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Editor's Note

The Las Vegas Shows Mean It’s Time to Recognize Our Design Award Winners

Our competition received a record number of entries in 2022.



IT’S THE MOST wonderful time of the year: Jewelry Week in Las Vegas! We look forward to reuniting with many of you on those bustling trade show floors.

As always, we like to commemorate this season by recognizing the most innovative and beautiful new jewelry designs with our annual INSTORE Design Awards competition. The incomparable and multi-talented Jennifer Heebner took the reins of the contest this year, and she did a fantastic job with it. Not only did we receive a record number of entries, but we’ve expanded the story so that you, our readers, can see even more detail in these stunning pieces.

But I would be remiss if I didn’t also recognize the contributions of our former colleague Donna Borrelli, who passed away due to complications from COVID-19 last November. Donna, who served as the longtime associate publisher at JCK, began managing our Design Awards in 2019, and she immediately raised its profile by adding fresh categories and a slew of new benefits to entrants. No detail was too small for Donna, and she really cared about giving the most exposure possible to every designer who entered. We miss her terribly, and we know her former colleagues around the industry do as well.

If you see me or any of our team at the Vegas shows, please stop us and say hello. We would love to meet you. And for those who still miss our Chicago show, keep your eyes peeled for an announcement coming soon!

The Las Vegas Shows Mean It’s Time to Recognize Our Design Award Winners

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • Make six-month service calls to everyone who purchased jewelry in December. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 36)
  • Use your engraver to print clients’ pets’ paw-prints on jewelry and promote the service on social media. (Bill Warren, p. 94)
  • Carry engagement rings with live centers to help prevent comparison shopping. (Megan Crabtree, p. 100)
  • Use terms like “best-selling,” “sold out” and “wait list” to build value in your inventory. (Kathleen Cutler, p. 98)
  • Allot one day a week for appointment-only business. (Brainstorm, p. 97)

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



It Was Time to Make a Decision. It Was Time to Call Wilkerson.

Except for a few years when he worked as an accountant, Jim Schwartz has always been a jeweler. He grew up in the business and after “counting beans” for a few years, he and his wife, Robin, opened Robin James Jewelers in Cincinnati, Ohio. “We were coming to a stage in our life where we knew we have to make a decision,” says Jim Schwartz. He and Robin wanted to do it right, so they called Wilkerson. The best surprise (besides surpassing sales goals)? “The workers and associations really care about helping us move out own inventory out of the store first. It was very important to us.”

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