At the age of 21, Robby Nochimowski left his home in Israel to find the American dream. Packing a desire to succeed and plenty of ambition, Robby landed in the middle of the fine jewelry industry in loose diamond sales. In the last sixteen years he’s relied on his determination, business sense and ability to quickly learn the industry and build a rapidly growing diamond wholesale business. His story is a modern day American tale.
When Robby arrived in the US in 1992, he hadn’t planned on working in the jewelry industry. But when he discovered fine jewelry he started traveling across the Midwest selling to retailers and absorbing as much information about loose diamonds and the jewelry industry as he could. He discovered a love for working with people and enjoyed being able to help small independents increase their profit. “I realized that I can affect the bottom line of my clients,” recalls Robby. “If I work harder, push harder, with my suppliers I can help my customers earn more money. That was inspirational to me.”
Almost two years later Robby opened his own company, DNR Diamonds, out of Chicago. While starting a business in a foreign land may seem daunting to others, Robby considered it the next step in living his dream. He also enrolled in GIA courses and obtained his Diamond Certification. His desire to learn as much as he could drove him to not only formally educate himself, but absorb industry knowledge from those around him.
For six years Robby focused on building his business. He investigated, in depth, how loose diamond distribution worked in the industry. He cultivated clients making sure to listen more than he spoke. He poured everything he had into making his business successful.
“I discovered that understanding the book knowledge about diamonds and jewelry was important, but really comprehending how the industry functions, what retailers need and what the market is doing are far more important than even book knowledge.”
In 2000 Robby asked his younger brother Izzy to join him in the US. His plans for expansion required a partner and his brother was the perfect candidate. Opening a second location in Arizona, Izzy took over the Chicago operations while Robby established the new Arizona location.
As operations expanded Robby stuck to his original business plan, building a customer-centric business. “More than half of my job is listening to my clients. I ask questions and then really listen to what they tell me. If my client has a problem, then I have a problem and my job is to help solve those problems.”
Today, DNR Diamonds boasts offices in Israel and China in addition to their US locations. They have over 9,500 clients and more than 45 employees. Most clients reach them by referral and, according to Robby, “once they try us, they usually stick with us.”
Robby Nochimowski (right) and his hard working staff at the DNR Diamonds’ Chicago office.
Even in today’s economic climate DNR continually reevaluates the way they view the market. “We understand that it is critical to our clients’ bottom line that we reduce our margins. Although we will make less we will help retailers survive and, in turn, we will maintain our business.”
Whether purchasing loose stones, working with the diamond cutters or setting product price, DNR keeps their client in mind. “We constantly have a client mindset in everything we do. We stay in constant communication with our clients and keep a keen eye on market trends in order to make the best decisions for them. We are honest, trustworthy and reliable… all the things a retailer needs in a diamond wholesaler.”
With no minimums and the ability to service small and large retailers, DNR Diamonds has established a solid reputation in the industry. They continue to revise and adapt their business to the changing economic climate. According to Robby, “We can’t stand still. Either we move forward or we slide backward, and backward isn’t in our plans.”
For more information on DNR Diamonds contact their toll-free number at 877-248-5090 or check out their website at www.dnrdiamonds.com.