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Jewelers Share Their Practical and Philosophical Approaches to Work and Life




For New Year’s inspiration, we’ve collected and compiled words of wisdom from our readers. In the process, we caught Mark Clodius of Clodius & Co. in a philosophical mood. When he was recently asked about how Clodius & Co. became a success, he said he replied, “No regrets!”

“Of course, I have plenty of regrets,” he explains. “But everything that I have done, said or not, every experience good or bad, has brought me to a very special place, the place where I am today, and I am very thankful for that.”

When Dianna Rae High of Dianna Rae Jewelry looks for inspiration, Bible verses pop into her mind, she says, such as “Clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12).

Why are affirmations important? To some extent, we are what we think. Positive thinking can change our paths.

So take some time this month to think about the philosophy that drives you. Discover affirmations that resonate with you. Then set priorities and goals, make resolutions, and assemble to-do lists. 


“Follow a moral compass,” says Emily Chapman Metzger, Chapman Jewelers, Warsaw, IN, who is inspired by this anonymous quote she found in a magazine: “A woman who holds true to the anchor of her moral compass is synonymous with a lighthouse. Ships come and go. Some are million dollar yachts, some are little rowboats, yet this woman of moral integrity stands firm. She may not get to the finish line as quickly as the cutthroat woman, but her growth is built on a solid, ethical foundation so it will outlast the other woman’s hands down.”

“Dream big. Treat others the way you would want to be treated. If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. If it was easy, everyone would do it.” — Christina Medawar, Medawar Jewelers, Lansing, MI

“Without talented, dedicated, creative people, you swim alone in the vast retail ocean that’s full of opportunity for failure. The people you surround yourself with help you keep it afloat and make it fun.” — Thomas Mann, Thomas Mann Gallery I/O, New Orleans, LA

“Why, of course we can do that for you while you wait!” — Mark Loren, Mark Loren Designs, Fort Myers and Naples, FL

“Extraordinary, never ordinary, is what jewelry should be, just like the customer.” — Britten Wolf, BVW Jewelers, Reno, NV

“Everything I needed to know about sales I learned as a bartender and waitress. I learned how to read people, adapt my personality to any situation and be comfortable talking to strangers.” — Mary Jo Chanski, Hannoush Jewelers, Rutland, VT


“Life is what you make it. Control what you can, meaning you. Let go of what you can’t. And most importantly, have a ball. Every minute counts.” — Torsten Flaegel and Yaf Boye-Flaegel, Yaf Sparkle Jewelry Boutique, New York, NY

“Define what your brand is. Being consistent means working harder, investing more, and intentionally NOT doing something everyone else is doing.” — Dianna Rae High, Dianna Rae Jewelry, Lafayette, LA

“I often say ‘you have to have it in order to sell it’ or ‘go big or go home’ when I’m at a show making buying decisions. The second one has been known to get me into a bit of trouble.” — Ellen Hertz, Max’s, St. Louis Park, MN

“When a customer is rude, remember that their shoes might be too tight. (In other words, the problem might not be you, but other things on their mind.)” — Babs Noelle, Alara Jewelry, Bozeman, MT

“Put a positive spin on everything. It’s against the rules to say ‘I don’t know.’ Better to say, ‘Let me get you the expert in that department.’“ — Susan Eisen, Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry & Watches, El Paso, TX

“Kindness matters more than anything else.”  — Heather Hanst, Silverado, Bend, OR


“Don’t use the numbers as your benchmark for success and security. Use your client loyalty and your repeat business.” — Deric Metzger, DeMer Jewelry, Carlsbad, CA

“Be really good at a few things. You won’t be good at everything.” — Dave Rabellino, Artful Eye Fine Jewelers, Prescott, AZ

“A great mentor told me you can’t go wrong if you go honest.” — Ira Kramer, The Diamond Exchange, Bethesda, MD 

“‘You are not here merely to make a living,’ Woodrow Wilson said. ‘You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand.’“ — Allison Leitzel-Williams, Leitzel’s Jewelry, Myerstown, PA



“Shared experience is the best business book out there. Open it! Take someone you admire out and start asking, how did you get here? What would you do differently? How are you preparing for the future? Now, shut up and listen!” — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, LaGrange, IL

“Advice from a former employee, Jimmy Smith of Jimmy Smith Jewelers in Decatur, AL, stuck with me: ‘Never hold a nickel so close to your eye that you can never see the dollars behind it!’“ — Bill Longnecker, Longnecker Jewelery, McCook, NE 

“Yelp keeps me on track. Customer service is our keystone and I make sure to treat all clients like they are the most important.” — Cos Altobelli, Altobelli Jewelers, Burbank, CA 

“Believe in yourself, face your goals, and then fight as if your life depended on it.” — Tom Duma, Thom Duma Fine Jewelers, Warren, OH

“When a customer is upset, even if they are wrong, make it right no matter the cost.” — Richard Wilson, Wilson Diamonds, Provo, UT

“You must take in more money than you put out.” — Gary Youngberg, Ames Silversmithing, Ames, IA

“Other people will try to tell you how to run your business. Follow your gut and ignore their objections.” — Adam Langdon, Adam Michael Jewelry, Omaha, NE

“An old jeweler told me: `Don’t mind what the other jewelry stores in the town are doing, just focus on what you do best.’ it has worked for 35 years.” — Patty Wedemeier, Elegant Jewelers, Sugar Land, TX



Wilkerson Testimonials

Wilkerson Helped This Jeweler to Navigate His Retirement Sale Despite a Pandemic

Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

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