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Editor's Note

If You Haven’t Experienced All of INSTORE Online Yet, Why Wait?

A new website, podcasts, webinars and more come online from INSTORE.

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IF ALL YOU WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is a sizzling, user-friendly online experience that jam-packs the latest industry news, advice and stories into one easy-to-read format, then you’re in luck!

The new Instoremag.com is now live, and if you haven’t given it a look yet, prepare to be instantly charmed. The fast-loading site makes browsing a breeze. You can scroll through the latest news, tips, videos and podcasts, human-interest stories, and product coverage with big headlines and images galore.

Podcast: This Diamond Heist Simply Didn’t Make the Grade
Over the Counter

Podcast: This Diamond Heist Simply Didn’t Make the Grade

Podcast: Doug Meadows Shares the Ups and Downs of His Life as a Jeweler
JimmyCast

Podcast: Doug Meadows Shares the Ups and Downs of His Life as a Jeweler

Podcast: Against the Odds, a High School Student Fights to Keep the Family Jewelry Store Alive
Over the Counter

Podcast: Against the Odds, a High School Student Fights to Keep the Family Jewelry Store Alive

As excited as I am about our new website, I’m equally stoked about our fresh stable of podcasts. Kyle Bullock, a smooth-voiced fourth-generation retailer from Roswell, NM, presents “Over the Counter,” which tells the stories of inspirational and memorable jewelry sales. Jewelry journalist Barbara Palumbo interviews a variety of industry figures in “The Barb Wire”; it’s light-hearted, freewheeling talk radio for the jewelry industry. And group editorial director David Squires conducts in-depth conversations with top retailers in “Secrets of America’s Coolest Stores.” Search “INSTORE” in the Podcasts app on Apple or simply listen to the shows on instoremag.com.

And lest I forget, we’ve also come blasting out of the gates with several “INSTORE Live” webinars, featuring marketing experts like Andrea Hill and Shane O’Neill, top digital companies like Podium and respected organizations like Platinum Guild International.

That’s a lot of marvelous, unmissable information, and I haven’t even talked about this issue yet! Rest assured you’ll love our hilarious “Holiday True Tales” and feel uplifted by “Kids Quest,” the story of a young girl learning to love the jewelry industry.

Talk to you next year!

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
trace@smartworkmedia.com

 

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • Create a custom visual standards manual (CVSM) to systematize the look and feel of your store. (Linda Cahan, page 51)
  • Hold special VIP shopping hours for your social media fans one evening during the holidays. (Manager’s To-Do, page 24)
  • Send your team members home whenever possible to avoid holiday fatigue. (Buzz Session, page 56)
  • Ask all job candidates to take a personality and skills assessment before you interview them. (Ask INSTORE, page 54)
  • On any piece with five to 20 gemstones, charge $28 to check, tighten and retighten within 12 months; $35 for 21 stones or more. (David Geller, page 52)

Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at trace@smartworkmedia.com.

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Editor's Note

Why It’s Good To Remember Your Best Day Ever

Reliving your favorite memory in business could inspire you to even greater heights.

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IT’S HUMAN NATURE to remember one’s failures most vividly. In my senior year of high school, we finished our football season at 9-2. A record to be proud of, but it’s those two losses that stick with me most.

Maybe you’re the same way, and you’ve had failures that you can’t stop wondering “what if” about. But we’ve already done an issue on failure (go back and read our April issue if you missed it!). Now, it’s time to celebrate the good times! Remember those moments when you were on top of the world? The ones you would love to relive again? Those are the recollections that inspire us to make the next unbelievable memory.

As we roll into the second half of the year, it seems appropriate to recall those “best days ever” to motivate you to even greater heights. In our lead story, we’ve collected 33 reminiscences from your fellow jewelry store owners to remember their favorite days, from that occasion when one made his first sale, to the moment one met his future spouse, to that time one’s father gave her the advice that sticks with her to this day. (We had so many beautiful stories that we couldn’t fit them all in print, so visit instoremag.com to read the rest!)

So go ahead: invite the memory of your favorite day back into your mind right now. Smile. Read about the triumphs of your peers. Then get back into your business and set the stage for your next best. day. ever!

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
trace@smartworkmedia.com

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

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Editor's Note

This Year’s INSTORE Design Awards Winners Followed In a Stellar Tradition

With 25 categories, many designers had the chance to shine.

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EVERY YEAR, I’M consistently impressed by the ingenuity displayed by the jewelry designers who enter the INSTORE Design Awards. Two years ago, Hisano Shepherd of Little H made a splash with her fresh take on pearls, slicing them open and encrusting them with gemstones. Last year, Katey Brunini won three categories with three separate pieces from her intricate and colorful Eating Watermelon In The Black Forest collection, while TAP By Todd Pownell took two other categories with their striking, nature-inspired use of diamonds.

This year, with so many more categories (25, as opposed to eight last year), lots of designers made their mark. Adel Chefridi won two categories and a Retailer’s Choice award with his geometric matte designs. Thorsten placed with three different show-stopping wedding band designs. Manufacturers Gabriel & Co. and UNEEK Fine Jewelry each had multiple winners. The mesmerizing Sultana ring by Annamaria Cammilli Firenze cleaned up across several categories. Then there was our Grand Prize winning piece: the VIVAAN cuff (featured on our cover) with nearly 30 carats of natural fancy color diamonds that won over both our judges and online voters.

When you’re shopping the Las Vegas trade shows, start with the winners of this design competition. If they’re turning heads among our judges and online voters, they’re sure to turn the heads of your clients as well.

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
trace@smartworkmedia.com

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • When displaying men’s jewelry, opt for timeless elements like antique fly-fishing reels, old toy cars or old sports items. (Ask Instore, p. 91)
  • Longer ad copy yields better results, as proven by Google. (Jim Ackerman, p. 90)
  • Always display in odd numbers; it’s more aesthetically pleasing. (Three Things I Know About, p. 94)
  • Ask questions that elicit a “yes” from the woman in order to close the male buyer. (Shane Decker, p. 92)
  • When retirement is in the near future, start maximizing net profit to build the value of your business. (David Brown, p. 94)
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Editor's Note

Why Excuses Are The Enemy of Learning

To get better in business and life, you must first embrace failure.

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“If you continue to be defensive every time I give you constructive criticism, you’ll never learn anything.”

I was in my mid-20s when a mentor and former employer said those words to me, and I’ve never forgotten the lesson. When you make excuses, you lose the opportunity to learn from failure and improve yourself.

It’s more difficult than it sounds. Human nature is to look outside oneself for a source of blame. No one wants to be thought of as “a failure.”

And yet, if you’re willing to bow to the requirements of wisdom, your confidence can only rise as your quest for improvement moves forward.

Our magazine is all about education, and we figured there’s no better teacher than failure — thus, you hold in your hands, “The Failure Issue.” Inside, you’ll find stories from successful businesspeople who aren’t afraid to admit how they failed, and how that failure was transformative.

For example, check out columnist David Geller’s story of how he went from near-bankruptcy to profitable through a cash-flow crucible. And read about David Nygaard’s odyssey from multi-store owner to personal jeweler and city councilman through bankruptcy and divorce.

It all starts with a willingness to learn — and if you didn’t have that, you wouldn’t be reading INSTORE. So read on, and prepare to get the most from failure!

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
trace@smartworkmedia.com

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • Have employees wear white cotton gloves when moving product around to keep skin oil off jewelry. (Manager’s To-Do List, p. 30)
  • Hold “failure reviews” when anything goes wrong in your business. (The Big Story, p. 40)
  • Keep a Failure Wall in a back room where you and your staff can share “growth lessons.” (The Big Story, p. 40)
  • In job postings, describe your company, your reputation and your goals. (Ask INSTORE, p. 62)
  • Reward your clients through a Brand Ambassador program that compensates them for sharing their enthusiasm for brands. (Cool Stores, p. 78
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