Connect with us

Buzz Session

How Do Jewelers Recharge? Here’s What Our Brain Squad Has to Say

Here are the ways you cope with burn-out.




How Do Jewelers Recharge? Here’s What Our Brain Squad Has to Say

Taking a cruise a few years ago was the best way I ever found to unplug. It was the most “off the grid” I can ever remember being. Close your store, put your inventory in a vault offsite (or two), give someone the alarm code and key, arrange with a friend in the trade to deal with any emergency and book a cruise tomorrow! — Mark Snyder, Snyder Jewelers, Weymouth, MA

  • I have two favorite ways to recharge. The first is to get out in nature, leave that phone behind (except for photos) and take it all in: lots of sun, water and quiet. The second way is to go to a big city and connect with friends and jewelry makers. Both methods are tied! — Betsy Barron, Love & Luxe, San Francisco, CA
  • I usually take long weekend trips to the “city,” but after four long years without a long vacation, I am going to Europe for two weeks by myself to just meander, write in my journal, eat and enjoy some wine. — Bill Longnecker, Longnecker Jewelry, McCook, NE
  • My breaks are my trade shows. I get rejuvenated and inspired at them, get new ideas, and let’s face it, a trip to Italy or Hong Kong can take your mind places and you can get rest in a whole different perspective. — Amber Gustafson, Amber’s Designs, Katy, TX
  • Love me some yoga, massages and float tanks (sensory deprivation). — Jen Foster, David Douglas Designs, Marietta, GA
  • Go to watch a Packers game somewhere warm before the holiday season. — John Hayes, Goodman’s Jewelers, Madison, WI
  • Reading books and seeing movies are a good mind-diverting mini-escape. Comedy and laughter helps combat stress. Getting a lot of sleep and tuning out of electronic communication for a day every two weeks are imperatives to stay sane and stay productive. — Andrea Riso, Talisman Collection, El Dorado Hills, CA
  • Just took a week off, did nothing but sit on a beach or play at the pool. I was ready to get back after three days. — Paul Reiniger, Reiniger Jewelers, Swansea, IL
  • I am the “artist” and master goldsmith. Must be here. So, two things I do: One, take three-day weekends, Sunday to Tuesday, when things are slow. Two, close the store the first week in July. Everyone gets that week off. — Stephen Ware, Ware Designs, Lafayette, CA
  • My best way to recharge would definitely be a mini-vacation with my husband and daughter. Just spending one-on-one time with them gives me a sense of peace and relaxation. — Lacey Fincher, Tena’s Fine Diamonds and Jewelry, Elberton, GA
  • Get far enough away that except for a life or death emergency, if a problem arises, there is not a thing you can do about it. This also speaks to the competency and confidence in your staff, as you have to have policy and procedure in place to deal with unexpected situations. After all, this is not rocket science. — Mark A. Young, Mark A. Young Jewelers, Oxford, MI
  • I retreat to my condo in New Hampshire. It’s quiet and there is limited cell phone service, but I keep in touch because big sales are a huge adrenaline rush!! — Matt Doumato, Ephraim Doumato Jewelers, Greenville, RI
  • When “away” from the business, my wife and I “sloth.” We do zero. We totally relax by not watching news, not reading papers, and generally exiting the real world. The store is only allowed to call if there is truly something that can’t wait. — J. Dennis Petimezas, Watchmaker’s Diamonds & Jewelry, Johnstown, PA
  • I like a quiet break in a remote location. Used to do it without contact, but I find I can stay away longer if I catch up first thing in the morning via email — that way I’m not wondering what’s going on. — Bill Elliott, Ross Elliott Jewelers, Terre Haute, IN
  • A mix is best. But being out of cell phone service causes me too much stress. Time away is key to maintaining mental health, as well as personal relationships … in the end that is really all we have. — Jennifer Farnes, Revolution Jewelry Works, Colorado Spring, CO
  • Quick getaways do not do anything for me. I need 10 days to rejuvenate. — Drew Cowit, Jewelry Design Gallery, Manalapan, NJ
  • Mini-vacations are the best for me: not gone long enough to lose a sale, but out long enough to reset my brain. — Lisa McConnell, Lisa McConnell Design Studio, Fort Worth, TX
  • I’m a self-employed sole proprietor and also a single mom with a teenager and a mother with Alzheimer’s, so money must be made! When I REALLY need some down time, I go to the zoo! — Janne Etz, Contemporary Concepts, Cocoa, FL
  • Short trips, three to four days. I get antsy on longer runs. — Gene Arthur, Arthur’s Jewelry, Reidsville, NC
  • Sometimes just a break in the routine can be a recharge. Whether it is an extra hour of morning sleep on a workday, a coffee break with a friend in the middle of the day, or a slip out early for a glass of wine on Friday afternoon, it can be an escape and glimpse of playing hooky! — Annette Kinzie, Leonard Jewelry, Stillwater, OK
  • I like cities, activities and knowledge — no beach, unless very brief. On the other hand, when I return there will be so much work piled up, not sure if it is worthwhile to get away. I love my work! — Eve J. Alfille, Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, Evanston, IL
  • The breaks I believe in are anything away from the store where you can create, dream, innovate, and not be interrupted. I could never be unplugged because being plugged in is where I explore and generate new thoughts and come up with crazy ideas and designs. Since jewelry is in my blood, I never want to be totally away from the joy it gives me, whether I’m on vacation or not. — Susan Eisen, Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry & Watches, El Paso, TX
  • For the first time in 20 years, we now close Sundays — just a one-day break makes a huge difference with brunch and a drive around the beautiful New Mexico countryside. Holidays are up next!! What’s up with jewelers who feel they have to work 18 hours a day, seven days a week? 364 days a year? Life is short and you will probably shorten it more if you don’t take regular breaks. — Gordon Lawrie, Eidos, Santa Fe, NM
  • ROFL usually my vacations are more stressful than working. — Craig C. Curtis, Belfast Jewelry, Belfast, ME
  • A great vacation would be a weekend, but we don’t get them off either. — T. Julian McGrath, Tipperary at Tara, Brunswick, NY
  • Haven’t been able to afford a vacation or any break in a very long time! The only time I was able to take few days off was 2.5 years ago when my mother passed away in LA. I guess you can consider this a “vacation.” — Saro Abrahamian, Town Jewelers, Chevy Chase, MD
  • Breaks, vacations and getaways are 1000 percent necessary, but when you love your career as much as we do, you’re constantly consciously and subconsciously tuned in to ideas and inspiration that will help improve and grow your business. — Whitney Lang, Burkes Fine Jewelers, Kilmarnock, VA
  • I am not big on breaks. I enjoy my work and don’t understand why others think I need to take a break from something I enjoy. When my wife makes me take such a break, my No. 1 activity is bicycle riding. Not the 10-speed tight pants and stupid-looking helmet type riding, the just me-and-my-single-speed-coaster 1979 Chicago Schwinn and the open road or bike trail. I will often make 25-to 30-mile-day trips and very occasionally up to 50-mile daytrips. — James Sickinger, Sickinger’s Jewelry, Lowell, IN
  • A two-day weekend is a vacation for us. We knew what we were getting into when we opened 12 years ago, I’m just glad to have enough going on that real vacations aren’t an option. If we didn’t, we couldn’t afford to go anywhere anyway. Retirement is coming, then we’ll relax. — David Phelps, Precision Platinum, Durham, NC
  • “Don’t believe in breaks”? Are you serious? Mini-getaways are fine, longer is better. I’m not the reclusive type, so I always want contact with the world when I’m not at the store. — Bradley Ozinsky, Bradley’s Jewelers, Liverpool, NY
  • We close our shop during vacations because if the business is closed, we don’t have to rely on our employees to handle the daily business. We also can relax and not worry about day-to-day occurrences. — Shevvy Baker, SPB Designs, Louisville, KY
  • Vacation time is important. I usually take a number of long weekends at the lake and at least one full week away. Working on taking more two-weekers. Did this for the first time several years ago and need to do more of this after 40 years in the business. — Steve Floyd, Floyd & Green, Aiken, SC
  • I have to be dragged to vacation. That being said, after two days, I never want to come back. We vacay in Mexico and find all these fun street places to eat, but I’d rather be in the store! — Jeff Weintrop, The Silver Lady, University City, MO
  • We close the store for 10 days in early July. Our staff and the ownership all take actual physical vacations, usually trips outside of the state or country. We come back refreshed, happy to see each other and ready to approach our busy winter season. — Jody Bond, Just Gold Jewelers, Stuart, FL
  • About a week or so is perfect. By two weeks, I’m getting anxious to return to the office. At three weeks, I don’t want to ever go back to the office. I’ve never been gone a month, but there’s a good bet that I’d up and move to Bruges, Belgium. — Chuck Kuba, Iowa Diamond, West Des Moines, IA

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

Promoted Headlines






INSTORE helps you become a better jeweler
with the biggest daily news headlines and useful tips.
(Mailed 5x per week.)

Latest Comments

Most Popular