After 40 robust years in business, Scottsdale mainstay Oliver Smith (oliversmithjeweler.com) is showing no signs of slowing down.
1. Congratulations on celebrating 40 years! What prompted you to get into the jewelry business?
I started selling jewelry right out of college. I enjoyed it because people were buying for happy reasons—a gift, an anniversary, a wedding, etc.
2. How has your business evolved over the past four decades?
In the beginning, I bought from a manufacturer or wholesaler and sold. But after a few years, I discovered how to design and make jewelry—mainly earring charms and small pieces. Today, I design and manufacture almost 90% of what I sell.
3. What’s remained consistent?
Change is the constant. We did 70% of our business in jewelry 10 years ago; now we do 70% of our business in watches. Estate watches were ignored by many in our business, but we jumped in about eight years ago and have never looked back.
4. What are some essential pieces for men that you’d recommend?
Guys love the bohemian leather and dark metal bracelets and necklaces. Recently, I’ve started to make diamond and gold for guys: Cuban chains and line necklaces. Did you see LeBron on the sidelines at the Suns playoff game? He had five diamond chains on, maybe six! Going forward, we are going to push into heavy diamond chains for guys.
5. What do you love most about what you do?
I love the creative energy, and also love mentoring my younger staff. Helping them get started, helping them save money and teaching them to live within their means. I enjoy sharing our QuickBooks with the staff too. I’m extremely transparent. It’s important that they understand how we are going to grow and how they fit in.
Both celebrating Oliver Smith Jewelers’s 40th Anniversary, the Prism Collection features colorful sapphires, while the Cairn Collection showcases unique diamond pieces inspired by rock formations Smith discovered while mapping out hiking trails.