Truth or dare - more questions

Hi to everyone in orchid land, I’ve found the truth or dare line very
interesting, thanks Mark Ruby for taking a new direction.

First, a little background, my husband and I opened our jewelry store
in our local mall two years ago. We carried basically 18 karat
jewelry, 22 karat ethnic jewelry and better quality diamonds.We
carried 18 kt and above for 2 reasons: first it was the only way we
could get into the mall, there are 6 other jewelry stores besides us,
all them big national companies.Second, my husband is from India and
we get the 22 karat jewelry and better diamonds from his family
members who are in the trade over there. Boy, how we thought a path
would be beaten to our doorstep!

We soon realized we’d be out of business, we renegotiated with
management to be able to carry 14 kt. We were getting our pants beat
off us by the 10 kt crap being sold in the mall. But we did have
wonderful customers that did want our better stuff…they actually
kept us in business as we expanded our selections. Soon we were
carrying 14 kt and even a small selection of 10 kt, we even began
carrying wedding accessories and gifts.

One year later we were steadily growing, our first Christmas season
was better than we had hoped for. Then management dropped a bomb on
us saying a national sporting store wanted our spot, we’d have to
move. We were devastated, but we ended up getting a bigger and better
store. Our sales tripled, we became know for reasonable priced and
quality repair and custom work. This past Christmas season was
terrible though.

We have a year to year lease, a permanent lease means our rent would
be triple what we currently pay, makes no sense to me. So anyway,
after Christmas, management tells me they have every intention to
renew our lease. Christmas sucked, but this is good news for us.A
month laterwe’re told that someone wants our store.

So, what I’m interested in is has anyone started out in a mall and
then gone on toa free standing store? I’m fed up with trying to run
and establish our business only to be at the whim of mall management.
I know my own free standing store will have many more benefits than a
mall store but still I’m frighten.

I’m sorry for rambling, but I’d love to hear everyone else’s stories
of where you started from and the journey that brought to where you
are today.

Sue Kapoor
Kapoor Jewelers
Mickey Kapoor

Being in a free standing store, but not just jewelry, I’m thinking
it doesn’t make much difference. Although the rent may be higher in
a mall, the foot traffic is so much more than what we get . . .the
last three weeks brought in 6 people. Most were just looking, and
the rest were picking up pieces that had been sized, or custom but
paid for last year.

I honestly think that during these times of world unrest, poor
economic forcast, no one will be making much money at all, and many
will end up going out of business altogether.

Wishing you all the best if you choose to open a free standing place

Hello Sue

I think independent jewelers such as your selves do better, from my
experience talking to many personally, either in their own place or
in a small strip mall. That way you can set your own hours that are
more convenient to you. Also your rent is usually not so volatile.
These big companies forget that the little guys cannot afford to
relocate and redecorate. I think what you are doing is great so don’t
let your business be dictated to by big business.

Another idea you might look into. A very dear friend of mine
(unfortunately he passed on a couple of years ago) was a Hindu man
from India. He did palmistry, Indian Astrology and numerology and
prescribed gemstones the old ways. Through him I sold quite a few
large size, 1-5ct., rubies, emeralds, sapphires, etc. that were lower
quality but set into 22kt yellow gold, mostly for the East Indian
community. Apparently for healing purposes people need 1ct or more
size stones. If you could find and work with such a wise person, you
both could profit from the exchange. I did and I did not even have a
store. I still keep a list of the Indian names for most of the stones
I carry as more Indian people are coming to the Markets I attend
every year.

Hope this year turns out to be the best yet!

Karen Bahr “the Rocklady” (@Rocklady)
K.I.S. Creations
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
May your gems always sparkle.

Dear All,

and into a free standing building we are buying. I had a ten year
lease, and when that ran out the owners increased my rent 150%. I
spent the next two years looking for a building, and getting further
and further behind financially due to the higher monthly rent.

Once we finally bought the building, and added the remodel costs
onto a payment schedule, the total I am paying is still less than
what the new rent was in the mall. Best of all, this “caps” my fixed
costs for the next fifteen years or so, until the building is paid
for, then I can look forward to a major reduction in operating costs,
and improved profitability.

Every time you spend money on improvements to the building, you help
your business, plus increase the value of your asset, a win/win

Jon Michael Fuja

Seems like maybe it isn’t so much that the big guys forget we can’t
afford, they just don’t care. I think they mostly rent to small
independents to fill spaces. Empty stores look bad in any mall.
When business is stronger, they give the little guys the boot to rent
to larger chains who can pay higher rent and probably have higher
sales figures to give a percentage of.