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Podcast: Using Social Media to Win Customers and Lower Your Intimidation Factor

Meet a Lockport, NY, jeweler whose fun, casual approach makes his store approachable.




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CAN SOCIAL MEDIA make your store more approachable? That’s the focus of the fourth episode of JimmyCast from jewelry store trainer Jimmy DeGroot of

Guest George Fritz of Mills Jewelers in Lockport, NY drops in to talk with Jimmy and co-host Doug Meadows about his fun experiments on social media, events, as well as his store’s widely-admired community activism.

For some ideas of Fritz’s improvisational approach to social media, watch him zipline across the Erie Canal on the “Niagra Zipper”:

When it comes to events, George has a casual, throw-stuff-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach. These events are supported by lots of social media activity.

For one example, George tells the story of “Figgy Pudding Night”, which the store held during the 2018 holiday season. Now in his 60s, George says that he had heard the “figgy pudding” lyrics of the famous Christmas song his entire life without actually having ever tasted figgy pudding. His mission for the 2018 holiday season was to remedy that culinary gap.

How did it go? The event was a success, George says. But when pressed about the figgy pudding, George had an admission to make. “It turns out that there’s a reason that most people haven’t had it … or are clamoring for it. It’s not that good.”

See how Mills Jewelers promoted Figgy Pudding Night on YouTube:

George shares an example of why lowering the intimidation factor of his store is so important. He tells of an engagement-ring customer who revealed to George that he had driven to the store three times and sat in the parking lot before finally mustering up the courage to walk through the front door.

Mills Jewelers has been active in many Lockport community projects, including restoration of a historic tower clock and renovation of a classic local theater. Geroge shares his store’s slogan/mission statement: “Locally-owned, community-minded, and customer-focused.”

Jimmy, David and George also have an interesting discussion of the importance of customer reviews, and George tells how Mills Jewelers tripled its five-star customer reviews in just a few months. (The business now has 182 reviews with an average rating of 4.9 stars.)

George also shares background on one of his store’s most important events, the annual Easter Egg event, which has become a Lockport tradition over the past 30 years. For the event, 1,000 plastic eggs are stuffed with prizes, with a grand prize of a $2,000 diamond, and about half the eggs providing colored gemstone prizes like amethyst, garnet or blue topaz (along with a coupon for discounted mounting). Hear the story of how one event ended up with people sleeping outside his store on a cold spring night after nobody had won the diamond with only 11 unopened eggs remaining. (See video below.)



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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