The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way I think about my business. It’s important to be able to pivot quickly in times like these. We didn’t stop for a second. I pushed through finding ways to generate business. We created a bespoke shopping experience for our clients, where they didn’t necessarily need to come into the store. I’ve always pushed my sales staff to think of themselves as curators of fine jewelry and to take a personal shopping approach. This has been very successful for us. We have all jumped in and pushed each other through this crazy time.
—Laura Freedman, owner, Broken English, Santa Monica, Calif., and New York City, brokenenglishjewelry.com
I have never worked in a cleaner environment than what I am working in now! And I like it! The care that we put into having a clean workplace has really showed my customers and employees the attention to detail that I expect, and that has been a good thing. The pandemic has also reinforced lessons about budgeting and paying vendors on time, or early.
—John Brockhaus, owner, Brockhaus Jewelry, Norman, Okla., brockhausjewelry.com
We opted to keep everyone on through the whole shutdown, and in the process we all became better at what we do. Our goldsmiths learned Matrix [jewelry design software] and fabrication. Our accountant learned to master the SBA [Small Business Administration] and all loans available. Our director of inventory sat in on close to 100 webinars. Our sales manager and sales team worked at becoming certified in Tissot and other brands that offered training, clienteling through Clientbook. And we met daily to go over what we were doing and learning as a team via Zoom. Coming out of the lockdown, we have gotten in the habit of greeting customers in the parking lot and starting the process outside and walking with them inside. That creates a new level of connection, and it is awesome.
—Bob Woolsey, chief inspiration officer, Jones Bros. Jewelers, Peoria, Ill., jonesbros.com
We’ve known that online and social media sales were an important part of our business since we opened, but we’ve focused on that aspect even more since COVID-19. We’ve started offering video consultations, online art openings, and artist interviews and we have improved our website since March. We’re also rethinking Black Friday and Small Business Saturday to diversify how shoppers engage with our gallery, both in person
—Jamie Hollier, owner, Balefire Goods, Arvada, Colo., balefiregoods.com