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David Squires

When Disaster Strikes

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Our lead story in this issue might be a bit tough to read.  
Imagine the worst thing that could happen to your business. And see if your imagination matches the reality that actual jewelry businesses faced in our lead story, ?Starting Over?.  

In this feature, we visit a store destroyed by a fire, another where the manager was robbed at knifepoint of virtually all of the store’s merchandise, another struck by a calamitous flood, and another which had a speeding car crash through its front window at 100 miles per hour. Finally, we’ll take you to another store, located in the shadow of the World Trade Center, that was devastated by the events of September 11, 2001. 

Horrible events? Absolutely, yes. Each business suffered enough that its owner(s) would have been perfectly justified in closing up shop. And yet none of them stayed closed for more than a few months. And today, you could say that each of them is better and stronger now than they’ve ever been.  

How did each store bounce back so strongly? In most cases, with the help of friendly neighbors, business associations, understanding customers, and supportive fellow members of the industry.  

Our store owners provide lessons they’ve learned and things they wish they knew before disaster struck: how to safely store jewelry and flood- and fire-proof your store, ways to lower the risk of losing everything in a robbery, even how to handle telling your customers that you’ve lost all their jewelry. 

But, let’s face it, in the end, there is no way you can ever truly prepare for disasters like these. And the real key to each of these comeback stories is something that can be found only inside oneself.  

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Because when the worst happens, that’s when the best in us comes out.  

And that’s probably the most important ? and inspirational ? lesson any story can provide. See you next issue. 

Wishing you the very best business,

David Squires  
Executive Editor and Associate Publisher  
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Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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