Welcome to my Jewelry Industry blog. This is the place for all of our industry comrades to come forth with questions, with new ideas and plans for our future. All of your constructive comments are welcome.
I reserve the right however, to edit, or delete any comment post that I find objectionable, spam-like or just inappropriate.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

I miss you Mom.

I'm noticing that it doesn't matter what business you're in, there are always going to life occurrences that will interfere. Sometimes those things are simple and can be handled simultaneously with your business and then there are those whoppers that halt all business no matter what.
Recently I had one of those whoppers fall squarely into my lap. My mother, age 85, was diagnosed with brain cancer (after contracting lung cancer last spring.) I knew that I was going to spend as much time with her as I could til the day she died. I needed and wanted to do that. Therefore, my business took a back seat and I'm so glad it did. It was the right choice for me.
My Mom took facing her end with an open and peaceful mind. Thankfully she was not in any pain up until the day she passed.

She was so clear about what was happening that her view gave me a new respect about facing my own demise. During the very private times I got to spend with my Mom, I came to appreciate the process of moving on from this life. And what ever was going on in my business just didn't hold a candle to that realization.
All I really want to say is that relationships are what makes up our lives. Remember that and take advantage of every moment you have with those important to you. They really are all we've got. Take the break from work to see what's going on around you. We never know what time we have left... I love you Mom...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Creating New Opportunities in 2014

95% of my work experience has been as an entrepreneur working for myself. So far this year, not including my V-By business, I've contracted with one company and am in conversation with 3 others to do a variety of jobs. My work has never come from the traditional method of job searching with a resume. But something feels different to me this year. Like there are more possibilities. So, I've decided to do something different and hired a professional resume writer! 

Julie Walraven is a Certified Professional Resume Writer at Design Resumes, She was referred by reliable sources and after speaking to her the first time, I knew that I wanted Julie to assist in the writing of my resume. Since hiring Julie, we have spent several appointments working together over video conferencing technology tweaking what is now a ready to print resume. 

It was an eye opener to see how much my additional skills with technology added to my resume. The past 6 years spent reading, learning and experimenting with whatever technology offered has given me a leg up on information and how to move with the pace of its growth. These new skill sets and the fact that I am a "mature" woman places me in an unusual category. So, I've got to admit that this new approach (for me :) of putting out a resume has got me excited at the possibilities ahead. Once again, opening those new opportunities for myself trumps staying in one place! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

It's time to review 2013!

OK, the year is coming to an end (again!) and it's time to begin gathering information so we can review what happened. Not always an easy or comfortable task. But, if we want next year to be better, we have to know what happened this year. Starting with the numbers...

My brother-in-law who manages a sales team says (besides the fact that the numbers don't lie) "If you can stay detached from the numbers and just look at them they'll give you a whole lot of good information. Like what's working and what isn't."

When you do examine the numbers, there can actually be some relief in knowing them and the truth they tell. Like how are you going to know if you're ahead or behind last year? Where was the growth? Where wasn't there growth and what stayed the same? What changed and why? What made parts of your business grow and others not so much?  Was is due to the inventory selection, the staff or the economy? All of these questions and their numbers need to be asked and answered in order to make a plan for 2014.

I tell you what. You do your analyzing and I'll do mine. I'll meet you back here early next year and we'll compare!
Have a healthy New Year!
Regards, Deborah

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Out of retail for 1 1/2 years now...

Karen worked in the retail jewelry industry for several years. She was a fabulous sales woman and loved the business for the beauty of the merchandise to the connection with the clients. Karen wanted every sale to live up to the meaning of the holiday it represented.
The store she worked for knew her value...they just were not able to offer a compensation package that gave Karen the security she felt she needed as she aged. And she knew that if a move in careers had to happen, it better be soon!
Three years ago, after seeing the writing on the wall, she began to look for an alternative career path. She lives in Oregon in a small town so there were few possibilities which made the task of finding a new career daunting. It took some doing, but because of her great people skills and her attention to detail, Karen found her new career path in healthcare! I shared a meal with her recently to hear how the shift from jewelry to healthcare were going...
She loves (just about) everything her new position provides. The fact that she can leave at 5pm, doesn't work on the weekends, has great team support around the office and still is caring for someone's personal experience made Karen's move to receiving a decent steady compensation package effortless! Even though she misses the jewelry business, security in a job makes up for it all!
Personally I miss what Karen brought to our industry. Like Karen, it seems that there are many others who are looking for a safer way to earn a living. The question is will they find one with as happy an ending as Karen? 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Buying jewelry online "live" with an expert's advice!

Are you a busy person? Need to buy a special birthday gift? V-By is a new way to work with an expert, the retail jeweler, "live", online, without having to travel into their store. You'd be able to make the right gift choice from the comfort of your home or the convenience of your office!
Tell your favorite retailer to use V-By technology.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Do I still have to make cold calls?

Yep, for me cold calls are still a part of every day business. I can't think of any business where attrition (the loss of business) doesn't play a part in the equation. So we always have to add new customers. And the phone is the handiest and still that most reliable way to do that...Voila, cold calls!
     I learned how to make cold calls when I worked in San Francisco on the phone banks for EST & Werner Erhert back in the mid 70's. We used to refer to it as "smiling and dialing." It's a challenge every time I'd pick up the phone.
     Mind you there is a mindset you have to put in place if you really want to get through the calls successfully. You can't be attached to what's going to happen each time you dial and someone answers... In fact, I'm always prepared for rejection every time someone answers the phone. Cold calling is the quintessential "improvisation."

     When I'm getting my daily fix of cold calls done for the day I notice it becomes a meditation. I focus on my breathing and begin dialing calmly. Interestingly, there are many times that the person on the other end of the phone thinks I'm some one they know. Recently someone even told me that I gave the best "cold call" they had ever received! Cold calling is an art and needs to be cultivated through practice over time.
     These calls are a means to an end and need to be scripted and planned with a result in mind. They are ineffective without that plan. But picking up the phone with that script doesn't mean it'll go the way you think it should. That's probably the part that terrifies people and excites people like me the most!
     This is exactly where the art of improvisation comes in handy. I always have to listen to the person on the other end and respond accordingly. For example, when making calls into retail businesses, I always begin by asking "Are you busy with a client at the moment?" More often than not they are so shocked by the courtesy I show them that they are happy to speak further with me! Will I accomplish my goals while accommodating the listener on the other end of the line? I never know, so I just pick up the phone and dial again.... :)
(PS- Contact me if you want to get your cold calling up and running.)

Friday, July 19, 2013


I read this on the flight to Charlotte last week and liked it so well that I tore it out of the SW magazine and have it at my desk right now. It was written by Karen Finerman, CEO of Metropolitan Capital Advisors. She really did a nice job of unveiling yet another issue we women still face today. I was inspired by how she worded it!

How can women better sell their ideas? "I once asked a money manager why he has no women analysts. He said, 'If a man pounds the table and is confident about how much money I can make, and a woman who is just as smart tells me what could go wrong and how much I could lose---well, I'm a sucker. I fall for the upside every time.' Women have a natural aversion to risk, and we do ourselves a disservice by presenting the downside. Lead with the good stuff. Tell me what could go right. Our real strengths shine when we use our concern about risk to prepare for the tough follow-up questions. Go in strong. Sell the positive. And then close the deal by having all the details to support your case."

It's one of those reads that just resonated with me as a woman with an idea. Thanks Karen!

Wireless Technology... :)

Yea, and they're still doing it aren't they?