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Family Dynamics, What Is Gold, Problems with Manufacturers, and More of Your Letters for January

It’s always interesting working with family.

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On Working with Family

  • As far as working with family, if they ask for something, I direct them to other stores. My sister asked me for a light gold chain; I told her that I don’t have one! — Saro Abrahamian, Town Jewelers, Chevy Chase, MD
  • Working with family can be very challenging because the regular rules can’t always be applied. Remain calm and use this phrase: “Would you accept the same behavior you’re offering me?” — Stacey Horcher, I. Reiss, Lincolnwood, IL
  • Most days, it is a pleasure to have worked 55 years with family members. Scheduling is most challenging. — Eileen Eichhorn, Eichhorn Jewelry, Decatur, IN
  • My oldest son started working with me part-time this year to help while I have two staff on maternity leave. I had to twist his arm … hard. He thought working with his dad was a mistake. And he is a millennial. So far, not a single fight. He has brought some great ideas forward, gets along with all the other staff and is a very good salesperson. It helps he is super-smart. Takes after his Dad. — David Blitt, Troy Shoppe Jewellers, Calgary, AB

Is It Still Gold?

  • I find it interesting that the recent FTC rule allows gold as low as 1 karat to be called gold. I suppose it won’t be an across-the-board ruling, as in can you call a hot dog a steak if it has 4.6 percent sirloin in the contents? We as an industry need to begin to call out what “real jewelry” consists of. All personal adornments are not fine jewelry. — Murphy McMahon, Murphy McMahon & Co., Kalispell, MT

Done with Service

  • I’m ready to see a retailer revolution! I’m so tired of repairing/fitting/sizing jewelry and watches for people that buy online … especially from a designer/brand I carry. If you go directly to a watch brand and buy a timepiece from their website and then bring it to me to adjust the bracelet or strap just because I’m a dealer for them, I’m going to tell you to send it back to them to get fitted. And same with jewelry bought directly from a designer. Oh, you want that ring sized? NO! I’m done being a service center for these brands that sell directly to my customers. You want the sales, then you can handle the service, too. Plain and simple. — Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX

More Haves, Fewer Have-Nots

  • It seems like the industry (and maybe society in general) continues to split into the “haves” and the “have-nots.” This is not healthy by any stretch. The excitement over lab-grown diamonds is in part that now retailers can now offer a diamond that was previously maybe only in the customer’s dreams, but with the much lower prices has become much more attainable. This causes the “haves and have-nots” divide to narrow. And if the prices on lab-growns continue to go down, it might just cause the divide to narrow further, with more consumers “having” diamonds. — Alex Weil, Martin’s Jewelry, Torrance, CA

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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