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ACS 2002 1st Place: Decatur City Jewelers



Decatur City Jewelers, Decatur, GA

OWNERS: Brett Weiler; ADDRESS: 117 Clairemont Avenue Decatur Georgia 30030; PHONE: 404-377-7643; URL:

CBE THE CLOUDS, might be the use of the warm wood throughout, or perhaps the greenery and the heaps of natural light, but something about Brett Weiler’s pride and joy shone through to make Decatur City Jewelers the Coolest Store in our 2002 contest.

The building itself was built around 1910, and when Brett took over, it had been a violin shop for some 30 years. Weiler says of his baby, which he re-fitted himself, “The thing I love most about my store is that it is mine. It is my temple. This building and I are attached at the hip.” The store does seem to have a power of its own, as Weiler has noticed when he’s doing his evening cleaning: “There’s some sort of vortex at my front door, which causes leaves and dirt to collect.”

This mystery doesn’t seem to put his customers off, though, as Weiler observes, “Most jewelry stores are somewhat intimidating. I know people feel comfortable in my store.” He says he does well with classic and antique styles, “… and artsy jewelry. The

eclectic look of the store seems to work.”


Indeed, the warm cherry wood of the flooring and the exposed brickwork all contribute to an overall look that’s both unique and inviting, and it was this combination that impressed the judges.

Bob Olmstead selected this as his favorite, saying, “It has a great, unique interior look, a great experience for the customer, and Weiler has shown a tremendous ability to expand and grow the business model and brand.”

The relaxation level was the factor that most impressed fellow storeowner Karen Karch, who found herself envying Decatur City Jewelers’ capacity for comfort. “I love the bricks, and the wood, and I wish I had room for a comfy couch area like that.”

Anne Sowden suggests that Weiler could do more to enhance the outside of his store. “The inside and outside don’t match,” she points out, a criticism echoed by Gwen Carrington, who says, “The exterior hides the beauty inside,” which she describes as “very warm and welcoming.” Anne adds one niggling doubt — that the intricacy of the interior design may distract attention from the matter in hand … the jewelry.

Overall, though, Decatur City Jewelers thoroughly deserves to be recognized as the Coolest Store in America. Bob gushes, “Customers can walk in and leave all their cares behind!” while Anne drops a hint Weiler may wish to heed: “I think it would be a great place for a party!” Let the celebrations commence!


Copycat Tips … Decatur City Jewelers

• Lots of natural light
• Creates a shopping ‘experience’ for the customer
• Warm wood and couches create relaxed ambience

Watch Out For:

• Emphasis on surroundings may detract from jewelry
• Don’t neglect the outside of the store
• Soft lighting may not highlight gemstones to best effect



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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