By Pat Henneberry
Pat Henneberry is president of consulting and sales training company The Jewelry Coach. Reach her at 512-203-3414, or on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Nowadays, you hear stories of Italians singing from their apartment balconies, or kids writing lists about how their parents can be kinder to each other.

I was with my mom in Iowa when the virus took over and decided to ride this out with her, and I’m so happy I did. It’s always a gift to get to spend time with my mom.

I’ve heard about people checking on their elderly neighbors, or going to stores to buy supplies for people who can’t get out.

This makes me hopeful, and it makes me wonder if it’s possible that this global timeout could create an opportunity for a jewelry industry reset.

I’ve never been through a global pandemic and I am warned that pandemics could create the opposite instinct—fear, anger, hoarding toilet paper, aloofness and selfishness.

What is clear is that there are a lot of unknowns and it could go either way, depending on the courage of character we will summon in the days and months ahead.

I know this to be true—our industry will survive!

As an industry, jewelry has had to survive a lot more than most industries. We’ve endured so many ups and downs in the 30-plus years I’ve been in it.

As long as we help each other and understand the needs of our industry, I know we will get through this.

When most of us think of wellness, we often think of it as a personal effort, not something we experience together (and, no, I don’t count my spin classes as a form of social wellness).

Similarly, when we measure our businesses, it’s also from a singular perspective, asking ourselves, “How many sales did we do today?”

Instead, we should ask ourselves, “How we are growing and evolving as a collective jewelry industry? What are we doing for our fellow jewelers, our customers and our vendors?”

What if we replace the “I” with “us”?

What if we begin to look at our jewelry industry wellness as a shared responsibility, a shared experience?

Maybe, for example, it’s time to jump on the Women’s Jewelry Association conversation site and see if you can answer questions, or to mentor someone at AGS or GIA.

Maybe it’s time you share your experiences with others who could learn from you.

When was the last time you picked up the phone and had a meaningful conversation with another jeweler in your buying group, or a vendor from whom you always learn something new?

Is it time to take a new online class or read up on all those trade journals?

How can we come together in small ways, even without AGS Conclave and a postponed JCK Las Vegas show?

Today, I’m going to reach out to people I know in our industry to offer help and check in on some friends. It should be standard practice, one that builds community and heals our industry.

I believe it’s our challenge, our responsibility and our gift to help one another and help this amazing global jewelry industry we are all a part of.

Please feel free to reach out to me if there anything I can do for you.

Please stay safe. I pray for our industry, and our families.

And, above all, don’t forget to have hope, which is easy to lose in times like these. Hope is there and we will get through this together.

Below are a few sites I thought I’d share with you if you find yourself needing to fill an extra hour or two in your week.
Be a lifelong learner with me and teach yourself something new.

* Take a virtual tour of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., the Louvre in Paris, and more.

* Take a tour of a national park from your home.

* Peek in on the livestream of eagles from the Decorah Trout Hatchery in Decorah, Iowa. I promise once you start watching these eagles sitting on their nest of eggs, you won’t stop.

* Explore is one of my favorites. Watch livestreams of pandas or puppy seals in the ocean.

* Watch one TED Talk a day. You will get lost in great talks!

Pat Henneberry is president of consulting and sales training company The Jewelry Coach and an advocate for natural diamonds. Reach her at 512-203-3414, via her website, or on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

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