By: Shandra Martinez
Jim and Joel Siegel understand that what their spouse and children has created in excess of the past 133 a long time retains a special spot in quite a few hearts.
What began as a enjoy mend shop in downtown Grand Rapids in 1889 when their good-grandfather Joseph Siegel commenced restoring pocket watches has developed and tailored to serve the needs of their shoppers. Siegel Jewelers has been acknowledged as West Michigan’s leading jeweler, identified for its individualized client service.
Above the decades, Siegel Jewelers expanded to jewellery and turned a vacation spot for generations of family members buying engagement rings and other mementos for vital events. Grand Rapids’ most prominent citizens became faithful consumers. Former President Gerald R. Ford bought an engagement ring for Betty at the shop.
Joseph’s two sons, Norton and Arthur, joined him in company. Even though Norton died early in lifetime, his son, Miller Siegel, at some point fell in like with the company. He came with a company degree from the College of Michigan and a newly titled gemologist degree.
A long time of advancement
Miller was passionate about jewellery, the ethics of the organization and, most importantly, aiding people today uncover the suitable jewelry to celebrate special occasions.
“My father worked well into his 80s, so we labored alongside him for a extended time,” Joel stated, adding that his mom, Leslie, also worked in the organization. “We acquired to invest a lot more time with our moms and dads and value them extra.”
Miller expanded the business enterprise, which at its peak for the duration of the 1990s experienced 5 destinations throughout West Michigan and Ohio.
“My father never ever retired. He was really included, and we talked organization all the time,” said Jim, who joined the business suitable following school. Young brother Joel arrived a ten years afterwards following ending college or university and traveling out west, where he achieved his wife.
The brothers divided up duties, with Joel dealing with the jewelry aspect of the operation and Jim overseeing anything else, from marketing to staff difficulties.
How organization developed
The store is in Grand Rapids, not considerably from Woodland Mall, in which it experienced a higher-profile site for 40 several years ahead of moving to a freestanding store at 2845 Lake Eastbrook Blvd., in 2005. Obtaining functions under just one roof is not only economical but additional cost-effective than leasing shopping mall place.
More than the previous 20 yrs, the retailer shifted to providing estate jewellery, which now accounts for a vast majority of its company. It’s regarded just one of the major and very best estate jewellery dealers in the Midwest, with additional than 15 instances of jewellery skillfully restored by its very own team of jewelers.
“We ended up possessing problems, in outcome competing with ourselves for the reason that we were offering estate jewelry at substantially fewer than new,” Joel stated. “It held mushrooming. We could pay back far more to the public when getting their jewellery for the reason that we weren’t shopping for it for just the raw products. Then we ended up equipped to change around and sell it for fewer than new.
“So it’s a acquire-win for the individuals who are promoting it mainly because we’re building much better gives and a earn for the people who are buying it for the reason that they are having a better benefit. It’s really a acquire for us because quite generally we could make a little extra share-sensible than we could on other points.”
At a time when most jewelers ship their customers’ jewelry out to be repaired, Siegel Jewelers has a pretty active repair service small business with two comprehensive-time jewelers. Personnel includes credentialed gemologists who appraise and authenticate gems on-premises.
“We try to be in people’s lives,” claimed Jim. “That’s why we haven’t had considerably curiosity in providing on the world-wide-web. We consider that conducting small business in individual is an critical part of what we present. So we just doubled down on seeking to assistance prospects who want to occur in and do company with us.”
Having information on-line
But that does not imply the store is not connecting with people online. The shop does weekly Facebook live exhibits. A single of the most well-known was a preview of estate sale products.
“A great deal of men and women view Fb Reside afterward. We typically get about 75, but for the estate sale preview, we experienced 200 seeing stay,” Jim claimed.
The concept came from a advisor. Immediately after viewing how some other stores do it, they launched what is now recognized as “LIVE at Five with Lydia & Buddies.”
“We’ve grown in how effectively we do it, and we have only gotten better as we have develop into more professional. It appears we have plenty of content every week for about 20-30 minutes,” Jim mentioned. “We attempt to teach our shoppers. We have experienced reps from some of the strains we have be part of the exhibit via webcam. Just one of the guests was a San Francisco gem dealer, whose line of individualized lockets we are now carrying. We’ll spotlight our jewellery or appraisal providers and points like that. A huge component of the demonstrate is permitting individuals know what our team is capable of.”
The Facebook Life are hosted by employees. The retailer has invested in a small set with a backdrop and chairs. It is completed at 5 p.m., an hour just before the store closes and when purchaser traffic is mild.
Determined by household, custom
The brothers are inspired by the perform of the prior Siegel generations, in particular their dad.
“My father was surely an innovator, generally looking to see how to do points better to convey far more value to what we’re accomplishing and develop a greater link with persons,” Jim said. “So we’re doing a excellent career of continuing that tradition.”
Jim, 74, and Joel, 71, say they have no rapid plans to retire. Lengthy-phrase, they are preparing for the sixth era to get the reins a single day. In the meantime, they see them selves as extra caretakers than conventional owners of the family members small business.
“We’ll either move it to our grandchildren or have some variety of skilled supervisor on-premises and wait around for whoever in the family wishes to just take possession,” Jim stated. “We’re stewards of the enterprise for this era, and so that angle informs a ton of our conclusions and our upcoming preparing.”
His son, Jaron, who performs aspect-time in the enterprise and oversees internet marketing is the fifth era. The sixth technology is a developing bunch. Joel has two grandchildren, and Jim has 6 grandchildren and 1 on the way.
“Our objective is to present them how wonderful a organization this is and that there’s this legacy that very handful of providers have,” Jim claims.