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Each week, The Columbian offers a brief snapshot of an interesting Clark County business. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: firstname.lastname@example.org; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.
Business name: Erik Runyan Jewelers Inc.
Owner: Erik Runyan.
Address: 900 Washington St.
What the business does: Custom design and loose diamonds dominate most of his current business, Erik Runyan said of his jewelry store, which has a wide-ranging inventory of precious metals and gemstones. The store has recently entered the estate and vintage jewelry business, both selling and restoring heirlooms.
How has the economy affected your business: Runyan said the way he does business has changed since October 2008. He had purchased Christmas inventory long before October that year and then the economy changed. A pre-Christmas snowstorm further dampened sales during what normally would be the busiest week of the year. Runyan thought things would return to normal in a year, but it’s been three years and everyone is still looking for clarity. The company has survived by focusing on its strengths and controlling its costs.
Greatest challenge: Keeping pace with change. Inventory, marketing, staffing and merchandising methods continue to evolve, Runyan said, adding that the pace of change has become almost frightening.
What’s ahead: In the short term, Runyan is looking ahead to Christmas. He plans to continue reaching out to other Southwest Washington businesses and nonprofits to find ways to work cooperatively and create a better Vancouver.
Year established in Clark County: 1917.
Telephone: 360-699-1917, 888-699-1917.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.