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Buzz Session

To Pay Commission Or Not to Pay Commission? That Is The Question

Here’s how our Brain Squad members pay their employees.

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  • Commissions only get paid if the employee’s wages plus the commission check is half or less than what the employee brought in for the month. And all bonuses are paid on the profit the employee brings in. It makes it easier for all involved. — David Dumas, Diamonds and Gold, Int., St. Louis Park, MN
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  • I believe in giving commissions for many reasons. I believe it can be used as a reward system as well as helping to establish an “owner mentality,” by encouraging them to develop relationships with customers. — Rita Wade, Wade Designs Jewelry, Rocky Mount, NC
  • We have a living wage guarantee for all employees and it is all the same. Commissions are the opportunity to earn what you deserve. I love paying the bonus because it shows the employee is working for our mutual good. — Russell Criswell, Vulcan’s Forge, Kansas City, MO
  • We do not have commission. We have team sales goals. If we meet our monthly goal then we all get a bonus. This encourages us to work as a team and sell as much as we can, together. — Erica Lorenz, Michael & Sons, Reno, NV
  • They have to make our baseline requirement for profitability before we distribute commissions. They can earn up to 3 percent commission, they can earn a bonus for selling a high-dollar item over $10,000, and the manager can earn additional perks. — Elizabeth Kittell, Pretty In Patina, Omaha, NE
  • No commissions. I pay a fair wage and everyone works as a team. Less conflict and happier customers without heavy-handed sales techniques. — John Hayes, Goodman’s Jewelers, Madison, WI
  • We have a profit sharing program that the sales staff gets monthly depending on total sales. This way, we do not get competition for a big customer. — Michael Halem, Halem & Co. de Sonoma, Sonoma, CA
  • Commission does not work for our store. I prefer to build in daily team incentives. If sales on given days meet or exceed our daily goal, every person who worked on that day receives the same bonus. Our bonuses are usually in-store credit that staff can spend as they wish, or accumulate for something substantial. The only stipulation is that it must be for the individual staff member to enjoy, not for gift purchases. — Laurelle Giesbrecht, French’s Jewellery, Wetaskiwin, AB
  • I don’t pay commissions; I pay monthly bonuses. Most of our sales are custom designs, which require a team effort between the designer, CAD artist, and diamond/gem specialist. We have monthly sales goals, and if we make them as a team, everyone receives a bonus. — Dianna Rae High, Dianna Rae Jewelry, Lafayette, LA
  • We pay commissions to some and not to others. We used to pay commissions to everyone, but that got buggered up so we went to salary only, and when the “issue” no longer worked full-time, we went back to paying commission. Our team is so great at working together that we hear most often, “No, you take it; it was your sale.” We just try to encourage that behavior! — Nicole Shannon, Keir Fine Jewelry, Whistler, BC
  • We pay commissions, but everyone has to play fair. I will revoke if someone is being nasty. — Amanda Lanteigne, Gold-n-Memories Ltd., Steinbach, MB
  • Will never do commissions, they are the worst thing you could do to a customer. — Craig C. Curtis, Belfast Jewelry Belfast, ME
  • We stopped commission when we saw it creating a nasty work environment for sales staff and customers’ needs with the right product being overlooked for the sake of trying to make money. We instead raised the salary/hourly wage and went to performance bonuses and saw a huge improvement in teamwork and getting the client the right solution. — Julie Terwiliger, Wexford Jewelers, Cadillac, MI
  • Employees are motivated by money. We pay between 3 percent and 6 percent commission. — Brian Goff, Goff Jewelers, Staten Island, NY
  • We did salary plus commission for 18 years but switched to salary base two years ago. It has gone well. Our sales staff still has goals, and we review monthly/quarterly to make sure that everyone is hitting their targets. — Valerie Naifeh, Naifeh Fine Jewelry, Oklahoma City, OK
  • We pay by the hour because my staff all do different things. I don’t feel it is fair to pay by commission when one key employee is often handling all the engraving jobs, thus not allowing her to be on the sales floor. We all work together without any competition. I do, however, have several items listed each month that we have a spiff for if sold. — Sue Parker, Nyman Jewelers, Excanaba, MI
  • I’m a sales guy at heart. I’m motivated by money (and lots of other things), so I LOVE to pay my employees a commission. — Travis Piper, Piper Diamond Co., Vincennes, IN

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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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Buzz Session

Jewelry Store Owners Sound Off On Sexual Harassment, Women’s Rights

Most of the female store owners in our Brain Squad feel our industry still has a ways to go.

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  • I personally have been harassed in a store, and have been slighted many times in the past. I started in this business when women were not working in the jewelry business that much. I actually had one job interview in which an owner asked if I typed. It was his main question about my qualifications and abilities—after I had been in the business 10 years and was half-finished with my gemologist degree. I am so happy every time I go to a show or convention and see the number of young professional women now representing our industry, from sales and management to design and goldsmiths. It is just really encouraging to see how much it has changed from when I started. — Robin L., Wichita, KS
  • It’s still a business FOR women that’s run by men. Yes, not all owners are men. There may not be as much fanny patting behavior as in yesteryear, but a penis is still a good thing to own if you want to be taken seriously as an authority figure or as an expert. — Erin H., Lancaster, PA
  • Yes, I’ve witnessed and been harassed myself. Still lots of old school boys’ club mentality, but I do feel there is a change happening with more second and third generation ownership coming along, as a lot are women! — Nicole S., Whistler, BC
  • Of course I have, like back in the day, working in the finance industry in a professional capacity, and being told that “we don t have a professional pay scale for women, so you will be paid on the clerical scale.” No joke! But in my jewelry career, I used to have the guys in the jewelry buildings look at me with contempt, saying, “ Women can’t be setters” and the like, or refusing to take me seriously and direct me to the services I needed, even though they turned out to be next door! But time has passed, and things are getting better. — Eve A., Evanston, IL
  • I think it is OK as far as the awareness of the modern day. Unfortunately, when you have two sexes working together, you will never, ever completely remove equal rights and “harassment,” as it’s in the human DNA to propagate. — Mark Y., Oxford, MI
  • I think we’re doing great. Never seen it here and we have an all-female staff and goldsmith. — Robert M., Swanswa, MA
  • Everyone is too sensitive these days. I have heard questionable comments from both men and women. How those comments are regarded is based on whether you like the person or not. A handsome young manager makes a slightly suggestive comment to a young female salesperson, and she giggles and moves on. If an overweight manager in his 50s makes the same comment, he’s considered a dirty old man and a complaint is filed. I don’t think it’s an industry problem at all. It exists everywhere as it always has and probably always will. — Rick S., Gainesville, FL
  • In an industry run by men, sexism is inevitable. I think it is best to learn everything you can and work at being the best. Success brings respect. — Dorothy V., Tallahassee, FL
  • We are a small women-owned business with all female employees. It’s a non-issue. I do know of many women who have worked for male-owned companies who have told me horrible stories of being yelled at and emotionally abused. I find this behavior to be unacceptable in any workplace. — Betsy B., San Francisco, CA
  • I’ve witnessed discrimination from customers specifically. I’ve had male customers say inappropriate things to my female staff. I’ve also had customers refuse to work with female staff, asking to talk to the “man in charge” or using disrespectful names like “sweetie.” I’ve never had a female vendor rep visit my store, so I think we’ve got a ways to go. — Chris W., Marquette, MI
  • I think that the advent of more women owning businesses has naturally caused positive change to happen, but of course I’ve seen it happen and had it happen to me. There’s always work to be done, and we all — men and women — need to positively contribute. — Sandra L., Vulcan, AB
  • No problem at work. I find at shows that if my husband (who does not work in the store) is with me, all answers to questions I ask will be directed to him, even though my badge identifies me as the buyer/owner. — Linda B., Shelbyville, TN
  • This industry has inadequate training to be preventative or even proactive after an issue. By and large, the industry and its arbitration systems are set up to stall and delay. — Alan L., Cape May, NJ
  • I worked at Kay Jewelers in the early ‘80s, and sexual harassment was common. You either put up with it or quit. Times have changed, thank God! — Doreen V., Bethlehem, PA
  • My sense is that it’s certainly better than some, especially in smaller companies. However, the Signet case has been eye-opening in a way that illustrates far too many things have not changed at all. Every working woman has had to put up with demeaning comments made simply out of thoughtlessness or lack of awareness, and we still do, but overt discrimination seems to be better. — Georgie G., Palo Alto, CA
  • I’ve been in the industry for 30 years and what (harassment) was done more openly is now done more privately, but it still happens. — Lyla I., Oak Lawn, IL
  • Personally, I have never witnessed it in our stores. The industry, along with the rest of the nation, pretty much just gives lip service to equal rights and respect for women. I am hoping that younger generations will fare better in the future as the old guard retires. — Kate M., Bethlehem, PA
  • My degree is in accounting, but I was working human resources when a job came up for a cost accountant. The daughter of an engineer, my love for manufacturing ran deep, and I wanted the job. I asked the head of HR to allow me to interview for the job. He said, “You are a woman, you’ll never get it.” I insisted. I interviewed with the VP of accounting, and knew I had the job 15 minutes after it started. The company closed a few years later, and of the 125 people, I was one of the last six out the door. It made me mad when I was told no, because I was a woman, but I stuck to my guns. When that job ended, I created our company and incorporated us, and the issue of equal rights has never been an issue here ever since. — Jo G., Oconomowoc, WI
  • I have witnessed sexual harassment my entire career in this industry, and actually in every place I have worked since I entered the workforce 36 years ago. I am a pretty woman; I never gave it too much thought, really. Also, when I was younger before I started my store, I was the victim of discrimination. I worked for a small chain of repair kiosks in the malls. I found out I was making less per hour than the male bench jewelers, with the same or less experience than I had at the time. As far as now, I would like to think it’s better. As an owner of a 25 year jewelry store started from nothing, I do command more respect from my peers and employees, but I do still see it now and again with salesmen. Honestly, I don’t see it ever going away, in any business. I am glad to see the tolerance levels have dropped, but at the end of the day, we are all just human! — Pamela R., Lauderdale by the Sea, FL
  • There have been cases where things have been said that were somewhat inappropriate in a work environment, and I make sure they know it isn’t acceptable. Done and over with and they know where everyone stands. — Rita W., Rocky Mount, NC
  • I have not personally seen harassment or discrimination in the workplace, but we are a small independent store that operates like a family. Over the years, I have had employees that were foreign-born working on a green card, as well as minority women in management roles. I believe the equal rights issues being addressed today in our industry seem to be in the larger companies where they have less of a family type dynamic. It is all about respect, and from my years in the jewelry industry, some employees in the larger companies are willing to step on someone to get ahead. I think that this industry is doing better to bring the actions of a few to light so these things do not happen again. — Eric S., West Springfield, MA
  • It’s doing well. I believe our industry has always focused on women as they are the reason we manufacture most jewelry. So to ignore them or treat them unfairly is to cut the throat of the industry. — William B., Naples, FL
  • I have witnessed it, and I put an immediate stop to it. I’ve dropped vendors because of their behavior towards the women that I work with. No room for harassment in my store. — Garry Z., Chicago, IL
  • Years ago, we had a few vendors that would not talk to my mom and I, so we would bring my dad (not in the business) as our token male. I have other vendors that even a couple of years ago always make the pitch to my husband; he lets them finish and then informs them that I am the jeweler. I love watching them apologize for ignoring me. Things are getting easier for women owners, but we still don’t get equal respect. — Amanda L., Steinbach, MB
  • I feel better about a woman’s role in the jewelry business. The business is progressing, and we are seeing more women run ownership and management on the retail side. Manufacturing and gemstone still seems to be male-oriented. — Mariana H., Chas, SC
  • Not sure what term to use … but I was told from Day One of opening that I would fail in the jewelry industry because I was a woman. Told over and over it was a man’s world and I would not be successful. — Joan L., Muscle Shoals, AL
  • Yes, I have been sexually harassed and discriminated against. Progress is being made. It will be generations before we see real change. — Cathy G., Frankfort, IN
  • I worked for Kay’s back in the ‘80s … the stories I could tell … To answer your question, “customers” still perceive “jewelers” as being men. I have been in this business for 30 years, and I still have people ask me when the “man” will be in. When pressed, they say, “You know, the man, the real jeweler.” I can have a ton of framed papers of my accomplishments in the jewelry industry, but they still think of “jewelers” as being men. Instead of dwelling on that, I move on to show them why I can handle all of their jewelry needs. — Susan K., Lewisburg, PA
  • I experienced discrimination when I was younger by vendors. 44 years ago, there weren’t as many store owners or gemologists that were women. I was treated as though I wasn’t very bright. I used it to my advantage, learning who I could trust because of some of the smoke they were blowing up my skirt. It was disheartening, however. When I was an AGS member, a fellow member looked at my name tag and said, “You’re a store owner? Usually the pretty ones are salespeople!” I’ve never forgotten that one either. Often it is thought pretty can’t be intelligent, especially by men. — Kas J., Jefferson City, MO
  • This problem seems to be mostly prevalent in the big corporate chains, where power and egos are much more prevalent and the atmosphere is much more cutthroat to advance and succeed. I do not see much at all in family-owned stores where the couple are both running the business and typically have several family members involved. We are much more involved in our families and the community and charitable works. Our trust and reputations are paramount to our continuing business. — James G., Memphis, TN
  • Women sell more jewelry than men. After 30 years in this business, never witnessed sexual harassment. — Barry F., Bardonia, NY
  • In my past careers, it was very prevalent. If you were an attractive single female, it meant you were in the market like a slab of meat. Butt grabs, boob comments, even blatant disrespect because as a woman, “I just wouldn’t understand.” My husband travels with me to JCK and AGTA often … vendors will ALWAYS speak to him first unless they know me. He is the tech guy for my store (handles our website and computers only). He will always turn and point to me as the person to speak to, and many vendors (depending on the culture) get very confused and try to talk to him anyway. Money talks, and when I don’t feel mutual respect, I just spend my dollars somewhere else. We’ve come a long way, but there are miles to go. — Jennifer F., Colorado Springs, CO
  • Yes and not nearly enough with this horrible anti-female administration!! — Donna T., Newtonville, MA
  • I have witnessed sexual harassment and discrimination years ago working for a large jewelry importer and manufacturer. I think our industry as a whole does a great job today regarding equal rights and respect for women. — Frank S., Plantation, FL
  • Signet is proof our industry is not doing too well in gender equality. Independents are probably doing generally better because women run an increasing number of stores. — Richard F., Mobile, AL
  • I personally have never seen or experienced any issues of sexual harassment. Interestingly though, I was talking to a colleague, and the discussion came up that he needed some help but was afraid to hire a female unless they could be vetted by a friend or colleague for fear of a harassment issue. — Murphy M., Kalispell, MT
  • No, I’ve never witnessed sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace. And I worked for Signet for 12 years! — Gary W., Richmond, VA
  • I am not a fan of Signet and the way they conduct business. They have ruined jewelry in the minds of many of their victims … er, I mean customers. They just settled a lawsuit for all the BS they lay on their customers with credit — now it is time to pay the piper for their years of treating women like crap. Could not happen to a nicer bunch of folks IMHO. — Cliff Y., Lowell, MI
  • I have never witnessed any harassment or discrimination, and I feel like our industry in general is doing a good job of staying ahead of these issues. That’s my take, though, and I’m a small business owner. Maybe things are different on the corporate side? — Marc M., Midland, TX
  • We would never discriminate against women. We have never had any sexual discrimination complaints or issue, but if there was, it would be a firing offense after investigation. — John P., Winter Park, FL
  • I have been a victim of sexual discrimination. Prior to me venturing out into my own business, I worked for several different jewelry chains. The men were ALWAYS paid more and their opinions were always more respected and listened to. I think it is unfortunate that an industry that caters to women can be so disrespectful of their women associates. — Patty H., Cedarburg, WI
  • Not an issue for us. Glad the bad guys are getting exposed. Should be consequences for bad behavior. — Greg R., Prescott, AZ
  • As a female jeweler, oh the F’in stories I could tell! Bout time this comes to the forefront. Now if you could equalize pay, I’d be overjoyed! — Denise O., La Grange, IL
  • I liked it the old way when you could have fun and still respect them. It’s gone too far the other way. Just because some men are jerks. — Doug S., Hartford, WI
  • Yes, in the ‘70s, it was almost the norm. I didn’t change my last name when I got married, as I saw other women get married and then their careers ended. We had a small wedding out of town and I never told my boss. Left that company three years later for a more progressive (i.e., woman friendly) company. — Rosanne K., South Bend, IN

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Continue Reading

Buzz Session

How Useful Are Trade Shows? Our Brain Squad Sounds Off (And Provides Suggestions)

Most think there are too many shows these days.

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I am a self-proclaimed show hog. I love shows. Peers are there, information on trends and always a good buy is to be had. Seeing new designs and listening to what others are experiencing in their stores. Seminars will also inspire you to take what you learned back to your store. Energizes you and you can share that energy with your staff. — Amber Gustafson, Amber’s Designs Fine Jewelry, Katy, TX

  • The speakers at JCK have really gone downhill. The educational events aren’t what they used to be at all. No Porte, Decker, Huisken, Geller, etc. Just little techy people that mean nothing. — Steve Hawkins, Sanchez Hawkins Fine Jewelers, Lake Havasu City, AZ
  • It seems that you no longer have to be a member of the trade to attend some shows. I find that very frustrating. So when I attend shows, it is for networking and workshops more than purchasing. I will quickly check out the vendors, but usually don’t place any orders while I’m there. — Doreen Vashlishan, Werkheiser Jewelers, Bethlehem, PA
  • I read your magazine, that’s my trade show. I work six and half days a week. — Barry Fixler, Barry’s Estate Jewelry, Bardonia, NY
  • Build shows around the “must-see” brands that are too complex and sizable for a sales manager to bring to a store. Or, big brands can band together and fly clients to them. — Steven B. Goldfarb, Alvin Goldfarb Jeweler, Bellevue, WA
  • It’s not about inventory anymore; we can see that online anytime. It’s about connections and education. Shift the focus of the shows to that. — Robert Mullen, Mullen Bros. Jewelers, Swanswa, MA
  • Trade shows are too expensive not only for vendors, but to attend. Vegas/vacation is the “dope” show for the larger stores. Smaller “group buying shows” are better for smaller stores. — Larry W. Hall, Baker & Baker Jewelers, Marietta, OH
  • Somewhat useful in regards to new merchandise … always beneficial when using the time to re-focus! — Thomas Piotrowski, Delta Diamond Setters & Jewelers, Plymouth, MI
  • The shows (if they are to survive) need more event status. Where is the value? What is the compelling reason to be at your show as a seller or a buyer? Does your show provide a good answer to the question what’s NEW? Or what’s HOT? — Alan Lindsay, Henry’s, Cape May, NJ
  • Shows are useful but expensive and overwhelming. Please treat us well, spoil us a little. And have a show in an interesting place; we don’t like Vegas! — Meg Rankin, J. Rankin Jewellers, Edmonds, WA
  • I attend the JCK Vegas show to see new designers and styles as well as our vendors. It is necessary to attend shows since many vendors do not support salesmen on the road. The “road” is just too dangerous today! — Laura Sipe, JC Sipe, Indianapolis, IN
  • Many years ago, I would attend four trade shows per year. Today, I only attend one per year. There are too many trade shows. If the number of retailers and wholesalers are declining, shouldn’t trade shows? In my opinion, the fewer the trade shows, the better. — Tommy Navarra, Navarra’s, Lake Charles, LA
  • I love trade shows. It gives us a chance to see what new things our suppliers are doing as well as there are usually plenty of educational opportunities. What I find the most valuable with trade shows are the limitless opportunities to network with other jewelers and learn what they are doing to improve their businesses. — Eric Stevens, Stevens Diamond Jewelers, West Springfield, MA
  • There are too many shows. Maybe there are too many jewelry manufacturers, LOL! I’m always amazed at how much all the jewelry looks alike in Vegas. Anyway, 36 years ago when I entered this business, it felt like the shows were “a service to” and “of service to” the retail trade. Now it just feels like show owners are trying to make money off of their exhibitors by running more shows, charging more for booths, etc. and the exhibitors feel compelled to participate. Advice? Ugh. — Valerie Naifeh, Naifeh Fine Jewelry, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Make the shows reasonable to attend. Four dollars for a bottle of water, pay to park at the show and crazy onsite food costs are part of the poor experience. I now attend smaller IJO shows and get more done. In addition, the exhibitors are so stressed that they forget that at the B2B level, it is still about relationships. — David Blitt, Troy Shoppe Jewellers, Calgary, AB
  • Very useful! Could not be in business without them. Besides talking to my vendors and seeing what’s new, I also check out the machines, the new materials, head to the educational sessions, see my friends, and talk to people who have more experience than me in how to try new things and what I should be doing differently. Since I am not on either coast, the shows are my way to stay up on anything and everything in the jewelry business and I would be stagnant without them. — Susan Eisen, Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry & Watches, El Paso, TX
  • Trade shows are great to find new product and make new contacts. The problem with decreased attendance may have more to do with there being so many available now. — Ben Brantley, Ben Brantley & Co., Shelbyville, TN
  • While I believe in trade shows, it is getting more and more costly to both display and attend. Also, not sure if this has anything to do with it, but, I think these shows are too big. As a result, they can be overwhelming. — Joseph Villarreal, Villarreal Fine Jewelers, Austin, TX

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Continue Reading

Buzz Session

How Weather Affects Jewelry Stores (Hint: Snow Brings Seniors with Watch Batteries)

Our Brain Squad divulges how weather affects jewelry shopping in their markets.

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Heavy storms keep customers at home but also get them rushing over before and after. Sometimes the heavy rain helps us because we know that the people who make the trip out are serious about purchasing. They also get our undivided attention. — Betsy Barron, Love & Luxe, San Francisco, CA

  • If there is a big snow, I can almost promise we will be dead for the majority of the day except for that “one guy” who always has the “Big Truck” and decides today is the day he’s buying “the ring.” As if he is a Spartan heading into battle, he has waited for the worst possible day to drive, but today is the day, and he will be “the man” and rise up to the occasion and battle the weather and prove his love to her by buying her “the ring.” — Travis Piper, Piper Diamond Co., Vincennes, IN
  • Bad weather brings out old people with canes and walkers. — Jim Greenfield, Spritz Jewelers, Champaign, IL
  • Anything falling from the sky is a business downer. If I use the windshield wipers on the way to the shop, it means I will get to spend the day at the workbench and get a lot accomplished. If it is very cold, it means I will have an influx of senior ladies who know it is a warm place to hangout, and if it is a fine spring day, the traffic will be brisk, people will see me outside working on the plantings around the shop and stop, usually with a sale as a result. — James Doggett, Doggett Jewelry, Kingston, NH
  • I don’t think it matters at all. I remember when I started here 40-plus years ago, my uncle and dad would use weather as an excuse for bad business. If it was sunny, people were out working on their yards or at the beach; if it was crappy, who wanted to come out in the rain or snow? If someone needs to pick up their wedding bands or anniversary gift, they are coming regardless of weather. — Eric Ohanian, Leon Ohanian & Sons, Boston, MA
  • We had 1.7 inches of snow from Dec. 1 to Jan. 18, then we got 18-plus inches in nine days, followed by 54 hours of polar vortex. We were supposed to work the vortex, my husband even put a new battery in the truck, but when he let the dogs out that morning, he came back in and said, “No way!” Most folks that can, leave Wisconsin from January to April. The diehards that stay here are not intimidated by weather. We even had folks point out that we were closed during the vortex! — Jo Goralski, The Jewelry Mechanic, Oconomowoc, WI
  • We call rainy days “diamond days.” We tend to be a little slower when the weather is nice and busier when the weather is not so nice. — Joel Wiland, J. David’s Jewelry, Broken Arrow, OK
  • Rainy days seem to lose us customers … and so do really hot days. — Wadeana Beveridge, Community Jewelry, Brandon, FL
  • After the dreary days of winter, our female customers come out when the sun begins to shine to make self-purchases. — Kristin Cornwell, Cornwell Jewelers, Athens, OH
  • Snow on the way? The sky must be falling because we can see a constant stream of people rushing into the grocery store next door. After the threat of bad weather, people are ready to shop again and we are always busy! — Teri Vogan, Vogan Gold & Silver Works, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Suddenly we had days of way-below zero temps. We had to close a couple of times, and then snowstorms! Hasn’t happened like this in a long time. It affected our sales from January into February! Tough to sell, but thanks to Facebook and Podium, we communicated with customers and made sales happen. — Julee Johnson, Julee’s Jewelry, Mankato, MN
  • Can’t figure weather’s effect on our customers. Some days when I figure, “No one is going out in this $%#@,” they show up. I have no handle on this one. — Cliff Yankovich, Chimera Design, Lowell, MI
  • If the sun is out in the winter, customers come in. I still have customers when the weather is not so good. Ice keeps them away. — Laura Pool, Laura’s Jewelry Designs, St. Robert, MO
  • The snow kills business here. As soon as a storm is announced, everyone goes out to the supermarket — you know people MUST stock up on food and provisions lest they be stuck inside for a day. — Marc Altman, B & E Jewelers, Southampton, PA
  • In the Pennsylvania area, snow means grocery, sunshine means outdoor planting, heat means pool, rain means we’re usually busy with repairs. — Judy Stanley, Skippack Jewelers, Harleysville, PA
  • The most beautiful Florida days usually bring shoppers to more pleasurable pursuits than visiting their jeweler. Me too; I’d rather be at a beach, river, etc. — Robert Young, Robert Young Jeweler Extraordinaire, Belleair Bluffs, FL
  • Snow makes people disappear, except when it’s close to Christmas. A few flakes are fine, but any chance it will accumulate, people turn into bears and hibernate until it’s over. — Gregory Fliegauf, Fliegauf Jewelers, Washington, NJ
  • Snow in December (or even November) definitely gets people thinking about the holidays and wanting to start their Christmas shopping … though if we’ve seen a big snowfall, it usually dampens business because clients head to the mountains to ski! Actually, good weather often has an inverse relationship with our business: it seems counter-intuitive, but because we’re such an active and outdoor community, when it’s really nice outside, our clients go hiking, fishing, camping, skiing, biking or boating. That’s why most live here! — Jennifer Hornik Johnson, Miller’s Jewelry, Bozeman, MT

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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