Over 133 years, Siegel Jewelers has become a Grand Rapids gem

ByDavid L. Juliano

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Siegel DiamondBy: Shandra Martinez

Jim and Joel Siegel have an understanding of that what their family members has made over the earlier 133 many years retains a exclusive place in a lot of hearts.

What started as a look at repair shop in downtown Grand Rapids in 1889 when their excellent-grandfather Joseph Siegel commenced restoring pocket watches has developed and tailored to provide the needs of their customers. Siegel Jewelers has been regarded as West Michigan’s leading jeweler, recognized for its personalised buyer service.

About the many years, Siegel Jewelers expanded to jewelry and became a location for generations of people shopping for engagement rings and other mementos for vital instances. Grand Rapids’ most distinguished citizens grew to become faithful buyers. Former President Gerald R. Ford purchased an engagement ring for Betty at the retailer.

Joseph’s two sons, Norton and Arthur, joined him in organization. Despite the fact that Norton died early in daily life, his son, Miller Siegel, inevitably fell in enjoy with the business. He came with a enterprise diploma from the University of Michigan and a recently titled gemologist diploma.

A long time of advancement
Miller was passionate about jewelry, the ethics of the business enterprise and, most importantly, aiding people locate the right jewellery to rejoice distinctive events.

“My father worked properly into his 80s, so we worked alongside him for a prolonged time,” Joel said, introducing that his mom, Leslie, also labored in the business. “We obtained to devote a lot more time with our moms and dads and recognize them much more.”

Miller expanded the company, which at its peak all through the 1990s experienced five spots throughout West Michigan and Ohio.

“My father never retired. He was quite concerned, and we talked business all the time,” stated Jim, who joined the business proper right after faculty. Young brother Joel came a decade later on after ending faculty and touring out west, exactly where he satisfied his spouse.

The brothers divided up duties, with Joel handling the jewellery facet of the operation and Jim overseeing almost everything else, from marketing to staff challenges.

FounderHow business enterprise developed
The shop is in Grand Rapids, not far from Woodland Mall, exactly where it experienced a substantial-profile area for 40 years right before transferring to a freestanding keep at 2845 Lake Eastbrook Blvd., in 2005. Getting functions less than 1 roof is not only efficient but additional cost-effective than leasing mall space.

Over the previous 20 yrs, the retail outlet shifted to advertising estate jewellery, which now accounts for a majority of its company. It is considered 1 of the premier and very best estate jewelry sellers in the Midwest, with a lot more than 15 situations of jewellery professionally restored by its very own crew of jewelers.

“We have been possessing trouble, in influence competing with ourselves since we had been offering estate jewelry at substantially much less than new,” Joel said. “It retained mushrooming. We could pay out much more to the community when obtaining their jewellery simply because we weren’t acquiring it for just the raw materials. Then we were ready to transform around and market it for significantly less than new.

“So it is a win-acquire for the folks who are advertising it due to the fact we’re earning much better presents and a win for the persons who are getting it simply because they are getting a better price. It is in fact a acquire for us for the reason that rather frequently we could make a very little much more percentage-clever than we could on other factors.”

At a time when most jewelers send their customers’ jewelry out to be repaired, Siegel Jewelers has a extremely energetic restore business enterprise with two full-time jewelers. Workers includes credentialed gemologists who appraise and authenticate gems on-premises.

“We strive to be in people’s lives,” mentioned Jim. “That’s why we have not experienced much fascination in selling on the net. We imagine that conducting company in person is an critical section of what we give. So we just doubled down on hoping to support consumers who want to come in and do business enterprise with us.”

Employee Laurie Schaal helps buyer Ginny Wieland (appropriate) make a range.

Taking information on the web
But that does not indicate the store is not connecting with persons on-line. The retail store does weekly Facebook stay shows. One of the most well-liked was a preview of estate sale items.

“A ton of people check out Facebook Are living afterward. We generally get about 75, but for the estate sale preview, we experienced 200 observing reside,” Jim claimed.

The strategy arrived from a marketing consultant. Immediately after viewing how some other vendors do it, they introduced what is now regarded as “LIVE at 5 with Lydia & Mates.”

“We’ve grown in how properly we do it, and we have only gotten greater as we have develop into far more experienced. It seems we have adequate written content each and every week for about 20-30 minutes,” Jim stated. “We consider to educate our consumers. We have experienced representatives from some of the traces we have sign up for the clearly show by using webcam. One of the visitors was a San Francisco gem seller, whose line of individualized lockets we are now carrying. We’ll emphasize our jewellery or appraisal services and issues like that. A massive section of the exhibit is permitting people today know what our workforce is able of.”

The Facebook Lives are hosted by staff. The store has invested in a little set with a backdrop and chairs. It is carried out at 5 p.m., an hour in advance of the store closes and when purchaser visitors is light-weight.

Determined by relatives, tradition
The brothers are influenced by the do the job of the former Siegel generations, specially their dad.

“My father was unquestionably an innovator, normally searching to see how to do matters far better to bring a lot more price to what we’re executing and construct a improved connection with people today,” Jim mentioned. “So we’re carrying out a excellent job of continuing that tradition.”

Jim, 74, and Joel, 71, say they have no immediate programs to retire. Extensive-phrase, they are getting ready for the sixth technology to get the reins one particular working day. In the meantime, they see themselves as extra caretakers than conventional owners of the spouse and children business enterprise.

“We’ll both go it to our grandchildren or have some sort of experienced manager on-premises and hold out for whoever in the spouse and children would like to take possession,” Jim stated. “We’re stewards of the company for this era, and so that mind-set informs a large amount of our conclusions and our future setting up.”

His son, Jaron, who operates part-time in the business enterprise and oversees internet marketing is the fifth technology. The sixth generation is a developing bunch. Joel has two grandchildren, and Jim has six grandchildren and 1 on the way.

“Our purpose is to exhibit them how fantastic a company this is and that there’s this legacy that quite handful of businesses have,” Jim states.

Sigel Timeline


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