Lara Bergseth & Lance Glenn, Idar

Lara and Lance are the faces behind the jewellery store Idar. Since opening in 1972, Idar has become a Victoria institution as a designer of beautiful handcrafted jewellery. Their specialty is the unusual and rare and they’re renowned for their attention to detail and their highly personal approach, with many describing Idar’s pieces as masterful works of art.

How is Idar coping right now?

We are coping by doing what we always do, but with more hand washing and more awareness. We are taking things day by day and supporting each other and our clients.

How has the crisis affected your business, and how do you anticipate it will continue to affect it? 

Business for us came to a quick halt on March 13 (we know the exact day!). It’s gradually picking up, one day at a time. Every day is better than the last. We are focusing on our social media and print advertising to reach people at home. We’ve also started doing more videos on our social media — interaction without interacting.

What advice are you giving yourself and your team for riding this out?

As crazy as it sounds, we’ve been using a lot of clichés to get us through. We repeat them to each other and ourselves throughout the day. Some of these have become our new mantras: “One day at a time”… “Time will tell”… “It is what it is”…

What is the opportunity in the challenge for you and your business? 

The opportunities that have come from what’s happening have been positive. We’ve really sharpened our focus and honed in on what is important for us and our business, which is designing creating fabulous jewellery. We have had more time to work on new designs and make new pieces for our new showroom that will be opening soon.

What advice have you applied or are you applying from previous experiences coping through crises?

From previous experiences in difficult times we have learned that change is inevitable and that we do adapt. We have always grown tremendously, both personally and in business, during tough times, and we must remember that “this too shall pass.”

What are your resources right now? Do you have a mentor supporting you, peer group, books you read?

The jewellery trade is exceptionally supportive in times like these. Our suppliers have been open to financing, and organizations that we belong to, such as the AGS and Forevermark, have been offering on-line courses and ongoing support. We cannot say enough good things about the people involved in our industry.

We have had time to re-read books that we find helpful such as, my favourite, Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander, which is a fantastic book for today’s crazy world. We’ve also enjoyed re-reading Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, which is about brand building and being authentic and true to yourself.

What advice do you have for others experiencing this alongside you?

Our advice to others is in line with what Dr. Bonnie Henry has been saying: ”be kind, be calm, be safe.” We’re all in this together.