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Who Are the New Kings of Cool, and More Reader Feedback

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The New Kings of Cool

I love the Coolest Stores (August INSTORE). It gives me the drive to make changes, and embrace the sameness and differences of other businesses. — Amber Gustafson, Amber’s Designs, Katy, TX

The People Behind ‘Cool’

The Coolest Stores issue is always neat to read. However, I usually find that it is the owner, manager and staff of those stores that make them truly interesting and unique. — Gary Richmond, Van Horne & Co., Granger, IN

Head Scratcher

A recent column by David Geller, “If I Were to Open a Store Again” (July INSTORE) left me scratching my head. My first thought was his idea of “brass and glass” samples is fine for those who want custom ideas, but there are plenty of shoppers who want to buy something now, whether for a gift or self-purchase. Second, I’m confused by his profit margins — 65 percent on repairs and 60-68 percent on custom. A gross profit margin of only 65 percent on repairs and custom is inadequate to fund a viable operation. Finally, I am just not a fan of salespeople on commission. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt the pressure of a commissioned sales associate and simply left the store. Our employees are compensated to the point where commission is not a driving force. We all have the same goal: to provide our customers with an exemplary experience while selling the finest quality at very competitive prices. Now, to be fair, I do like his fresh-baked cookie idea! — Gary Youngberg, Ames Silversmithing, Ames, IA

Cold Cases

Where are the days when people used to come in and buy something right out of the case? Why does everything have to be custom and special made? Should I even carry inventory anymore? — Julie Terwilliger, Wexford Jewelers, Cadillac, MI

Handbag Comparisons

I have been checking out the fashion magazines this fall, and I want to ask other jewelers what they think of pairing a $6,400 Hermes handbag with $39 gold-filled earrings. Very little jewelry shown, and what is featured is most often low-end or costume jewelry. This cannot be good for our industry. Isn’t there some way to collaborate? — Elizabeth Breon, Coast Jewelers, Florence, OR

 

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Hannah Field Simmler of Keith Field, Goldsmith in Brunswick, ME with Alena Simmler. “Got to start that sixth generation off early!”

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