By: Shandra Martinez
Jim and Joel Siegel realize that what their relatives has designed above the past 133 a long time holds a special place in numerous hearts.
What began as a observe fix shop in downtown Grand Rapids in 1889 when their wonderful-grandfather Joseph Siegel started restoring pocket watches has developed and adapted to serve the requirements of their consumers. Siegel Jewelers has been identified as West Michigan’s premier jeweler, acknowledged for its customized client services.
Above the decades, Siegel Jewelers expanded to jewelry and grew to become a place for generations of family members getting engagement rings and other mementos for significant situations. Grand Rapids’ most notable citizens grew to become faithful buyers. Former President Gerald R. Ford bought an engagement ring for Betty at the retailer.
Joseph’s two sons, Norton and Arthur, joined him in business. While Norton died early in daily life, his son, Miller Siegel, sooner or later fell in really like with the business. He came with a business diploma from the University of Michigan and a freshly titled gemologist diploma.
A long time of advancement
Miller was passionate about jewelry, the ethics of the business and, most importantly, aiding persons come across the correct jewellery to rejoice specific instances.
“My father worked effectively into his 80s, so we worked along with him for a extended time,” Joel claimed, incorporating that his mom, Leslie, also worked in the business. “We received to shell out more time with our mom and dad and take pleasure in them more.”
Miller expanded the business, which at its peak for the duration of the 1990s had five places across West Michigan and Ohio.
“My father by no means retired. He was extremely concerned, and we talked business all the time,” mentioned Jim, who joined the business suitable just after university. Younger brother Joel came a 10 years later on following ending faculty and touring out west, in which he achieved his spouse.
The brothers divided up responsibilities, with Joel handling the jewellery side of the operation and Jim overseeing everything else, from advertising to personnel problems.
How business developed
The store is in Grand Rapids, not considerably from Woodland Mall, the place it experienced a significant-profile location for 40 decades prior to moving to a freestanding retail store at 2845 Lake Eastbrook Blvd., in 2005. Getting functions beneath just one roof is not only economical but much more economical than leasing mall place.
In excess of the earlier 20 years, the keep shifted to marketing estate jewelry, which now accounts for a bulk of its business. It is regarded 1 of the major and finest estate jewellery sellers in the Midwest, with much more than 15 scenarios of jewellery professionally restored by its have crew of jewelers.
“We were being acquiring issues, in influence competing with ourselves because we had been providing estate jewelry at considerably a lot less than new,” Joel explained. “It kept mushrooming. We could pay out a lot more to the general public when shopping for their jewelry because we weren’t buying it for just the raw supplies. Then we have been ready to flip around and market it for significantly less than new.
“So it’s a win-get for the men and women who are marketing it for the reason that we’re earning better features and a win for the people today who are buying it since they are finding a much better benefit. It’s really a gain for us mainly because rather often we could make a very little far more percentage-sensible than we could on other matters.”
At a time when most jewelers send their customers’ jewelry out to be repaired, Siegel Jewelers has a quite lively repair service business with two comprehensive-time jewelers. Staff includes credentialed gemologists who appraise and authenticate gems on-premises.
“We strive to be in people’s lives,” explained Jim. “That’s why we haven’t had a great deal interest in advertising on the world-wide-web. We think that conducting business in person is an significant section of what we supply. So we just doubled down on trying to assistance prospects who want to arrive in and do business with us.”
Using information on-line
But that doesn’t signify the retail outlet isn’t connecting with people today on line. The store does weekly Fb are living displays. One particular of the most well known was a preview of estate sale goods.
“A great deal of persons look at Facebook Are living afterward. We ordinarily get about 75, but for the estate sale preview, we had 200 seeing are living,” Jim stated.
The concept arrived from a specialist. Immediately after watching how some other retailers do it, they released what is now identified as “LIVE at 5 with Lydia & Good friends.”
“We’ve grown in how nicely we do it, and we’ve only gotten better as we have turn into a lot more knowledgeable. It appears to be we have more than enough content each 7 days for about 20-30 minutes,” Jim claimed. “We try to educate our clients. We’ve experienced reps from some of the traces we carry join the demonstrate through webcam. A person of the friends was a San Francisco gem dealer, whose line of personalised lockets we are now carrying. We’ll spotlight our jewelry or appraisal companies and items like that. A large part of the clearly show is allowing individuals know what our team is able of.”
The Fb Life are hosted by staff members. The retailer has invested in a small set with a backdrop and chairs. It is performed at 5 p.m., an hour prior to the retail store closes and when client targeted traffic is gentle.
Enthusiastic by relatives, tradition
The brothers are inspired by the operate of the earlier Siegel generations, specifically their father.
“My father was definitely an innovator, always seeking to see how to do points superior to provide a lot more worth to what we’re performing and create a better relationship with individuals,” Jim said. “So we’re undertaking a superior task of continuing that custom.”
Jim, 74, and Joel, 71, say they have no immediate designs to retire. Very long-expression, they are preparing for the sixth technology to consider the reins one day. In the meantime, they see by themselves as far more caretakers than regular house owners of the family business.
“We’ll either go it to our grandchildren or have some kind of experienced supervisor on-premises and wait for whoever in the relatives wishes to take ownership,” Jim explained. “We’re stewards of the business for this era, and so that angle informs a ton of our selections and our long run setting up.”
His son, Jaron, who is effective element-time in the business and oversees marketing is the fifth technology. The sixth generation is a increasing bunch. Joel has two grandchildren, and Jim has six grandchildren and a person on the way.
“Our goal is to show them how wonderful a business this is and that there is this legacy that very couple providers have,” Jim suggests.