By: Shandra Martinez
Jim and Joel Siegel recognize that what their relatives has produced over the previous 133 decades retains a particular put in lots of hearts.
What commenced as a check out repair service store in downtown Grand Rapids in 1889 when their excellent-grandfather Joseph Siegel commenced fixing pocket watches has advanced and adapted to serve the requirements of their customers. Siegel Jewelers has been recognized as West Michigan’s premier jeweler, known for its individualized purchaser services.
Over the decades, Siegel Jewelers expanded to jewellery and grew to become a desired destination for generations of households shopping for engagement rings and other mementos for important occasions. Grand Rapids’ most outstanding citizens turned loyal shoppers. Former President Gerald R. Ford purchased an engagement ring for Betty at the retail outlet.
Joseph’s two sons, Norton and Arthur, joined him in small business. While Norton died early in existence, his son, Miller Siegel, eventually fell in love with the business. He arrived with a business enterprise degree from the University of Michigan and a newly titled gemologist diploma.
Decades of growth
Miller was passionate about jewellery, the ethics of the business enterprise and, most importantly, helping persons locate the suitable jewelry to celebrate exclusive instances.
“My dad worked effectively into his 80s, so we worked alongside him for a lengthy time,” Joel stated, introducing that his mom, Leslie, also worked in the business enterprise. “We bought to invest extra time with our parents and enjoy them extra.”
Miller expanded the company, which at its peak for the duration of the 1990s experienced 5 places throughout West Michigan and Ohio.
“My father by no means retired. He was extremely included, and we talked organization all the time,” claimed Jim, who joined the business enterprise proper after university. Young brother Joel came a decade later on soon after ending college and touring out west, wherever he fulfilled his wife.
The brothers divided up obligations, with Joel handling the jewellery side of the operation and Jim overseeing anything else, from promoting to staff challenges.
How enterprise evolved
The shop is in Grand Rapids, not much from Woodland Mall, the place it experienced a superior-profile area for 40 a long time before relocating to a freestanding shop at 2845 Lake Eastbrook Blvd., in 2005. Having operations below one particular roof is not only productive but much more very affordable than leasing shopping mall room.
About the past 20 a long time, the retail store shifted to promoting estate jewelry, which now accounts for a majority of its company. It’s regarded one of the major and greatest estate jewellery dealers in the Midwest, with much more than 15 cases of jewelry skillfully restored by its individual crew of jewelers.
“We were being possessing difficulty, in result competing with ourselves due to the fact we have been offering estate jewelry at substantially less than new,” Joel stated. “It stored mushrooming. We could shell out much more to the community when shopping for their jewellery for the reason that we weren’t buying it for just the uncooked resources. Then we were equipped to change all-around and promote it for considerably less than new.
“So it’s a gain-earn for the men and women who are providing it since we’re building better presents and a get for the men and women who are obtaining it mainly because they are receiving a greater benefit. It is really a get for us since very normally we could make a small extra share-intelligent than we could on other things.”
At a time when most jewelers ship their customers’ jewelry out to be fixed, Siegel Jewelers has a very active mend enterprise with two full-time jewelers. Personnel features credentialed gemologists who appraise and authenticate gems on-premises.
“We try to be in people’s lives,” claimed Jim. “That’s why we haven’t had significantly fascination in promoting on the internet. We imagine that conducting enterprise in man or woman is an important aspect of what we give. So we just doubled down on attempting to assistance consumers who want to arrive in and do business enterprise with us.”
Getting message on the net
But that doesn’t imply the keep isn’t connecting with folks on-line. The shop does weekly Facebook stay shows. 1 of the most well known was a preview of estate sale goods.
“A good deal of folks check out Fb Live afterward. We generally get about 75, but for the estate sale preview, we experienced 200 viewing dwell,” Jim said.
The concept came from a consultant. Immediately after looking at how some other vendors do it, they introduced what is now acknowledged as “LIVE at Five with Lydia & Close friends.”
“We’ve grown in how very well we do it, and we’ve only gotten superior as we have turn out to be additional knowledgeable. It looks we have ample written content each and every 7 days for about 20-30 minutes,” Jim mentioned. “We test to educate our clients. We have had reps from some of the lines we carry be a part of the show by means of webcam. One particular of the visitors was a San Francisco gem seller, whose line of customized lockets we are now carrying. We’ll highlight our jewellery or appraisal solutions and matters like that. A large aspect of the display is allowing individuals know what our crew is capable of.”
The Fb Life are hosted by workforce. The keep has invested in a compact established with a backdrop and chairs. It is carried out at 5 p.m., an hour before the retail outlet closes and when purchaser visitors is light-weight.
Determined by family members, custom
The brothers are motivated by the work of the preceding Siegel generations, in particular their dad.
“My father was certainly an innovator, generally looking to see how to do things better to deliver additional value to what we’re undertaking and construct a greater link with folks,” Jim stated. “So we’re accomplishing a excellent task of continuing that tradition.”
Jim, 74, and Joel, 71, say they have no quick designs to retire. Prolonged-phrase, they are preparing for the sixth technology to choose the reins a single working day. In the meantime, they see them selves as more caretakers than regular entrepreneurs of the household organization.
“We’ll possibly pass it to our grandchildren or have some sort of expert manager on-premises and hold out for whoever in the household desires to acquire ownership,” Jim said. “We’re stewards of the enterprise for this generation, and so that mind-set informs a ton of our decisions and our future organizing.”
His son, Jaron, who works portion-time in the small business and oversees marketing is the fifth era. The sixth technology is a growing bunch. Joel has two grandchildren, and Jim has 6 grandchildren and one particular on the way.
“Our purpose is to show them how good a company this is and that there is this legacy that incredibly number of providers have,” Jim claims.