Share Tweet In Austin,Two Years of Negotiation Lead to Sale Published 2 years ago on February 1, 2019 By Eileen McClelland Instore February 2019 Issue Kat and Larry Stokes, and Rusty Korman, from left, reached an agreement on the sale of Korman’s Austin, TX, store last year. Now 66, Rusty Korman, founder of Russell Korman Fine Jewelry, began considering retirement around the time that Larry and Kat Stokes began to seriously pursue their dream of owning a jewelry store in Austin, TX. Introduced by mutual friends, Korman got to know the couple and negotiated terms over 24 months before reaching a deal. Says Korman, “As I got to know Larry and Kat, I just felt instinctively that they would continue to operate with the transparency and integrity that are so important to me and our customers.” Larry grew up in the jewelry business. His mother, Susan Robinson, founded Susan Robinson Fine Jewelry in Tyler, TX, in 1984, where Larry and Kat both worked before moving to Austin. “We’re all where we need to be right now,” Larry says. “We were at the point in our career where this was the missing puzzle piece.” The deal closed Nov. 1, and Rusty Korman and his brother and sister-in-law, Hank and Monica Korman, retired at the end of the year. The store is now known simply as KORMAN. “We wanted to carry on his legacy that he worked so hard to build,” Kat Stokes says. “Keeping the name was part of why we bought it. Anybody who’s spent time in Austin has heard it or been by, or has some connection or identification with it.” Kat says the couple plan to add an inventory system to improve clienteling and inventory management. “A few minor changes I think can make a huge difference.” Advertisement The idea of buying a high-quality existing business was a no-brainer, Kat says. “We thought we can spend X on buying an existing store, or spend Y, which wouldn’t be that much less, and have no clients walking in the door and have to hire people and spend so much money on marketing. So we felt like this made more sense to come in and take over and pick up where they left off. It’s been super fun. A wild ride.” Says Korman, “Most independent jewelers have gone by the wayside unless a family member will take it over. KORMAN will be here for the next 30 years. I’m leaving my customers in good hands.” Related Topics: click to Comment(Comment) Up Next Alan Perry Works on Letting Go — Gradually Don't Miss Second Generation Steps Up Unexpectedly to Take Over Eileen McClelland Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them. Continue Reading Advertisement SPONSORED VIDEO Wilkerson Testimonials A Liquidation Sale during a Pandemic? Wilkerson Showed Them the Way For 25 years, Stafford Jewelers of Cincinnati, Ohio, was THE place to go for special gifts, engagement diamonds, high-end Swiss watch brands — in other words, the crème de la crème of fine jewelry. But this summer, the Stafford family was ready to retire. So, they chose Wilkerson to help them close up shop. “One of the biggest concerns was having the sale in the middle of COVID,” says Director of Stores Michelle Randle. Wilkerson gave the Stafford team plenty of ideas as well as safety guidelines, which they closely followed. “All of the employees felt safe, the customers coming in the door felt safe and we did a lot of business,” says Randle. How much business? “The inventory flew,” she says. Translation: They sold millions and millions of dollars-worth of merchandise. Randle calls it, “an incredible experience.” Would she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers who are thinking of thinning their inventories or retiring? “Everyone got more than what they expected out of the sale. You have to hire Wilkerson. They’re amazing.” You may like Promoted Headlines JYE’S International is Seen in All the Best Cases The Sylvie Collection Knows What Women Want Sylvie Collection From Chain to Casting, National Chain Group Does It All National Chain Group Advertisement Latest Trending Videos Press Releases3 hours ago New PGI-Commissioned Study Offers Retailers Insights Into How to Ease Customers’ Concerns Over COVID During the Holiday Season Press Releases7 hours ago Accutron Lights Up Empire State Building Celebrating 60th Anniversary Press Releases7 hours ago Industry Experts Gather for Collaboration on Ethics and Sustainability in Gold and Diamond Enterprise Big Survey1 week ago These Are the Top Watch Brands of 2020, According to INSTORE’s Big Survey Big Survey1 week ago The Guy Who Bought 13 Rings, and Other Tales of Serial Engagements Photo Gallery2 days ago 12 Photos That Show Off the Wow Factor at Thollot Diamonds & Fine Jewelry in Colorado Sponsored Content1 week ago A Liquidation Sale during a Pandemic? Wilkerson Showed Them the Way Sponsored Webinars2 weeks ago Podium Presents: 5 Crucial Customer Experience Improvements to Make as You Reopen Jimmy Degroot2 weeks ago Video: How to Smooth Out the Chaos in Your Jewelry Store and Create Harmony Instead Advertisement SubscribeBULLETINS INSTORE helps you become a better jeweler with the biggest daily news headlines and useful tips. (Mailed 5x per week.) Latest Comments Most Popular Big Survey1 week ago These Are the Top Watch Brands of 2020, According to INSTORE’s Big Survey Big Survey1 week ago The Guy Who Bought 13 Rings, and Other Tales of Serial Engagements Photo Gallery2 days ago 12 Photos That Show Off the Wow Factor at Thollot Diamonds & Fine Jewelry in Colorado Big Survey1 week ago COVID-19 Has Some Silver Linings for Jewelers — Here Are the Upsides Big Survey6 days ago 7 Out of 10 Jewelers Surveyed Said They Do Not Want to Add a Brand Sponsored Content1 week ago A Liquidation Sale during a Pandemic? Wilkerson Showed Them the Way Big Survey4 days ago What’s Wrong with Millennials? Here’s What Jewelers Say Sponsored Content1 week ago Why Have 1,800+ Jewelers Switched to BriteCo?