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Editor's Note

What Our Editor-in-Chief Is Learning from His Daughter about Jewelry Sales

Trace Shelton reflects on conversations with a new jewelry salesperson: his daughter, Mayson.



EVEN AFTER 25 years in the jewelry business, one can still learn new things.

Lately, I’ve been learning a lot from my daughter, Mayson, who joined the wonderful team at Eliza Page, a jewelry retailer here in Austin, last spring. Through her, I’ve been able to hear about what it’s like to learn how to sell jewelry.

One of the biggest challenges for any salesperson — not to mention owners and managers — is learning how to constructively deal with customer complaints. Whether the client’s expectation was reasonable or not, the goal for the retailer is always to transform that disappointed consumer into a raving fan. And that’s not easy.


Talking through these situations with Mayson inspired the idea for this issue’s lead article (those conversations also inspired our March issue lead story, “Crafting the Custom Sale”). As always, managing editor Eileen McClelland took a decent idea and turned it into an award-worthy story that I hope proves valuable to you, your sales team and any “Maysons” you may hire for years to come.

I also had the privilege last year to walk the Vegas jewelry shows with Mayson and introduce her to many of my longtime jewelry industry friends. I’ll be back there again in June, and I hope to see many of you there!

What Our Editor-in-Chief Is Learning from His Daughter about Jewelry Sales

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • Print a list of June weddings and have your sales team reach out to offer a complimentary ring cleaning prior to the event. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 34)
  • Explain your return policy to each customer at checkout to head off misunderstandings. (The Big Story, p. 46)
  • Bring your store’s colors and personality into outdoor seating, planters, awnings, banners, artwork and door handles. (Lyn Falk, p. 90)
  • Add inpact-resistant glazing to glass surfaces and install break-resistant glass in windows and showcases. (Ask INSTORE, p. 93)
  • Develop a “communications playbook” of phrases, paragraphs and photo styles for your team to use. (Andrea Hill, p. 96)

Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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