Janice Mack Talcott and William Wagner bolster already stellar staff
“Our product at The Retail Academy is understanding a jeweler’s greatest asset – the money they put into their retail inventory – and making it work for them,” says Janice Mack Talcott, the latest addition to the organization’s team.
Few people in any business have as broad, deep, or passionate commitment to jewelers and their success as Janice Mack Talcott. Literally boring into the industry, Talcott has played a vital role in some of the jewelry world’s most respected and important organizations.
Her expertise combines an intuitive understanding of store operations with years of training in the information-intense aspects of the jewelry industry that are so crucial to a store’s success in these times, including breakthrough work with the Gemological Institute of America.
A world-renowned gemologist, her accomplishments include inventing the Penlight Technique of Gem Identification and the development of the GIA Colored Gemstone Grading System. As Director of Education, she oversaw most of GIA’s international operations.
Talcott joined The Edge Retail Academy because she felt its unique perspective will provide the support retailers need at a time when the industry is undergoing many different fundamental transformations.
“To provide the personal service and the depth of knowledge needed to compete against chain stores and the Internet, it’s essential that jewelers have a true love of the industry and the gems that they’re selling. I’ve worked with people who have that dedication for many years,” Talcott says.
“But passion is no longer enough. What’s crucial is to gain an intuitive understanding of the areas jewelers like to deal with least, such as inventory management and control. The
William Wagner is another new player on The Edge Retail Academy team. Wagner started working in the jewelry industry at age 15, when he began engraving and selling class rings. Since then he has spent close to three decades in the business. He has deep experience in all aspects of jewelry store operations, but is particularly strong when it comes to inventory and financial management.
“These new hires are a demonstration of The Edge Retail Academy’s commitment to training that works to change people’s lives for the better,” says president and business mentor David Brown. “Only programs designed and created by people coming directly from the business have a truly transformative power. That’s why were so happy to bring people as accomplished as Janice and William on board.”
Among The Edge Retail Academy’s most powerful aspects are the ways it combines different types of training. The Academy provides sophisticated courses for jewelers equipped with advanced retail automation systems. But it also has both peer-based and mentoring programs. These programs provide the personal connection that is so crucial for training to have the long-term positive impact that The Edge Retail Academy is committed to providing.
No one better exemplifies The Edge Retail Academy’s commitment to in-depth mentoring than Talcott. Because she was born into the business, she knows from sometimes difficult experience all the family, partner, sales, management and financial issues that arise with independent jewelers.
As a partner in Performance Concepts, Talcott co-developed fundamental staff and business development tools including programs for hiring, training, performance and compensation management programs and client development. In addition, she provided consultation services on those topics as well as sales, merchandising and display management. Her consulting and training has bridged international borders with jewelers in Asia, Europe and