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Commentary: The Business

Terry Chandler: Rekindle the Magic: Think of Christmas in Mayberry



The Business: Rekindle the Magic: Think of Christmas in Mayberry

Yes, it’s a grind with long days and huge pressure. But try to invoke what once made it so special.


Published in the December 2012 issue

I was raised in a small Kentucky town so much like Mayberry that one would not have been surprised to see Opie and Aunt Bee walking down Main Street. My family had lived there for generations. The Chandlers were well known and involved in our little community, but my life centered on family: great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and too many cousins to count.

Everyone’s birthday was a gathering of 20 to 30 celebrants. The annual Fourth of July fish fry could draw as many as 50. Easter Sunday lunch was prepared at my grandmother’s, and come Veterans Day, the entire clan would gather in one spot on Second Street to watch my grandfather march in the annual veterans’ parade.


Then there was Christmas! As a child, the anticipation was almost unbearable. Christmas Eve was always at my grandmother’s house. A feast was prepared and served, and at about 8 o’clock, after the dishes were done, the adults sat around the table endlessly finishing their coffee. Finally, everyone went into the living room and sat under the gift-laden Christmas tree to open our presents. My cousins and I could hardly contain ourselves. It was magical!

I held onto that magical feeling about Christmas until my third or fourth year in the jewelry business. Wow! The hours, the pressure to produce, the crowds, the thought that the last few weeks of the year determined profit or loss, it was so hard and draining.

Any retail jeweler who has survived the last five years should not need advice or coaching on inventory, training, special events, trunk shows, marketing, etc. But, I say to you, you may need a little reminder about the magic that is Christmas.

I visit a lot of jewelry stores during the holiday season. I rarely feel the magic. Rather, I find tired, gruff and not always friendly associates who have dragged out old decorations and are in a race to get to Christmas Eve and go home!

The folks on the other side of the counter are also trying to get to Christmas Eve, but for a different reason. They are trying to buy, wrap and present Christmas magic to the people they love. They are looking for that particularly special gift that can only be found in a jewelry store.

For the sake of your business, find a way back to that feeling about Christmas you had as a child. Find a way to deliver excited and sincere customer service. Find a way to kindle the magic that you felt when your first bicycle appeared under the tree. The last four weeks of the year are about love, emotion, tradition and above all, the magic of Christmas. Join me in Mayberry! It’s a great place to spend Christmas.



Terry W. Chandler is president and CEO of Diamond Council of America. He can be reached at [email protected].



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