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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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SPONSORED VIDEO

Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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