By: Shandra Martinez
Jim and Joel Siegel understand that what their household has produced above the earlier 133 yrs retains a special area in lots of hearts.
What began as a look at fix store in downtown Grand Rapids in 1889 when their terrific-grandfather Joseph Siegel commenced restoring pocket watches has progressed and tailored to provide the desires of their customers. Siegel Jewelers has been identified as West Michigan’s premier jeweler, recognized for its customized purchaser support.
Over the a long time, Siegel Jewelers expanded to jewelry and turned a location for generations of households acquiring engagement rings and other mementos for essential occasions. Grand Rapids’ most prominent citizens became faithful clients. Former President Gerald R. Ford purchased an engagement ring for Betty at the retail store.
Joseph’s two sons, Norton and Arthur, joined him in organization. While Norton died early in existence, his son, Miller Siegel, finally fell in love with the business. He arrived with a business diploma from the University of Michigan and a freshly titled gemologist diploma.
Many years of advancement
Miller was passionate about jewelry, the ethics of the small business and, most importantly, aiding persons find the suitable jewelry to rejoice special instances.
“My father labored very well into his 80s, so we worked together with him for a long time,” Joel claimed, including that his mom, Leslie, also labored in the organization. “We bought to devote much more time with our mother and father and value them much more.”
Miller expanded the organization, which at its peak all through the 1990s experienced five places throughout West Michigan and Ohio.
“My father under no circumstances retired. He was pretty included, and we talked business all the time,” reported Jim, who joined the business right soon after higher education. Young brother Joel arrived a 10 years later on immediately after finishing university and traveling out west, exactly where he satisfied his wife.
The brothers divided up obligations, with Joel managing the jewellery side of the procedure and Jim overseeing all the things else, from marketing to staff difficulties.
How business enterprise evolved
The store is in Grand Rapids, not considerably from Woodland Mall, the place it experienced a superior-profile site for 40 many years right before moving to a freestanding keep at 2845 Lake Eastbrook Blvd., in 2005. Owning functions below 1 roof is not only productive but additional cost-effective than leasing shopping mall area.
In excess of the previous 20 years, the retail outlet shifted to offering estate jewelry, which now accounts for a greater part of its small business. It is deemed a person of the greatest and best estate jewelry dealers in the Midwest, with extra than 15 cases of jewelry professionally restored by its own staff of jewelers.
“We have been possessing issues, in outcome competing with ourselves because we have been promoting estate jewellery at considerably fewer than new,” Joel explained. “It saved mushrooming. We could pay back much more to the public when buying their jewelry for the reason that we weren’t purchasing it for just the uncooked supplies. Then we ended up ready to flip all over and offer it for considerably less than new.
“So it is a get-get for the people who are marketing it mainly because we’re building greater delivers and a win for the persons who are acquiring it because they are obtaining a far better worth. It’s in fact a get for us because quite generally we could make a minor a lot more percentage-smart than we could on other factors.”
At a time when most jewelers mail their customers’ jewelry out to be repaired, Siegel Jewelers has a quite lively maintenance small business with two total-time jewelers. Personnel involves credentialed gemologists who appraise and authenticate gems on-premises.
“We strive to be in people’s life,” mentioned Jim. “That’s why we have not had considerably curiosity in promoting on the net. We think that conducting organization in person is an significant part of what we offer. So we just doubled down on attempting to aid shoppers who want to appear in and do business with us.”
Taking concept on the internet
But that doesn’t indicate the retail outlet isn’t connecting with individuals on the net. The retail store does weekly Facebook are living shows. Just one of the most well-known was a preview of estate sale objects.
“A ton of people today watch Fb Reside afterward. We typically get about 75, but for the estate sale preview, we had 200 seeing stay,” Jim reported.
The notion came from a guide. Following watching how some other vendors do it, they launched what is now regarded as “LIVE at 5 with Lydia & Close friends.”
“We’ve grown in how very well we do it, and we’ve only gotten far better as we’ve become extra expert. It looks we have plenty of information each and every week for about 20-30 minutes,” Jim said. “We consider to educate our customers. We have had representatives from some of the traces we have be part of the demonstrate via webcam. A single of the attendees was a San Francisco gem supplier, whose line of personalised lockets we are now carrying. We’ll emphasize our jewelry or appraisal expert services and matters like that. A big part of the display is letting people today know what our crew is able of.”
The Fb Lives are hosted by staff members. The retailer has invested in a tiny set with a backdrop and chairs. It’s finished at 5 p.m., an hour before the retailer closes and when customer targeted traffic is gentle.
Inspired by household, tradition
The brothers are influenced by the operate of the preceding Siegel generations, particularly their dad.
“My father was undoubtedly an innovator, always on the lookout to see how to do matters far better to carry far more price to what we’re executing and develop a greater link with persons,” Jim mentioned. “So we’re undertaking a excellent task of continuing that tradition.”
Jim, 74, and Joel, 71, say they have no rapid ideas to retire. Long-phrase, they are preparing for the sixth era to consider the reins 1 working day. In the meantime, they see them selves as more caretakers than regular house owners of the family enterprise.
“We’ll possibly pass it to our grandchildren or have some form of specialist manager on-premises and hold out for whoever in the family wants to take ownership,” Jim mentioned. “We’re stewards of the business for this era, and so that frame of mind informs a good deal of our choices and our long term preparing.”
His son, Jaron, who will work section-time in the enterprise and oversees marketing is the fifth era. The sixth technology is a developing bunch. Joel has two grandchildren, and Jim has 6 grandchildren and just one on the way.
“Our purpose is to clearly show them how good a organization this is and that there is this legacy that incredibly couple firms have,” Jim states.