Connect with us

Tips and How-To

Ann Skowron





WHEN ANN SKOWRON TAKES her work home with her, she doesn't need to go far. The jeweler lives on the third floor of the corner building she owns on Main Street in the small, scenic town of Wolcott, NY. The building is also home to her three businesses: the jewelry store, a gift shop and a printing operation. When not working, she enjoys kickboxing, racquetball, white-water rafting and bicycling. 
Skowron, a bench jeweler who designs nearly all of what she sells, was looking for work in her hometown of Auburn, NY, after college, when she got a job in a jewelry store. She asked the resident jeweler, a guy with the reputation of a curmudgeon, if she could be his apprentice. “You're Ann Marie's daughter, aren't you?” he asked. It turned out that he had dated her mother in high school, and must've had fond memories, because he agreed. “Thank you, Mom!” Skowron recalls saying. Later, she took a leave of absence to study the profession full-time.  
Skowron makes the most of her resources. Her three full-time and one part-time employees cover all of her businesses. She does payroll, benchwork, sales, buying, cleans litterboxes, prints mugs and T-shirts, even shovels snow as necessary. 
5:50 A.M. Arrive at store, shovel and salt sidewalks. Open safe, set up sales floor and play with store cats at same time. Pick music for the day, clean litter box. 
7 A.M. Go downstairs into shop. Work at bench. 
9:15 A.M. Go back up to third floor to shower and change for sales floor. 
9:50 A.M. Back in store, get messages off machine. 
10 A.M. Open Sister Moon gift shop and jewelry store. 
11:30 A.M. Walk down and collect some late rent payments. Stop at Wayne Business & Custom Computer on the way to bank to see if they have anything they need deposited since I'm going. (No sense everyone walking on a cold day.) While at bank, purchase several chocolate rabbits for the high school fund-raiser, deliver bunnies with deposit tickets. 
12:10 P.M. Back in store, wait on customers. 
1:30 P.M. Lunch at back counter. 
1:45 P.M. Down into shop to do bench work. 
2:40 P.M. Walk to local Verizon store to get new cell phone. I flushed mine down the toilet, case and all! 
4:58 P.M. Mad dash to post office, they close at 5. 
6 P.M. Lock doors. 
6:15 P.M. Set alarm; everyone goes home. 
5:45 A.M. Arrive at store, open safe, set up sales floor. 
6:10 A.M. Write up order for gift shop, fax order in. 
6:50 A.M. Lock safe, head out for brisk walk around town, stop to chat with several customers. 
7:40 A.M. Back at building, go up, shower and change. 
8:10 A.M. Back at bench. 
10 A.M. Open both stores. 
10:15 A.M. Nice rush of people, eagerly waiting for staff member Cassie to arrive at 11. 
11 A.M. Cassie arrives!  
11:30 A.M. Check e-mails, between customers start instant messenger. 
1:30 P.M. Speidel rep comes in. I hit him up for a donation to sponsor me in the Tour De Cure benefit bike ride, and mention that the Pulsar rep donated …. 
2:55 P.M. Lunch at back counter. 
3 P.M. Lisa arrives. 
3:05 P.M. Walk down to pizza shop to deliver two watches they had batteries put in, also ask them to sponsor my Tour De Cure ride. 
3:15 P.M. Mark in orders, wait on customers, price merchandise, put parts in envelopes. 
4:20 P.M. Shut down office shop and computer; leaving early for kickboxing. Tell staff I have cell phone and to call if any problems. (Listen to them snicker.) Grab repair envelopes to take to class. (I always get one to two repairs at the karate school.) 
5:50 A.M. Open safe, set up sales floor, play with laser and cats, log in repairs from kickboxing class. 
7 A.M. Go down to repair shop; lots of bench work today. 
9:50 A.M. Open stores, Sandra (neighboring business owner) stops by, says she is going to the post office, do I want her to pick up my mail? I give her my key. 
10-11 A.M. I do some engraving between customers. Talk to fire chief about printing some plaques on metal for past chiefs. 
11 A.M. Cassie arrives. 
11:45 A.M. Walk up to bank. 
12:18 P.M. Back on sales floor. 
12:32 P.M. Niece's husband calls; I'm a great aunt! And they named the baby after me! 
12:45 P.M. Go to the basement to do printing. 
1:30 P.M. Write up bills, walk over to post office and Village Pharmacy to deliver mugs and name badges (from the printing business). 
2:15 P.M. Lunch. 
2:38 P.M. Customer brings in muffins for us! 
3:45 P.M. Toasting muffins, group discussion on how they taste better with or without butter. 
4:30 P.M. Snowing now. Discussing impending snowstorm with customers. Listen to stories of last snowstorm and lack of power. 
5:30 – 6 P.M. Close both stores. 
6:05 P.M. Go out and salt sidewalks and back parking area. 
7:30 P.M. Dinner with associates in next town over. Discuss economy and other uplifting subjects. 
6:15 A.M. Wake up and look out window. Decide I don't need to shovel. Put on tea water. 
9:20 A.M. Run downstairs to get store ready to open. 
9:35 A.M. Marilou arrives to do books. Set up store. 
10 A.M. Open stores. 
10:30 A.M. Discuss ring design at counter with customers. Saturdays seem to be design day. 
12:30 P.M. Discuss plumbing problem with plumber. Cell phone stuck in toilet — will have to shut off water and remove toilet. He is amused by the situation. 
1:50 P.M. Close gift shop, set register back. Top off cats' food dishes and water fountain, clean litter boxes. Phone rings — a couple lost gemstone out of ring. Can I put them back in? Told them I need to see it and will wait for them before I close. 
2:10 P.M. Explain Zales warranty to couple and why I can't rewire prong. Happily explain if they had purchased it here, it would be done by Tuesday, no charge, instead of three to six weeks later. Sorry! 
2:35 P.M. Lock door, close up sales floor, set register back. Fax orders. More good news: Bookkeeper tells me I forgot to write down a deposit in personal account. 
2:50 P.M. We both leave store. 
5:45 A.M. Wake up to the sound of snowmobiles running down Main Street. That means it snowed. Lots of snow! Go back to bed, hope village will come out with snow blower and do sidewalks. 
6:50 A.M. Look out window, back parking area plowed, except where one tenant parked weird. Get dressed, wish I didn't own corner building, and go out to shovel.  
8:15 A.M. Back up to apartment, more tea. Get ready to go play racquetball. 
12:30 P.M. Go into store to check on cats, reset answering machine, and window sign from lights flickering last night. Rest of the day is mine. 
5:10 A.M. Wake up to sounds of snowmobiles on Main Street again, and front-loaders' backing signal. Yes! Village is clearing snow from Main Street. 
5:45 A.M. Go out for morning walk, stop and talk with Daphne as she shovels out her store. 
7:30 A.M. Back from walk, make tea, read trade publications. 
3 P.M. Go to post office, bring mail back to store, pet cats, get messages off machine. 
6 A.M. Go down to store, open safe, set up sales floor, check to see how many repairs there are, play with cats, turn shop equipment on. 
6:30 A.M. Go upstairs, shower and change. 
7 A.M. Back at bench. 
9:15 A.M. Run upstairs for breakfast. 
10-11 A.M. Open stores, wait on customers, do payroll. 
11 A.M. Cassie arrives. 
12:30 P.M. Walk over to accountant's and post office. 
12:45 P.M. Back in store, finish cash up and wait on customers, fax orders. 
3 P.M. Lisa arrives. 
3:15 P.M. Run to Wolcott Fitness Center. While there, I get a call that the bicycle is ready. 
3:50 P.M. Back in store. Print a few mugs with bike shop's logo (for marketing purposes). 
4:20 P.M. Leave to go pick up bicycle, and on the way get a call from Johnson Construction. They want to order shirts, so I take the order while driving. 
5:30 P.M. Back in store with bike and order for more mugs. 
6 P.M. Lock both stores.



Wilkerson Testimonials

Wilkerson Helped This Jeweler to Navigate His Retirement Sale Despite a Pandemic

Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular