When You Aren’t What They Expected

The largest gem and mineral show in the U.S. takes place in Tucson every year. For people who love jewelry it is a great place to score great deals on beautiful pieces. For industry professionals, even the big box stores, it is one of the key jewelry markets in the world.

We only had our business license for 3 months.

With the help of friends in the business, we had a few sales, we knew we needed to begin collecting inventory to do anything significant. There were wholesalers within the Gem and Mineral show that could help make that dream a reality.

We entered the Tucson Convention Center, ready to make new friends and share our unique business strategy. We were sure that the sellers would be eager to work with us UNTIL we approached the first booth.

The gentleman behind the counter looked us up and down and landed his eyes on our entry passes. When he didn’t recognize our company name as a big name such as Helzberg or London Gold, he turned his back on us and snubbed us.

He was the first of many to do this.  

We walked the aisles of the show looking for merchandise that would fit our brand. We continued to get overlooked, pushed aside for big-name jewelers who were there to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars. Although we had very little money to spend, we had a big dream.

To say we were discouraged would be an understatement. My business partner, Joanne said, “Let’s get donuts!” As a visionary leader, I thought she had officially lost it. The next morning, we went to Krispy Kreme and loaded her trunk full of boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts. We knew the flow; heard some lingo, we knew which lines of jewelry we wanted to carry, and off we went.

Armed with boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts we held our head high. We walked with intention and determination. We walked right back to the first gentleman who snubbed us.

With a bold confidence in our voice we said, “We know how crazy your days can be here, thought you could use some breakfast, what do you have new this year?” He smiled, flipped the counter up and ushered us into the back of their booth. We were in. We did this all morning until we felt like we had the vendors we needed to get the business moving.

We were not what they expected.

We were not a big box store, a well-known name or a company that dropped 100K without blinking. We were two women, with a brand new business, and between the two of us had been selling jewelry for about 20 years for someone else. We were not the people they would have chosen to be the next big business in Tucson.

Has there ever been a time in your life when you didn’t meet someone’s expectations?

Maybe it was an employer who wanted someone with more experience. Or a coach that wanted someone faster or stronger, some of us have had that feeling with our parents, or our siblings. I’ll bet we all have had a time in our lives when we have not met the expectations that someone had of us.

One thing that I love about the Bible is that there are people in it who didn’t fit the mold, people you wouldn’t expect to do great things, BUT…

David was one of those people, he was overlooked just like we were at the gem show. Let’s learn more about his story. God tells Samuel to go to Jesse’s house and that he is going to choose one of his sons to be the next king.

Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.”  So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”  So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

1 Samuel. 16:10-12

David, the overlooked, youngest, shepherd boy of the family was not what Samuel expected. Yet, this is the same David who later goes on to kill Goliath and at 30 years old, he became the king of Israel.

There may be times in life that you may not be what people expect. The day that we “Krispy Kreme’d” our way around the Gem Show, we walked in not being what people expected…. BUT with God…

We walked out with contracts that allowed us to have access to many of the vendors that the big box stores carried and a large amount merchandise on consignment that the gem show vendors trusted us to sell. One of those pieces was sold the same day!

Talk about being WITH God.

We found the perfect diamond for one of our clients. Due to the favor we had found with the vendors, we had it in our hands. We called our client and she met us downtown.  In the back seat of Joanne’s car, she said “YES” to a 1.5 Carat diamond! Good thing we had favor with her.

We must have looked like those guys that follow you around the parking lot of malls trying to sell you speakers out of their truck. You’ve got to start somewhere.

It has been over 16 years since that day.

My friend Joanne still runs Trinity Diamonds, the company that we started with Krispy Kreme Donuts. She just won “Best Jeweler in Tucson” for the 3rd year in a row! We are proof that even when you are not what they expect, God can do a mighty work.

When you feel like you aren’t meeting their expectations, don’t quit!

Reclaimers, while others may see the things that we don’t have, (let’s be honest, that tends to be our focus as well) God sees the things that we do have.

God looks at our heart. Let’s focus our efforts into cultivating our hearts and trust God with the rest.

The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

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