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Big Survey

Jewelers Share COVID-19’s Life Lessons

They range from political outrage and business revelations to an overall change in outlook.




WHEN WE ASKED jewelers who responded to our Big Survey to finish the sentence: “One thing COVID-19 has taught me is that…”, responses ran the gamut from outrage: (“Most Americans are stupid!”) to business revelations (“I can run a business on a shoestring budget”) and life lessons, most centered on the general realization that life is short and we need to make the most of it.

And, of course, there was some comic relief: “My hair grows really fast.”

Comments here could be grouped into several general categories.

Let’s call the first group political.

  • Media and politics will let no tragedy go to waste.
  • Democrats are idiots.
  • Republicans are stupid.
  • Most Americans are stupid.
  • There are more idiots in the world than I estimated.
  • People will believe anything their TV tells them to.
  • We need as a nation to act as one and have the leadership to do that.
  • The media is the evil empire.
  • The government LIES, but I trust President Trump.
  • Not to trust President Trump.
  • Vote! Vote! Vote!

The second category is business related.

  • People will keep buying jewelry, especially bridal, even when the world is literally on fire.
  • Life is too short to stress over business and you can always make changes to the way you do business without ill effect.
  • I need to be more prepared for a pause in business. More precisely, I need to have the necessary resources to keep my staff on payroll for several months without furloughing them in the event this type of thing happens again.
  • People will give up their freedoms and do “what they are told” easily…unbelievable! Also, our staff has split into two groups, even though we are small, those who worked anyway and those who stayed away completely. The people who worked have all signed the front of a paycheck and those who did not work at all never have.
  • Customers still want to celebrate life’s moments.
  • When I don’t buy inventory because I CAN’T (no trade shows, no traveling salespeople, no one in office) and simply sell what I have, my debt goes down, my cash flow is better and now I understand I’m a terrible, undisciplined buyer! It’s been the biggest blessing during the worst set of circumstances!!!
  • Clients really missed us when we were closed. So, I gotta feel we’ve been doing something right.
  • Most people enjoy getting calls from me, especially if I can help them smile.
  • I can sell a lot without my staff.
  • Better figure out multiple income streams. Reduce inventory, invest more into stocks and real estate.
  • I can run the store on a shoestring budget!
  • Always have a backup plan (selling online).
  • I need to stay out of debt.
  • I will never retire.
  • Adapt or die.
  • Cash is king.
  • Only the strong survive.

The majority of comments in the third category point to life lessons, with a subgroup concerned with hygiene (Wash your hands! Clean everything!)

  • You need to cut yourself a break. These are unchartered waters and I cannot be hard on myself right now.
  • Time with family matters.
  • You never can predict what this life will bring.
  • Life is really short for some. It could be for me, but no one knows the master plan, so ENJOY each breath that is given to us NOW.
    Love those around you. Enjoy time with those you love. And I need my staff and my people.
  • So many people are frustrated and fearful, and rather than explore their emotions, they lash out. I have a hard time with the conspiracy theorists because to me the reality of it all is too horrible, I don’t need a layer of crazy to make it worse. I practice patience, with awareness, rather than scream “You’re an idiot!”. COVID has taught me patience most.
  • Everything can change on a dime. Look at the riots, look at the gold market, look at our national leadership. There is no room in my life for individuals who lack integrity on the community level. WEAR A MASK, Ass Clown!
  • Money is all that matters to far too many people.
  • Life can change is an instant and people have a love of toilet paper!
  • No one gets out of life alive!
  • I really love traveling!
  • Enjoy each day like it’s your last.
  • We are resilient.
  • God’s at the wheel.
  • You shouldn’t really sweat the small stuff. (Although, I still do on some things).

For more of our insights into North American jewelers, look out for a special 2020 Big Survey edition, which should land on our subscribers’ doorsteps at the beginning of November.



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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