By: Shandra Martinez
Jim and Joel Siegel realize that what their family members has made about the previous 133 decades retains a unique put in many hearts.
What commenced as a observe repair service shop in downtown Grand Rapids in 1889 when their excellent-grandfather Joseph Siegel began restoring pocket watches has progressed and tailored to provide the demands of their customers. Siegel Jewelers has been regarded as West Michigan’s leading jeweler, acknowledged for its individualized consumer services.
Over the many years, Siegel Jewelers expanded to jewelry and became a desired destination for generations of households obtaining engagement rings and other mementos for significant instances. Grand Rapids’ most outstanding citizens became faithful clients. Previous President Gerald R. Ford bought an engagement ring for Betty at the retailer.
Joseph’s two sons, Norton and Arthur, joined him in enterprise. Although Norton died early in daily life, his son, Miller Siegel, finally fell in appreciate with the organization. He arrived with a business degree from the University of Michigan and a freshly titled gemologist degree.
Many years of advancement
Miller was passionate about jewelry, the ethics of the company and, most importantly, helping people today come across the appropriate jewellery to celebrate unique occasions.
“My father labored effectively into his 80s, so we labored together with him for a long time,” Joel stated, introducing that his mother, Leslie, also worked in the business. “We got to invest extra time with our mom and dad and recognize them a lot more.”
Miller expanded the company, which at its peak during the 1990s had five spots throughout West Michigan and Ohio.
“My father by no means retired. He was really involved, and we talked small business all the time,” reported Jim, who joined the company correct immediately after college or university. Youthful brother Joel came a ten years afterwards following ending college or university and traveling out west, exactly where he met his spouse.
The brothers divided up responsibilities, with Joel dealing with the jewelry aspect of the operation and Jim overseeing anything else, from advertising to staff issues.
How organization developed
The store is in Grand Rapids, not far from Woodland Mall, where it experienced a large-profile area for 40 yrs just before transferring to a freestanding keep at 2845 Lake Eastbrook Blvd., in 2005. Having operations under a single roof is not only effective but extra economical than leasing mall room.
About the past 20 yrs, the retail outlet shifted to promoting estate jewelry, which now accounts for a majority of its small business. It is viewed as just one of the most significant and greatest estate jewellery dealers in the Midwest, with a lot more than 15 situations of jewelry skillfully restored by its very own workforce of jewelers.
“We were getting issues, in influence competing with ourselves since we ended up advertising estate jewellery at significantly less than new,” Joel stated. “It retained mushrooming. We could pay out much more to the general public when getting their jewelry since we weren’t purchasing it for just the uncooked supplies. Then we were able to turn all around and offer it for a lot less than new.
“So it is a earn-earn for the people who are offering it due to the fact we’re building superior gives and a acquire for the people who are obtaining it since they are obtaining a far better benefit. It’s basically a gain for us because quite often we could make a tiny additional proportion-sensible than we could on other matters.”
At a time when most jewelers deliver their customers’ jewellery out to be repaired, Siegel Jewelers has a pretty lively fix business enterprise with two total-time jewelers. Workers features credentialed gemologists who appraise and authenticate gems on-premises.
“We strive to be in people’s life,” reported Jim. “That’s why we have not experienced much curiosity in selling on the world-wide-web. We consider that conducting enterprise in individual is an significant component of what we present. So we just doubled down on hoping to help clients who want to come in and do enterprise with us.”
Taking information on-line
But that does not suggest the retail outlet isn’t connecting with men and women on the internet. The retailer does weekly Facebook reside displays. 1 of the most popular was a preview of estate sale products.
“A ton of folks look at Fb Reside afterward. We ordinarily get about 75, but for the estate sale preview, we had 200 looking at reside,” Jim reported.
The strategy came from a expert. Soon after watching how some other suppliers do it, they introduced what is now recognised as “LIVE at 5 with Lydia & Close friends.”
“We’ve grown in how properly we do it, and we have only gotten much better as we’ve develop into far more experienced. It looks we have enough articles each individual week for about 20-30 minutes,” Jim explained. “We try out to educate our customers. We have had reps from some of the traces we carry sign up for the exhibit via webcam. One particular of the guests was a San Francisco gem vendor, whose line of personalised lockets we are now carrying. We’ll emphasize our jewellery or appraisal solutions and factors like that. A huge component of the clearly show is letting people know what our staff is able of.”
The Fb Lives are hosted by employees. The retailer has invested in a compact established with a backdrop and chairs. It’s finished at 5 p.m., an hour just before the retail outlet closes and when purchaser site visitors is light.
Determined by household, tradition
The brothers are impressed by the do the job of the former Siegel generations, especially their father.
“My father was definitely an innovator, generally hunting to see how to do items better to carry extra worth to what we’re doing and establish a superior connection with persons,” Jim explained. “So we’re executing a superior occupation of continuing that tradition.”
Jim, 74, and Joel, 71, say they have no speedy programs to retire. Very long-term, they are planning for the sixth era to acquire the reins one particular day. In the meantime, they see on their own as additional caretakers than conventional entrepreneurs of the family organization.
“We’ll possibly move it to our grandchildren or have some form of expert supervisor on-premises and hold out for whoever in the spouse and children would like to acquire possession,” Jim claimed. “We’re stewards of the small business for this technology, and so that frame of mind informs a lot of our decisions and our foreseeable future setting up.”
His son, Jaron, who works component-time in the business and oversees advertising is the fifth era. The sixth era is a growing bunch. Joel has two grandchildren, and Jim has 6 grandchildren and 1 on the way.
“Our goal is to show them how great a enterprise this is and that there’s this legacy that extremely handful of companies have,” Jim states.