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Editor's Note

We Should All Be Inspired by The Octogenarians of Jewelry Retail

The subjects of our “8 Over 80” story have led fascinating and impressive lives.



I’VE BEEN WRITING about jewelers for 24 years now, which feels like a long time. But that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the subjects of this issue’s lead story, “8 Over 80.”

The eight store owners we cover in this article, plus the two appearing online at, Jim Rosenheim of Tiny Jewel Box and Lyle Husar of Craig Husar Fine Jewelry, are incredibly impressive, not just in terms of the time they’ve put in, but the sacrifices they made to get where they are today.

Bill Underwood, who grew up during the Great Depression, started his business with a $1,000 loan from his parents. Sissy Jones sold diamonds inside a termite-ridden log cabin. At the age of 42, David Adams had to buy out his three siblings when his father died. The others all took twists and turns in their professional and personal lives, eventually finding success in the form of thriving businesses that have been turned over, at least to some degree, to their sons and daughters.


My biggest regret with this story is that we didn’t have more space to tell the full and fascinating tales of these dignitaries. But never fear! We’ve included the full-length stories, plus Q&As with several of our subjects, at

As you work your way through this most challenging of months, we hope you’ll find inspiration from the ingenuity and resilience of these octogenarians, as well as a sense that tomorrow will be even better than today. Happy holidays!

Now Introducing The INSTORE Show, Coming to the Chicago Area in 2023!

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • Review unfulfilled wish lists to check the age of the items. If a year or older, call up the client and offer them a discount to take it off your hands.. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 26)
  • Give “just lookers” time to look but position yourself in a place to approach when they’ve found something of interest. (Peter Hannes, p. 53)
  • Set minimum and maximum levels for your top-selling pieces and set an alert for when they hit the minimum. (Megan Crabtree, p. 54)
  • When dealing with an angry customer, ask them what they want rather than offering your own solution. (Ask INSTORE, p. 55)
  • Round up your prices to drop more money to your bottom line. (David Brown, p. 56)



Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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