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Your Stand on Political Issues and More of Your Letters

Yet some of you still see hope.




  • I wish I could nail down why business is so good. Is it the extra money because no one is vacationing or traveling? Was some from the government stimulus? Is it emotional spending? Gold is way up, yet it seems to have zero effect on people purchasing jewelry. Truthfully, I am incredibly pleased with how much my business is up over last year, but I’m somewhat shocked as well. As much as I want 2020 to go away due to the pandemic, mainly I want it to continue forever if it will continue to have this effect on my business increase. — Tom R. Nelson, Nelson Jewelry, Spencer, IA
  • First time I have ever heard customers so politically divided, and they bring it up to figure us out. As much as you deflect it, they push. I cannot imagine as the election gets closer. Ugh. — Christine Matlack, E.G. Landis Jewelers, Boyertown, PA
  • We are deeply mortified and saddened by the riots and looting. So many of our friends in this business have lost so much. They will not recover. Our elected officials need to put a stop to this insanity. — Elizabeth Saba, Presley Co. Fine Jewelers, San Diego, CA
  • Through it ALL, it was hard and scary and all the things challenging, and now I see hope and opportunity. Our staff is different; our business mentality is different. It really forced us to always start with “anything can happen” and also to go slower and work with our business instead of our business working us, if that make sense. I think we all get eager to please when in service, and that can create a rushed mentality, when quality over quantity in business can be an amazing and equally successful flow. Post-COVID-19, we are also reminded to be grateful in a new way for each and every client that shops with us. — Christina Baribault-Ortiz, Baribault Jewelers, Glastonbury, CT
  • I used to get pieces of jewelry on my counter with the comment, “I got this on the Internet, did I get a good deal?”, but now I dread hearing the words, “I got it on Etsy” before I have even seen the piece. Poorly made, I know that once we touch it, it will be our nightmare forever, because we worked on it last. I received a one-star rating from someone who isn’t my customer because I refused to work on a piece she got on the Internet and suggested she try to return it. I have moved away from retail the last five months, focusing on our services, custom, repair and appraisals, and working more as a concierge-style jeweler. I have also found a niche market sourcing beautiful face masks. I sell most of them, but if you are a non-masker, I might just give you one. — Jo Goralski, The Jewelry Mechanic, Oconomowoc, WI
  • We are in the “love business,” and no matter what goes on in the “nasty” world, people find a way to connect and see the beauty in each of us. Love truly conquers all! — Jon Walp, Long Jewelers, Virginia Beach, VA
  • Politics can really make your sales floor a tough arena during this pandemic, election season and civil unrest. I try to keep politics out of the store and out of conversations with clients; however, people do not hold back and come into the store with opinions and conspiracy theories a-blazing. I try to encourage the staff to stay neutral, but that is not always easy. So then I tell them to fall back on the next best thing … just agree with them and smile, smile, smile! — Chad Elliott Coogan, Gems Of La Costa, Carlsbad, CA
  • The riots are terrifying! We need help here. They say on the news that it’s peaceful or a myth … NOT TRUE!! I have to go into Portland every day. It’s not the home I grew up in. We had a murder on the corner of our jewelry district. You can’t help but cry. — Sherrie Schilling-Devaney, Sherrie’s Jewelry Box, Tigard, OR
  • We have been incredibly fortunate that our area hasn’t been affected by protests and rioting. The protests held in our little corner of the U.S. have been peaceful. Our hearts go out to those business owners who have been looted, damaged or otherwise affected by rioters and high infection levels. — Joe Caron, Caron’s Jewelry, Bristol, RI
  • We are an industry whose foundation is built on trust. The current politics is totally founded on breaking trust, not to trust anything but themselves. This in itself is untrustworthy. Until we bring back some trust in politics, trust that the pandemic will end, trust that the protesting will lead to some good changes, we as an industry will continue to suffer. We, however, do have an opportunity to say to our clients that they have always trusted their jewelers and they can confidently continue to do so. In the meantime, it is time to ask ourselves, who do we trust? And have the current politics proved trustworthy? — Alex Weil, Martin’s Jewelry, Torrance, CA
  • I’m just sick of seeing all of the trash and scum in this nation. People getting harassed at restaurants by “protesters” to burning businesses down in the name of “justice” to the way people are reacting about wearing/not wearing face masks. It just makes me furious and sad. I just need to stay in my lane, focus on my business and family, and hope for a miracle that this nation will come together and turn everything around. Right now, this country is a circus. — Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX
  • We are exploring using our window displays as visual catalogs for online purchases, equipped with QR codes near products for window shoppers to quickly learn more about each collection with purchasing options. Curious if anyone else has explored this technique and how profitable it has been for them? — Rebecca Larson, Barry Peterson Jewelers, Ketchum, ID
  • Let’s get through this election year. Less drama and fighting and more working with each other for the good of our world. We need quieter and more thoughtful leadership. When will you be doing a thorough group of articles about the cost of doing business with the metal’s market price increases, an aging ownership in the industry and will the small stores survive? — Edwin Menk, E.L. Menk Jewelers, Brainerd, MN
  • Retail will never be the same, and we need to adjust, no matter how painful. Long gone are impulse purchases or social status buys. Customers are more hesitant to spend over budget, do more research to find the price point and less willing to compromise. Now more than ever, retailers need focus on what the customer is expressing and saying and meeting their wants than just making a sale. — Trisha Corleto, Lowell Jewelry and Loan, Lowell, MA
  • It is hard to understand how we are so fortunate to be doing well when so much of the industry and world is suffering. I see my son and daughter every day taking care of their kids, also working, getting ready for school, virtual learning, Zoom calls with vendors, conducting business on their phones while walking a child in a stroller or getting ice cream. The parents have not had a break; however, they are handling and adjusting. I am almost 70. If we did not have these two kids taking over our business, we would have been one of the stores that gave up. The technology is beyond my husband and me. My husband still goes in a few days a week and sets diamonds and sizes the bridal we are selling; I can put inventory tags on the new jewelry we are getting. I believe the years I invested in Scull, Plexus meetings, CBG and IJO and the contacts we made and the second generation taking over the business and their skills, along with our foundation, are helping them to go to the next level. Their excitement, enthusiasm, honesty, love for customer, staff and vendors is evident every day. Our Traverse City downtown has done an amazing job welcoming locals and tourists during this pandemic. — Beth Guntzviller, Miner’s North Jewelers, Traverse City, MI



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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