It's the craftsmen who make the difference
Sullivan's Jewelers provides specialized on-site service
Most diamonds are created equal, according to Jeff Sullivan, owner of Sullivan Jewelers. It's the jewelers who are different.
"Diamonds are our core business, but a diamond is a diamond," he said. "They're all pretty much the same. It's honesty and service that separate jewelers. We never try to sell a customer on an item. We excel at finding low-cost options. So, if a customer only wants to spend $100, then we'll bend over backwards to ensure that they stay within their budget."
A second-generation jeweler, Sullivan relocated the family business from Door County to Brookfield's Ruby Isle Shopping Center in 2002 when his parents - the original owners - retired.
The store offers an extensive array of jewelry, including bracelets, earrings, wristwatches and men's and women's wedding and engagement rings.
Sullivan Jewelers also runs a brisk repair and design business.
"A lot of jewelers send things out to be worked on or created, but everything we do is in-house," he said. "We have a full-service goldsmith on the premises, who customers can talk to any time they like. Ninety percent of the time, our goldsmith can rebuild a ring with missing prongs. Re-designing existing jewelry also represents a large chunk of our business."
Sullivan said that while the economic downturn has been problematic for the industry, it has prompted Sullivan Jewelers to respond with alternative solutions that keep his business in the black.
"The falling dollar and the rise in gold prices have made it harder to sell jewelry, but I can't complain," he said. "We handle a lot more silver as a price point than we used to and Chamilia beads (beads that can be added to a base piece of jewelry, like a silver chain) have been our recession buster. People can come in and get a bead or two, and it's filled a big niche in our market.
"We've also been very fortunate to have a well-established clientele. Sixty to 70 percent of our business comes from repeat customers. That says a lot about our store."
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JUST THE FACTS
BUSINESS: Sullivan Jewelers
ADDRESS: 2095 N. Calhoun Road, Brookfield
PHONE: (262) 641-2995
OWNER: Jeff Sullivan
TYPE OF BUSINESS: jeweler
PEARLS OF WISDOM: "Tastes change and styles go through cycles, but honesty and being nice to people shouldn't."
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