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Editor's Note

In This Issue, We Honor New Champions, Welcome Back an Old Friend and Mourn Another

As much as we always look forward to the June trade shows, they won’t be the same without Kate Peterson.



JUNE IS ONE of my favorite times of the year. Summer is upon us, and I get to travel to Las Vegas to see my friends and coworkers while browsing the latest and greatest in jewelry. Not only that, but we get to reveal something we’ve been keeping under wraps for several weeks now: the winners of our annual INSTORE Design Awards.

The 2023 champs bring fresh ideas to jewelry design, as well as some of the most gorgeous gem and precious metal combos you’ve ever laid eyes on. A total of 246 entries and three new categories offer plenty to gaze at for any jewelry lover. If you can’t get excited about this level of creativity and eye for colors and shapes, you probably shouldn’t be in this business.

While working on this issue, I also received a surprising phone call from sales guru Shane Decker saying that he wanted to write columns for us again. It took me all of a half-second to answer “Yes!” Shane is the all-time leading sales trainer in this industry for good reason, and we’ll take all of his wisdom that we can get.

Lastly, I would be remiss not to honor our colleague Kate Peterson here. Kate was taken from this world too soon by a house fire in April, and we mourn her loss along with the rest of the industry. Please take a moment to read our special edition of The Real Deal — a section that Kate wrote for INSTORE for 20-plus years — as our readers pour out their heartfelt condolences and fond memories of Kate.

Now Introducing The INSTORE Show, Coming to the Chicago Area in 2023!

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • Offer a monthly surprise commission on a random item. At the end of each month, announce the item and the winner. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 40)
  • Charge $35 to check and tighten the stones on any piece with five or more stones. (David Geller, p. 100)
  • Print up materials advertising your estate buying services and pass them out to local nursing home, banks and other businesses. (Tip Sheet, p. 95)
  • Book a table at a local in-demand restaurant and give the reservation away to a different client each week. (Tip Sheet, p. 95)
  • When a top salesperson quits, call their customers to find out what they liked best about working with him or her. (Ask INSTORE, p. 101)

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



Wilkerson Testimonials

Wilkerson: “They Feel Like Family”

Newton’s Jewelers in Fort Smith, Ark., was a true institution. But after being at the helm for most of his life, owner (and descendent of the original founder) Kelly Newton decided it was time to retire. He chose Wilkerson to handle the sale. “I’ve known the owners of Wilkerson for a long, long time. I felt at home with them,” he says. The final retirement sale was just a “blast” and the Wilkerson sales team made it so very simple and straightforward, says Newton. Would he recommend Wilkerson to others? Absolutely. “They’ve done incredible work,” says Newton. “They feel like family.”

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