Right time to open Jewellery Store

Hello Everyone,

I was wondering when you felt it was the right time to open up a
‘brick and mortar’ Jewellery store?

My situation is like this…I’m the industry expert for my area…I
buy rough colored stones and diamonds, I’ve cut an Ideal Hearts and
Arrows Diamond on my first go…I’m an expert gem faceter and often
repair and sell custom cut gems to the trade and I have several large
trade accounts for doing appraisals.

I also enjoy the retail side of the business…I keep my profit
margins for trade and retail separate and I never appraise anything I
produce for a retail client. I really enjoy the retail side of the
business because I am known as the Gem and Jewellery Guru whom is an
expert in the field. I make sure the client gets exactly what they
want, disclose all treatments, do a bit of education and explain to
them that several people whom call themselves Jewellers have no
education in identifying treatments or differentiating qualities
between gems. I’m humble…I don’t flaunt or brag to others about my
achievements…one of which was finding a rough 2 gram untreated ruby
and custom cutting it into a 5carat untreated ruby with a wholesale
price of $60,000.00 or $250,000.00 wholesale emerald which a great
client of mine is keeping as an investment. Beside the point.

I get overwhelmed with the potential cost of leasing and insurance
etc and wondering I will ‘make it’. Mostly likely I’m afraid of the

I’d more than appreciate your experiences and how you’ve dealt with
the above.

Kind regards,

Jeff W. Nechka (G.G., G.I.A.)
Premier Gems LTD

Hi Jeff;

My opinion is that the future of the “bricks and mortar” jewelry
business belongs to jewelers who are actual craftsmen and
craftswomen who can do repair, custom design and manufacture, and can
carry distinctive jewelry of their own making. The days of buy it,
flip it, and pocket the money are over. Typical retailers
mis-identified their role in the community and thier competition,
trying to keep their place among the big box stores and mall chains,
until their share of the pie became too small to afford to keep a
decent bench person on staff. Now they can’t compete with us. Yes, I
am one of the new breed, and I know of a number of others who have
gone that way, tired of watching the owners put a name on an envelope
and make twice the money we did while the cost of materials came out
of our cut… or worse, we sat for years in the little cubby that was
afforded us, grinding away in poorly equiped, poorly ventelated,
poorly lit corners of the business (space they couldn’t use for other
purposes), buying new cars and houses for our employers while they
made excuses as to why they couldn’t pay us according to our
contributions to their businesses.

My advice, if you can’t fix it, make it, and aren’t really
interested in seeing that customer go out the door walking 2 feet off
the ground, we’ve got your number and you are toast.

David L. Huffman (retail next year now that I’ve put all but one of
the local jewelry “merchandisers” out of business)