Five years ago, Riki Landa came to Garden State Jewelers in Teaneck to have a watch battery replaced.
Owner Ryan Schwartz put a cold water bottle in her hands and kindly helped her with her watch.
Landa said there was no pressure for her to buy any of the sparkly jewelry in the cases -- but that's precisely what brought her back into the store, time after time, year after year.
"Sometimes you go into a jewelry store and employees are there to make a sale and get it over with," Landa said.
"Ryan and the staff here are very sincere. They're just here to help."
Landa has since bought several pieces of jewelry for her daughter and daughter-in-law from the Cedar Lane shop.
Schwartz, Landa says, is as authentic as his inventory.
"He's just a genuine guy," Landa told Daily Voice. "He likes to have a real relationship with his customers."
Schwartz began working in the jewelry industry nearly a decade ago as a side job. He was 21 years old and finishing college in Baltimore.
He soon realized that the industry promised him a bright future.
"I knew jewelry and I knew business," said Schwartz, 31. "I love working hard and helping people and knew this would be a perfect fit."
In 2008, Schwartz used the small amount of money he saved up as a child to open his first jewelry store on Englewood's Curry Avenue.
For the first time, Schwartz had his future in his hands.
"I loved the ability to innovate in management and marketing," said the business owner, who has a degree from GIA.
"I always loved marketing and constantly innovating, which can be more complicated in a big company because of corporate structure."
In 2012, Schwartz relocated his store from Englewood to a larger space in Teaneck.
Aside from growing his business, Schwartz enjoys using his knowledge and expertise to help people -- as the only license estate dealer in Teaneck.
"We built our brand on trust," he said. "We want to be a local resource and consult our clients and those who will one day become our clients"
Lab-grown diamonds have added a new challenge to Schwartz' industry, he says.
"The diamond market has created a way to make man made diamonds out of carbon," he said. "They’re undetectable and that has created concern in the consumer marketplace.
"We're more concerned than ever to purchase a diamond because now, it means we're taking a risk."
Garden State Jewelers continually innovates to work with its customers -- only selling GIA certified diamonds.
"The GIA IS the only trusted resource to tell if a diamond is organically grown," Schwartz said.
Much of the business conducted at Garden State Jewelers is consulting individuals going through a divorce or suffering a tragic loss.
Schwartz generally pays more than other jewelers to put work into the diamond to get the customer a higher grade, than trying to "make that quick dollar," he said.
The business owner says he'll do anything to make a customer happy.
"Customer service is everything," Schwartz said. "We will do anything for our clients -- the proof is how we built the business."
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