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De Silva Collections

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WOOSTER, OH
 
De Silva Collections

30% 
2007-08  

 
[dropcap cap=K]elly Silva and her husband, Christian, entered the jewelry business with the notion that if they worked really hard, success would surely follow. And so for the first years they did just that, putting in 85-hour weeks at their 700-square-foot space in the Great Northern Mall in Cleveland, OH. The result? Little in the way of a financial return.[/dropcap]

“We never had a plan. We played the typical mall game, mark it up and mark it down. We owed our vendors like crazy,” Kelly recalls.

After five years, the pair decided to try a different market and settled on Kelly’s hometown of Wooster, OH. They found someone to take over their lease, but again ran into trouble:?the buyer’s business foundered and the Silvas never got fully paid.

If it hadn’t been obvious before, now it was clear: working hard wasn’t enough, they needed to get smart. The duo attacked their education with the same zeal as their business, attending seminars, reading trade literature, exchanging ideas with fellow jewelers and joining a benchmarking peer group.

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“Focus (Business Management Institute) taught us how to run the store as businesspeople, not jewelers. We’d come back from sessions with a to-do list that was 100 items long,” Kelly recalls.

In Wooster, the Silvas put their newfound business savvy into practice with a whirlwind approach that is still their hallmark today.

By the end of 2003 sales hit $585,000. In 2007, confident they finally had a handle on the business, the Silvas invested in a second location, a supposedly high-end life center being built in Ashland, OH. But when it opened, their neighbors turned out to be a check-cashing office and a dollar store. The location never took off, and within a year the Silvas decided to close it and swallow a $200,000 loss.

“A lot of people would hang on and keep losing money. We felt the fact we were able to walk away, despite how much it hurt, was a positive thing,” Kelly says.

Back in Wooster, things have gone better. In 2008 they had their best year yet, with sales climbing to $750,000, driven by the Silvas’ all-action approach to retailing: They market aggressively through e-mail, radio, the local newspaper and billboards, hold store events and do cross promotions with local businesses such as vineyards and bridal stores. They are involved with the local chamber of commerce, and participate in community events on an almost weekly basis as well as  stay on top of the small things, like thank-you, birthday and anniversary mailings.

Despite the weak economy, sales have continued to grow this year and by June, were up 30 percent on-year. De Silva Collections is now on target to crack $1 million, supported by a move to a better location, bead sales and more hard work.

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With everything they’ve been through the Silvas aren’t taking anything for granted. Rather than cause them stress, however, their trials have given them peace of mind. “If we were to lose it all again, we’re confident we could start over and build it up again. This is what we are, what we love. And we think we know how to do it well now,” Kelly says.

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SPONSORED VIDEO

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.”

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De Silva Collections

Published

on

WOOSTER, OH
 
De Silva Collections

30% 
2007-08  

 
[dropcap cap=K]elly Silva and her husband, Christian, entered the jewelry business with the notion that if they worked really hard, success would surely follow. And so for the first years they did just that, putting in 85-hour weeks at their 700-square-foot space in the Great Northern Mall in Cleveland, OH. The result? Little in the way of a financial return.[/dropcap]

“We never had a plan. We played the typical mall game, mark it up and mark it down. We owed our vendors like crazy,” Kelly recalls.

After five years, the pair decided to try a different market and settled on Kelly’s hometown of Wooster, OH. They found someone to take over their lease, but again ran into trouble:?the buyer’s business foundered and the Silvas never got fully paid.

Advertisement

If it hadn’t been obvious before, now it was clear: working hard wasn’t enough, they needed to get smart. The duo attacked their education with the same zeal as their business, attending seminars, reading trade literature, exchanging ideas with fellow jewelers and joining a benchmarking peer group.

“Focus (Business Management Institute) taught us how to run the store as businesspeople, not jewelers. We’d come back from sessions with a to-do list that was 100 items long,” Kelly recalls.

In Wooster, the Silvas put their newfound business savvy into practice with a whirlwind approach that is still their hallmark today.

By the end of 2003 sales hit $585,000. In 2007, confident they finally had a handle on the business, the Silvas invested in a second location, a supposedly high-end life center being built in Ashland, OH. But when it opened, their neighbors turned out to be a check-cashing office and a dollar store. The location never took off, and within a year the Silvas decided to close it and swallow a $200,000 loss.

“A lot of people would hang on and keep losing money. We felt the fact we were able to walk away, despite how much it hurt, was a positive thing,” Kelly says.

Back in Wooster, things have gone better. In 2008 they had their best year yet, with sales climbing to $750,000, driven by the Silvas’ all-action approach to retailing: They market aggressively through e-mail, radio, the local newspaper and billboards, hold store events and do cross promotions with local businesses such as vineyards and bridal stores. They are involved with the local chamber of commerce, and participate in community events on an almost weekly basis as well as  stay on top of the small things, like thank-you, birthday and anniversary mailings.

Advertisement

Despite the weak economy, sales have continued to grow this year and by June, were up 30 percent on-year. De Silva Collections is now on target to crack $1 million, supported by a move to a better location, bead sales and more hard work.

With everything they’ve been through the Silvas aren’t taking anything for granted. Rather than cause them stress, however, their trials have given them peace of mind. “If we were to lose it all again, we’re confident we could start over and build it up again. This is what we are, what we love. And we think we know how to do it well now,” Kelly says.

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

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.”

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Most Popular