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Jewelry Retailers Dish on The Most Fun or Meaningful Thing They’ve Done with Their Team

Some had some pretty creative ideas. Axe-throwing, anyone?





What’s the most fun or meaningful thing you’ve ever done with your team?

  • We made a HUGE estate buy: hundreds of pieces, all in new condition. So we hosted a party for our staff. There were two eight-foot tables packed with carefully arranged jewelry so the staff could browse and try on. A highlight of the party was a game with fun questions about themselves. After they answered the question, they got to pick a piece of jewelry. It was a very enjoyable night! — Debbie Fox, Fox Fine Jewelry, Ventura, CA
  • Vegas baby! That’s definitely an adventure. We have an annual Christmas brunch early in December, which is a lot of fun. I also have everyone over for a late summer BBQ to eat all the produce from our vegetable garden. — Theresa Peregoy, Classic Facets, Edgewater, CO
  • We recently had the entire team take a party bus to a Comedy Sportz club. We had a blast! Each year we take the staff to the Zoo Debut, a black-tie fundraiser for our zoo, which is always a fun event. — Katrina Sustachek, Rasmussen Diamonds, Racine, WI
  • We had a day on the water on a party barge. We had jet skis, paddle boards, and all the water toys you can imagine. — Naomi Vargas, Mehaffey’s Jewelry, Haines City, FL
  • We took everyone to New York several months ago to visit with some of our key vendors. — Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler, Palo Alto, CA
  • One day, we took about 12 employees out to the desert and shot guns. We also have gone axe throwing. BUT… the top of the list is when the staff went and got tattoos together! — Stephenie Bjorkman, Sami Fine Jewelry, Fountain Hills, AZ
  • Played in the store’s golf outing … we closed the store, invited all of our clients, and all of us (staff and owners) had a chance to be together doing something fun. — Laura Sipe, JC Sipe, Indianapolis, IN
  • I once took my entire staff and their spouses on a four-day cruise to the Bahamas. — Eric Stevens, Stevens Diamond Jewelers, West Springfield, MA
  • Our bench jeweler that worked alongside my family for 3 generations recently retired. It really was a special moment. We had his retirement party at a local restaurant. My team all felt awesome being a part of it. — Jim Cash, Diamond Center, Fayetteville, AR
  • We took them to a nearby casino, which has a bowling alley, and broke up into teams with specific costumes and had cocktails and played. We took a limo bus there together and it was a lot of fun! More recently, we celebrated one of the owners’ 50 years in the business and everybody played a part in planning and attending his surprise party. We all had so much fun together. — Christina Baribault-Ortiz, Baribault Jewelers, Glastonbury, CT
  • We had all of our employees over the house for a CRAB FEAST! Had a BLAST! — Tommy Thobe, The Village Gem, Perry Hall, MD
  • Take everyone out in my boat and to a nice restaurant on the lake for dinner. — Tom R. Nelson, Nelson Jewelry, Spencer, IA
  • For birthdays, I make the guys a two-pound homemade meatloaf! — Rosanne Kroen, Rosanne’s Diamonds & Gold, South Bend, IN
  • Turn a bunch of silly but expensive frog brooches into a bunch of silly but expensive frog necklaces. — Gretchen Schaffner, Eytan’s Designs, Sherman Oaks, CA
  • Dinner parties where everyone brings a humorous gift for a fellow employee. Lots of laughs and fun and the ability to see each other in a stress-free, relaxed environment. — Susan Eisen, Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry & Watches, El Paso, TX
  • My team is me and my wife. I suppose a Vegas trip, staying at the Venetian, a gondola ride, a few adult beverages and seeing a show was pretty nice. — Rick Nichols, Nassau Jewelry, Fernandina Beach, FL
  • Fun is our middle name! We have done everything from taking a team of 22 to Vegas to giving everyone tickets to Lollapalooza (and closed the stores so they could go). We always have a float in the Pride Parade and go all out. That’s fun x 10! — Melissa Quick, Steve Quick Jeweler, Chicago, IL
  • Our team went to Top Golf. We realize that we all are very competitive. — Brenda Hefner, Oz’s Jewelers, Hickory, NC
  • Shutting the store down to allow all to go through the JCK show together as a team. — Rick Weadock, Jewelry-By-You, South Jordan, UT
  • We have happy hour every Friday from 5 to 6 p.m. for the staff. Everyone gets to laugh and cut loose, and if a customer comes in, then they get to join us. — Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX
  • If we make our 1st and 2nd quarterly goals, we take a weekend all-paid trip! Last year, we stayed at a cute resort and chartered a bus to different vineyards. — Kathleen Shaw, Eliza Page, Austin, TX

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.



Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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