Connect with us

Inbox

Your Letters on Retirement and Changes in the Jewelry Industry

Here are your letters-to-the-editor for this month.

mm

Published

on

On Retirement

I wish all retirees well and I hope this industry gets strong and hopeful again! — Stacey S. Sachs, Solomon’s Fine Jewelry & Watch, Albertson, NY

It was actually kind of nice to know that after a long time of working in the business, we’re not the only ones thinking of bailing. The last few years have been tough, and if this year isn’t much better, we may be following in those footsteps. — Wadeana Beveridge, Community Jewelry Inc., Brandon, FL

Retirement is a sad, sorry dilemma for many. — Eileen Eichhorn, Eichhorn Jewelry, Decatur, IN

It is so sad that the general public, me included, has shifted to the convenience of online shopping. I’ve had my first challenge against Costco for a 3-carat stone. The point is, many older jewelers are not equipped to attack the learning curve for online shopping. Second, many don’t have a willing family member to inherit or purchase their businesses. So they are leaving the industry. I am grateful for my crazy MacGyver gold skills that have created many a valuable repair, restoration or remodel. But in this day and age, that begs the question of how many young entrepreneurs are that hungry, fearless and not intimidated by the risk/reward of our industry to pick up the void these retirees are creating? — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL

I think kids see how stressful the jewelry biz is and are smart enough to not want to follow in our steps! Ha! My 11 year-old does not want to be a jeweler. I, however, am second-generation. — Julie Terwilliger, Wexford Jewelers, Cadillac, MI

Trust Earned

We have a lot of people come in for the first time who say, “We trust you.” It’s strange when it’s first-time customers, but I think people are drawn to mom-and-pop stores that have been in business a long time. We work hard to keep our reputation stellar, and it shows in the trust our customers have in us. — Chay Rees Runnels, Rees Jewelry, Nacogdoches, TX

Advertisement

Change Happens

I think the jewelry industry is a direct reflection of society and businesses in general. Change happens everywhere. Just because there are fewer stores, it doesn’t mean that the industry is in peril. It’s just an ongoing transition and adaptation. — Jon Walp, Long Jewelers, Virginia Beach, VA

Warning To Disloyal Vendors

It’s amazing to me that as foot traffic and volume have gone down for some longstanding stores that may be thinking about retirement, there are some vendors, — even some on the INSTORE list of top vendors — who are willing to throw their accounts out the door. Just when some stores could use a little support, they get thrown under the bus. My comment to those vendors is, “Success leads to arrogance and arrogance leads to failure!” — Alex Weil, Martin’s Jewelry, Torrance, CA

Over the years, INSTORE has won 76 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

Advertisement

VIDEO HIGHLIGHT

Wilkerson Testimonials

Cleaning House for a New Generation

At Komara Jewelers in Canfield, Ohio, Wilkerson handled all the aspects of its retirement sale just as owner Bob Komara’s children took over day-to-day operations of the business. They’d used other companies before, says Brianna Komara-Pridon, but they didn’t compare. “If we had used Wilkerson then, it would have been so much better.”

Promoted Headlines

Want more INSTORE? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Comment

Inbox

Teen Shooting in Florida Jewelry Store Prompts Responses, and More Reader Letters

Two readers warn guns are dangerous, while another worries about the death of retail in favor of custom design.

mm

Published

on

Guns Are Dangerous

I closed my jewelry store about a year ago, after 34 years in the industry. I had been trained to survive a shooting in my store, but not in a horse pasture. The damage caused by an assault rifle firing in your direction is significant, even if the bullets do not hit you. My horse and I both have PTSD. Jewelers tend to be pro-gun, but no one looks who is behind what you are shooting at, and that is how my business failed: trauma caused by an inattentive shooter. The law enforcement officer that almost killed me did not pay attention to what was behind his poorly constructed target and I saw every bullet pass by as I huddled in a pasture, as horses were screaming and running around me.

Guns are more dangerous than most jewelers know — especially assault rifles. —B. Diane Eames, Gems Of The Hill Country, Ingram, TX

Video: How to Hire the Best People for Your Jewelry Store
Jimmy Degroot

Video: How to Hire the Best People for Your Jewelry Store

Video: Jim Ackerman on Why Your Digital Marketing Doesn’t Work Like the Experts Say It Should
Jim Ackerman

Video: Jim Ackerman on Why Your Digital Marketing Doesn’t Work Like the Experts Say It Should

Video: Don’t Miss the Biggest Opportunity to Improve Profits in Your Jewelry Store
Jimmy Degroot

Video: Don’t Miss the Biggest Opportunity to Improve Profits in Your Jewelry Store

Not Self-Defense

Why don’t you call it what it is: Florida is a seriously messed-up state! Kid robs a store, runs out and gets into a car, then gets shot in the head.

Florida calls that justified? There was no threat to life once the guy runs. It’s a homicide by the store owner! Not self-defense by any means! —Mark Shneyer, M. Stephen Fine Jewelry, Hackettstown, NJ

Come Together

INSTORE Magazine is my grounding. Every month, I get the physical magazine that I can share with our crew or the emails that give tips and tricks. It makes me feel not-quite-so-alone in the business. Yes, we are all in competition with the other stores in our areas, but there is a sense of camaraderie with INSTORE that allows us to share triumphs and woes, as well as tidbits of information that we probably wouldn’t share independently. It gives me a sense of unity that I never felt until I started getting INSTORE. —Wadeana Beveridge, Community Jewelry, Brandon, FL

Too Much Service?

I am for the first time concerned as I see so much retail around me be replaced by services! Even though we will always get some business of custom and repairs, as a designer-retailer, I need to have outright sales, so I can continue to fill my need to create! —Eve J. Alfille, Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, Evanston, IL

Continue Reading

Inbox

The LGBTQ Question, Motivation Dissection and More Letters to the Editor

Here’s what you got to say for our last issue.

mm

Published

on

Dream On

I am so curious as to what drives other jewelers. What gives you that moxie to endure, despite any challenges known or unknown in the day ahead?

For me, it is the reputation I have nurtured over time to be a proven industry professional in my field. I think one of my biggest assets is the ability to stay focused, organized and inching forward consistently, even when roadblocks have made the going hazardous. I read a business-related article every day, I incorporate a new idea as often as possible and I try not to limit myself or my employees. In the beginning, it was a definite struggle to get out of my comfort zone. I learned that challenges sharpened my skills and increased my toolbox to handle different situations that previously were not in my wheelhouse. What works for you? What makes you better than the next guy, not just service and staff, but what genuinely makes you the best at what you do? — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL

Just Can’t Get Enough

The Cool Stores article on Marisa Perry Atelier [in the November issue] was fabulous. Well-written, interesting and well-illustrated (could have had a shop photo, if they allowed). I welcome more of those. Only the specialty stores will survive. The “run of the mill” retailers/re-sellers will crush under the weight of internet sales, and those in the end, will fail, too. — Mark Rozanski, Goldart Jewellery Studio, Ottawa, ON

People Are People

The LGBTQ question/refusal of service is a fundamental conundrum that many can’t wrap their brains around. I look at it like this: If a retailer wants to turn away money and alienate an entire population, that is their prerogative. But the flip side is that retailer should be prepared to close their doors sooner than later. If you accept each individual who comes through your door with open arms and an open heart, the rewards are so much greater than feeling righteous. I have made many new friends just looking at people as people … and accepting them exactly as they are! — Jennifer Farnes, Revolution Jewelry Works, Colorado Springs, CO

Everything Counts

The more years I’m in the jewelry business, the more I realize every customer counts. — Eileen Eichhorn, Eichhorn Jewelry, Decatur, IN

Continue Reading

Inbox

On Uninvited Sales Reps, Lab-Grown Diamonds, Vendor Betrayal and More of Your Letters from October

See what our readers had to say this month.

mm

Published

on

Hating Drop-Ins

Sales reps showing up at your store without a phone call or email sent announcing their plans to stop by is unacceptable. I have all respect for traveling salesmen, but this method of just dropping in will do nothing but get you sent right out. What would happen if I showed up at one of my customer’s offices unannounced with a briefcase full of merchandise and expected them to stop what they were doing? They would tell me to get out and not come back. There’s no difference. If traveling sales reps want retailers to respect them, then they need to respect retailers. — Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX

Podcast: A One of a Kind Family Heirloom is ‘Vaporized’ … and a Jeweler Goes Above and Beyond to Replace It
Over the Counter

Podcast: A One of a Kind Family Heirloom is ‘Vaporized’ … and a Jeweler Goes Above and Beyond to Replace It

Podcast: Using Social Media to Win Customers and Lower Your Intimidation Factor
JimmyCast

Podcast: Using Social Media to Win Customers and Lower Your Intimidation Factor

Podcast: Michael O’Connor, Jewelry’s Perfect Spokesman, Visits ‘The Barb Wire’
The Barb Wire

Podcast: Michael O’Connor, Jewelry’s Perfect Spokesman, Visits ‘The Barb Wire’

Deep Value Naturally

After recently reading a blog from a well-known lab-grown diamond producer about diamond formation, I would agree about one thing. Given the right conditions and sufficient flux of nutrient carbon, natural occurring diamonds can grow to gemological size in hours or days, faster than the lab processes. They are incorrect to say that natural diamonds grow in hours based on the rates of in-lab growth, because both rely on a sufficient flux of carbon. In the earth’s mantle, carbon is present at part per million levels, and it may take eons for sufficient carbon to diffuse to a site of crystallization to form a natural occurring gemological diamond. — Randy Stricklin, GIA GG, Oklahoma City, OK

Time To Go Solo

After 45 years in the ever-changing jewelry business and after spending the last 25 years running and owning my own store, it’s time to go solo and open a design studio. Thank you for the article in a past issue about others going solo — the timing could not have been better! Looking forward to the next chapter, or should I say, next jewel in my crown! — Frank Salinardi, Linardi’s Jewelers, Plantation, FL

Fuzzy Math

As things have slowed down in a lot of stores, wholesalers are tempted to go direct in the hunt for a retail sale. What they don’t seem to take into consideration is that when a store does business with them, that store represents approximately 30 people who have an interest in their product. So when a vendor bypasses that connection, they might pick up a couple of sales, but in reality they lose that 30 (or more) from the store. — Alex Weil, Martin’s Jewelry, Torrance, CA

Things Change

I’ve had the great fortune of owning my store for 35 years. Things have constantly changed, but the rate of change accelerated since the advent of the Internet and social media. Thanks for supplying the necessary information to consider ways we can all adapt. Keep encouraging us to excel in all phases of our industry. — Ernie Cummings, Kizer Cummings Jewelers, Lawrence, KS

Be Honest

Synthetic diamonds will surely find their place in the market, as have manmade rubies, emeralds and others. Allowing consumers to have choices is what retailing is about, but the bad actors are going to seize the day and will use this opportunity to cheat honest, hard-working people in all aspects of our industry. — Robert Borneman, Diamond Jewelers, Centereach, NY


Reach Out!

We always love to hear from you. Send your Inbox letters to us at editor@instoremag.com.

Continue Reading

Most Popular