Secrets of America's Coolest Stores Podcast: How Jim Tuttle “Geeked Out” to the Top of the Jewelry Heap The owner of Green Lake Jewelry Works shares the story of his rise. More Videos Thinking of Liquidating? Wilkerson’s Got You Covered How Jewelry Retailers Should Approach Fairmined Gold GN Diamond Presents: How To Sell Lab Grown Diamonds, Part I The Clienteling Gap — and How to Close It Share Tweet Published 4 years ago on July 24, 2018 By David Squires IN THIS INSTORE podcast from 2018, hear one of the most unique success stories in recent jewelry retail history — that of Jim Tuttle and his Seattle super-store, Green Lake Jewelry Works. After dropping out of college and spending several years as a supermarket produce buyer, Tuttle eventually found his way into the jewelry business in Atlanta in his mid-20s — through a cousin of his who was doing trade work, mostly for jewelry chain stores. Podcast Episode S1E2: Jim Tuttle (44:03 minutes) As Tuttle slaved away at trade work in the late 80s and early 90s, he dreamed of opening his own store with a focus on custom design, one where the “theater” of jewelry artists at work would attract passersby and customers. Finally, in 1996, with only $30,000 in his pocket, he moved to Seattle and opened up a business called Green Lake Jewelry Works. From that small investment, Tuttle has created one of the country’s most innovative and successful jewelry businesses — with two Green Lake branches in the Seattle area (both of which have won high honors in INSTORE’s “America’s Coolest Stores” contest) and more than $10 million in sales annually. Advertisement Tuttle’s stores have created their own noteworthy niche as a business that puts custom design first in every single aspect of the customer experience. Since the store’s launch, Green Lake has grown at near-double figure percentage rates every year — even during the Great Recession. Tuttle attributes a lot of the store’s success to his talented team — “this was very much a team effort,” he emphasizes. But another key to the Green Lake success story is Tuttle’s propensity for “geeking out” — intense bursts of enthusiasm and extra work new technologies like (over the years) CAD modeling, laser welding, and online jewelry design portfolios. In addition, Tuttle’s expertise in crunching numbers has also helped him make correct business decisions on when to expand (and when to not expand) along the way. Listen to Tuttle tell his story — with all the ups and downs — in this 45-minute interview with INSTORE’s David Squires. Plus, we’ve added an additional seven minutes of bonus material in which Jim shares the specific area where he thinks his business differs from most other jewelry retailers, where he sees the jewelry business going over the next decade, and one product category he’d pay a little more attention to if he had the chance to do the whole thing over again. JIM TUTTLE BONUS MATERIAL (7:00 minutes) Related Topics: jewelry stores in WashingtonpodcastSecrets of America's Coolest Stores click to Comment(Comment) Don't Miss Podcast: Debbie Fox on the Power of Social Cause Marketing and the Rise of Fox Fine Jewelers David Squires David Squires is the Group Editorial Director of SmartWork Media. He believes that the first role of business media is to inspire readers. Advertisement SPONSORED VIDEO Thinking of Liquidating? Wilkerson’s Got You Covered Bil Holehan, the manager of Julianna’s Fine Jewelry in Corte Madera, Calif., decided to go on to the next chapter of his life when the store’s owner and namesake told him she was set to retire. Before they left, Holehan says they decided to liquidate some of the store’s aging inventory. They chose Wilkerson for the sale. Why? “Friends had done their sales with Wilkerson and they were very satisfied,” says Holehan. He’d enthusiastically recommend Wilkerson to anyone looking to stage a liquidation or going-out-of-business sale. “There were no surprises,” he says. “They were very professional in their assessment of our store, what we could expect from the sale and they were very detailed in their projections. They were pretty much on the money.” You may like Promoted Headlines Thinking of Liquidating? Wilkerson’s Got You Covered Wilkerson Build Your Brand with AI-Driven Custom Diamond Reports Sarine North America Inc. 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