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Editor's Note

What’s Cool About Writing About “Cool Stores”

Independent jewelry retailers grow in “coolness” every year.



THERE’S A REASON we’ve been covering America’s Coolest Jewelry Stores since our first issue in 2002: The best sources for you to learn from are other successful and innovative store owners. This annual issue should spur your creativity and ingenuity.

What amazes me most is that year after year, independent jewelry store owners find ways to take retailing to a new level, bringing in concepts from other retail and service sectors and using them to add to the experience their clients receive. This year alone, we cover M.S. Rau, which features museum-quality jewelry and paintings; Fiat Lux, which melds fine jewelry with body art and piercing; JustDesi, which offers an energy-filled Beverly Hills shopping experience while remaining approachable; Adornment + Theory, which focuses on diversity in its jewelry, artists and staff; Richter & Phillips, which converted a bank vault into a speakeasy; and Pistachios, which uses an innovative social media strategy to make the world of contemporary art jewelry more accessible.


My favorite part of our America’s Coolest Stores project is getting the chance to visit at least one of the winning stores. Writing about jewelry retailing is an exciting vocation, but it’s even more fun when you get to experience the store and interact with the people that make it cool.

If you’ve never entered, mark your calendar to visit in January and do so. Yours might be the next store we all learn from!

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

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
[email protected]

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • Organize jewelry by theme so clients can expand their collections beyond certain designers. (Fiat Lux, p. 38)
  • Integrate technology that allows you to control lighting and access cases with an iPad. (M.S. Rau, p. 48)
  • Use your store blog to tell the stories behind your clients’ weddings. (Adornment + Theory, p. 58)
  • Curate your jewelry online by mood so that customers can browse by “look.” (JustDesi, p. 66)
  • Use social media to give followers a behind-the-scenes look into your daily operations, from staff to artists. (Pistachios, p. 76)

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



Time to Do What You've Always Wanted? Time to Call Wilkerson.

It was time. Teri Allen and her brother, Nick Pavlich, Jr., had been at the helm of Dearborn Jewelers of Plymouth in Plymouth, Mich., for decades. Their father, Nick Pavlich, Sr., had founded the store in 1950, but after so many wonderful years helping families around Michigan celebrate their most important moments, it was time to get some “moments” of their own. Teri says Wilkerson was the logical choice to run their retirement sale. “They’re the only company that specializes in closing jewelry stores,” she says. During the sale, Teri says a highlight was seeing so many generations of customers who wanted to buy “that one last piece of jewelry from us.” Would she recommend Wilkerson? Absolutely. “There is no way that I would have been able to do this by myself.”

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