Polishing the jewel Featured

8:00pm EDT April 25, 2008

Anne-Marie Beris knows the value of good customer service. When she opened Anne-Marie’s Fine Jewelry and Gifts as a home-based business in 1998, she was the only employee. She was working part time while raising a 2-year-old and a new baby. The business has grown consistently during its 10 years of operations, posting an 1,100 percent increase in gross sales since the business was founded. Also, the business has transitioned from an appointment-only system of “jewelry parties” to a maxed-out retail space with plans for expansion in the works.

It is a testament to Beris’ commitment to great service that Anne-Marie’s is experiencing growth when jewelry sales are down nationally and many large chains have been closing stores.

Beris built Anne-Marie’s on a foundation of doing business the old-fashioned way. Her staff greets its regular customers by name and is quick to learn the names and preferences of new customers. By remembering these details, the staff makes each customer feel special. A satisfying service experience will encourage each customer to return for their future needs and also add new potential customers through positive word-of-mouth.

One of Beris’ keys to providing excellent customer service is giving each customer equal attention, no matter whether they are browsing or buying.

In 1998, Beris started with about 50 pieces of jewelry, with a total wholesale value of about $25,000. Since then, she’s expanded to a full-service business, including jewelry repair services, appraisals, casting and setting, engraving, trade-ins, and more.

She has also expanded her inventory, now offering product lines from noted jewelry makers Cherie Dori, Ja Bel, Gabriel & Company, and Pandora Jewelry. Also, as part of her commitment to help the local economy, she carries pieces made by local designers whenever possible.

As part of that commitment, Beris donates jewelry items to local charity auctions that benefit children, families and the less fortunate. Some examples are the Angel Auction (Aultman Hospital), the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Domestic Violence Project and the YWCA Night of Champions.

HOW TO REACH: Anne-Marie’s Fine Jewelry and Gifts, (330) 479-9088