Connect with us


Cliff Yankovich Dons A Superhero Cape To Mentor Youths



We have a choice, folks — we can all agree that the pool of bench folks is shrinking, wring our hands and say “something has to be done.” Or, we can actually do something. While I do not wear capes nor leap tall buildings in a single bound, I decided to become a Jewelry Action Hero (JAH).

I want you to be a JAH, too.

It involves a simple action plan. I contacted my local high school principal and offered to speak to the kids about learning the trade. She forwarded my email. I booked my first gig within two days and spoke to 20 students last week — one of whom is very interested.

My presentation took just under 20 minutes. I let them know that if they have the aptitude and get trained by the New Approach School for Jewelers or the Texas Institute of Jewelry in Paris, TX, then they can probably find a job pretty much anywhere in the country they might want to move.

Confession: Part of my motivation is purely selfish. We are surrounded by jewelers who either want to retire (one did last year) or sell their stores for other reasons. As a result, our repair business is way up — more than my wife can handle. (Me, I change watch batteries.) So if I can interest a local young person enough to go learn the skills and come back to Lowell, we can offer them a job and possibly even a store to take over.


After my presentation, I asked the teacher for feedback. She complimented my relaxed, but not too relaxed, presentation. She did suggest I bring some visual aids next time — I was operating on the assumption that “jewelry repair” was a concept easily understood. Her point was noted and my next effort will include something to look at.

If I can do it, so can all of you. If everyone reading this would reach out to a school in your area, I am thinking we can make short work of the shortage in our industry. Become a JAH. Shoot, we can design some capes and take it to the next level.

Cliff Yankovich  owns Chimera Design, which opened in 2002. A true “mom and pop” operation, Cliff runs the front and his wife, Julie Claire DeVoe, does the bench work.



Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

Promoted Headlines






INSTORE helps you become a better jeweler
with the biggest daily news headlines and useful tips.
(Mailed 5x per week.)

Latest Comments

Most Popular