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Martha Williams

The Way It Used To Be – Martha Williams’ last column

Outdated? Well, at least I can type

Reprinted from April 2000 

The first typewriter I ever had was an Underwood. It was a mechanical affair with a full keyboard in a semi circle, and each striker arm held a letter or symbol. Back in those days, to own a typewriter was out of the question because of the cost.

Eventually, however, I did buy a portable, which was a manual. It was a Hermes, I think, that had script type on the standard strikers. I was in high cotton, and I did all my statements using that typewriter.


The Way It Used To Be: Did I really say that?!

Reprinted from March 2000

Do you ever wonder what your competition is up to? Jewelry publications also wonder.

I have been reading with great interest about my competition here in El Paso having wonderful sales with different things including Millennium diamonds. I don’t know how it could be that no one ever walked through my door and asked to see a Millennium diamond…hardly any diamonds for that matter.

The Way It Used To Be: Y2K Prophecy

Reprinted from February 2000

I wish I’d done a prophecy about Y2K. If I had I would now be another Nostradamus. I can see it all now, “Local Jeweler Predicts No Problems As We Change Centuries.”

I’ll never be famous, anyone could have predicted there would be no terrorist problems and in a wide stretching of the imagination no Y2K problems. I now believe most folks stayed home and watched pictures from around the world while other and perhaps more daring souls ventured into the streets and festivities.

The Way It Used To Be: Small transactions make the biggest crises

Reprinted from January 2000

 In the course of the business day in a jewelry store of our size, many transactions will take place. These may involve thousands of dollars through the purchase of loose diamonds from a traveling salesman or the sale to a customer which might involve several thousands of dollars on a large item. Within minutes the jeweler can separate what he needs in loose stones and make a decision. In a slightly longer time the sales personnel can unite a choosey customer with an item suitable to their taste and budget.

The Way It Used To Be: Love is a many splendored thing – I guess

Reprinted from February 1999 

We haven’t sold gold for some time now. The price is low and we’ve just held onto it for the future. One afternoon when El Nina was whipping around outside, we decided to at least sort through and see what we had.

There is nothing more mysterious to the customer than engraving. Seeing their thoughts put down in the form of engraving brings forth feelings unequaled by any other service in a jewelry store. I was raking gold items around in a cardboard box and pulled out a heart shaped pin. On the back it said, “I will love you forever and ever. You are my heart’s desire. Feb. 14, 1995.”

The Way It Used To Be: Martha’s Laws for Jewelers

Reprinted from October 1999

From the book, “Murphy’s Law - And Other Reasons Things Go Wrong” by Arthur Bloch, we read, “If anything can go wrong, it will.”  And from Dr. Robert Mat of the Bronx, “In the hospital more deaths occur in bed than out of bed, so get the patient out of the bed.”  Since the jewelry industry has never had an official list of laws, listed below are a few, which may take root:

The Way It Used To Be: We forgot to remember

Reprinted from September 1999

I’ve decided the two most frequently used phrases after you reach 50 are, “Do you remember when?”  and “Don’t forget to remind me to…” Somewhere in time and age there is so much to remember from the past and so many things going on we can’t seem to remember to do what we wanted to do.

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