday break.

“This time of year, professional basics are non-negotiable. A year of preparation, coupled with continual sales training and a fully stocked store can easily be derailed by poor customer service. Greet within 10 seconds of entering the store, ask `What brings you in today?’ Listen! Explain the value/legacy of the piece. Do not judge a customer’s budget. Offer to gift-wrap and size and provide refreshments! Just do it with an amazing smile and service they won’t forget! – Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, LaGrange, IL

“Begin each day with a positive message to your team; it helps to set the tone for the day!” – Alisha Moore, Toner Jewelers, Overland Park, KS

"This time of year your best sales tool is a big smile for every customer." – Donald Killelea, Killelea Jewelers, Midlothian, IL

“Wear comfy shoes, drink lots of water and smile! The rest will fall into place!” – Casey Gallant, Stephen Gallant Jewelers, Orleans, MA


“This time of year is so stressful and we cannot help but constantly compare the month, week, day, or even the hour to years past, but it is so important for you and your staff to remember to have fun and enjoy the holidays as well. Don’t worry about what the WalMarts and the mall jewelry chains are doing; they are not your competition. Sell yourself, your people and the experience and the business will happen.” – Michael Derby, D3 Diamonds and Fine Jewelry, Clermont, FL

“We are promoting that it’s an excellent time to buy gold. Gold is at a six-year low.” – Trish Dugas, Disinger & Kruger Jewelers, Huntingburg, IN

“I always remind our crew that the gifts they wrap will be the first ones unwrapped at Christmas. They are usually unwrapped while everyone else watches and are usually the most meaningful gifts given. I remind them that being crazy busy is fun and good. And I tell them to think about all the gifts that will be unwrapped from our store and how thrilled and excited those recipients will be.” – Missy Emrich, Steve’s Custom Jewelers, Port Aransas, TX

And finally, “When in doubt, drink good rum,” Larry Exum, Chandlee Jewelers, Athens, GA



She Wanted to Spend More Time with Her Kids. She Called Wilkerson.

Your children are precious. More precious than gold? Absolutely! Just ask Lesley Ann Davis, owner of Lesley Ann Jewels, an independent jewelry store that — until the end of 2023 — had quite a following in Houston, Texas. To spend more time with her four sons, all in high school, she decided to close her store. Luckily, she was familiar with Wilkerson and called them as soon as she knew she wanted to move on to bigger, better and more family-focused things. Was she happy with her decision? Yes, she was. Says Davis, “Any owner looking to make that life change, looking to retire, looking to close, looking for a pause in their career, I would recommend Wilkerson. Hands down!”

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