“I cannot say enough wonderful things about Evans Jewelers.”
“I wouldn’t go anywhere else for my jewelry.”
“We will continue to use Evans Jewelers throughout our lives, not only for the beautiful jewelry, but for the sweet and wonderful people there!”
How do you get customers to say great things about your store? Half-off sales? Great inventory? Amazing employees? Sure, those can be effective, but Daniel Evans, owner of Evans Jewelers in Smithfield, NC, would tell you to create a ‘destination’ store where the locals feel comfortable and are treated like family. Oh, and throw in a few cigars and a glass of wine with your diamonds and you’ve got a recipe for success.
Evans Jewelers is the brainchild of Daniel Evans, a second generation jeweler with a twist. Daniel didn’t join the jewelry industry full-time until he retired from law enforcement and local politics. The former town mayor had grown up helping his dad in his jewelry store, but it wasn’t until he left his State Department job of overseeing local police departments 16 years ago that he decided to jump into jewelry full time.
And, when he made the leap he jumped in with both feet. He’d spent several years planning his future store, taking pictures of his favorite architecture, checking out awnings and searching for interior designs that appealed to him. But he knew he didn’t want an average store. He wanted to include some of his favorite things like high end wine and cigars alongside the diamond and rubies.
“I enjoy good wine, a good cigar and fine jewelry, and thought other people would too,” explains Daniel. “I didn’t know if anyone else had done it, but honestly I didn’t really care.”
With his father retired, Daniel started building his dream store. Starting with a 150 year old building crafted with 7 types of brick and the best architecture a local surveyor had ever seen, Daniel insisted on maintaining as much of the original structure as possible. From the original wood ceilings, complete with ceiling beams from a local train trestle, to the copper awning in front, the store feels warm, friendly and comfortable, enticing both men and women to come in and visit.
Evans’ store is unique, especially for a smaller community like Smithfield. With only 13,000 people residing there, it’s as much a place to visit as it is a fine jewelry store. People stop by to sit at the penny bar and enjoy the nearly 40 different wine blends from across the country. They come in to pick up an Evans signature cigar, one of 7 different blends from the Dominican, wrapped in a custom band bearing the Evans family crest and placed in a monogrammed box. Everywhere they turn customers are surrounded by elegant, luxury items while being treated like family.
“We took a risk and created a store where experience happens, and our customers feel the love we have for them, our family and our community,” remarks Daniel. “My older son is interested in watch and jewelry repair, while my younger son helps with the cigars and our digital inventory system. My wife of 35 years works alongside me every day and my daughter-in-law handles our marketing and social media, as well as our new bridal registry and giftware department. I am also gaining another daughter-in-law next year who will be another asset to our family business.”
And the new store with copper fixtures and a lodge-like feeling has helped the family sell differently. Today they host special events where the list of invitees includes 300+ people who haven’t been in the store before. They use social media to its fullest advantage while making sure to meet their customers on a personal level. They even wrapped a smart car with their logo and had a first-time customer follow the car to the store and make an $8000 diamond purchase!
“We’ve definitely seen an uptick in our sales since we started hosting events,” states Daniel. “We knew customers wouldn’t come in just because you open the doors. You have to give them a reason to come to your store and, so far, what we’re doing has produced a nearly 25 percent increase in sales since last September.”
What took nearly 5 years to plan and 2.5 years to build is now a benchmark store where locals can sit in the wing back chairs in front of the animal rug while enjoying the warmth of a fire in the impressive 16 foot tall stone fireplace. Daniel is the first to say, “We took a risk building this store, but we created a store where experiences begin.”
But perhaps the most inspiring part of Evans Jewelers is that every time you walk into their shop there’s an Evans family member there to make you feel like part of the family.