Thriving in Troubled Times: ‘You’re Not Just Selling Jewelry’ An Interview With Brook Ellis and Mink Stavenga

Running a successful business is always challenging, more so when soaring costs and increased competition affect jewelry store sales and operations. For its series “Thriving in Tough Times,” JCK asked Brook Ellis, now vice president of special projects for the Gemological Institute of America, and Dr. Mink Stavenga, dean of the GIA School of Business, what independent jewelers must do now to operate successfully. Here are their 10 back-to-basics suggestions. Learn about running a business. Attend as many business seminars and workshops as possible at trade shows and association meetings and take business courses online. GIA, for example, offers online business courses and its Jewelry Business Management diploma program. Fall courses (beginning Oct. 13) include marketing management, current issues in the jewelry industry, and visual merchandising. Use an

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