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Reader Letters Address Feelings on February Business, the Pandemic, Frustrating Customers and More

These are the latest reader letters.

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  • I just wanted to reach out to tell you how wonderful your digital edition of the magazine was! First and foremost, I almost never read through digital editions, because they are typically so hard to read … that was not the case with this! Plus, I loved the little nuances with the small animated headlines here and there. Great job and just wanted to pass that on to the team! — Ellen Fruchtman, Fruchtman Marketing, Toledo, OH
  • We love INSTORE … it’s full of helpful tips for everyone at every level of our business. We frequently use post-it notes to mark articles for everyone to read and initial. There are lots of fun articles and images, including the several pages of jewelry pieces that grace each magazine. Love it! — Jenifer Bellefleur, New Gild Jewelers, Minneapolis, MN
  • So far, business has been a little unpredictable. We were pretty pleased with our February results, but it’s been a challenge to keep up the pace in the latter part of the winter. Winter doldrums are setting in and hard to battle. We need something to pump up our team and prime us for engagement season! — Lucy Conklin, Toner Jewelers, Overland Park, KS
  • Business is slowly but surely creeping back, and we are focusing on small steps of progress each day. We are painting and making showroom decor feel refreshed for staff and customers and planning for an impactful spring. We are planning in reverse for a future “even more successful than ever before” version of our company experience. — Christina Baribault-Ortiz, Baribault Jewelers, Glastonbury, CT
  • Love you guys, and I’m so grateful to be on your mailing list. You make us feel like we are part of a larger family out there … and these days, it’s nice to know that we aren’t alone. — Sherrie Schilling-Devaney, Sherrie’s Jewelry Box, Tigard, OR
  • It’s going to be 20 years since we opened our store. Which means I have been doing this for 43 years. I see a beach or mountain hike in my future. — Tommy Thobe, The Village Gem, Perry Hall, MD
  • Business is down from 2020 but not the worst. The jewelry industry has evolved a great deal in the past 10 years. I remember so many designers not allowing us to sell their pieces online on our website in 2012 and 2013, and even a bit in 2014 and 2015. There’s been a major shift in acceptance of technology as an imperative rather than an option, thank heaven. — Andrea Riso, Talisman Collection, El Dorado Hills, CA
  • January business was off about 20 percent, but February business was up 73 percent and we were even closed five days because of the snowstorm that hit the South. Amazing! — Bob Richards, Bob Richards Jewelers, Germantown, TN
  • With the pandemic and most people keeping distanced and actually worried about coming into contact with others, we seem to see some success with online sales. Could that success be due to being able to just keep away from people and handle on a computer? And if so, what happens when this pandemic is more or less over to the point when people feel comfortable interacting with people again? Will we see a return to store shopping and less online as far as jewelry goes? I don’t think we can underestimate the one-on-one interaction shoppers want in jewelry shopping. — Alex Weil, Martin’s Jewelry, Torrance, CA
  • You would think after almost 18 years in this business that I would be immune to most of the deplorable customers, but some still really just set me off. I had a gal buy a ring for her daughter several years ago for her high school graduation. It was a pretty big designer-named piece, and the daughter has worn this thing completely out. The customer brings it in yesterday expecting me to fix the ring and replace the amethyst stone at no charge. When I tell her that I can’t do that but I can definitely get her an estimate for repair/replacement, she got mad and came and picked up the ring. When I questioned her why she was doing that, she told me she “has a guy” that will do it for her for little to no charge. She then proceeded to insult me by telling me that she trusted this guy and he was way more reasonable. I hadn’t even had time to give her an estimate, so how does she even know what reasonable is? I just had to laugh this one off. When she comes back for help because this guy made the problem worse, I’ll tell her she’s fired. Why do people think they deserve to have free or cheap work done to nice pieces of jewelry they bought years ago, especially after there’s very clear evidence that the wearer abused the jewelry? It’s amazing how many idiots there are out there. — Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX
  • Was amazed to find that the buying and selling of lab-grown diamonds is prohibited on Jewelers Helping Jewelers [on Facebook]. Great head-in-the-sand attitude. One also wonders why CE diamonds are okay, but not lab-grown. Bullshizzle sez I. — Cliff Yankovich, Chimera Design, Lowell, MI

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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