By: Shandra Martinez
Jim and Joel Siegel understand that what their spouse and children has developed over the past 133 many years retains a particular area in lots of hearts.
What started as a look at repair service store in downtown Grand Rapids in 1889 when their terrific-grandfather Joseph Siegel began fixing pocket watches has evolved and adapted to provide the requires of their shoppers. Siegel Jewelers has been identified as West Michigan’s premier jeweler, regarded for its personalized buyer support.
Over the many years, Siegel Jewelers expanded to jewelry and became a place for generations of households buying engagement rings and other mementos for crucial occasions. Grand Rapids’ most distinguished citizens turned faithful clients. Previous President Gerald R. Ford purchased an engagement ring for Betty at the retailer.
Joseph’s two sons, Norton and Arthur, joined him in business. Even though Norton died early in lifestyle, his son, Miller Siegel, sooner or later fell in appreciate with the business. He arrived with a business degree from the College of Michigan and a newly titled gemologist diploma.
A long time of growth
Miller was passionate about jewelry, the ethics of the business and, most importantly, aiding people today come across the right jewelry to celebrate distinctive occasions.
“My dad worked well into his 80s, so we worked alongside him for a long time,” Joel reported, incorporating that his mother, Leslie, also labored in the business. “We obtained to expend more time with our mothers and fathers and enjoy them more.”
Miller expanded the business, which at its peak during the 1990s had five areas across West Michigan and Ohio.
“My father in no way retired. He was really associated, and we talked business all the time,” said Jim, who joined the business correct right after college or university. Young brother Joel arrived a 10 years afterwards just after ending school and touring out west, where by he met his spouse.
The brothers divided up duties, with Joel dealing with the jewellery side of the operation and Jim overseeing almost everything else, from promotion to staff challenges.
How business developed
The store is in Grand Rapids, not much from Woodland Mall, exactly where it had a higher-profile location for 40 decades prior to relocating to a freestanding keep at 2845 Lake Eastbrook Blvd., in 2005. Possessing operations underneath one roof is not only economical but more very affordable than leasing shopping mall area.
More than the earlier 20 several years, the retail outlet shifted to selling estate jewelry, which now accounts for a greater part of its business. It’s deemed 1 of the biggest and very best estate jewellery dealers in the Midwest, with extra than 15 conditions of jewelry professionally restored by its possess crew of jewelers.
“We were being owning difficulties, in influence competing with ourselves simply because we had been advertising estate jewellery at significantly much less than new,” Joel said. “It held mushrooming. We could pay out far more to the community when shopping for their jewellery simply because we weren’t purchasing it for just the raw resources. Then we ended up capable to transform all-around and market it for a lot less than new.
“So it is a earn-earn for the men and women who are offering it for the reason that we’re producing superior presents and a gain for the individuals who are getting it since they are receiving a greater benefit. It is actually a earn for us for the reason that quite generally we could make a little a lot more percentage-wise than we could on other factors.”
At a time when most jewelers ship their customers’ jewelry out to be repaired, Siegel Jewelers has a pretty lively mend business with two entire-time jewelers. Staff members features credentialed gemologists who appraise and authenticate gems on-premises.
“We attempt to be in people’s life,” stated Jim. “That’s why we haven’t had a great deal fascination in promoting on the web. We think that conducting business in individual is an essential component of what we present. So we just doubled down on hoping to help consumers who want to occur in and do business with us.”
Using information online
But that doesn’t mean the retailer is not connecting with persons on the web. The store does weekly Facebook dwell demonstrates. 1 of the most well known was a preview of estate sale items.
“A whole lot of men and women watch Fb Reside afterward. We normally get about 75, but for the estate sale preview, we had 200 seeing reside,” Jim said.
The notion came from a guide. Immediately after watching how some other shops do it, they introduced what is now recognized as “LIVE at 5 with Lydia & Friends.”
“We’ve developed in how very well we do it, and we’ve only gotten much better as we’ve develop into more expert. It seems we have enough information every single 7 days for about 20-30 minutes,” Jim reported. “We check out to educate our buyers. We’ve experienced associates from some of the lines we carry be part of the show through webcam. A single of the visitors was a San Francisco gem dealer, whose line of individualized lockets we are now carrying. We’ll emphasize our jewellery or appraisal companies and matters like that. A major aspect of the demonstrate is permitting persons know what our group is able of.”
The Facebook Life are hosted by workforce. The keep has invested in a smaller set with a backdrop and chairs. It is completed at 5 p.m., an hour ahead of the retail outlet closes and when purchaser targeted traffic is mild.
Motivated by family, tradition
The brothers are impressed by the do the job of the past Siegel generations, in particular their father.
“My father was undoubtedly an innovator, always searching to see how to do items better to deliver far more worth to what we’re accomplishing and create a much better relationship with individuals,” Jim mentioned. “So we’re carrying out a fantastic job of continuing that tradition.”
Jim, 74, and Joel, 71, say they have no immediate programs to retire. Extensive-expression, they are planning for the sixth generation to acquire the reins a person working day. In the meantime, they see themselves as far more caretakers than conventional homeowners of the family members business.
“We’ll possibly pass it to our grandchildren or have some sort of skilled supervisor on-premises and wait around for whoever in the spouse and children wants to take ownership,” Jim stated. “We’re stewards of the business for this era, and so that attitude informs a good deal of our selections and our foreseeable future preparing.”
His son, Jaron, who works part-time in the business and oversees advertising and marketing is the fifth era. The sixth generation is a developing bunch. Joel has two grandchildren, and Jim has six grandchildren and a person on the way.
“Our target is to present them how wonderful a business this is and that there is this legacy that extremely several corporations have,” Jim claims.
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