Mayhew Jewellers cultivates customer loyalty and new business through superior service
Marlene Sweet had dutifully worked for Mayhew Jewellers for nearly 30 years when owner John Mayhew decided it was time to retire. She had worked hard in every aspect of the business, developing a loyal customer base along the way. For a short period of time she worried that for the first time in ages, she may have to dust of her resume and hit the job-search trail.
But knowing how valuable she was to the success of the business, Mayhew chose instead to make Sweet an offer he knew she would jump at.
“I worked for John’s dad for 15 years and worked for John for 14 years and then he was ready to retire and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. When I heard he was going to step aside I knew that I was going to have to find a job. And actually I figured I would probably have to go and get two jobs because I was working 40 to 50 hours a week here. But then John presented such a good opportunity to take over the store that I just decided to go for it,” Sweet said.
That was in 2010. Two years later, she purchased the neighbouring storefront and created a new giftware section to complement the already well established core jewellery business. Over much of 2016, Sweet had further renovations done to the exterior façade and interior layout of Mayhew Jewellers to create a more open, inviting and dynamic retail space for her customers.
All of this change was due to the remarkable success of the business over the past half-decade.
“Well someone recently said to me that I am a victim of my own success. Within the first year business was just growing and growing. Honestly I think we tripled sales over that first year and it’s been growing ever since,” she said.
Part of the rise in sales was the professionalization and computerization of the sales and inventory system within the store, and with the increase in the quality and variety of giftware items. But ultimately Sweet believes that the success is due to good, old fashioned, attentive and receptive customer service in the core jewellery side of the business.
“I guess people respond well to me and to my staff. My staff interacts really well with the customers. And, really, my customers are more than just my customers, they’re my friends. You give people a hug when you see them and sometimes they just come in for a visit, or need someone to talk to because they’re struggling with something,” she said.
“I know how important my customers are. I wouldn’t be able to do any of these upgrades and renovations and even still be in business if not for my customers. It’s the people coming through my door that have made everything possible. We deal with individuals and families who are purchasing things that are of great importance and sentimental value for them – whether they be engagement or wedding rings, anniversary gifts or getting family heirloom jewellery repaired or resized, we see people at these important moments and they keep coming back. Young people come here for their first earrings or wedding bands because their grandmother came here. So it’s wonderful to see families come back time and time again.”
Sweet said she loves operating a business in downtown Napanee because of the tremendous support she receives not just from local customers, but from other local businesses – especially the impressive crop of new retail establishments that are owned and operated by women.
“One of the things I noticed when I first took over was all the other women who were bringing or starting businesses downtown. And the ones that were already here were working so hard to give a sense of community down here, to make people feel welcome. All of these people are working very, very hard and building their business and making it more attractive, and there’s a whole group of business owners who see the potential here and want everyone to be successful. People are really working together and it’s great to see, and it’s paying off for all of us,” she said.
Mayhew Jewellers success is also predicated on having high quality, well-crafted and truly lovely jewellery. Some of the most popular items are Canadian Ice diamonds, custom engagement rings and wedding bands, DaVinci bracelets, and a host of Sterling silver lines including Persona Charms, among many others.
For more information, visit them on Facebook or in person at 11 Dundas St. N. in the heart of downtown Greater Napanee.