Grogan Jewelers by Lon is a store with long, rich history of providing customers with lifetime jewelry and outstanding customer service. The Grogan legacy began in 1915 when Elisha A. Grogan founded Grogan Jewelers in Florence, Alabama. His son took over the family business in 1940 until Walker and Frankie Graham became the new owners in 1972, taking the store to an unmatched growth. Jay Klos purchased the store in 1985 and grew Grogan’s to two locations – the second in Hunstville, Alabama – before the Brown family purchased the stores in 2015.
Lon Brown is a successful entrepreneur with over 30 years in the jewelry industry. She and her family purchased the heritage and tradition that is Grogan’s, and in September 2016, they celebrated its 102nd birthday by opening its third location in Franklin, Tennessee. Today, at all three Grogan’s locations, they offer exceptional customer service that keeps the tradition and spirit of Grogan’s history alive.
This month, we caught up with Maria Cayse, General Manager and Buyer for Grogan Jewelers by Lon. See what she had to say about incorporating modern trends and technology while continuing traditions, how the store has evolved since the Brown family purchased the stores, how they plan to make customer visits special for the holidays and more:
How would you describe your store using only three words?
Captivating, Innovative, Reputable
Being a store of such a long and rich history, how do you incorporate modern trends, technology, and market changes with continuing traditions?
We employ marketing and technology experts who understand and support our core values while keeping us abreast of current market and technology trends. Our experts utilize social media platforms, search engine optimization, and web design combined with traditional methods of marketing to keep us relevant. Grogan by Lon also embraces the use of modern technology such as CAD software, 3 D Printers, customer counters, a CRM software program, and modern inventory POS systems to embody efficiency, professionalism, and customer service to the modern consumer. These different approaches of technology mixed with tradition keep us ahead of the curve and support the diversity of our clients, associates and vendor partners.
How has the store evolved since the Brown family took the reins in 2015? How has it carried on the store’s traditions?
The Brown family has invested time and resources in expanding the Grogan by Lon footprint by opening another location, updating the stores, expanding technology and increasing the presence of couture brands. The Brown’s inherited and continue the Grogan legacy of customer service, honesty and integrity and maintain the same traditions and culture that was started over a 100 years ago. Grogan by Lon continues to operate as a huge family that includes our clients, associates and vendors.
Do your three locations differ in style and inventory based on demographics or do they all deliver the same styles to create a specific image that customers can rely on and identify the store name with?
The store image is not necessarily the function of the jewelry we carry but the expertise and warmth of our interactions. The stores do differ slightly because of the local culture and niche in their market.
Our original location in Florence Alabama is an icon in the community and is known for their classic but unique fashion and bridal jewelry with the assurance that their customers will receive fair pricing , great workmanship and exceptional service.
The Huntsville Alabama store in a high tech town is a bridal jewelry store destination not only by their huge selection of bridal jewelry and loose diamonds but because of their expertise in educating the consumer to have confidence to purchase while maintaining a fun and warm atmosphere.
The Cool Springs store is our newest store and have become known because of their high fashion lines and brands, especially watches. They already have earned a reputation of service especially by being active in the community including supporting large events like Nashville Lifestyle Magazine’s 25 most beautiful photo shoot, The Nashville Symphony partnered with a Zac Posen fashion show and The Heritage foundation still while including local schools and civic organizations.
What does Grogan Jewelers by Lon do to make customers’ visits memorable?
Using our CRM program, we have made a point to know everyone personally, recognize their individuality, and remember important aspects of their lives. We know that there are many places to purchase jewelry and we appreciate them trusting us and allowing us to become part of their lives and show them that they are not business acquaintances but friends who quickly become family.
Do you do any special events? If so, what kind?
We do have very successful special events like Bridal, Big diamond, Repair, Restyling, Clearance and vendor trunk shows. Being a local jeweler, we also do community events in each of our towns featuring specific vendors or products that will collaborate well with a local charity or local cultural event.
Do you plan on having any holiday events? If so, what will make it unique and special for customers?
We have a one-day VIP event that includes special pricing all day culminating in a catered party in the last 4 hours of the day with food and refreshments. We send invitations, and then follow up with a phone call to book appointments. We have a red carpet rolled out upon arrival with a photographer to take pictures in front of a vintage Rolls Royce Silver Cloud car. The clients have chances to win prizes throughout the night and leave with a swag bag of personalized gifts. Our vendor partners support us by bringing expanded lines in for the event including one of kind pieces.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your business?
An owner/manager is only as successful as their weakest employee is. Every person in an organization is vital and can make or break a business.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone who is just starting out in the industry?
Stay passionate about what you do or get out! Do not dwell on the past; keep moving forward by continuing to learn and embracing change.
What was your favorite part about Luxury 2018?
When I shop Luxury, I feel like I can work at a calmer pace and enjoy the experience. The atmosphere allows me to be able to concentrate on buying strategy, negotiation and networking. When I leave, I feel like I have become a better businessperson from attending because of the relationships gained, the experiences with the vendors and the advancements in knowledge and education I received.
What are you most looking forward to at Luxury 2019, and what types of pieces/collections will you be looking for?
I am looking forward to networking, education, and finding new brands while looking for classic designs with a new twist while being assured that I will always find great workmanship at the best value.
To learn more about Grogan Jewelers by Lon, visit www.groganjewelers.com.