Connect with us

Commentary: The Business

Colorado Jewelers Reflect on America’s Coolest Stores Honor

Simply entering is a win, they say.




Troy and Joy Thollot

Troy and Joy Thollot

WHEN TROY WAS 19 years old working as a lifeguard for a local pool, he did not have the qualifications to work at the nearby mall’s high-end jewelry store. That knowledge did not stop him from walking over during his break one day, filling out an application, and charming the owner into giving him a job.

When Joy was 19 with no knowledge of the world of jewelry, she didn’t let that stop her from acquiring a position with a local independent jeweler, even though she was in over her head.

When we graduated from GIA dreaming of opening our own shop in Colorado, we did not have the qualifications to run a business. That did not stop us from uprooting our lives, moving to Golden, and starting the repair shop that would eventually become Thollot & Co.

When it was finally time for Thollot & Co. to follow our renovation dream in 2019 to create an environment that reflects the Colorado spirit and provides a completely unique custom experience, it was arguably an unnecessary risk. That did not stop us from tearing everything down, building a fully functional bar, and finding every way possible to invoke that Colorado chill vibe we love so much.

Why did we apply for INSTORE’s America’s Coolest Stores contest? Because shutting out our “what if” ideas isn’t something we are particularly good at. Every year, we cracked open the newest issue to read about the coolest stores in the country, and a familiar curiosity would tap us on the shoulder. Even if we didn’t place in the competition, how could we not throw our name in? Independent owners face the Goliaths of American industries every day. The only way to carve our path is to find any opportunity to make our voice heard, and INSTORE’s competition was a potential podium from which to shout our message.


It is hugely gratifying to be among the winning businesses. To always be able to say we were voted one of America’s Coolest Stores. But even before we heard the results, it was gratifying to know that we didn’t let the fear of losing keep us from entering. This is the story of every independent owner and the real experience for every “underdog” that enters. Simply entering is a win – going “all in” and facing the fears without backing down.

This year, we will find new challenges in the drive for progress. Thankfully, we will get to face the next hurdle with the label of “Coolest Store” under our belts. Like every other independent business, we will continue pushing ourselves toward our passion and building on the foundation of every prior win. As a David in a world of Goliaths, INSTORE has given all of us independents a strong sling. Will you back down or pick up your sling and give it a swing?

Most Popular