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On This Year’s Jewelry Trade Shows and More Letters to the Editor

“The industry is changing, but it is also much the same as 30 years ago.”




  • The magazine should have a personals section to date singles in the industry! That would be great for my business! — Niki Novello, Cleveland Jewelry Designs, Lyndhurst, OH
  • We have never been so busy in 20 years of operation. I wish I had enough help, but I need about 3 more salespeople. I have to close certain days when we are short. It seems that nobody wants to work. Maybe retirement is in my future. Anyone want to buy a busy jewelry store? — Tommy Thobe, The Village Gem, Perry Hall, MD
  • I attended both Couture and Luxury by JCK, and it was very nice working in the laid-back environment. Sure, the crowds were way down, but vendors had newness and retailers seemed to be positive, so it was refreshing, honestly. — Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX
  • I felt the Las Vegas show was perfect. In the past, I felt overwhelmed and claustrophobic. — Krystal Shiklanian, Radiant Fine Jewelry, Plymouth, MI
  • The Vegas show was fabulous. It was amazing to get out of the state for a few days. But it was hot. — Sherrie Schilling-Devaney, Sherrie’s Jewelry Box, Tigard, OR
  • Opening day at JCK was amazing, so many long and trusted relationships rekindled! Greeted with applause as we entered the show, I think we are grateful to have made it through 2020! As well as mindful of those who did not. — Linda McEathron, Design House, Waco, TX
  • Loved being at JCK and seeing all the new products. It is a necessity for me to be exposed to new vendors, creative ideas and products. Keep them coming!! — Susan Eisen, Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry & Watches, El Paso, TX
  • Las Vegas was a good show, I feel those vendors in attendance really care about helping me, the retailers in attendance were, for the most part, serious buyers. — Bill Archinal, Barnes Jewelry, Amarillo, TX
  • The JCK show was a joke. Registration was pathetic. I still think I have one of the coolest stores on the planet. — Owen Sweet, Owen Sweet Jewelry Design, St. Pete Beach, FL
  • Glad to see a show jumping with buyers. Maybe one day things will get back to normal. You know, after the next election. — Rick Nichols, Nassau Jewelry, Fernandina Beach, FL
  • Slowly winding down my career in all facets of the jewelry industry. Could not have asked for a better place to spend the last 50 years of my life. Now planning for and looking forward to working by appointment only and continuing to create and make beautiful jewelry for those special occasions that we jewelers get to be a part of. Thanks to all I have come in contact with for the best of times!!! — Frank Salinardi, Linardi’s Jewelers, Plantation, FL
  • You’re forgetting about all the mom-and-pop stores in our industry. Not many stories about them. You seem more impressed with million-dollar stores. Still, keep up the good work. — Barry Fixler, Barry’s Estate Jewelry, Bardonia, NY
  • I was surprised by the repetition in designs in the trade shows, all the way from Couture to Luxury to JCK. I’m curious about the future of branded jewelry versus private label and custom and independent or studio designers. Most of us are fighting for the same customers. I’m disheartened that many of our wholesale vendors of finished jewelry, gems and diamonds are marketing to be selling direct to the public. We as retailers invest a lot into selling these brands. The “private sales” aspect of so many designers and the data mining are obvious signs of the times and results of the media resources, but at what point will the bubble burst and the market completely flatten? — Andrea Riso, Talisman Collection, El Dorado Hills, CA
  • The industry is changing, but it is also much the same as 30 years ago. Trust is very important, good work, quality to some extent. The customers that only care about price are going to the internet, big box stores, and chains for financing. Nothing wrong with that, but there are two distinct types of customers now, and the gap is widening between them, even in very small rural towns. — Mark Goodman, Goodman Jewelers of Abingdon, Abingdon, VA
  • Will the COVID Cocoon Crazies still be impacting our lives in 3 years? Will my grandchildren be able to experience the intimate pulse of live music and the throbbing embrace of an engaged crowd? Will large-scale gatherings once again be shared openly and with inspired genius? How long before we are normal? What is the takeaway lesson our industry will profit from and what pitfalls will we avoid in a future pandemic? How has your business changed? How have your customers changed? Logistics on all levels have impacted our industry. What had you done prior to the pandemic that proved to be a lifesaver? How have you expertly adapted (specific pointers) to remain successful. What do you see in our industry that will impact both long-term and short-term challenges that lie ahead? Albeit supply chains, the precious metals market, and cryptocurrencies will invite chaos, you will become a master of CHANGE. Our business demands that we must do this for our stores, our families and our customers. The resiliency of our beloved industry has always been our MacGyver-like talents to morph into our next best selves. — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL

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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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