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David Squires

Editor’s Note: Start Me Up!

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LET’S GO BACK TO THE VERY BEGINNING…

IN LIFE, we all start the same way ? bald, nude and crying. 

And you know what, it’s pretty much the same way when we start off in retail. (Of course, we’re talking metaphorically here.) But the fact is, every one of us is once again an infant when we open our first business. Every choice seems a terrifying puzzle. What locations to choose? How much inventory to carry? Should we advertise? And every new experience is a shock. First customer. First sale. First complaint. First return. First cash crunch.  

Little by little, we gain our feet. And with increasing frequency, we start to think, ?You know what, I can really do this!? And then even that thought stops coming, because it’s no longer a point of surprise ? it’s a given. It’s an important stage of development, but also one that’s bittersweet. Because, face it, we will all miss the drama inherent in the beginning of all things.  

This month, we’re going to give you that feeling again. In our lead story, called ?Beginnings?, five different retailers share the stories of their starts. All faced challenges, all dealt with fears and doubts, and all came out on the other side as solid, profitable ? and in some cases even wildly successful ? businesses. It’s a story we think you’ll enjoy for the lessons our retailers have to share ? not to mention the vicarious opportunity to start your business all over again. Enjoy the tales! 

Wishing you the very best business …
David Squires 
Executive Editor And Associate Publisher 
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David Squires

Launch “Project Brainstorm” in Your Business

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Do you have an employee suggestion box, but there’s never anything in it? Bob Nelson, author of 1,001 Ways To Energize Employees, suggests adding some urgency to this timeless idea-generating device by keeping it open only for a short period … perhaps one or two weeks at a time, once or twice a year. Call these periods “Project Brainstorm,” and create a team that will decide definitively (within seven days after the box “closes”) whether and how to implement the ideas. Boost participation by offering rewards to those whose brainstorms are used.


This article originally appeared in the March 2017 edition of INSTORE.

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David Squires

Editor’s Note: A Tale of Success

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By

This little department has been
a key part of “the INSTORE experiment.”

This article originally appeared in the July 2016 edition of INSTORE.


News flash: We’re now 175 issues into
the INSTORE experiment, which can be
defined as “producing business media that
tells the story of its readers’ lives while also
teaching and inspiring them.”

One of the departments we’ve had since
the very beginning is “True Tales.” And it’s
a perfect example of what makes the
INSTORE experiment so special — it’s
content that grabs your interest, makes
you laugh, makes you gasp, and sometimes
gives you a little shiver of excitement that
you do what you do for a living.


“IT MAKES YOU
LAUGH, MAKES
YOU GASP, AND
SOMETIMES
SHIVER.”


I’d guess-timate that we’ve probably
run 250 of your stories over the years. And
while everybody probably has their own
memorable favorites, the incredible thing
about this department is the quality of all
the submissions you’ve shared with us.
That’s because, while we’ve probably seen
enough gut-churning stories of “Could you
turn this (horrifying random object) into
a piece of jewelry?” to last a lifetime, the
amazing thing is that there’s nary a dud
in the bunch. Every one of these jewelers’
stories will make you feel something.

This month’s special lead feature-length
collection of the best True Tales we’ve
received in recent years is no different. Lie
back on your beach chair, pick up this issue
and read of the store owner with a diabolically
cruel ceremony for handing a new
hire their first paycheck, an intimidatingly
angry woman who melted in the face of a
little kindness, and the woman who bought
herself a ring to celebrate 25 years of marriage
(between three different husbands.)
And many, many more.

Enjoy your summer, and have a blast
with this issue!

DAVID SQUIRES


ONE QUICK QUESTION

Cities around the
country are raising
the minimum
hourly wage. How
high would it have
to go in your market to put serious
pressure on your
earnings?

$10

16%

$15

33%

$20

39%

$25

7%

Over $25

5%

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David Squires

Editor’s Note: Ask Away

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You’ve got questions, we’ve got the answers
and 50 reminders of why your job is so cool

This article originally appeared in the May 2016 edition of INSTORE.


The questions that arise from running a
jewelry store seem to be infinite.

After more than a decade of researching
and writing about how to run your
business, we are only scratching the
surface, it seems, on covering the kinds of
concerns you deal with every day.

With that in mind, we’ve decided to
publish an expanded version of our popular
INSTORE department, Ask INSTORE, as
our Big Story in this issue.

Each month editor Chris Burslem
is ready and willing to field your most
perplexing, urgent queries, and consult
industry experts for the best answers out
there. It’s impossible to stump Chris and
his erudite consultants, so keep those
questions coming.


“We’re offering a glimpse of what it’s like to be a gem hunter out in the field.”


Also in this issue, we’ve compiled 50
awesome things about being a jeweler to
help motivate and inspire you through this
busy buying season, courtesy of our Brain
Squad.

And, in a special feature, we’re offering a
glimpse of what it’s like to be a gem hunter
out in the field — the rewards and the risks
— along with advice on how to get started
on your own quest. Whether you have the
resources to take a trip to Africa or visit
a mine in the U.S., gem hunters say that
going to the source can be a life-changing
experience for you and a big boost to your
business.

As Nancy Schuring, owner of Devon Fine
Jewelry, puts it, leaving her retail business
to visit far-flung mines and markets makes
her feel like she’s come full circle.

“When you walk around a jewelry show,
you don’t usually wonder where the gems
came from. But when you take one of these
trips you develop a new appreciation. You
see where it came from and appreciate
what it takes to create the gems we usually
take for granted.”

Happy hunting.

EILEEN McCLELLAND


ONE QUICK QUESTION

It’s known as the
“entrepreneur’s
dilemma.”
Pick three
of the following:
Work, sleep, family,
friends, fitness.

Here’s how our
Brain Squad
answered:

75%

Work.

73%

Family.

53%

Sleep.

47%

Fitness.

39%

Friends.

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