By: Shandra Martinez
Jim and Joel Siegel comprehend that what their loved ones has produced around the previous 133 yrs retains a unique location in numerous hearts.
What started as a view maintenance shop in downtown Grand Rapids in 1889 when their terrific-grandfather Joseph Siegel commenced repairing pocket watches has developed and tailored to serve the requirements of their prospects. Siegel Jewelers has been identified as West Michigan’s leading jeweler, regarded for its individualized client provider.
More than the decades, Siegel Jewelers expanded to jewelry and grew to become a desired destination for generations of family members obtaining engagement rings and other mementos for essential occasions. Grand Rapids’ most outstanding citizens turned loyal buyers. Former President Gerald R. Ford bought an engagement ring for Betty at the store.
Joseph’s two sons, Norton and Arthur, joined him in company. Whilst Norton died early in life, his son, Miller Siegel, eventually fell in enjoy with the small business. He came with a small business diploma from the University of Michigan and a newly titled gemologist degree.
Decades of growth
Miller was passionate about jewelry, the ethics of the business and, most importantly, supporting persons obtain the ideal jewelry to rejoice exclusive events.
“My father worked effectively into his 80s, so we labored along with him for a lengthy time,” Joel stated, adding that his mom, Leslie, also labored in the organization. “We acquired to expend far more time with our mothers and fathers and value them additional.”
Miller expanded the enterprise, which at its peak during the 1990s had five locations across West Michigan and Ohio.
“My father never ever retired. He was really concerned, and we talked business all the time,” claimed Jim, who joined the organization ideal immediately after school. Younger brother Joel arrived a 10 years later soon after finishing college and traveling out west, exactly where he achieved his spouse.
The brothers divided up duties, with Joel handling the jewelry side of the operation and Jim overseeing anything else, from marketing to staff issues.
How business developed
The shop is in Grand Rapids, not considerably from Woodland Shopping mall, in which it experienced a significant-profile place for 40 decades just before shifting to a freestanding shop at 2845 Lake Eastbrook Blvd., in 2005. Getting operations below a person roof is not only effective but much more economical than leasing shopping mall place.
More than the earlier 20 yrs, the retail store shifted to selling estate jewelry, which now accounts for a vast majority of its business. It’s regarded just one of the most significant and very best estate jewellery sellers in the Midwest, with more than 15 instances of jewellery skillfully restored by its have workforce of jewelers.
“We ended up having difficulty, in result competing with ourselves simply because we ended up offering estate jewelry at significantly a lot less than new,” Joel reported. “It retained mushrooming. We could shell out far more to the public when buying their jewellery simply because we weren’t purchasing it for just the raw elements. Then we have been capable to turn all-around and promote it for significantly less than new.
“So it’s a win-earn for the people who are selling it mainly because we’re making much better delivers and a get for the folks who are getting it since they are obtaining a better worth. It is truly a win for us due to the fact fairly generally we could make a tiny additional share-intelligent than we could on other things.”
At a time when most jewelers send out their customers’ jewellery out to be repaired, Siegel Jewelers has a very lively maintenance business enterprise with two entire-time jewelers. Team incorporates credentialed gemologists who appraise and authenticate gems on-premises.
“We try to be in people’s lives,” reported Jim. “That’s why we have not experienced a lot interest in providing on the online. We consider that conducting organization in person is an significant section of what we offer. So we just doubled down on striving to enable shoppers who want to arrive in and do small business with us.”
Getting concept on the internet
But that doesn’t necessarily mean the keep isn’t connecting with men and women on the web. The keep does weekly Fb are living demonstrates. A person of the most well-liked was a preview of estate sale items.
“A large amount of people today check out Facebook Live afterward. We commonly get about 75, but for the estate sale preview, we experienced 200 viewing stay,” Jim mentioned.
The notion arrived from a advisor. Just after observing how some other vendors do it, they introduced what is now recognised as “LIVE at Five with Lydia & Close friends.”
“We’ve developed in how properly we do it, and we have only gotten better as we have become a lot more knowledgeable. It appears to be we have ample content each individual 7 days for about 20-30 minutes,” Jim explained. “We try out to educate our clients. We have had associates from some of the strains we have be part of the clearly show by using webcam. One of the friends was a San Francisco gem dealer, whose line of personalized lockets we are now carrying. We’ll highlight our jewelry or appraisal expert services and items like that. A large aspect of the present is permitting men and women know what our workforce is capable of.”
The Facebook Life are hosted by employees. The shop has invested in a little established with a backdrop and chairs. It’s done at 5 p.m., an hour ahead of the retailer closes and when buyer website traffic is light-weight.
Enthusiastic by relatives, tradition
The brothers are inspired by the do the job of the earlier Siegel generations, particularly their dad.
“My father was surely an innovator, always hunting to see how to do items much better to deliver additional price to what we’re doing and build a far better connection with men and women,” Jim mentioned. “So we’re accomplishing a fantastic job of continuing that custom.”
Jim, 74, and Joel, 71, say they have no fast ideas to retire. Lengthy-expression, they are preparing for the sixth generation to consider the reins a person working day. In the meantime, they see on their own as more caretakers than traditional owners of the relatives organization.
“We’ll both go it to our grandchildren or have some variety of specialist supervisor on-premises and wait for whoever in the household desires to consider possession,” Jim said. “We’re stewards of the business for this era, and so that attitude informs a good deal of our choices and our long term preparing.”
His son, Jaron, who works element-time in the small business and oversees advertising is the fifth technology. The sixth technology is a increasing bunch. Joel has two grandchildren, and Jim has 6 grandchildren and a single on the way.
“Our purpose is to show them how fantastic a company this is and that there’s this legacy that pretty couple of firms have,” Jim suggests.