As housing prices plummeted and residents found ways to cut costs, opening a jewelry store and trying to convince them to buy a $75,000 diamond ring four years ago was a gamble.
So far, that risk has paid off for Chad and Melissa Overman. The couple not only weathered the economic storm that forced many businesses to close, they have done so well, that they are planning to open another store in Kentucky later next year.
Part of the jewelry store’s success comes from the couple’s ability to adapt to a changing market.
When customers couldn’t afford the more expensive colored diamonds, they started carrying chocolate diamonds, an affordable sapphire line and sterling silver pieces.
Recently, Melissa started a line of convertible jewelry. Gems, for example, hanging in the center of a set of hoop earrings can be removed and attached to a set of diamond studs.
The idea for the line came when Melissa and a good friend and client discussed what today’s woman wants.
“With the economy the way it is if you can get one piece to multi function, it just makes it seem a lot more plausible to spend the money,” she said.
Today, the store’s average customer spends between $300 and $700, although the store carries pieces worth much more.
“Jewelry isn’t meant to break the bank, it is meant to make someone smile,” she said.
The Overmans can keep costs low because they source, design and manufacture most of their pieces. They then sell their creations at wholesale prices.
Unique, one-of-a-kind designs are Melissa’s specialty. Recently, she started using turquoise stones more and laborite.
And if a customer wants to create their own piece, the Overmans have the software and experience to guide them through the process. One woman last week, for example, wanted a new setting for her wedding ring. She had worn the ring so long she could not remove it. After Chad safely cut it off, he showed her a number of settings, possible inscription options and within minutes, she had created a custom ring.
The woman said she couldn’t believe how easy the whole process was.
Friendly customer service is no accident. The couple said they work hard at it every day.
They plan to bring that level of service and value to Richmond, Ky. when they open a store sometime next year.
The couple settled on Richmond because Chad’s family lives nearby and they love the area.
The Overmans will split their time between both locations, but remain connected all the time with technology.
If they are in Kentucky and a client in Payson wants to meet, they can talk over Skype, an online video service.
And when not here, the couple has hired staff they can trust. Jeremy Summers, Chad’s cousin, is the store’s manager and Donna Nite, is the store’s marketing manager. Nite joined the store two months ago after working in jewelry stores around the country, including Las Vegas and Maui.
To make travel easier, Melissa is in the process of getting her private pilot’s license.
“A lot of things have changed in the last four years,” Melissa said. “We have expanded out lines, expanded our wholesale business and expanded into sliver and gold bouillon.”
For more information, call (928) 468-1008 or drop by the store, at 207 E. Highway 260.