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America's Coolest Stores

INSTORE Editors Share Favorites in
This America’s Coolest Preview




We’re not quite ready to make the big announcement about who won the 2017 America’s Coolest Store contest. But as a way of bridging the gap before the big reveal on July 20, we’re sharing INSTORE editors’ top picks in four of the judging categories: Exterior, Interior, Marketing and Online Presence. Entries always contain a wealth of good ideas and we want to start sharing those as soon as possible. Stay tuned for the announcement of the winners, chosen by our panel of industry-expert judges, on in late July, and in our annual America’s Coolest Stores issue in August! And, as always, thank you for entering.


THE EDITORS SAY: Green Lake Jewelry Works (PICTURED) has created a second retail environment that colorfully facilitates the jewelry making process from initial sketch to finished product, with an emphasis on art.

1. Green Lake Jewelry Works, Bellevue, WA

2. Lester Lampert, Inc., Chicago, IL

3. IRIS Piercing Studio and Jewelry Gallery, Chicago, IL

4. John Atencio, Boulder, CO

5. Belle Jewelers, Chambersburg, PA

5. Koerber’s Fine Jewelry, New Albany, IN



THE EDITORS SAY: Molinelli’s Jewelers’ street clock (PICTURED), a landmark in Pocatello, ID, works as a beacon to passersby, and, following a recent $1.1 million renovation, conveys the historical significance of the place, founded in 1903. It’s one of the town’s oldest businesses and the oldest jewelry store in Idaho that’s kept its name.

1. Green Lake Jewelry Works, Bellevue, WA

2. Lester Lampert, Inc., Chicago, IL

3. Pyrrha, Los Angeles, CA

4. John Atencio, Boulder, CO

5. Molinelli’s Jewelers, Pocatello, ID



THE EDITORS SAY: IRIS Piercing Studio and Jewelry Gallery (PICTURED) is making an impact in all aspects of its retail operation, including advertising, which is as edgy and attention-grabbing as its business concept of combining piercing with fine jewelry.

1.  IRIS Piercing Studio and Jewelry Gallery, Chicago, IL

2. Green Lake Jewelry Works, Bellevue, WA

3. Pyrrha, Los Angeles, CA

4. John Atencio, Boulder, CO

5. Diamonds Direct Fine Jewelers, St. Petersburg, FL


Online Presence

THE EDITORS SAY: H1912’s website (PICTURED) is an easy to navigate, fully functioning e-commerce site. H1912 also has a 5-star rating on Facebook and Yelp.
1.  Green Lake Jewelry Works, Bellevue, WA

2. H1912, Princeton, NJ

3. IRIS Piercing Studio and Jewelry Gallery, Chicago, IL

4. Gertrude Zachary, Inc., Albuquerque, NM

5. Pyrrha, Los Angeles, CA

Want to Enter Your Store in America’s Coolest Stores?

Think you’ve got what it takes to join the ranks of America’s Coolest Stores? Entries for our 2018 contest open in November 2017. Check for contest details at

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson

The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

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