Chris Lyons is the first to admit, the jewelry industry is a difficult one to break into. Two years of groundwork, including a six-month process to get their online store running, transpired before Adele Diamond opened their retail location in Hilltop Shopping Center in Virginia Beach.
Initially, Chris says, “We were hesitant to jump in with both feet; we kind of tiptoed around the shallow end for a while. If I knew how much fun the business was, how great my staff was, and how well we would be received in the Hilltop area by our business friends, I would have jumped off the diving board sooner. However, God’s timing is perfect, so there’s no regrets.”
“The shallow end of the pool” time was well spent by Chris and his team, building a set of quality vendors, personally learning all he could about the jewelry industry (which is ongoing!), as well as gaining the trust and recognition of his peers and potential clients.
Key to his marketing strategy was identifying a niche in the industry that enabled them to be the best in the area. From how they set up their supply chain, to their staff training and store layout, it’s all been crafted to be a full service jeweler for the diamond ring buyer.
(Incidentally, they are very strong in diamond jewelry as well, from their diamond market connections.) Connecting with millennials has been very successful through “a combination of little things all adding up.”
He went on to explain, “Our business model seems to be able to deliver more value to our end customer than so many others in our market. I’d attribute that to the fact that we constantly search to find the marginal improvement in our business. Incremental advantages multiplied by your whole process can really add up to a big difference when you hand off that ring to your smiling client.”
One way Chris delivers improvements is to make connections to the local business community. “I think that’s something that both locals and transplants deal with in starting out,” he remarked. “Putting yourself out there and getting out of your comfort zone is something I had to do, every week, for years. That’s been mostly overcome, but I’m still working on the challenge of finding the best marketing channels for our business. The world of the Internet and e-commerce is a tough nut to crack, but I’m tough and just nuts enough to be up for the challenge- ha!”
“There have been some sacrifices, one being to invest time now and gain it back in the future; but being in control of those sacrifices has been valuable. I now have the flexibility of spending time with my family for important events. I’ve certainly sprouted a few new grey hairs through the process of owning a business, and overcoming some challenges, and lived some moments that I would never wish on anybody, but I’d do it again if (and when) I have the chance!”
“I think that success boils down to: staff, experience, and location. If you give an excellent experience (that includes the right product, in the right space), with capable, dependable, friendly staff, located where your customers are near, you have a very high chance of success in the business you’ve chosen. And you must love what you’re doing. After the glamour ends, and the grind begins, your passion for what you do will help pull you through the toughest first years.”
Visit Adele Diamonds at their store:
1628 Laskin Road, Ste 724,
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451