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Eileen McClelland

Robbery & Recovery: Award-Winning Article Shared Courageous Jewelers’ Personal Stories



It’s not easy to relive a traumatic experience.

But three of our Brain Squad members did just that when they agreed to relate not only their horror stories of being robbed, but also the latent, lingering distress that followed the encounters and in some respects, changed their lives.

Denise Oros of Linnea Jewelers in LaGrange, IL, David Blitt of Troy Shoppe Jewelers in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and Dennis Petimezas, owner of Watchmakers Jewelry in Johnstown, PA, all volunteered to talk very candidly to me for an article published in INSTORE in May 2015. Their personal experiences brought the story to life.

It was an important story to be able to tell because people who have been victims of crime may not always realize how important it is to seek help professional help — or at least talk to a trusted friend about it — until they begin having symptoms like anxiety and insomnia.

The article was also a timely way to introduce Jewelers Mutual’s new crisis-response benefit called RELIE(E)VE, set up to offer services including counseling options.

In case you missed it, you can read the original story here.


Because I learned so much writing it, I was pleased to hear recently that that article, “Robbery & Recovery,” won a first-place, single-article award during the 2015 FOLIO: Magazine Eddie & Ozzie Awards presented in New York on Oct. 19. That full issue of INSTORE – May — also won an honorable mention in the retail category. FOLIO is the trade magazine of the magazine publishing industry. This year’s competition drew 2,800 entries and winners were chosen in 33 categories.

Finally, thanks to everyone who takes the time to respond thoughtfully to our monthly Brain Squad surveys. Sharing information is so helpful to so many people in the industry in so many ways.


Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.



When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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