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AS FASCINATING as INSTORE’s annual Big Survey is in terms of compelling data and revealing business trends, it’s equally inspirational for the stories freely shared by you, our readers.

In the survey responses, you’ll read tales of courage, regret, loss and love. Readers share the things they wish they’d known when they were younger, stories of their greatest sacrifices, life philosophies, and much more.

Our readers’ honesty and vulnerability impress me. The fact that you’re willing to share your secrets — both professional and personal — with your fellow jewelers gives me hope for the future of independent jewelry retailers.

I’m similarly inspired by the recently created Facebook group called Jewelers Helping Jewelers. All-around jewelry dynamo Aleah Arundale of Olympian Diamonds in Chicago launched the page out of a desire to offer “a group for everyone, with no rules or fees.” As of early September, the group had over 1,000 members after only two months. Anything goes, from seeking advice on appraisals, equipment, designs or even selling your store to posting funny stories and job listings. It’s a delightful forum that embodies the spirit of sharing, and I hope to see you there.

If you’re not a member of our own group of jewelers who share, INSTORE’s Brain Squad (see story on page 86), or you didn’t take our Big Survey this year, please consider joining up and taking it next year! (Sign up for the Brain Squad here.)

We can all learn a lot from each other.

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Happy to be on board, and hope you enjoy the issue!

Trace Shelton
Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE

[email protected]

Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at [email protected].

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson

The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

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