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Editor's Note

Being a Cool Jewelry Store Means Being Adaptable

Today’s most successful retail jewelry operations identify challenges and develop creative ways to turn weakness into strength.



WHAT MAKES A store “cool” these days?

For us, it’s not just about the look of the store. We like to see a business that recognizes challenges and adapts creatively to turn weakness into strength.

The six stores that won 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in our two divisions (Small Cool and Big Cool) this year certainly fit the bill.

Sisters Jennifer Gandia and Christina Gandia Gambale, owners of Greenwich St. Jewelers in New York City, took the full-service and “neighborhood jeweler” roots that their parents laid down in the Financial District and transplanted them to Tribeca in a larger, vibrant space.


Elizabeth Gibson, owner of Eliza Page in Austin, has slowly morphed from independent-designer retailer to custom bridal boutique over the past two decades, always maintaining her open-gallery feel — and, recently, elevating it through renovation.

Tapper’s in Novi, MI created a second-story Diamond Loft to provide privacy for bridal clients. Designer Julez Ward of Julez Bryant in Solana Beach, CA, incorporates her love for vintage jewelry boxes and her personal collection of colorful glass bottles. Bailey’s Fine Jewelry in North Carolina empowers employees to solve client issues on their own through an “Effortless Experience” initiative. And Moonrise Jewelry in Virginia responded to the Great Recession by becoming the world’s leading designer of exotic fish leather jewelry.

We hope you’ll find something in these stories that inspires you to do something uniquely cool in your own store!

Now Introducing The INSTORE Show, Coming to the Chicago Area in 2023!

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • Plan your holiday event before Thanksgiving week in order to avoid date conflicts for clients and see what jewelry will be popular this season. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 28)
  • Finalize work schedules through mid-January to work around your team members’ schedules and ensure your best salespeople are there for peak times. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 28)
  • Install window vitrines that rotate 360 degrees with distinct design styles on either side. (America’s Coolest Stores, p. 44)
  • Host local micro-bloggers in your store who share your values; people who follow them will love your work. (America’s Coolest Stores, p. 72)
  • Empower employees to solve client problems on the spot, make a rule that they can’t get in trouble, and support their decisions 100%. (America’s Coolest Stores, p. 75)



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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