From Down Under To The Sonoran Desert: The Diamond Guys Brings Bridal Jewelry From South Africa To Arizona
By Caroline Stanley
Scottsdale, AZ--While many businesses struggle to create an identifiable brand, some know exactly what their business model will be even before the doors open. In the case of The Diamond Guys, in Scottsdale, Arizona, it's bridal.
"Our core base, our heart and soul, is bridal," say co-owners Elan and Tracy Efune. Many jewelers like to advertise diamonds "directly from the source," but the owners of The Diamond Guys have probably been closer to the source than most: with experience gained from a three-store family retail business in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, and Melbourne, Australia, the two started with a small showroom in Scottsdale. They moved to a larger location in 2012 to showcase their engagement and diamond jewelry business. Along with bridal, The Diamond Guys carries a broad spectrum of jewelry: earrings, bracelets, pendants, gemstones as well as a more affordable sterling line.
Today The Diamond Guys is housed in a 4,000 square foot building and about 2,500 square feet is devoted to the sales floor. "We run on a small team of three," says Efune. "For now, that's adequate." Efune says most of their traffic is destination driven. The store is located on the second floor of a building in a prime retail location in Scottsdale. Across the street, a lifestyle mall offers a lot of activity, restaurants and retail shops. We don't have windows to dress, no street frontage, but we do have strong signage on the building that attracts shoppers from across the street. We have a steady business, but typically we are not busy all at the same time. We do have plans to expand our staff later this year."
Above and below, interior shots of The Diamond Guys.
The store's core customers are young couples looking for a better engagement ring in a good price point. Efune says a good selling price point for the store is $5,000-$6,000 for a complete engagement ring. "We work mainly in 18k white gold and platinum, with a modern but classic style."
Efune has refined his marketing over the years. "We've tried a lot of things," he says. "We've learned from trial and error. Today, we are focused on our website and digital presence. We use Google ad words, Google SEO (search engine optimization) plus a little social media on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+."
The store also puts a strong emphasis on online review through Google and Yelp. There's a link at the bottom of the store's homepage for both Google and Yelp reviews and they also send a link with a note to customers. "It depends on the customer's experience," says Efune. "If we feel they will be receptive after the sale, we'll send them a link and ask them for a review. It often works out well. Our reviews are 100% legitimate and are a reflection of a customer's experience at our store." Along with the store's online strategy, they also advertise on radio (sports and Pandora), utilize direct mail, e-blasts and website advertisements.
Efune wants to connect to his customers. That's why he keeps current the online reviews and places such an emphasis on social media. "It's a changing world and changing marketplace," says Efune. "I'm not the younger generation any longer. Today if you want to connect to your customer you must be in their arena. We've had to adapt our business to meet the behavior pattern of the marketplace. We've had to train ourselves, which was not easy, to be more proficient."
Efune is a third generation jeweler from South Africa. His family has two retail stores, one in Johannesburg, and one in Cape Town. They also have a similar bridal operation in Melbourne, Australia, which has been in operation for 12 years. "I was with my dad in business for many years," says Efune. "When we started a family we wanted to move to the United States. That was eleven years ago."
Efune admits the transition was not easy. "Arizona was not left unscathed in the recession. I don't know if we could do it again. We started here in a tough time." While the beginning was not easy, it's clear that the Efunes are connecting to their customers both online and instore.
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