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WELCOME! YOU’RE INVITED to listen to the debut episode of a new INSTORE Live! podcast series, Secrets of America’s Coolest Jewelers.

The series kicks off with an interview of one of INSTORE’s favorite jewelers, Debbie Fox of Fox Fine Jewelers in Ventura, CA, winner of 2015’s America’s Coolest Stores (Big Cool category). David Squires, former INSTORE editor-in-chief and group editorial director of SmartWork Media, does the interviewing.

In the podcast, Debbie discusses key high and low points of the journey she has taken with her husband George, a highly talented jeweler, as they built their business from a 100-square-foot store barely large enough to fit two customers at a time into one of the country’s very best jewelry stores.

“I never thought that I’d be this successful,” Debbie admits. “[But] I will tell you that George always knew that we would be this successful.”

Debbie also gives insights into Fox Fine Jewelry’s unique social-cause marketing initiatives. One of the most successful examples of these came in 2009, when the store gained national attention for giving away sterling silver necklaces one Valentine’s Day season to people who had lost their jobs in the Great Recession.

In a special addendum to the interview, Debbie talks about possibly her business’s biggest-ever social cause marketing initiative, where Fox Fine Jewelry provided free community-themed diamond necklaces to people who had lost their homes during California’s devastating Thomas Fires in December.

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Debbie tells of some of the dramatic events around the fire, including customer reaction to her emotional radio advertising, and tells one funny story of the fire’s aftermath when she found herself sobbing in front of the destroyed house of an acquaintence.

 

Community-themed necklaces on offer from Fox Fine Jewelry include the Ventura Wave, the Ojai Mountains, the Montecito Islands, or the Thrive 805. COURTESY: FOX FINE JEWELRY


SECRETS OF AMERICA’S COOLEST STORES EPISODE 1: DEBBIE FOX (69:52 MINUTES)


SECRETS OF AMERICA’S COOLEST STORES EPISODE 1 EXTRAS: DEBBIE FOX ON THE THOMAS FIRE (19:56 MINUTES)


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David Squires is the Group Editorial Director of SmartWork Media. He believes that the first role of business media is to inspire readers.

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Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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