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Here’s Why Some Jewelers Have A Great Relationship With Their Bankers (and Others Don’t)

Many jewelers see the benefits of keeping close ties.




Here’s Why Some Jewelers Have A Great Relationship With Their Bankers (and Others Don’t)
Do You or Don’t You Have A Close Relationship With Your Banker?

Yes: 52%

Frequent lunches and invitations to our manager to attend our events keep her informed as to what we are doing. Christmas presents keep her kind to us when we need extra help. — Shahraz Kassam, Shamin Jewellers, Burnaby, BC, Canada

  • I stop in at least once a month just to chat, not necessarily about business but to maintain a personal relationship. Make sure she’s invited to all events at the store. My feeling: out of sight, out of mind. My banker knows my business … what to expect … there is never a blind side … and we’ve been working together for over 20 years, maybe longer. — Steven Ballin, King Furs and Fine Jewelry, Memphis, TN
  • I have known my banker since high school; we grew up together! There are many stories that we just can’t tell out loud! Our work relationship is like a good beer… it just gets better and better. (OK, I don’t drink wine!) I just am very happy his wife has a real flair for good jewelry! — Richard Frank, Goldstein’s, Mobile, AL
  • The benefits are too many to count, but getting personal phone calls when something is weird or money is short, getting a line of credit to help with cash flow, and most recently fighting a charge back from AMEX and winning! — Shawn Higgins, D & H  Jewelers, San Francisco
  • Whenever I need anything, she’s there for me. For example, when my business credit card was compromised, I contacted the security division of the bank and they said they would send new cards and it would take two weeks. Since so many things are on auto-pay and we use our cards every day to purchase things for the store, two weeks is way too long. I called my personal banker and she had them overnighted; they arrived the next morning. — Dianna Rae High, Dianna Rae Jewelry, Lafayette, LA
  • We have a long-term relationship in which we have cultivated the top executives on down to the tellers. We have virtually every employee and officer on out mail list and give them a heads-up ahead of anything that will be advertised to the public. Big secret to maintaining an outstanding rapport? Always honor your obligations no matter what it takes. —J. Dennis Petimezas, Watchmaker’s Diamonds & Jewelry, Johnstown, PA
  • My father has had the same banker for nearly 30 years. He’s followed her as she’s moved three different banks. Having someone who knows you and your business so well makes communication easy; the formality is removed and being on the same page means not having to worry about the details but knowing everything will be done correctly. — Casey Gallant, Stephen Gallant Jewelers, Orleans, MA

NO:  48%

  • Our bank lost their SBA accreditation because of how much they messed up our loan. I just want to pay off our loan, move our accounts, and be an anonymous business in the banking world. — Jennifer Farnes, Revolution Jewelry Works, Colorado Spring, CO
  • About the time I really begin to feel like I am doing business with someone: boom, they are off to another location, fired, or … ah … uhm … a couple of them went to freakin’ jail! No kidding — two in a row for the same thing. — Cliff Yankovich, Chimera Design, Lowell, MI
  • I grew up seeing my father start from nothing to owning two successful stores without a banker. Back in the day, wholesalers would extend the credit that retailers would need. Today we live in a different world.  Christopher Sarraf, Nuha Jewelers, Plainview, NY
  • I borrowed money when I opened my first store—went into debt; worked my a— off to pay it off (early I might add) and made myself a promise I would never borrow again. By behaving with my spending over the years, it has not been necessary to break that promise, and at 74 I am not going to now. — Ira Kramer, The Diamond Exchange of Maryland, Rockville, MD
  • We bank with a large bank and they don’t care about us. I have tried to get more service and they ignore us. We’re shopping new banks. — Andrea Riso, Talisman Collection, El Dorado Hills, CA


  • Actually been friends since high school, which is over 40 years. He not only watches my accounts but refers many of his clients to me. Yes, I make sure and refer my customers to him as well. Great way to cross reference our businesses. — Robin Lindberg, Crown Jewels, Mandeville, LA
  • We have a good relationship with our banker because we do not require lines of credit on a regular basis and always repay according to terms. During the times when we do not need our bank’s services, we keep in touch, just like a regular client, to facilitate the relationship. We also have good relationships with more than one bank. — Allison Leitzel-Williams, Leitzel’s Jewelry, Myerstown, PA
  • We have a younger bank manager who stops in once or twice a month to “check in” He shares security information on what to look out for (bad checks, scams, or any counterfeit bills being passed). Offers updates on checking and savings accounts. Makes sure credit card processing is running smoothly. Drops of pens paper and lollipops during the holiday season from Santa. — Scott Kelly, Jems Jewels & Gold, North Wales, PA
  • Our local bank in town closed, much to our and their staff’s surprise. We interviewed several local bank branches in the next town with the help of a banker friend and settled on a small local chain. Their personal service, convenient locations and low to no fees worked the best for us. We can call anyone there if we have an issue with a check or need something and they know us by face and name and are quick to offer solutions. They also come to us for all their jewelry needs, which is a plus! — Elysia Demers, Barnhardt Jewelers, Spencer, NC
  • We previously did (for 25 years)but the bank has now been bought out by BB&T and our account has been moved from person to person. — Christine Matlack, E.G. Landis Jewelers, Boyertown, PA
  • I had a great relationship with my banker until he moved to another bank and the new banker doesn’t seem to want to be bothered. — Tom Duma, Thom Duma Fine Jewelers, Warren, OH
  • Money is important. How to manage your wealth takes skill, bankers can help in untold ways. We have had a standing LOC but have never touched it. Organizing your business, your investment savings and your retirement accounts require professional input, bankers are a great place to start. — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL
  • We used to be very close with our bankers, but have moved to larger banks recently with little to no relationship. — Jill Hornik, Jae’s Jewelers, Coral Gables, FL
  • Banks tend to be very centralized. Local people can do very little. So it isn’t worth developing a “close” relationship.  — Peter Tims, White Mountain Jewelers, Show Low, AZ
  • Since we do a lot of business on line I have had questions about how customers pay me and what if any scams they are aware of. Last December someone did hack into my account and some how got through to my bank, fortunately they noticed it before a whole lot of money was taken…just under $700…they then communicated with the bank that made the withdrawals and I was able to get my money back. — Patty Gallun Hansen, Dorothy Gallun Fine Jewelry, Cedarburg, WI
  • All our banks have left the downtown area. We no longer walk into a bank for a deposit, just use the drive through. Also we have not needed any credit from a bank in several years. — Sue Parker, Nyman Jewelers, Excanaba, MI
  • Unfortunately the banking environment in our town is pretty fluid. Over time, I get a relationship with the manager, they move on. It’s frustrating because our business is atypical. — Brian McCall, Midwest Jewelers and Estate Buyers, Zionsville, IN

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If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.



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