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Commentary: The Business

Ellen Fruchtman: Common Threads



The Business: Common Threads

The best jewelers share some — if not all — of these traits


Published in the April 2013 issue

IS anyone making money in the world of fine jewelry retail? You bet. Among those who are, you’ll find some identical behavioral traits.

1 They are by far the hardest working people in their store. They do whatever it takes to get the job done. And, let’s be honest, that doesn’t include spending every waking hour thinking (and worrying) about your business. You reap what you sow.


2 They hire slow and fire fast. Mediocre employees suck the life out of your business. Great owners do their due diligence — from the proper testing to a simple check on Facebook.

3 They lead by example. Your employees follow your lead. If you work hard, you can set the expectation that they work hard. Play golf four times a week — even if you’ve earned it — and it’s a tough one for many staff members to swallow.

4 They believe in training and do it often. Training should be constant and consistent.

5 They make decisions based on facts, trends, a little intuition and a big gut feeling — and they don’t hesitate. You can second guess until you are blue in the face. If you’ve done your homework, if you have that little feeling in your stomach that tells you it’s a good thing, just pull the trigger.

6 They are proactive, not reactive. It’s not about the next best diamond promotion, it’s all about what the diamond-buying consumer is beginning to look like a few years from now.

7 They embrace change. I have been in the jewelry business for over 18 years and have never seen change at the pace that I am witnessing today. Successful people welcome change.


IIt’s not about the next best diamond promotion, it’s about what the consumer is beginning to look like a few years from now.

8 They are not in love with their inventory. They buy their inventory based on what their customers will love. They pay attention to turns. They look at fashion trends (they also subscribe and read several fashion magazines), but also take a hard look at what their customers are buying. The good ones actually have a customer advisory board.

9 They love their work. Not everyone really loves what they do. When the thrill is gone, it is time to move on. It will be clear to everyone around you — including your customers.

10 They pay it forward. They serve on nonprofit boards; give of their time and money. People want to do business with people like them, people they like and trust. People consume with a conscience and purchase with a purpose. Not to mention, you’ll feel really good about it.

Try a few of these. And if you want to be incredibly successful, try all 10.



Ellen Fruchtman is founder and president of Fruchtman Marketing. Contact her at (800) 481-3520, or sign up for a free weekly newsletter at



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