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Editor's Note

Risky Business Pays Off

To thrive in jewelry retail, do something to distinguish yourself from the crowd.



Risky Business Pays Off

The holiday season is critical to the success of most jewelry retailers. But what about the other 11 months of the year? Are you ready to distinguish your store in 2018?

In this issue, we look at seven “maverick” retailers who have taken unusual steps to set themselves apart not only from their local competitors, but from the traditional approach to jewelry retail. Take Chelsea Mead of Honey Designs Jewelry, who doesn’t just sell engagement rings; she acts as a concierge for the hopeful groom, coaching him on how to propose creatively and providing photography for the big moment as well. Or Nick Miller of Mint Diamonds and Jim Tuttle of Green Lake Jewelry Works, who both offer unique custom design experiences online. Or Dan Kulchinsky and family, who closed up their traditional retail store to offer a private, customizable luxury experience exclusively for VIPs.

Every retailer in our story took a risk in order to drastically differentiate themselves and offer something exciting to potential clients. Yet, each risk taken fit the unique personality, talent and resources of that particular owner.

What risk can you take to set your store up for success in the years to come? We hope you’ll get a few ideas from our story. (And when you do succeed with your new initiative, be sure to let us know so that you can be the next subject of INSTORE coverage!)

Until then, happy holidays and we’ll see you in 2018!

Risky Business Pays Off 


1. Post photos of your best-selling jewelry pieces on Facebook daily.

2. Hold a beginner-friendly, project-based workshop for clients to build their own jewelry.

3. Place marketing in gyms and health clubs to attract young buyers.

4. At the end of each day, have each staff member write down three things that went well that day.

5. Charge more for laser repairs when it will take longer than a torch or if the customer will receive extra benefits as a result.


Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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