By: Molly Fitzpatrick
Sisters and co-owners of Paris Jewellers, Chau and Trang, run their 28 luxury jewelry retail stores with refreshing integrity, leveraging their experiences to appreciate and truly value all customers. Their family emigrated from Vietnam to Canada when the sisters were very young and the family had very little. Over the past 30 years, their family has been able to create a thriving 28 location luxury jewelry retail brand with locations throughout Canada. The family is a beautiful example of what can happen if you work hard and follow your passions. Read our interview below to learn more about their experiences.
Describe your brand in three words.
Sparkly. Grateful. Sincere.
How has your experience coming from very little shaped your careers?
Growing up with very little, we learned to have gratitude for what we did have. We were fortunate enough to come to Canada, where we made a home, had a loving family, and support from friends. We were blessed with more opportunities than we could have ever imagined. When our family did save up enough money to make any purchase or go out for a family meal, it really meant something because of how hard we worked for it. With that in mind, we know what it’s like to spend time-saving for something really special, and truly understand the value of that. That’s where one of our beliefs comes from. “We believe customers work hard for their money, and deserve to be happy with every purchase they make.” We truly believe that whether a customer spends $50, $500 or $5000, they deserve to have a happy and memorable experience.
What do the words “good is the enemy of great” mean to you? Why is that significant?
“Good is the enemy of great” means that we should always strive to be our best self and not settle for “good enough”. We are so lucky to have so many opportunities, and we owe it to the people around us to always commit to being better than we were yesterday. It’s easier to just settle for “good enough”, but the real reward comes from striving to be great and knowing that we are always looking for that next level.
How has the Paris Jewellers team transformed into a family?
At Paris Jewellers we started off small with just one store. As we grew, we knew that the close-knit family aspect of our business is what makes us different. We are very committed to ensuring that no one is a number. No matter how many stores or employees we have, we will always speak to everyone on a first name basis and ask how they are before getting down to business. It keeps us grounded, and connected.
In the “Meet the Family” section of your website, we love that you ask everyone what their most recent random act of kindness was. Taking a play from your book, what was the last random act of kindness that you did?
One of our team members who is very valued in our company has a husband in the military who is deployed away from home for the next 8 months. I absolutely understand how this would be a huge challenge, so I made her some dinners and brought them to work so she could take a few nights off from cooking and spend that time with her young son.
What are your stores’ values and mission?
Core Values: Sincerity, Friendliness, Responsiveness, Commitment to Quality, Can-Do Attitude.
Our mission is to be Canada’s most customer centric retail jewellery brand. By bringing together people who love what they do, with products that bring people happiness, our goal is to ensure that each of our customers is happy with every purchase they make.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your business?
That the six most expensive words in business are, “We’ve always done it that way.” Change is not only inevitable but necessary to continue to grow and improve.
What’s something you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
To know that no matter what challenges we face, if we are determined and are willing to put in the work, we will find a way. To not be discouraged when things don’t go as planned, as that is life’s way of teaching us something and making us stronger. You win or you learn. Every challenge is a lesson, and we need to be grateful for that.
What’s the next thing on your to-do list today?
Finalizing our agenda for our Q4 company wide management/leadership meeting. We look forward to this event every year. It’s a chance for all management to be together in our home city, celebrate our wins, and learn and grow as a team. We also have a holiday party to kick off the start of the season!
What was your most successful in store event to date?
Our most successful event was our “Sparkle Now, Pay Later” event. We planned it well in advance and what worked was sending out personalized, handwritten invitations to our customers. What also worked was ensuring that everyone on the team, Head office, District Managers, Managers and Brand Ambassadors understood the vision of the event, and ensuring that everyone was fully trained in order to execute.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to start their own business, jewelry retail or otherwise?
Do something that you are deeply, madly passionate about. Be realistic about confronting the reality and challenges that you will face, because we know that nothing in life that is worth having is ever easy. But know that deep inside you, if there is a willingness to learn, work hard, and be open to change – you will make it happen!
Thank you to the Paris Jeweller family for sharing their brand story. Visit their website to learn more: parisjewellers.ca and if you come across one of their locations be sure to stop in and say hello – you’ll be greeted with open arms!