I get the feeling that a lot of retail jewelers never visit each
other. It can be a bit awkward. There are many who view any other
local jeweler as a rival and a threat. I don’t expect this
generalization applies to very many on this forum, but there is that
other kind that wants to hold cards pretty close to the vest pocket.
In any case, if anyone wants to visit my shop, you are more than
welcome. This weekend would be a good time since we are having an
open house for 25 years in business. http://celtarts.com/25years.html
Where I live most jewelers have gone out of business in the 25 years
since I went into business for a net loss. From the 1980s the area
within about 30 miles of my shop have gone from 8 retail jewelers to
3. Two of the out-of-business jewelers were firms that were over 140
years old. None of the jewelers in this area today were in business
before 1984. The other two jewelers don’t speak to each other, but
they both are friends of mine.
I bought a watchmakers bench from another one of the out of business
jewelers about 15 years ago. In the conversation it became clear
that in the entire time he was in business he had never set foot in
the jewelry store across the street. But I hear of other small towns
where the jewelers are constantly backing each other up and swapping
materials and services.
I always make a point of visiting other jewelers when I travel. Most
of the time I identify myself. It is surprising how flustered some
jewelers get with this situation, so I get the idea that it does not
happen to them very often. But most others are very gracious and seem
to enjoy the chance to talk shop.