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Podcast: Wisconsin Salesperson Uses Life Savings to Live Her Dream of Jewelry Store Ownership

“$20,000 seems like a lot of money … until you open a jewelry store,” she says.

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 12: KIM GORDON ON LIVING THE DREAM (48:53 MINUTES)


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KIM GORDON is living the dream — it’s the dream of owning her own store, the aptly named Dream Jewelers in Oshkosh, WI.

Gordon has spent most of her career in jewelry sales, having spent more than a decade as an assistant manager at a Kay Jewelers and, after that, another decade as sales manager at Jim Kryshak Jewelers in Wausau, WI. But in 2014, she finally made the leap into jewelry-store ownership, using her life savings to purchase a Wisconsin business called Thimke Jewelers, which she later rebranded as Dream Jewelers.

Gordon shares the story of her journey, and tells you how she’s launched her business in a challenging competitive environment and on an ultra-tight budget. “I had $20,000 in the bank,” she says. “And $20,000 seems like a lot of money … until you open a jewelry store.”

Hear Kim’s full story on the latest edition of JimmyCast, with host Jimmy DeGroot and co-host Doug Meadows.

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JimmyCast

Podcast: Aleah Arundale Tells Why She Created Jewelers Helping Jewelers

‘I wanted a free, open forum where everybody could say whatever they want, whenever they want.’

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 14: ALEAH ARUNDALE ON THE POWER OF JEWELERS HELPING JEWELERS (21:57 MINUTES)


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THIS MONTH, JimmyCast welcomes Aleah Arundale, founder of the popular private Facebook group, Jewelers Helping Jewelers, and a fifth-generation jeweler who works for diamond wholesaler Olympian Diamonds.

Chatting with co-hosts Jimmy DeGroot and Doug Meadows, Aleah shares why she created Jewelers Helping Jewelers (4:05), which now has 18,500 members. A few years back, Aleah felt there was something missing in other social media communities. “I wanted a free, open forum where everybody could say whatever they want, whenever they want,” she says.

She decided to launch a brand new community for which the primary rule would be having the fewest rules possible. She says she’s proud that, despite the openness and freedom of the group, participants (mostly) get along, providing an important source of advice, support and trading partners to thousands of jewelry professionals who would otherwise struggle to find community. Says Aleah, “This is a testament to show that, if you just let people go, they will show you how wonderful they can be.”

Aleah estimates that the group has facilitated more than $1 billion in transactions since its launch, sharing a few anecdotes of jewelers whose businesses and lives were changed by the community, including one jeweler who claims to have done $4 million in business through JHJ.

Later in the podcast, Aleah discusses one of her pet peeves — jewelers who refuse to put prices alongside jewelry in the showcase (11:00). Plus, she offers her extremely simple tip for selling more diamonds (13:05).

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Podcast: How Tracking Door Traffic Can Dramatically Boost Your Store’s Performance

Jimmy talks with Dave and Spencer Mink of TraxSales.

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 13: DAVE AND SPENCER MINK ON COUNTING YOUR TRAFFIC (24:29 MINUTES)


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IN THIS MONTH’S EPISODE of JimmyCast, host Jimmy DeGroot talks customer data with Dave and Spencer Mink of TraxSales.

Launched in 1996 as one of the earliest customer tracking companies, TraxSales uses an infrared camera system to track a store’s door traffic (with the ability to discount visits from your staff and other non-customers — i.e. the mailman). The statistics generated can then be integrated with retailers’ CRM programs, offering the ability to create up to 30 different reports, including closing ratio and revenue per guest.

Hear more about how Dave’s big “epiphany” led to the creation of the company in 1996, as well as how the average jeweler can use customer-tracking data in order to make better management decisions and dramatically improve the performance of their sales teams.

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Podcast: An Explosive Prank and More Tales of Dumb Things Done in Jewelry Stores

Jimmy and Doug share the 10 dumbest things they’ve seen happen in jewelry stores (including their own).

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 11: THE DUMBEST THINGS WE’VE SEEN IN JEWELRY STORES (34:06 MINUTES)


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IF MAKING MISTAKES is the best way to learn, then the latest episode of JimmyCast promises to be a tremendous learning experience. In the episode, Jimmy DeGroot and co-host Doug Meadows each share five dumb things they’ve seen jewelers do in their jewelry stores.

“This includes us,” notes Jimmy.

“Actually, my list is mostly mine,” says Doug.

Tales shared include a pyrotechnic prank gone wrong (3:40), a store owner who brought in a new sales trainer to work with his team, only to completely sabotage the effort before it even began (11:30), plus an expensive lesson from a jewelry con artist (20:00).

Says Jimmy, “This is a good episode for learning what not to do in your jewelry store.”

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