Diamonds in Dallas, breaks the mold of the independent retailer in many ways. He’s a millennial coming at the industry from a business perspective after founding and growing his 3-year-old wholesale/retail business on his own.
Adam, whose parents emigrated from Israel before he was born, is proud to be the first in his family to go to college. He earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University in 2015 after graduating from the University of Kansas with an economics degree. Charmingly candid, Adam says he chose Kansas because a friend was going there, and he knew the university had a good Jewish population. While there, he was instrumental in founding and participating in networking groups, a skill he uses today in building business.
He’s also candid about the challenges he’s faced after originally focusing on diamonds as investments when he opened the doors to Bitton Diamonds in 2017. “Business didn’t pick up with the investment diamonds, so I’m now doing more retail and custom work,” he says. “I’m working online and out of my office, no showroom yet. I’m building capital to get to the point of having a showroom.
“I was going to go into a partnership before coronavirus, but it’s probably a good thing that didn’t happen because we would have been shut down. I ended up getting the virus myself in June, but I wasn’t affected too badly. Business was affected though. Pipelines weren’t shipping, and it was hard to get stones. Also, people weren’t getting engaged, and that’s the main source of my business. When business started opening up after COVID, that’s when I got the virus and had to quarantine. But it’s all better now.”
Adam says that when he returned to Dallas from Kansas in 2011, there was little work to be found. After receiving his MBA, he found the best strategy for landing a job was through his connections in the Israeli community. “Friends got me a position with Southwest Diamond Cutters, and I learned everything there. I never did GIA – I learned instead from one of the best diamond cutters in the United States, and probably the world. And I learned from going out and purchasing jewelry, sorting melee and all sorts of arduous tasks. I can do CAD-CAM, but outsourcing it is worth the money for me. It’s too much to take on myself.”
Devoted to “customer service, top-shelf products and handcrafted jewelry,” Bitton Diamonds offers “any and all assortment of loose diamonds available to our customers on request. We have one of the largest assortments of diamonds and gemstone wedding rings available to our clientele.” Clients can also work with Bitton’s designer to create their own custom engagement and wedding rings.
Although it’s not the main focus now, Bitton Diamonds continues to guide some customers with investing in diamonds, helping to bring them “the highest return on the investment grade diamonds we purchase and manage for them.”
Adam says his forte is connecting people – and he has contacts and customers across the country. “If I can help, I will connect a jeweler with another jeweler – I’m good at helping out. I’ve done a lot of branding, logos, design, ads – that sort of thing. I’m sort of a one-man shop. Working for myself, I have a lot to offer in marketing, sales, purchasing. I can help retailers in a number of ways. I make sure I cater to their convenience. A lot of my friends can’t get out of the office, working 9 to 5, and it’s tough for them to get to a jewelry store, or they don’t want the markup they have to pay because of overhead. I have low overhead, and they trust me. I go to their house to show them goods, or they come to my office – at night if they need to. I’m flexible for their needs.”
Just as he caters to millennial customers, Adam welcomes and understands the millennials who work for him. He focuses on providing flexible scheduling for his employees, providing learning opportunities from the basics up, making them feel they’re an integral part of the company. The key, he has said, “is to be open and transparent with your staff, show them the ropes and give them the tools and incentive to stay with you.”
The next step Adam hopes to take is finding the ideal person to partner with. “I’d like to find someone with the capital to help me grow,” he says. “I am well connected – I know people who want to buy jewelry, but when people come by, I need the inventory to show them. I would love to get a chance to partner, open a fresh showroom and build a foundation.”
Business is starting to pick up, Adam notes. “I love my business. I would definitely go corporate if I had no choice, but I’ve been lucky to build and maintain my business, to own the business and do what I like. A steady income would be nice. But nothing valuable in life is easy.”