Stucki Jewelers: A model for Main Street

MOM AND POP STORES ARE THE “economic engine” for the foothills and Sierra. But they face many challenges: big box stores, and population declines.

On the other hand, independent businesses that provide unique products or services will continue to thrive, experts say. Fine jewelry retailers are a prime example.

The reasons are multifold: Jewelry—an engagement ring, for example—is an emotional purchase. Consumers want to be able to touch and feel whatever they are buying and get to know the proprietor. With custom jewelry, consumers want to be certain the design is right.

None of these tasks are easily accomplished with e-commerce or in a big box store. But an experienced and trustworthy independent jeweler can offer all of the above. In the foothills, Roper’s Jewelers in Auburn—run by the Roper family since the ’50s—and Stucki Jewelers in Grass Valley come to mind.

Stucki, located at 148 Mill Street, is owned by James and Nicole Arbaugh. The store’s roots date back to 1904. James, like his brother John, are locals who went away for their education and returned home to launch successful small businesses.

James is a certified Graduate Gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America. For custom jewelry, he uses a CAD-based software program that lets customers sit at the counter and design their own jewelry. In addition, James and Nicole have come up with some innovative programs:

On October 20-25, the Arbaughs return to Antwerp, Belgium, the world’s “diamond capital” to hand select diamonds for customers. You can order a diamond and get an attractive price.

”Free If It Snows”: Buy jewelry on November 25 and November 26, and if at least one inch of snow falls at the Nevada County Airport on Christmas Day, your purchases are free. Complete rules can be found at Stucki will feature an opal trunk show on November 25-26 as well.

On November 10-12, a holiday open house includes a Morganite trunk show. The pink stone is named in honor of financier J.P. Morgan. Stucki will serve pink martinis on this celebratory occasion.

Stucki Jewelers
148 Mill Street, Grass Valley

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