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My Life and Sanity Files

This Pennsylvania Designer/Retailer Is a Homebody and a Planner

She doesn’t wait for chances, she goes for it!

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Alexis Kletjian

Alexis Kletjian Fine Jewelry, Kennett Square, PA

Jewelry designer Alexis Kletjian launched her first collection in 2011 and began selling her gold creations directly to collectors. Her first trade show was the New Designer Gallery at JA New York, where she was awarded the prestigious Mort Abelson New Designer of the Year Award in 2016. She opened her retail gallery in Kennett Square, PA, in September 2017, where her location became a destination for custom fine jewelry and heirloom redesign in an inviting, no-pressure environment.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 76 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Jimmy DeGroot

Be Ready for ‘What Do You Have for $100?’ and Other Holiday Questions

As Christmas approaches, the queries you’ll hear from customers are actually pretty predictable, says jewelry store training expert Jimmy DeGroot. Here's how to make sure your team is prepared for the more common ones.

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My Life and Sanity Files

Why This Salsa-Dancing, Scuba-Diving Jeweler Loves to Live Like A Tourist

Florida jewelry sales pro loves being part of her customers’ milestones.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ZACHARY MANN.

Jillian Hornik
Jae’s Jewelers,Coral Gables, FL

Jillian Hornik is sales manager at Jae’s Jewelers in Coral Gables, FL. She love scuba diving, salsa dancing and dogs, and is a graduate gemologist and an AGS registered jeweler.

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My Life and Sanity Files

This Amateur Photographer, Craft Beer Enthusiast and Passionate Cook Is Also a Jeweler

She hates the concept of birthstones because they limit people’s creativity.

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Casey Gallant Stephen Gallant Jewelers, Orleans, MA

Casey has spent nearly 20 years working with her father, Steve, at the store he opened 42 years ago on Cape Cod. She earned her G.G. from GIA Carlsbad in 2001, was named one of the “40 Under 40” by Cape & Plymouth Business in 2013, and serves on the Next Generation Advisory Board for the Independent Jewelers Organization.


What is your geographical history? 

I was born and raised on Cape Cod with short stints in Virginia, Spain and California. 

How did you get into the business? 

As a daughter of a jeweler I took the indirect route: I went to college to become Indiana Jones, graduated with a degree in Spanish film before finally going to GIA Carlsbad. 

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I love to be in or on the water (salt please) or up in the mountains of New Hampshire. 

What is your favorite color? 

Gold! 

What are your hidden talents? 

I am an amateur photographer, semi-pro craft beer enthusiast and a passionate cook. 

Tell us your pet peeve about jewelry. 

I hate the concept of birthstones because it limits people’s creativity. Forget the rules! Wear it if you like it. 

Describe your personal jewelry style. 

I like my jewelry like my personality – big and bold! 

What is your biggest challenge at work? 

Earning customers’ trust, but it is absolutely the most rewarding part of my job. 

5 things on my desk: 

A mug of Ron Swanson as Mona Lisa, a bobblehead of Dougal Mackenzie, coffee, edge reports and my loupe .

3 things on my to-do-list: 

Schedule social media posts, work on my “one-of-a-kind collection, take a vacation. 

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My Life and Sanity Files

Montana Bridal Jewelers Believe in Talking Less and Listening More

It’s the most important thing they’ve learned about selling engagement rings.

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Jim and Brandy Adair Adair Jewelers, Missoula, MT

Jim Adair’s first foray into jewelry retail was a mall store he bought with his father in 1982. In 2000, Adair built a larger freestanding store that became well known in Montana. This year, he opened the Adair Bridal Center with his wife, Brandy. It’s a 24,000 square-foot facility anchored by the 8,000 square-foot Adair Jewelers and the 4,000 square-foot Last Best Bridal Shop, both of which they own and operate. They rent the remaining space to other bridal-service businesses, which allows for easy cross-promotion. They manufacture much of their own bridal and have a large selection of loose diamonds and custom pieces.


  • The most important thing I’ve learned about selling engagement rings, is it’s easier and more efficient to talk less and listen more. 
  • The most enjoyable thing about living in Montana is that I absolutely feel blesssed to see elk, deer, vison, pheasants, and wild turkeys on most days while driving to and from work. 
  • My perfect day off doesn’t have to be perfect. It would just be nice to have them more often. When that does happen I’m sure it will involve a nap and a beer. 
  • My secret talent is, all dogs and small children like me. I consider them to be excellent judges of character. 
  • Right now on my “to-do-list” are these three things: 1) Full tilt Christmas merchandising 2) Hire more employees 3) Manage the website better 
  • Describe a dream trip? Maybe something with your wife, me-over here. The one that wrote all these, so it’s legible.  
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