From its New York City-based office (with a buying office in Mumbai) Shefi builds relationships with its retail partners. With nearly 50 years in business Shefi is a diamond wholesaler and manufacturer with a lengthy history in the jewelry industry. The company is passionate about their demonstrable growth and is committed to the success of their retailers.
Diamond jewelry manufacturing became a natural extension to Shefi’s original business model and goals. The company now offers diamond jewelry from affordable to high-end with price points starting at $199 retail on up to $100,000-plus pieces.
“Shefi is considered a ‘better’ goods vendor,” says Sanjay Hirawat, Mr. Shefi’s son and vice president of Shefi Diamonds. “We don’t take shortcuts and always focus on well-made product priced right.”
When it comes to relationships the old saying rings true: timing is everything. Shefi takes the time to carefully stock the best possible diamond inventory. Once quality inventory is established the company can act with fast turnarounds to help retail jewelers clinch much-needed sales.
“If a retailer needs a 10 carat [ctw] prong-set diamond bracelet, a 2 carat [ctw] channel-set anniversary band or 3 carat [ctw] inside-out diamond hoop earrings tomorrow, they simply need to call us by 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time and have it the next day for their customer,” says Sanjay. “Shefi makes you a hero for your customer.”
The core of Shefi’s business is programs featuring anniversary bands from .10 ctw on up to 2 ctw. Keeping the purchasing power of all retail customers in mind Shefi Diamonds offers anniversary bands and the company’s well-known Seven Diamond Cluster jewelry in 10K and 14K gold.
“The quality levels allow our retailers to choose between price point or better quality – or both,” says Sanjay. “Many of our retailers carry both qualities and find their customers can best be satisfied with options.”
Having options is always a good thing. Over the last year Shefi has been dedicated to the development of new bridal collections. “We’re excited about these new collections and the reception by our retailers has been overwhelming,” says Sanjay. “Each collection has been meticulously designed to meet current styling trends, targeted price points and to tell a Carat Weight story.”
Collection names include Canary Couture, Multiplicity, Cinnamon Dulce, Peach Blossom, Eternal Fire, Love Connection (a patent-pending Diamond Guard Design), Vintage and more. Each collection has 30-plus different designs and comes with its own signature displays.
Shefi also appeals to the diamond fashion consumer. For years the diamond company’s retailers have had success with niche mainstays like nautical-and-beach-themed diamond jewelry with the Oceanity Collection featuring starfish, palm trees, flip-flops, sand dollars, turtles, flamingos, as well as ship wheels and anchors to name a few, according to Sanjay.
“If your store is near the water, along the coastal region, ports where cruise ships visit or near large boating communities, Oceanity should be in your store,” says Sanjay. “If you’re located where the snow-capped mountains invite skiing and vacations at lodge resorts, then you should review Shefi’s Frost collection, featuring fascinating intricate snowflake designs and our Diamond Peak collection, focused on the beauty of the mountainous terrain and days spent on the slopes. New displays for each of these collections will be introduced at JCK in PC740.”
The diamond company’s growth and evolution isn’t just about products and designs. With the advent of modern marketing platforms jewelry manufacturing companies such as Shefi have become marketing partners with their retail customers. This progression is much more than providing free displays. It has come to encompass marketing and promotional materials and related media.
At the request of their retailers Shefi created flyer programs and offers promotional product needs that allow its retailers to compete with big-box competitors. This product is price-point sensitive yet still remains on trend and is a look that has been well received, says Sanjay.
“Shefi Diamonds boasts of a full marketing team with talented individuals skilled in the creation of eye-catching art for duratrans, billboards, social media, [i.e. Instagram and Facebook posts] window clings, website banners as well as newspaper and magazine ads,” says Sanjay. “Just about anything a retailer needs for marketing. Need a new logo? Opening a new store? We’re here to help.”
Seasonal flyers and catalogs are also a featured part of the marketing and promotional mix from Shefi. These can be customized with the retailer’s store logo and details for selling events throughout the year.
Staying current in the industry is more than trending designs and ways to market and promote them. Equally important is a commitment to quality and consistency. Shefi remains steadfast in its pledge to offer only mined diamonds.
“Shefi only offers mined, natural diamonds as loose and diamond-set jewelry,” says Sanjay. “We don’t want any crossover mistakes to occur. We constantly check and recheck our loose diamonds and jewelry for lab-grown diamonds.”
Additionally, a good judge of a company is its crisis management. Based in New York City, arguably the US city hit hardest by COVID, Shefi did not close its offices during the peak crisis months.
“We tried our best to meet the needs of our retailers as efficiently and effectively as possible,” says Sanjay. “Those months taught us how to work smarter, run leaner, and meet our retailers’ needs in a time of uncertainty.”
Shefi opened its doors in 1975 but the family influences that led Dharam Chand Hirawat to open his own diamond company started two generations prior in Jaipur, India. “My great grandfather started trading in precious stones in Jaipur,” says Sanjay.
To celebrate Shefi’s upcoming 50th anniversary event a little early, the diamond company is moving to new offices this summer. The new location will have 6,700-square-feet of space. Roughly 5,200 square feet will be office space with a spacious walk-in vault. The remaining 1,500 square feet will be dedicated to domestic manufacturing. Shefi’s rapid growth has created a need for a much larger office space.
Shefi exhibits at all of the industry’s well-known trade shows from JCK in Las Vegas to the JA show in New York, and also the regional shows – CBG, IJO, RJO, SJTA, Prime; JIS, GJX and Select.
The diamond company is part of the industry’s leading buying groups (CBG, RJO, IJO, SJO) and trade associations including the American Gem Society and Jewelers Board of Trade. Shefi is also one of the founding members of the Indian Diamond and Colorstone Association (IDCA).