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Would You Still Enter the Trade If You Were Now a Young Entrepreneur?

Would they do it all again if they had the chance? Jewelers answer the big question.




Would You Still Enter the Trade If You Were Now a Young Entrepreneur?
Steven Wardle of Forest Beach Design in Chatham, MA, entered the trade in 1969 and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

Oh yes. I can’t imagine doing anything else! I first handled the torch in 1969. — Steven Wardle, Forest Beach Design, Chatham, MA

  • No, because if I were a pretty much “broke” young man again, I would certainly not be able to pursue a jewelry career because the buy-in is so high. (I started on a wing and a prayer and lots of good luck). I would go into commercial real estate — J. Dennis Petimezas, Watchmaker’s Diamonds & Jewelry, Johnstown, PA
  • No, definitely not. My 50th year is coming up and it was much, much easier years ago. Also the profits were much better. I have one of my five children in the business. Tried to talk all of them out of it. — Kent Jester, Klasse Jewelers, Florence, KY
  • Yes! Jewelry technology has opened up a whole new side of the jewelry business to the younger generation that grew up with technology. CAD/CAM allows a small startup jewelry store to sell custom design without having to invest in a large inventory. — Dianna Rae High, Dianna Rae Jewelry, Lafayette, LA
  • I don’t know. If I knew what the better widget was, I might give it a try. — Evan Duke, Classic Creations in Diamonds & Gold, Inc, Venice, FL
  • Yes. Love the stones, the artistry, the imagination and skill. Love learning the stories of gemstones. Love being a special part of people’s lives. — Jeff Weintrop, The Silver Lady, University City, MO
  • No, if I’d gone corporate I would be making waaaay more money. — Loann Stokes, Stokes Jewelry, Stillwater, MN
  • Yes. If you have the passion, you can make it thrive and be successful (I feel that’s true for whatever industry you’re in). — Jen Foster, David Douglas Designs, Marietta, GA
  • Yes. I love serving people with unique service and items. I love being in the LOVE business. — Dale Robertson, Dale Robertson Jewelry, Loveland, OH
  • Absolutely! I feel you just need to find your niche, let your creativity be your guide. Customers are looking for authenticity and a connection to the story of the design. — Linda McEathron, Design House, Waco, TX
  • Absolutely! The jewelry business has always been a challenge to marry fashion, craftsmanship and current trends with profitability. I can’t think of any other business that is as rewarding as dealing with the many happy and significant occasions in people’s lives. — Laura Pool, Laura’s Jewelry Designs, St. Robert, MO
  • My son is 20 and is doing just that in lieu of being a music teacher or nuclear engineer. This is an extraordinary time to design one’s own career in this incredible industry. — Jill Keith, Enchanted Jewelry, Danielson, CT
  • Never! A lot different from when I started out on Canal Street as a diamond setter. Just take a look at 47th Street. I’m there twice a week. If you want a reality check, that’s a great place to start. — Frank Intorcia, Frank Anson Jewelers, Staten Island, NY
  • I was a corporate accountant for 18 years before my husband begged me to join him. I asked what he could pay me. He said $6 an hour and all the sex in the back room I wanted. I signed up. Shortly after, he hired his first employee, demoting me to only the $6 per hour. Did I know when I was 35 that I would become a jewelry designer/remodeler? Absolutely not, but I love my job, and would do it again in a heartbeat. — Jo Goralski, The Jewelry Mechanic, Inc., Oconomowoc, WI

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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