T. J. and Crystal Schoenborn are shaking up the world of jewelry with a simple concept.
They want to give their customers the best price possible on a diamond. Period.
At Schoenborn’s Jewelry and Boutique in Fond du Lac, this no-nonsense approach to pricing is setting them apart from the competition.
“We are the only ones who are taking what we like to call the ‘blue-collar’ approach to jewelry. Our philosophy is that we don’t want to be just a little cheaper than the competition. We want our pricing to blow them out of the water,” T. J. Schoenborn said.
“No matter how fancy or frilly some people would like to make it, it really comes down to price.”
At Schoenborn’s Jewelry and Boutique, the whole concept is to be straightforward with the customer.
While many competitors in the diamond business might take a markup of 150 to 300 percent, Schoenborn’s Jewelry and Boutique has trimmed that to 5 to 30 percent. “We’ll show you the actual invoice on any diamond,” TJ said. Price education, when buying a diamond, is as important as why you are buying it.
“You will have the security of knowing you are paying a fair, uninflated price,” he added. “We are not a retail jeweler in the usual respect. We are a jeweler that provides wholesale prices to the public.”
T. J. and Crystal said they know the bottom line matters to jewelry buyers. They understand that people will shop around, whether they have to walk a block or search on the internet.
“On a purchase where you could save a couple thousand dollars, you would be foolish not to shop around,” he said.
Creating a new market
While the concept of reduced markups might be foreign to the rest of the industry, T. J. and Crystal Schoenborn want to be known for pioneering on pricing.
“We are trying to take the jewelry industry and flip it upside down,” Schoenborn said. “Our idea is that if we are willing to take less of a cut, we will be able to sell to more customers.”
T. J. is a member of the World Wide Diamond Exchange, an entity which allows him to search thousands of databases for diamonds based on customer requests.
This builds on the philosophy that a jewelry store can be a casual place, where customers feel like they will be walking in to talk to their friend or relative about a purchase.
“Our customers like the fact that they don’t find me in a suit or tie. They feel like they are talking to their brother, cousin or uncle, and it helps them feel more comfortable,” T. J. said.
This store serves as an exclusive carrier of Dana Rebecca Designs. Founder, designer and director of her own line since 2007, Dana Levy, a third generation designer, grew up behind the scenes on Jeweler’s Row in Chicago, Ill. She has dazzled the accessory world with her namesake collection, Dana Rebecca Designs.
Highly attractive Aurum jewelry has set itself apart as a prime manufacturer of nationally recognized jewelry and can be seen throughout showrooms across the country and at Schoenborn’s in Fond du Lac.
Schoenborn’s Boutique carries an extensive line of modern and edgy stainless steel jewelry and watches. They also carry traditional men’s gold jewelry.
Jewelry repairs are done on site by an experienced and highly trained goldsmith— jewelry never leaves the store. Schoenborn’s in Fond du Lac also offers ring sizing, prong retips, diamond remounts, upgrades and all types of repairs from the simple to the complex, jewelry appraisals, custom designs, jewelry cleaning and gold buying.
The Boutique carries the most unique purses, scarves, watches, jewelry and many other items all with amazing prices. Other offerings included studded black and silver clutch bags, flowery shoulder purses, jelly band watches or costume jewelry.
There is a long history and familiarity with the Schoenborn name in the area jewelry business.
T. J. is the fourth generation of his family to work in the jewelry business and relies on the assistance and expertise of his parents Lyle and Jackie Schoenborn, who retired from the Kiel location last year.
“We’ve created our own unique niche to the industry by taking a risk and stating factual pricing,” said T. J., who is seated among six other jewelers in the vicinity.
Schoenborn’s Jewelry and Boutique is located at 46 N. Main St. in downtown Fond du Lac. Visit the location or check out www.schoenbornsjewelry.com.