“Recession? I Refuse to Participate”

Updated: Aug 30, 2019

We finally got settled in to the new location and were starting to experience growth that we were not able to achieve at the old location. Pandora started to become ‘a thing’ nationwide and we were seeing the benefits of bringing it in early on. My two jewelers, Bob Putnam and Claudio Miras were enjoying the new shop and the repair and custom sales were growing.

However the clouds of a declining economy were starting to gather. Collectively we in Gaston County had been experiencing a prolong recession due to the collapse of the textile industry. We had a front row seat to experience the ‘sucking sound’ and its aftermath of lost manufacturing jobs that Ross Perot had predicted. Now the recession was not just local, it was now becoming a national disease. All we heard on the news was talk of a recession.

I was faced with a serious challenge. How can the business survive? Three decisions saved us. The first was to face the demon head on. At one of our store meetings I told my staff that if there was going to be a recession, I was going to refuse to participate. We would work harder, give the best service that we could and would double down on our advertising.

The second decision was to start buying gold, silver and platinum. Gold prices were rising fast due to world conflict and a fear of economic collapse. We offered a competitive price for buying precious metals and advertised.

The third decision had already been made, but was now starting to really bear fruit. Pandora had been let out of her box and now was becoming a national phenomenon. Sales continued to increase due in part to the recession. Pandora offered a quality product at whatever price point the customer wanted. It had broad appeal and still does. I remember one day I had a grandmother, mother and young daughter all getting a new Pandora bracelet.

The recession was brutal and there were a lot of businesses that did not make it. We were very fortunate to come through it as well as we did. We can take nothing for granted. What we have one day may not be there the next. It’s a good exercise to occasionally ask yourself, what kind of person would you be if you lost everything, all the material things in your life? Would you still be able to find a sense of Peace within yourself? When all is stripped away, all you may have left is you, your family and God. Realizing that can help keep you centered, grounded and give you courage to face the challenges in your life or your business.

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