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This Storeowner Does Something Radical Every Year – And Her Team Loves Her For It

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Last year, I attended a Stuller Bridge event for the first time. One question came up in-session: “Are you transparent with your team? Do they know what you make?” Nearly every owner shook their heads. The reasons ranged from fear of employees asking for a raise to it just not being any of their damn business. I was one of only two owners who said, “Yes! I’m completely transparent. They get a printout of our store reports at the end of each year including my salary. I’m a profit-share business, so of course they need to know how we did and what opportunities we have as a team.”

Before you roll your eyes at this “new age approach,” consider: have you ever worked for someone who didn’t respect you or your ideas? Have you ever left a job because you didn’t have a voice to make a difference? What about the person who made you feel appreciated?

I’ve had the benefit of working for a variety of personalities and management types to give me an idea of who I don’t want to be. When working for an advertising agency, I was told after pulling through an 18-hour marathon that employees like me were a dime-a-dozen and there was a line of people wanting my job for less money. When working for a fitness club, I was told that honesty and integrity didn’t matter when employees with tenure needed bonus checks more than new hires. There was even a time I was asked to forge a signature to cover an expired contract for an events promoter (I quit on the spot with that one).

How success is achieved starts with the mind-set of the owner and it carries into your team. Don’t trust your team? Maybe you hired the wrong team … or maybe you’ve never given them a reason to trust you. Yes, there are risks in sharing too much information, but there is so much to be gained by building a team that has your back. 

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Start small if you’re not ready to jump all-in. Take your team out to a social dinner! Let them see a different side of you. A break from the norm … and a chance to connect so they learn why you do what you do and how you’re working to keep them employed and what started your passion. Even in the busy season, bring in coffee and donuts once in awhile to show them you are thinking about them.

I fully accept that if my whole team disappeared tomorrow, I wouldn’t be able to run my business. And my team understands how difficult running a business is, and that I would go to the ends of the earth to keep them safe and gainfully employed. 

Be a part of your team, and they will be a part of you.

Jennifer Farnes is the owner of Revolution Jewelry Works in Colorado Springs, CO, voted an INSTORE America’s Coolest Store in 2016. jennifer@revolutionjewelryworks.com 


This article originally appeared in the May 2018 edition of INSTORE.   

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Vegas Must-Haves #8: Long-and-Lean Earrings Are Everywhere

They’ve been popular at awards shows and on international catwalks.

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Heading out to Vegas for Jewelry Week? Here are some of the trends we are predicting you will see and that you might want to bring into your store. Some have been going strong for a few seasons, while others have been evolving for a couple of years. All are popular from the red carpet to the ready-to-wear runways to the jewelry design studios. So, why not try your luck with this trend or the others we will be showing?

From the red carpet to the runways to the design studios, all styles of earrings continue to be strong. One style that we saw at all the big awards shows this past season as well as on the international catwalks was the long and lean look. The earrings can range from sticks of diamonds to streamlined and linear with more movement, traced with enamel and/or popped with colored stones, and can go from mid-length to shoulder-skimming.

Lili Reinhardt in Swarovski earrings at the 2019 Golden Globe Awards Photo: Shutterstock

GiGi Ferranti Gia Deco 14K stick earrings with Zambian emeralds and diamonds. gigiferranti.com. $5,200

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EF Collection 14K gold diamond and enamel Stripe Bar Drop Earrings. efcollection.com. $650

Harwell Godfrey 18K gold articulated black and white diamond stick earrings in yellow gold, harwellgodfrey.com. $2,700.

Effy Pave Classica 14K White Gold Diamond Vertical Earrings, 0.35 TCW effyjewelry.com. $1,095.00

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Columns

Vegas Must-Haves #7: Attention-Grabbing Gold Chains That Mix New and Old

They’re being linked and looped together in creative ways.

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Heading out to Vegas for Jewelry Week? Here are some of the trends we are predicting you will see and that you might want to bring into your store. Some have been going strong for a few seasons, while others have been evolving for a couple of years. All are popular from the red carpet to the ready-to-wear runways to the jewelry design studios. So, why not try your luck with this trend or the others we will be showing?

Gold chains are back as a statement and a staple for your customer’s jewelry wardrobe.

I first started noticing the trend to weightier and gutsier chains in 2016, and they are being linked and looped together in creative ways. Many of the modern links take their cue from antique bold gold curb and paperclip watch chains and/or long vintage 70s large rectangular and oval links. Your clients can wear these alone or add charms and medallions. Foundrae is a perfect example of showing different lengths, styles and widths of chains and connector links to add their meaningful pendants. Add different charms or teach customers how to wear the longer versions doubled or creatively as lariats or elongated Y necklaces.

Tod’s Fall/Winter 2019/20 Runway Show

Jemma Wynne 18k gold Toujours emerald necklace with diamonds $15,750 jemmawynne.com

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Sylva & Cie 14K rose gold diamond oval link chain with champagne diamonds approximately .90 TCW sylvaandcie.com. 9,750.00

Foundrae 18K gold mixed oversized clip choker. foundrae.com. $14,995

Brent Neale 18K gold textured chain link necklace. brentneale.com $9,850.

Marla Aaron heavy sterling silver curb chain with baby 14K lock. marlaaron.com $682

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Editor's Note

This Year’s INSTORE Design Awards Winners Followed In a Stellar Tradition

With 25 categories, many designers had the chance to shine.

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EVERY YEAR, I’M consistently impressed by the ingenuity displayed by the jewelry designers who enter the INSTORE Design Awards. Two years ago, Hisano Shepherd of Little H made a splash with her fresh take on pearls, slicing them open and encrusting them with gemstones. Last year, Katey Brunini won three categories with three separate pieces from her intricate and colorful Eating Watermelon In The Black Forest collection, while TAP By Todd Pownell took two other categories with their striking, nature-inspired use of diamonds.

This year, with so many more categories (25, as opposed to eight last year), lots of designers made their mark. Adel Chefridi won two categories and a Retailer’s Choice award with his geometric matte designs. Thorsten placed with three different show-stopping wedding band designs. Manufacturers Gabriel & Co. and UNEEK Fine Jewelry each had multiple winners. The mesmerizing Sultana ring by Annamaria Cammilli Firenze cleaned up across several categories. Then there was our Grand Prize winning piece: the VIVAAN cuff (featured on our cover) with nearly 30 carats of natural fancy color diamonds that won over both our judges and online voters.

When you’re shopping the Las Vegas trade shows, start with the winners of this design competition. If they’re turning heads among our judges and online voters, they’re sure to turn the heads of your clients as well.

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
trace@smartworkmedia.com

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • When displaying men’s jewelry, opt for timeless elements like antique fly-fishing reels, old toy cars or old sports items. (Ask Instore, p. 91)
  • Longer ad copy yields better results, as proven by Google. (Jim Ackerman, p. 90)
  • Always display in odd numbers; it’s more aesthetically pleasing. (Three Things I Know About, p. 94)
  • Ask questions that elicit a “yes” from the woman in order to close the male buyer. (Shane Decker, p. 92)
  • When retirement is in the near future, start maximizing net profit to build the value of your business. (David Brown, p. 94)
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