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Editor's Note

Welcome To The League Of Extraordinary Characters

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EVERY FAMILY has that
one weird relative — the one you most look forward to seeing
every holiday season because they always
have the best stories, and they do things
that make you shake your head in disbelief.

I’m related to several such weirdos.
Growing up, I had an uncle in the U.S. Border Patrol whom I saw only occasionally.
We were always excited to hear his stories
and have him draw amazing “tattoos” on
our arms with a ballpoint pen. Another
uncle often presented us with slingshots
and tiny cars and other wooden implements
that he’d carved and polished himself.
Still another uncle is a public speaker who
started a fan newsletter about Pez candy
dispensers and once competed on the game
show Jeopardy.

In many ways, the jewelry industry is one
big family. And boy, do we have some weird
“relatives” in our group!

December seemed like the perfect opportunity to celebrate our odd peers — and in
so doing, celebrate the bizarre in all of us.

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Webster’s defines “weird” as “of strange
or extraordinary character.” We certainly
have some extraordinary characters in our
industry. And even more important, we have a great many with extraordinary character. Often, they’re one and the same.

In our “Tales of the Weird” story, you’ll
read about jewelers who have some strange
habits, skills and preferences, but the one
thing they have in common is that they all
love making and selling jewelry. And, they
all do it with passion and integrity.

Admit it: We’ve all got a little weirdness inside us — and that’s worth celebrating. Happy holidays!

TRACE SHELTON

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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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