Shannon Fine Jewelry has been providing customized jewelry, consignment and jewelry repairs to residents in The Woodlands area for more than 10 years.
Owner Gary Zoet first got into the jewelry business in 1978 as an apprentice after serving in the Army for four years during the Cold War.
Today, Zoet and his business partner of nearly 20 years, John Wren, operate The Woodlands location as well as a store in the Champion Forest area.
“We’ve had a lot of years to build relationships and establish credibility in the minds and the eyes of people that end up selling to us,” Zoet said. “We have a lot of long-term relationships that have come in very handy in terms of being able to branch out with other people.”
Zoet said the basis for his business is ensuring the people who work there are certified, experienced jewelers who know how to create and design jewelry as well as sell products.
Custom work is a top-selling novelty at the store. Although many jewelry stores have shifted their customization services online, Shannon Fine Jewelry has found its niche in providing in-person customizations, Zoet said.
“We do a lot of custom work, which is something that is difficult to do online,” he said. “You can’t come see, feel, hold and look at a piece as it’s progressing [online].”
Customers can try on 3-D-printed models of their jewelry in the store before they decide they are absolutely sure it is what they are looking for, Wren said. At Shannon Fine Jewelry, jewelers are equipped to recreate pictures of rings customers find on sites like Pinterest as well as fuse elements from sentimental rings and incorporate various characteristics of different rings a customer likes.
“We’re not your regular store,” Wren said. “There’s no pressure. It’s more about education and finding what you want.”
In addition to custom work, consignment is a popular service customers use at Shannon Fine Jewelry.
“[Consignment] is a big part of our business, and it’s a big part of what we do that other people don’t do,” Zoet said. “It’s also a thing that people need.”
Many customers will sell their parents’ or grandparents’ old jewelry because their children do not want the items.
Wren said millennials often do not seem to want the jewelry their grandparents owned anymore because they want the experience of finding and making their own pieces.
“So many jewelry stores don’t even know how to have that conversation [about consignment],” Wren said. “I think one of the differences with us is we buy all the jewelry ourselves. We understand how to price it, we understand how to make it, we sell to other retailers [and] we’re probably a little bit more educated than the average store.”
The store also offers divorce jewelry services for customers wishing to turn old wedding rings into something else, Zoet said.
“It’s not an engagement ring [anymore], but it’s diamonds and gold,” Zoet said. “Don’t give that up. Do something else with it, and be able to wear it and enjoy it, in spite of the other things.”
A 1,000-square-foot expansion at The Woodlands store is in the works in the future, Wren said. This will allow the store to serve the community at a greater capacity.
“As far as what the goal is and what we strive for as far as customer service and being able to do other things that other stores don’t do—that is our main niche,” Zoet said.