Village Jewelers

While most jewelers look to increase business through expansion, Dean Thomas has found that bigger isn't always better. Thomas, owner of Village Jewelers in Du Quoin, Ill., recently sold his building and moved to a smaller stand-alone location down the block to focus solely on jewelry. Village Jewelers specializes in custom jewelry, diamond fashion rings, and colored stone jewelry. Thomas discussed with JCK his decision to downsize and how the strategy has positioned him to grow. What made you decide to downsize? This is a depressed area. We've had six coal mines close related to acid rain issues. Then last year, plants started closing all over. Several jewelers have closed, and I'm the county's only jeweler left. Also, at my previous location, I had a big building that included jewelry, a tanning salon, beauty shop, and rental apartments. I was running those other business

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