Over 133 years, Siegel Jewelers has become a Grand Rapids gem5 min read
By: Shandra Martinez
Jim and Joel Siegel realize that what their household has created about the past 133 yrs retains a special position in several hearts.
What started as a check out maintenance store in downtown Grand Rapids in 1889 when their wonderful-grandfather Joseph Siegel commenced fixing pocket watches has advanced and adapted to provide the demands of their clients. Siegel Jewelers has been acknowledged as West Michigan’s leading jeweler, recognized for its personalized shopper assistance.
More than the a long time, Siegel Jewelers expanded to jewellery and turned a vacation spot for generations of family members acquiring engagement rings and other mementos for critical situations. Grand Rapids’ most outstanding citizens grew to become loyal customers. Previous President Gerald R. Ford bought an engagement ring for Betty at the retail outlet.
Joseph’s two sons, Norton and Arthur, joined him in enterprise. Though Norton died early in lifestyle, his son, Miller Siegel, sooner or later fell in appreciate with the organization. He arrived with a business enterprise degree from the College of Michigan and a recently titled gemologist degree.
A long time of advancement
Miller was passionate about jewelry, the ethics of the enterprise and, most importantly, aiding men and women uncover the right jewelry to celebrate exclusive events.
“My father worked perfectly into his 80s, so we worked along with him for a very long time,” Joel stated, incorporating that his mom, Leslie, also labored in the company. “We acquired to commit extra time with our mothers and fathers and enjoy them additional.”
Miller expanded the small business, which at its peak for the duration of the 1990s had five locations throughout West Michigan and Ohio.
“My father under no circumstances retired. He was pretty included, and we talked organization all the time,” explained Jim, who joined the company appropriate just after college or university. More youthful brother Joel came a decade later soon after finishing university and traveling out west, where by he satisfied his wife.
The brothers divided up duties, with Joel managing the jewellery facet of the operation and Jim overseeing all the things else, from marketing to staff issues.
How business developed
The store is in Grand Rapids, not significantly from Woodland Mall, where by it had a higher-profile area for 40 years before going to a freestanding retail store at 2845 Lake Eastbrook Blvd., in 2005. Obtaining functions underneath one particular roof is not only economical but far more very affordable than leasing mall place.
Above the earlier 20 years, the store shifted to marketing estate jewelry, which now accounts for a the vast majority of its small business. It is thought of just one of the most significant and finest estate jewellery sellers in the Midwest, with a lot more than 15 circumstances of jewelry skillfully restored by its possess workforce of jewelers.
“We were getting issues, in result competing with ourselves due to the fact we had been marketing estate jewelry at considerably a lot less than new,” Joel said. “It stored mushrooming. We could fork out more to the general public when buying their jewellery due to the fact we weren’t purchasing it for just the raw materials. Then we were ready to transform about and provide it for less than new.
“So it’s a get-gain for the persons who are offering it since we’re producing greater gives and a get for the folks who are getting it due to the fact they are acquiring a improved benefit. It’s basically a get for us due to the fact pretty often we could make a little much more share-intelligent than we could on other things.”
At a time when most jewelers mail their customers’ jewelry out to be fixed, Siegel Jewelers has a incredibly energetic repair service organization with two whole-time jewelers. Personnel features credentialed gemologists who appraise and authenticate gems on-premises.
“We attempt to be in people’s lives,” reported Jim. “That’s why we haven’t experienced a great deal curiosity in promoting on the internet. We imagine that conducting business enterprise in particular person is an crucial section of what we present. So we just doubled down on attempting to enable consumers who want to appear in and do enterprise with us.”
Using concept on-line
But that does not necessarily mean the keep isn’t connecting with individuals online. The retailer does weekly Fb dwell reveals. A person of the most common was a preview of estate sale things.
“A good deal of men and women check out Fb Reside afterward. We usually get about 75, but for the estate sale preview, we experienced 200 viewing dwell,” Jim reported.
The idea came from a marketing consultant. Soon after seeing how some other vendors do it, they released what is now recognized as “LIVE at 5 with Lydia & Pals.”
“We’ve grown in how properly we do it, and we’ve only gotten far better as we have develop into far more seasoned. It seems we have enough articles every single 7 days for about 20-30 minutes,” Jim stated. “We try to teach our consumers. We have experienced reps from some of the traces we carry sign up for the present by means of webcam. One particular of the guests was a San Francisco gem dealer, whose line of personalised lockets we are now carrying. We’ll emphasize our jewelry or appraisal companies and points like that. A huge component of the exhibit is allowing people today know what our crew is able of.”
The Fb Life are hosted by personnel. The store has invested in a compact established with a backdrop and chairs. It is accomplished at 5 p.m., an hour before the keep closes and when shopper traffic is light.
Enthusiastic by relatives, tradition
The brothers are encouraged by the perform of the previous Siegel generations, especially their dad.
“My father was absolutely an innovator, constantly searching to see how to do issues better to convey far more benefit to what we’re executing and construct a better relationship with people,” Jim stated. “So we’re executing a superior task of continuing that tradition.”
Jim, 74, and Joel, 71, say they have no quick strategies to retire. Very long-term, they are planning for the sixth era to choose the reins a person day. In the meantime, they see on their own as extra caretakers than common house owners of the family members organization.
“We’ll either go it to our grandchildren or have some type of skilled supervisor on-premises and hold out for whoever in the loved ones desires to get possession,” Jim stated. “We’re stewards of the organization for this generation, and so that attitude informs a great deal of our conclusions and our long run scheduling.”
His son, Jaron, who performs part-time in the business enterprise and oversees advertising and marketing is the fifth era. The sixth generation is a growing bunch. Joel has two grandchildren, and Jim has 6 grandchildren and one on the way.
“Our goal is to exhibit them how good a business enterprise this is and that there’s this legacy that incredibly handful of businesses have,” Jim states.