Fourth-generation jeweler Kyle Bullock of Bullock’s Jewelry in Roswell, NM tells the stories behind jewelers' most inspirational and/or memorable jewelry sales. In each short episode, you'll hear a different true story about a different jeweler — some heart-warming and others heart-breaking; some that will make you laugh, and others that will teach you important lessons about the jewelry business.
Brought to you by INSTORE Podcasts — podcasts that inspire for jewelry retail professionals. Catch our full collection of podcasts at instoremag.com/podcasts.
Do you have a great story of a jewelry sale that you'd like Kyle to tell? Email him at: email@example.com
(Season 1, Ep. 17): The 12 Days of Xmas ... the Jewelry-Store Version
In this special episode of Over the Counter, host Kyle Bullock grabs a guitar and presents you with his very own, jeweler-specific version of the holiday classic, "The 12 Days of Christmas".
We won't spoil it for except to say that, while you won't hear about any partridges in pear trees, one part of the song remains, reassuringly, the same. (Can you guess which part?)
(Season 1, Ep. 16): Beauty From Ashes
For his last podcast of the season, Kyle Bullock of Over the Counter tells the story of Emma, a woman whose life was turned upside down when the man she loved and planned to marry died in a car accident.
For Emma, the tragedy caused her to completely change the direction of her life. She left community college, where she was studying to become an art teacher, and moved to a different school to try out the art of metalsmithing. Quickly showing promise in her new field, as well as finding comfort in the act of creating jewelry, she decided to build her skills further with a months-long jewelry apprenticeship in Florence, Italy.
Emma’s instinctual method of working through her grief was to create beautiful jewelry that was redolent with symbolism. And while her loss remained one of the defining events of her life, she was able to move forward and build a satisfying, deeply meaningful career by fashioning beauty out of the most terrible of losses.
There’s a lesson in that for all jewelers, says Kyle.
“Don’t ever forget that every and every piece we create or sell means something deeper to the customer that we might ever imagine,” says Kyle. “In the same way, don’t ever forget your own experiences. Owning and managing a jewelry company can bring difficult, sometimes even painful, experiences for you to deal with. It has in my life, for certain. But in the nature of our work, we are given a unique opportunity to shape our circumstances into something beautiful. So, go out and do beautiful work, listeners. The world needs it.”
(Season 1, Ep. 15): Honesty Pays
Sometimes the jewelry customers most want, or have even dreamed about for years, simply isn't right for them. Owing to our professional expertise, many jewelers know when this is the case. But, as often as not, customers don't.
Whether it's a hue that doesn't match a woman's coloring, a design too gaudy for her personality, or a gemstone too large or small for the wearer's proportions, jewelers can typically sense when something is or isn't right for a client. Of course, no jeweler ever enjoys telling someone that the item they covet will make them look awful.
However, when you're seeking to create lifetime customers, it pays to be honest — albeit as tactfully as you can.
In this episode of Over the Counter, host Kyle Bullock tells the story of Denise Oros of Linnea Jewelers in LaGrange, IL, and what Denise did when a customer entered her store an asked for a very expensive item that simply wasn't right for her.
Enjoy the episode.
P.S. Fans of Over the Counter and Kyle Bullock won't want to miss this special offer. The author recently released a new book called Mister Christmas, described as "the story of a white-collar loser who has his life turned around when a mysterious stranger offers him a job creating a real-life Santa's toy factory". For listeners of this podcast, Kyle is offering the audiobook version of Mister Christmas for only $3. Go to misterchristmasbook.com to order and use promo code "OTC" at checkout to get the deal.
(Season 1, Ep. 14): From Farm to Finger
This month in Over the Counter, Kyle Bullock has his mind on conservation.
In the latest episode of his podcast, the owner of Bullock's Jewelry in Roswell, NM, tells a series of interconnected stories related to efforts big and small to make the jewelry industry more friendly to consumers, communities and the planet.
These efforts range from the ultra high-profile work of the Diamond Producers Association to promote more responsible diamond mining to the almost entirely overlooked efforts of one of Kyle's own employees, Sherri, who hoards used scraps of paper so they can be re-used in the office.
Kyle asks her why she does this.
"To help the environment," she says. "And to save money."
"But paper is cheap!" says Kyle.
"Not to the trees," Sherri answers.
Can't argue that.
The very important message? Every little bit helps. And no matter what your role in the industry, everybody can do something. Why not start today?
(Season 1, Ep. 13): One Final Wish
In the latest episode of Over the Counter, host Kyle Bullock tells the story of one of the most memorable custom-design sales of Sandra Locken of Sarini Fine Jewellery in Vulcan, Alberta, Canada.
In the heartbreaking tale, the jeweler creates a rush job for a woman dying of terminal cancer, who is holding onto life by creating jewelry memories for her family in her final days.
Kyle concludes: "Remember that what we do In the jewelry business goes far beyond little hunks of metal. We are invited to share in the expression of people's hearts and souls in a very real, very emotional, and very honest way."Enjoy the story. (Have those tissues ready.)
(Season 1, Ep. 12): A Flash of Cash
In this month's Over the Counter, we bring you several short stories aimed at reminding you of what is most important in life.
It is so easy to go day by day, nose to the grindstone, that we lose sight of what matters.
In fact, we may start to believe that work is what is most valuable — that our identity comes from work, or wealth, or from accomplishments.
And the truth is, it doesn’t.