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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

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



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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