Buying jewelry for your future spouse can feel intimidating. Imagine a young man walking into a jewelry store, looking for an engagement ring. He sees all these rings, necklaces, and earrings and thinks, “Wow, I have no idea what to look for here.”
Well, the folks at Tracy Jewelers empathize with their customers’ concerns. They excel in the business of putting people at ease when shopping for jewelry. Their attitude is all about educating their clientele, so customers feel empowered to make the best decisions. In the words of owner Sean Tracy, “If they don’t buy here that’s fine. At least they’re armed with some good information. I believe teaching people is vital.”
This philosophy is the key factor that sets Tracy Jewelers apart from other jewelry stores in the Spokane region.
Tracy Jewelers was founded in 1950 by Sean’s grandfather, Patrick Tracy. Back then, the focus was on watches and clocks. Engagement rings were more of a sideline. In 1993, Patrick passed the business onto Maureen Tracy, Sean’s aunt. She added a higher degree of professionalism by becoming a GIA Graduate Gemologist and AGS-Certified Gemologist Appraiser. Because of Maureen’s hard work, Tracy Jewelers is the only AGS (American Gem Society) accredited store in the Spokane area.
Sean Tracy began sweeping floors at the jewelry store at age 9. His uncle started training him to be a jeweler at 15. As a young adult, he left the business for other endeavors, including construction and waitering. Eventually, he realized that the jewelry business was “in his blood,” so he was welcomed back into his family’s business, and in 2015 became a 3rd generation owner.
Engagement rings are Tracy’s best-selling products. And yes, if you’re young and asset-challenged, Sean stated he could set you up with a fine ring starting at $500. From there, “the sky’s the limit!”
What’s trending in the jewelry business now is what Sean called “self-purchases” by women. “We’ve seen many women exclaim, ‘I deserve this’. And they will come in and buy something for themselves. I mean, it’s more so than ever. Especially popular are anniversary bands and diamond earrings.” Of course, it helps that Tracy’s has a knowledgeable female staff that can easily relate to these customers.
Tracy Jewelers prides itself in is its custom-designed jewelry. In the old days, the designer had to carve a wax ring model, which could take 8 hours. Then if the customer wanted to make any changes, the designer had to start the process over. Today they can enlist the help of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) when creating custom designs. It’s easy to make any changes desired on the computer. This process keeps the cost of custom designed jewelry down, so the custom pieces are similarly priced to the pieces in their inventory.
Restorations and jewelry repairs are a large part of their business. The work is done in-house, with a short one-week turnaround. “Someone came in here with a ring that went down the garbage disposal, and we brought it back to life – it was amazing!” Sean exclaimed. “We do our best to keep our prices for these services the lowest in town. When customers are pleased with our restorations, they are likely to come back and buy a new piece of jewelry.”
How does Tracy Jewelers compete with online jewelry stores? Sean said the online retailers might have some bargains, but the ongoing service aspects are missing. Tracy offers many service ‘extras’. Sean explained, “We have a full lifetime guarantee on our rings (including free repair if a diamond falls out), free appraisals, a free warranty program, and more that you don’t get that online. Also, having a good product sold by knowledgeable people you can trust helps us compete well.”
Sean couldn’t speak highly enough about Tracy Jeweler’s experience working with the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce. The Valley Chamber was instrumental in organizing its “Buy Local” campaign. They put together a “Buy Local” TV ad with 15-second snippets from several local retailers, including Tracy Jewelers. Sean exclaimed, “That campaign they had was amazing for us, absolutely amazing. New customers told us, ‘We came in because we saw you in the Buy Local commercial. We thought you were part of a chain and didn’t know you were a local business.’ And so that helped tremendously.”
Learn more about Tracy Jewelers HERE.