Show cover of JimmyCast

JimmyCast

Want straight talk about the toughest marketing and management issues facing jewelry retailers? Then we've got the podcast for you — JimmyCast, hosted by marketing guru Jimmy DeGroot of the Jewelry Marketing Institute, with moral support and important insights from the retail front lines supplied by co-host Doug Meadows, owner of David Douglas Diamonds in Marietta, GA.

Tracks

JimmyCast (Episode19): Trade Shows Mixdown
This month, JimmyCast dives into a timely topic: trade shows. In this episode, host Jimmy DeGroot and co-host Doug Meadows of David Douglas Diamonds in Marietta, GA share a fun and lively conversation about why shows are important, what retailers can get out of them and how to make the most of your time there.As Doug says, it’s not about just going to buy. It’s about going to learn and meet people as well. “I pray for those divine appointments and connections,” he says. Jimmy talks about best practices he learned over the years and how much that helped him make the most of his time at the shows. Doug reminisces about his first time going to the Vegas shows and how much he learned from a fellow retailer’s buyer. And both discuss how being at shows can make you feel like part of the larger retail community.Several fun stories are shared, including the time Doug brought friends as a “babysitting service” for his wife so that she could have fun while he was at the show, as well as the time that Jimmy and Doug bunked together at a certain trade show that used to take place in Chicago.
38:03 07/20/2021
JimmyCast (Episode 18): Jeffrey Samuels On How To Build A Business To Support A Lifestyle
This month, Jeffrey Samuels, owner of William Jeffrey’s Jewelers near Richmond, Virginia, joins host Jimmy DeGroot and co-host Doug Meadows of David Douglas Diamonds in Marietta, GA to talk about how a jewelry store owner can build a business that supports their lifestyle.Samuels started in the industry as a loose diamond sales rep covering nine states. He decided to open a retail jewelry store in his hometown of Mechanicsville when his oldest son was born in 1990.At that time, store hours were six days a week from 10 until 8. Today, the store is open Tuesday through Friday until 6 and Saturday until 3. And this year, Samuels will only work four days a week in the store.He discusses how a store owner needs to train their team to take ownership, but more importantly, how the owner has to train himself not to micro-manage and how to ignore that “little gremlin” that says you could have done something better than your employee did it.One impressive feature of Samuels’ operation is that his average inventory turn is 6 — whereas most jewelers have an average turn of about 1. “It’s not about how much you sell,” Samuels says, “but about how much you make in profit.”Samuels goes on to discuss his aversion to traditional advertising and insistence on ROI, and how he’s found reliability in Podium and Google Reviews. He also talks about why he doesn’t sell lab-grown diamonds, gives his thoughts on CRM (customer relationship management) software, and shares his preliminary exit plans.
24:52 11/18/2020
JimmyCast (Episode 17): Wilson Lin on Starting a New Business During a Historic Health Crisis
This month, JimmyCast brings you a story of hope — of a business person who fell so hard for metals and gemstones that he felt he needed to open his own jewelry business, even in the face of a historic health crisis.In the episode, host Jimmy DeGroot and co-host Doug Meadows chat with Wilson Lin, a 33-year-old whose family immigrated from China to Nebraska when he was in his teens.After graduating school, Wilson, a non-smoker and non-drinker, decided he had little interest in the family business of liquor and spirits. Instead, he found his passion in working with metals and gemstones.With no history in the jewelry business, getting his foot in the door was difficult for Wilson. He applied and was rejected 13 times for jewelry store positions, before finally getting a job as a bench jeweler’s apprentice at the 14th location — A.T. Thomas in Lincoln, NE. He later worked as a manager at a Zale’s location.Now, however, Wilson taking the biggest step of all — launching his own business, with an opening target of September 1.He talks with Jimmy and Doug about how and why he decided to launch right now, his intended product and service range, as well as other details on how he financed his business and selected a location.Plus, Wilson also discusses the Facebook group he formed for jewelers in a similar position to his, called “First Generation Jewelers”, which now has close to 900 members. (Sign up for the group here.) 
27:33 07/09/2020
(Season 1, Ep. 16): Larry Rickert on Working From Home and His Last Big Project
This month, JimmyCast welcomes Larry Rickert, owner of Jim Kryshak Jewelers in Wausau, WI.The two know each other well, as Jimmy was the general manager at Rickert's business from 1996-2007, before leaving to begin his jewelry consultancy business.Amongst other useful business advice, Larry offers timely guidance to jewelry business owners on how to adjust to working from home. In fact, Larry is something of an expert on the matter -- having worked off-site with Jim Kryshak Jewelers since 2005.Larry's most important lesson? Stop micro-managing and trust your people. Since 2005, "the store has continued to grow. Because of the people at the store. Not because of me. It actually was in spite of me. Because I wasn't there. I couldn't micro-manage. I broke my micro-managing tendencies and ... everybody did just fine."Hear more wisdom from Larry, Jimmy and co-host Doug Meadows in the latest episode of JimmyCast.
44:44 05/12/2020
(Season 1, Ep. 15): Jason Druxman on Moving From Corporate Jewelry to Independent Life
This month, Jimmy DeGroot welcomes a guest he knows quite well. In fact, they know each other so well that they can complete each other’s …“… sandwiches?” suggests Jason Druxman, co-owner of Avenue Jewelers in Appleton, WI.Druxman has been in the jewelry business for over 30 years — “which is impossible,” he jokes, “because I’m only 36.” Before taking over Avenue Jewelers (where he worked with DeGroot), the fourth-generation jeweler spent much of his early career in corporate settings — working for Sterling Jewelers’ sub-brands.In the podcast (11:50), he discusses pros and cons of working in a corporate jewelry environment versus an independent one.  Druxman describes the corporate business as “very cutthroat, very push-push” but admits he enjoyed it, especially as a young man with an instinct for competitiveness. “It was awesome for me,” says the jeweler, “because I could measure myself against these other thousand stores.”How does independent life compare? As his current business title on his LinkedIn profile and business card (“The Diamond Stud”) indicates, Druxman’s working life is definitely not as stiff and regimented as it use to be.Hear more pros and cons in the latest JimmyCast.
36:38 02/11/2020
(Season 1, Ep. 14): Aleah Arundale on Selling Diamonds and the Power of Jewelers Helping Jewelers
This week, JimmyCast welcomes Aleah Arundale, founder of the popular private Facebook group, Jewelers Helping Jewelers, and a fifth-generation jeweler who works for diamond wholesaler Olympian Diamonds.Chatting with co-hosts Jimmy DeGroot and Doug Meadows, Aleah shares why she created Jewelers Helping Jewelers (4:05), which now has 18,500 members. A few years back, Aleah felt there was something missing in other social media communities. “I wanted a free, open forum where everybody could say whatever they want, whenever they want,” she says. She decided to launch a brand new community for which the primary rule would be having the fewest rules possible. She says she’s proud that, despite the openness and freedom of the group, participants (mostly) get along, providing an important source of advice, support and trading partners to thousands of jewelry professionals who would otherwise struggle to find community. Says Aleah, “This is a testament to show that, if you just let people go, they will show you how wonderful they can be.”Aleah estimates that the group has facilitated more than $1 billion in transactions since its launch, sharing a few anecdotes of jewelers whose businesses and lives were changed by the community, including one jeweler who claims to have done $4 million in business through JHJ.Later in the podcast, Aleah discusses one of her pet peeves — jewelers who refuse to put prices alongside jewelry in the showcase (11:00). Plus, she offers her extremely simple tip for selling more diamonds (13:05).
21:47 11/27/2019
(Season 1, Ep. 13): Dave and Spencer Mink On the Importance of Counting Your Traffic
In this month's episode of JimmyCast, host Jimmy DeGroot talks customer data with Dave and Spencer Mink of TraxSales. One of the earliest customer tracking companies, launched in 1996, TraxSales uses an infrared camera system to track door traffic (eliminating visits from your staff and other non-customers like the mailman). The statistics generated can then be integrated with retailers' CRM program, offering the ability to create up to 30 different reports, including closing ratio and a statistic owner/CEO Dave Mink calls "revenue per guest". Hear more about how Dave's big "epiphany" led to the creation of the company in 1996, as well as how you can use customer-tracking data in order to make better management decisions and dramatically improve your sales team's performance.
24:30 10/21/2019
(Season 1, Ep. 12): Kim Gordon on Making the Leap to Jewelry Store Ownership
Kim Gordon is living the dream — it's the dream of owning her own store, the aptly named Dream Jewelers in Oshkosh, WI. Gordon has spent most of her career in jewelry sales, having spent more than a decade as an assistant manager at a Kay Jewelers and, after that, another decade as sales manager at Jim Kryshak Jewelers in Wausau, WI. Then, in 2014, she finally made the leap into jewelry-store ownership, using her life savings to purchase a Wisconsin business called Thimke Jewelers, which she later rebranded as Dream Jewelers. Gordon shares the story of her journey, and tells you how she's launched her business in a challenging competitive environment and on an ultra-tight budget. "I had $20,000 in the bank," she says. "And $20,000 seems like a lot of money ... until you open a jewelry store." Hear the rest of Kim's story on the latest edition of JimmyCast.
48:54 09/15/2019
(Season 1, Ep. 11): The Dumbest Things We've Ever Done
If making mistakes is the best way to learn, then the latest episode of JimmyCast promises to be a tremendous learning experience. In the episode, Jimmy DeGroot and co-host Doug Meadows each share five dumb things they've seen jewelers do in their jewelry stores. "This includes us," notes Jimmy. "Actually, my list is mostly mine," says Doug. Tales shared include a pyrotechnic prank gone wrong (3:40), a store owner who brought in a new sales trainer to work with his team, only to completely sabotage the effort before it even began (11:30), plus an expensive lesson from a jewelry con artist (20:00).Says Jimmy, "This is a good episode for learning what not to do in your jewelry store." 
34:07 08/16/2019
(Season 1, Ep. 10): Secrets of Cool From EAT Gallery
In this month’s episode of JimmyCast, hosts Jimmy DeGroot and Doug Meadows chat with the manager of the winning store in the “Small Cool” division of INSTORE’s America’s Coolest Stores”, EAT Gallery of Maysville, KY.Katherine Cotterill, manager at EAT Gallery, has an eclectic past, including more than three years spent in New Zealand and Samoa (2:30). She talks about how she was hired to run the store in 2016 by Simon and Laurie Watt, owners of colored gemstone dealers Mayer & Watt, who had opened EAT Gallery in the early 2000s as a side project (5:30).The discussion continues to cover EAT’s attention-getting (and occasionally confusing to visitors) neon “EAT” sign (9:15), which had previously identified a diner that was a town fixture for 50 years. “We are definitely not a restaurant,” says Cotterill. “But we do say that we’ll feed your soul.” As for the big question of how many visitors per week come in, thinking it’s a restaurant? “At least a couple a week,” says Cotterill.Hear more of the conversation — including tips on how to make a tiny business stand out with marketing and product selection — in this month’s JimmyCast.
32:36 07/22/2019
(Season 1, Ep. 9): Open the Dang Box
Open the box. That’s the central theme of the latest edition of JimmyCast.By “opening the box”, Jimmy and Doug mean jewelers’ tendency to grasp for things — a training course, a new technology, or a hot line of jewelry — but then not do what they have to do in order to ensure that the new purchase positively impacts their business.Says Jimmy: “A lot of time people regard training as a pill, and as they write the check, they think “This is gonna fix me, this is gonna fix me.” But then those jewelers get the training package back to their store, and they never open the box.Learn why jewelers keep making this common mistake, and how you can be sure to "open the box" in the future.
33:49 07/01/2019
(Season 1, Ep. 8): Doug Meadows Shares the Ups and Downs of His Life as a Jeweler
On this month’s JimmyCast, the focus turns to co-host Doug Meadows, who shares an abridged history of his life in jewelry retail.The interest in Doug’s story is probably not in its uniqueness, but rather its familiarity. In fact, Jimmy says at the end of the podcast that “I bet you 99% of the jewelers that are listening to this right now, they would have a very similar story in terms of how things came along.”Hear Doug's story in the latest episode.
23:13 06/12/2019
(Season 1, Ep. 7): Would Your Customers Drive Hundreds of Miles for a Lab-Created Diamond?
Want to know more about selling lab-created diamonds? In the latest episode of JimmyCast, Jimmy DeGroot and co-host Doug Meadows talk with Joy Janssen of Eco Diamond, a family-owned jewelry retailer based in Little Chute, WI. In addition to selling lab-created gems, Eco Diamonds is unusual for a family-owned retailer in its emphasis in selling online. While the company has a physical showroom where it takes appointments as well as a limited amount of walk-in customers, most of its sales are done online. 
31:44 05/08/2019
(Season 1, Ep. 6): How and When to Fire Staff
In this month's episode of JimmyCast, Jimmy DeGroot and Doug Meadows talk about one of their least favorite things — firing staff.It’s one of the toughest things a store-owner has to do. But once you determine that someone is dragging your business down, you can’t ignore the issue and need to take action. Says Jimmy: “The predominant situation is one who does not play well with others. This can be anything from people who think they know it all, they’re not coachable, they’re not manageable, they do things their own way. And then there are people who are very much an island unto themselves, and these are sales-stealers, people who in general create discord among the group. Here’s the really weird twist … so often, they’re the top seller, they’re the top producer in the store.”Jimmy and Doug discuss how you determine whether someone is holding your business back, the steps you should take once you decide there is an issue, and the results you can expect to see once you make the difficult call to end a problem employee’s tenure with your company.
29:40 04/16/2019
(Season 1, Ep. 5): How Can Jewelry Stores Keep Their Best Employees?
In a tight job market where the average person seeks to "reinvent" themselves four or five times their career, what does a jewelry store have to do to keep its very best employees for the long-term?That’s the focus of the fifth episode of JimmyCast from jewelry store trainer Jimmy DeGroot of jewelrystoretraining.com. Guest Brad Huisken of IAS Training drops in to talk with Jimmy and co-host Doug Meadows about the practices and policies that will give you a better chance of keeping key employees.
33:52 03/20/2019
(Season 1, Ep. 4): How to Use Social Media (to Lower Your Intimidation Factor)
Can social media make your store more approachable? That’s the focus of the fourth episode of JimmyCast from jewelry store trainer Jimmy DeGroot of jewelrystoretraining.com.Guest George Fritz of Mills Jewelers in Lockport, NY drops in to talk with Jimmy and co-host Doug Meadows about his fun experiments on social media, events, as well as his store’s widely-admired community activism.
31:43 02/26/2019
(Season 1, Ep. 3): Finding Good People for Your Store
Hiring. It's one of the most important things you do. Hiring the right person can lift your store into the stratosphere; hiring the wrong one will drag you into Dante's 7th circle of hell.Finding and hiring people who can become high-quality employees is the key topic discussed in the third episode of INSTORE's new podcast series, JimmyCast, from jewelry-store trainer Jimmy DeGroot, along with co-host Doug Meadows of David Douglas Diamonds in Marietta, GA.Some of the topics covered in the discussion:* Why people today can't fill out job applications* Why restaurant servers are often great candidates to attract into the jewelry business* Doug shares how he has found some of his employees. These include Craigslist, spreading the word amongst friends, hiring a family member (who didn't have a choice); and several from Facebook. Doug has even used divine intervention, praying for a good employee to arrive at a critical moment. (Guess what? It worked.)   * How Jimmy took a coffee-shop barista and turned her into a half-million-a-year seller  • One question Doug used to weed out applicants for available jewelry sales positions: "If we had two positions available -- one in the backroom, working with inventory, and one out on the floor, working with customers, which would you prefer?" He was surprised to see that numerous people who, we want to remind you, were applying for a sales position, said that they would far prefer the back-room job. "You don't even call those back," says Doug.* When it's appropriate to use a headhunter.* Why it's almost always smart to hire a good candidate even if you're not looking for someone new* Is it smart -- or not -- to hire your good customers?
28:35 01/24/2019
(Season 1, Ep. 2): Teaching Employees to Act Like Owners
How can a jewelry-store owner get the members of his or her team to think and act like they are store-owners?That's the big question covered in the second episode of INSTORE's new podcast series, JimmyCast, from jewelry-store trainer Jimmy DeGroot, along with co-host Doug Meadows of David Douglas Diamonds in Marietta, GA.One of the main problems jewelers face is having the courage to empower their employees. DeGroot says many fear that if they train their employees to think like store-owners, those employees will eventually become store-owners ... as your competition.But is that possibility worse than having someone on your team you have to baby-sit as long as they work for you?Other podcast highlights:* Inspiring employees -- especially younger employees -- with a sense of a store's mission, or its "why?"* Why its important to let employees drive the process of creating store rules.* Why DeGroot is not a fan of the interview question, "Where do you see yourself in five years?"* The Christmas gift DeGroot would most like. * The one jewelry-store job that DeGroot hates most.* Meadows shares how he now ranks his daily to-do list by the profitability of individual actions. * How a specific personality test, called a "Flagpage" (flagpage.com), can help you determine the best roles for every person in your store. The test, which costs $24.99, breaks a person's personality characteristics down into four types — called "countries" — peace, perfect, fun and control. Each person can be a resident of a single country or multiple countries -- i.e. "fun/peace country" or "perfect/control country". 
34:24 01/03/2019
(Season 1, Ep. 1): Paradigm Shift
Welcome to the debut episode of JimmyCast, featuring Jimmy DeGroot.DeGroot is a jewelry store manager who has been in the business for over 20 years. Now he spends his time training teams around the world at jewelrystoretraining.com and sharing marketing advice through his blog site at jewelrymarketingguy.com. In this episode, DeGroot and guest host Doug Meadows talk about the paradigm shift that has occurred in the jewelry business over the last decade or so, and what it takes to be successful today.  
25:56 12/07/2018