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Zachary’s Jewelers’ “Girl Friday” Is the Pulse of the Annapolis Operation

Cheryl King plans events, spearheads merchandising and even takes on the role of store “mom.”




Zachary’s Jewelers’ “Girl Friday” Is the Pulse of the Annapolis Operation

Cheryl King has worked for Zachary’s Jewelers in Annapolis, MD, for seven years, establishing herself as indispensable from Day One, say owner Steve Samaras and his sister, Evangeline Ross, chief experience creator. King’s role has morphed from back-of-the-house specialist to store merchandiser and event planner. “She is incredibly creative, organized and smart,” Ross says. In addition to her formal roles, King has also become a jack-of-all-trades, Girl Friday, honorary store mom and the pulse of the operation, Samaras says. “It’s an honor and a privilege to work here,” King says.

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PAST LIFE. I was a stay-at-home mom for many, many years. I worked in property management and my ex-husband was a builder, so I was involved in picking the finishes. I was creative that way.

MULTITASKER. I think what keeps me motivated is that I never have two of the same days here. I always have something going on. If you sit at my desk and close my browser I will kill you! I have so many tabs open at the same time.

ON-THE-JOB TRAINING. I love doing the windows, but I don’t have any training. I wasn’t that stay at home DIY mom at all, but I do have a good eye. That’s been a lot of fun. My favorite part of my job is story telling through the window designs and watching people’s reactions as they walk by. A selfie with a window is the best compliment.

PLACEMENT. If you have a good buyer, the jewelry will sell as long as you can see the piece individually in the case. As long as there’s not too much there and it’s not too stacked. The most important thing is the ease the salesperson has in taking it out. Everything I do I do to make the salesperson’s job easier. For me it’s about balancing the case and making sure there’s not too much in a case. I don’t like a cluttered case and I don’t like to decorate inside a case.

WHO’S BUYING. I like that women are buying their own jewelry for themselves. I like that the tide is changing on that, that it doesn’t have to come from a man, or a significant other.


A HAPPY PLACE. Jewelry is a byproduct of what I like about being part of this family. I love shiny things. And I love the legacy of it and the sentimentality of it. We share so many happy moments here. Engagements and births and Sweet 16s. It’s all happy. It’s a very important thing right now. To have a place where you go every day where there is happiness.

NOT GOING ANYWERE. It’s for sure a family here. I know it sounds so cliché. They’ll have to carry me out of here honestly.

SENTIMENTAL JOURNEYS. I am still loving the stacking trend very much. And I like the idea of daughters getting diamond earrings from their fathers and trading up over the years, so by the time they’re 18 they have a nice pair of diamond studs. Or the add-a-pearl idea is amazing. They can collect pearls over the years and have a full necklace on their wedding day. I like the sentimentality of things, like a hidden birthstone inside of an engagement ring. And things that have meaning and things that can be passed down. I’m a sucker for sapphires for sure.

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When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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