This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
I recently received quite an education about diamonds. Tim Branscomb, president and founder of Sierra-West Jewelers in Orem, took me into the company's lab where he showed me sophisticated equipment that will grade every component of a stone. Four graduate gemologists work with lasers and fiber optic computers to grade gem prints on color, cut, clarity and carat. It was fascinating!
Tim started in the jewelry business in 1975 and opened his own operation in 1979. Rapid, sustained growth has occurred every year, and in 2007, the retail and wholesale business reached $10 million in sales.
Sierra-West has four retail stores. The largest in sales volume is the home office store in Orem. There are also outlets in Sandy, Murray and Vernal. Custom jewelry is a significant part of the business. Tim employs four highly-qualified goldsmiths who are expert designers and craftsmen and can design anything a customer requests.
The stores sell all kinds of beautiful jewelry, but I was particularly interested in the watches. The watch inventory is stocked with 98 percent Swiss time instruments.
Tim tells me that the majority of his sales lie in the engagement and wedding ring business. However, he also offers a guarantee to find customers a specific watch brand, jewelry item or loose diamond at the best price. The guarantee stipulates that if his price is not the lowest, he will give the customer a free strand of pearls.
Sierra-West Jewelers is a comfortable place to work and shop. Associates are well trained, experienced and anxious to assist the customer. Tim is a hands-on owner. He knows that everything begins and ends with a customer and is determined to not only consummate a sale and generate a pleased customer, but also to ensure a continuing relationship with the buyer.
For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.