Are diamonds really a girl’s best friend? Or is it her jeweler?
Nick Bederian, owner of , which opened its doors two months ago on Main Street in Royal Oak, is betting it’s a combination.
The Armenian immigrant, who has 21 years' experience in the jewelry business, said it is part of his culture. “Ninety percent of Armenians in Michigan are in this business,” he said.
Bederian, former owner of Gold N Time in Redford, sold that business and opened Infinity Jewelers in downtown Royal Oak, where he sells a variety of popular brands (Cool Joolz, Breuning, Zeghani, Zinzi, Toy Watch and others), creates one-of-a-kind pieces, performs repairs on jewelry, watches and eyeglasses and provides services such as custom design, insurance appraisals and cleaning.
He pays cash for gold, too.
“We are not just retailers,” Bederian said. “We are well-rounded, but our focus is our service.”
The jeweler’s commitment to his customers is what keeps them coming back, he said.
Garnets can be a girl's best friend, too
Tim Gelletly of Detroit was a repeat customer Tuesday. He first dropped by right before Christmas, on a whim, after stopping for a cup of coffee at the on Main Street.
“We thought we would just check it out,” he said.
Gelletly had brought his mother with him on that visit. After the staff greeted them, it wasn’t long until his “mom was opening up and telling stories,” he said.
“My father, (who passed away 12 years ago), used to buy my mother garnets for Christmas every year. It’s her birthstone,” he said. “She was born in January.”
His mother continues the tradition by buying garnets for herself, he said. “It’s a way for her to still feel close to my dad.”
Gelletly said his mother picked out earrings she liked at Infinity, and Bederian was able to customize the pair with garnets. Best of all, he was able to do it while she waited, Gelletly said.
“My mom was so happy. She thought she was going to have to wait a couple of days, but (Bederian) said, ‘I’ll do it right now,' ” Gelletly said. “She was so happy she would have the earrings for Christmas.”
“She said, ‘I know (my husband) is here with me,' and before long, everyone in the store was crying,” Bederian said.
It’s that type of personal touch that brought Gelletly back to have his wife’s wedding ring cleaned and adjusted this week.
“They made it look brand new,” Jennifer Gelletly said of the workmanship. “I can’t believe it is the same ring.”
Customers eat up downtown location
The decision to set up business in Royal Oak suits Crystal Shiklian, an Infinity saleswoman.
“There is a great atmosphere here,” she said. “Everyone has been so welcoming to us. We feel cozy here. And there are so many places around here to eat.”
The idea of nearby coffeehouses, shops and eateries sits well with customers, too, she said.
“People can drop something off for a repair or cleaning and grab something to eat,” she said. A quick phone call lets patrons known when their jewelry is ready to pick up.
Bling in the New Year
Shiklian said the business is diving right into the community and its many events. On Jan. 21, the jeweler will take part in the to benefit , a cancer support community located in Royal Oak.
For those looking to get back in shape after the holidays, Gilda’s Club has organized a running road rally through the streets of downtown Royal Oak. The event starts at on Main Street. Teams of two will run from business to business while picking up “bling.” Teams that complete the race will run approximately 5 kilometers, or 3.1 miles. The first team back with all of its bling wins $50 gift cards to .
Shiklian said Infinity is looking forward to being part of the event and giving out some baubles.
“We don’t know what it will be yet — probaby some sort of necklace,” she said. “It’s going to be fun.”