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2010 Best Fine Jewelry Store: E.R. Sawyer Jewelers

Author: Cerrissa MacNichols
May, 2010 Issue

Being a Best Of winner six years in a row hasn’t stopped E.R. Sawyer owners Doug and Ame Van Dyke from enhancing their product collections and upgrading their client experience. Van Dyke’s wife, Ame, joined the company last year, putting her degree in hospitality and business to work. Their store has been serving customers for 131 years, longer than most other businesses in the area.

The most important aspect of the Van Dykes’ business is a focus on quality and the relationships they build with their customers. Doug has been with the store long enough now to see some of the men he sold wedding rings to years ago bring in their sons—and grandsons—who want to buy rings for their own brides-to-be. E.R. Sawyer’s close ties to people who live in the area have made Doug and Ame active supporters of local events and organizations, especially area schools. “For us, community involvement is investing locally,” says Doug.

With three full-time goldsmiths, E.R. Sawyer has the largest and most technologically advanced jewelry repair shop around. It does all jewelry repairs in-house, which gives it a different level of quality control than shops that have to send items out to be fixed.

E.R. Sawyer is also the only accredited gem and appraisal lab in the North Bay. Last year, it added Hearts on Fire Diamonds, known for having the world’s most perfectly cut diamonds, to its product line. They wouldn’t accept the brand until the knew they’d be the only authorized service center in the North Bay.

The Van Dykes have also expanded and added a fully customized bridal department that includes a large selection of men’s rings. E.R Sawyer’s expanded product base also includes scarves and purses at price points to fit any budget.

The people at E.R. Sawyer know that some grooms have scraped together every last cent to make one of the most important purchases of their lifetime. They know they’re helping someone find an item that represents a commitment to their future. “Grandma’s ring might not be worth a lot money, but fixing it is worth it, because it’s valuable to you. Being able to maintain an heirloom for many generations is important to a lot of families,” says Van Dyke.

Many staff members are long-time employees who really understand the heart of this company. Van Dyke says business has remained good throughout many historically tough times. He believes when budgets are tight, people become very careful about what they spend their money on, and they go back to businesses where they’ve had good service and purchased excellent quality merchandise. Places where they have a positive connection. Places like E.R. Sawyer.



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