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IJO Members Are Back in “College”

It was attended by five individual member stores.




IJO Members Are Back in “College”

(PRESS RELEASE) SOUTHPORT, CT — The Independent Jewelers Organization (IJO) held its semi-annual “Business College” November 5-7 at their headquarters in Southport, Connecticut. This “College” is a benefit of IJO membership which offers a two-day intensive evaluation of a member’s retail jewelry business with recommendations on how to operate more efficiently – and more profitably. It was attended by five individual member stores.

In attendance were Steven Perez from Bishop Jewelers in Bishop, CA, Alexia Miller from Cunningham Jewelers in Brunswick, GA, Israel Marin, I.M. Jewelers in Homestead, FL, Philip Sullivan, Jewellery Plus, Summerside, PEI, and Luis Guerra, Rialto Jewelry in San Antonio, TX.

Stephen Barnes had posted recently on IJO’s Discussion Channel, and the results were a full house – the maximum per two-day session is five stores. “Is your business stuck or do you feel like you are drowning? We are here to help. IJO Business College is your lifeboat, and we have a couple of openings for November 6th and 7th. This is FREE to all IJO members — your only cost is your transportation and hotel stay.”

Luis Guerra wrote, “Thank you all for a very educational and memorable trip. Definitely something I will never forget. Now it’s back to work with new ideas and future profits for everyone! Just gotta make the changes! Look forward to seeing you all at the next show.”
“So many store owners know all there is to know about jewelry,” states IJO Chairman & Owner Jeff Roberts, “but they may not necessarily know how to operate a business, which is equally as important as their jewelry knowledge. IJO President Stephen Barnes and I closely examined their profit and loss statements, information on employees, inventory, photos, store set-up and more. Our job is to make a difference in the lives of everyone in the IJO family, and that “extra set of eyes” by a couple of professionals can make a huge difference in their success.”

The Business College is held semi-annually, in May and November, and all IJO members have the opportunity to participate. “This service has changed hundreds of lives over the years,” stated Penny Palmer, IJO’s Director of Member Services. “We love having ‘company’, but mostly we love hearing the results after our members make a few changes from what they’ve learned!”

For information on IJO membership visit or call Penny Palmer at 800.624.9252.




When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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