Lorraine Fine Jewelry wants to create and redefine the luxury jewelry experience for every budget. Most of their pieces are custom, one-of-a-kind creations you won’t find anywhere else.
Originally started in Santa Monica, CA, Naim (pronounced Nyeem) and Lorraine Tunca relocated to Liberty Lake in 2000. They wanted their young family to grow up in the more wholesome environment of the Greater Spokane Valley area. Unfortunately, shortly before making their final decision to move the business, their store was robbed. While they eventually recovered all but one of the stolen pieces, that was the last straw so they relocated their family & business shortly after that incident.
Naim and Lorraine each have different roles. Naim is a master jeweler, goldsmith, and designer. He primarily works “on the bench,” designing and crafting their unique jewelry pieces. Lorraine works more with customers and learns about their values and lifestyle to create the perfect design that works for each customer.
The two of them vary in their jewelry styles and primary focus. Naim loves creating masterpieces suitable for a showroom…some feel they’re “too beautiful” to wear. These high-end pieces are ideal for special occasions. Whereas Lorraine, being a mom with three children, is all about blending form and function and making jewelry for everyday wear.
What Makes Lorraine’s Unique
Lorraine says 60% to 70% of their business is from local customers. The rest are from California and ordered from their website. When asked if the out-of-towners buy more of the high-end pieces, and she explained, “Yes, in the past that was true, but now with so many people moving here from other places, they are buying more expensive pieces. I think it has to do with how they dress and what they’re used to wearing”.
What makes Lorraine’s different than other jewelers? Lorraine says, “We specialize in color gemstones. The variety we offer, the in-depth knowledge we have about gemstones, and our reasonable prices are all exactly what our customers are seeking”.
World of Gemstones
For Lorraine, the world of color that gemstones offer is fascinating. “Everyone reacts differently to different colors. We are often attracted to one color, such as the ‘blues’ of sapphire and aquamarine. It just makes clients happy to see and wear them. Each gemstone color creates different ‘vibes’ that speak to certain people.”
A lot of times, they create their jewelry “backward”. For example, a customer may pick out a gorgeous red stone, and the designers ask themselves, “How do we enhance this to make it even more beautiful?” Lorraine also points out that “we seldom make two pieces that have the same look”.
I asked Lorraine if most of her customers are one-and-done or if they are repeat customers. She told me most come back again and again to buy more pieces. “They like jewelry, and it’s not a new thing for them. So when they find a place, they will stick with the same jeweler if they feel comfortable. Having jewelry comes with other services – the jewelry should be inspected once in a while, needs to be maintained, and needs to be cleaned. A lot of the sales occur when you are not planning to sell, it just comes naturally when they came in for some other service.”
Lorraine sometimes gets unusual requests. One is when a young lady calls and asks her what she will charge to resize a wedding ring. “If you put the ring closer to the phone, I can tell you!” she says in jest. “In reality, I have to see the ring and the wearer in person to give an estimate – if it can even be done!” Lorraine explains you can only adjust the ring size so much, or it will break apart.
One free service they offer is when relatives of a deceased elder bring in her box of jewelry for evaluation. Most of these items are costume jewelry, but Naim sometimes finds valuable pieces too. Until they visit Lorraine’s, the relatives have no clue. “We always try to reassure people that we have their back. We’re going to make sure that they’re informed about what they have”.
Using the Valley Chamber’s Services
Being a member of the Valley Chamber has its benefits for Lorraine Fine Jewelry. Lorraine says, “I love that the Chamber has opportunities to network. I know they have larger partners, but I like to network with the smaller businesses because those are the ones that might show up at the store. I also give Chamber members my business every time I can. Whenever I need a service, like out of the ordinary, I look at the directory and see if I can find somebody I can hire.”
She plans on using the services of the Valley Chamber to help advertise her website and to have a “ribbon cutting” at her store very soon. (Their ribbon cutting was postponed due to the pandemic).
Lorraine took part in the Valley Chamber’s “Shop the Valley” ad campaign for the first time last Christmas season. They were featured as a part of a group ad showing many members’ businesses. And they had their own custom TV ad produced as well. Lorraine said it was a good experience overall and received excellent customer feedback.
As with most advertising, Lorraine understands that it needs repetition to get the full effect with her audience. So she’s looking forward to participating in the “Shop The Valley” campaign again this year.