Sweet Custom Jewelry Sparkles in Old Town, LansingBy Jane Whitttington on December 28th, 2015 /
Old Town in Lansing is filled with unique shops, art galleries and restaurants, but until recently, its mix of businesses hasn’t included a place to buy beautiful and distinctive jewelry. Bob and Alissa Sweet opened Sweet Custom Jewelry in September of 2015, and business has been brisk.
The young couple met while working together at a local jewelry store. Alissa started there as a greeter and soon became fascinated by the intricacies of the jewelry business. In time, she moved into sales and learned even more. Bob, intrigued by every aspect of the business, traveled to California to attend the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) where he was able to learn more about jewelry and hone his skills as a designer.
After the couple married, Alissa set up a Facebook page to offer Bob’s expertise as a designer and creator of unique jewelry to the marketplace. They soon realized that the demand for Bob’s creations was huge, and they began to discuss the possibility of opening their own store. Long-time fans of Old Town, they were delighted to find a location available, and, with help from friends and family, set about making the building their own.
Alissa says, “In setting up the business, we got help from the Small Business Association here in Lansing. We also have friends outside of Lansing who are in the jewelry business, and they gave us advice as well. Luckily, we found a space in Old Town that was perfect for us.”
According to Alissa, about half of the jewelry sold in the store is either designed by Alissa and Bob and then created “on spec” or custom designed for a specific person. The other part of the product mix is handpicked jewelry designed by others, either new or from an estate. Alissa says, “Eventually, we hope to carry only our own designs in the store.”
Most of the gemstones and diamonds they work with are purchased from New York City, the center of the diamond market in this country.
Old Town has proven to be a great location for this young business. Alissa says, “The first weekend we opened was Blues Fest, and we had lots of people stopping in to check us out. Old Town is noted for its festivals, and we are excited to participate in more of them.”
Sweet Custom Jewelry prices range from the low two figures to five figures. Yes, one lucky bride-to-be recently received an engagement ring worth $10,000, custom designed by Bob.
A unique part of their product mix is Michigan State University-centric, made from pre-determined designs and licensed by MSU. Charms, pendants and bracelets are available as well as a sophisticated take on the Spartan green and white with their own beautiful designs incorporating emeralds and diamonds. They are in the process of obtaining permission to design their own MSU jewelry. (They even sell “just a few” University of Michigan products.)
Diamonds are a mainstay in the jewelry businesses, and they sell many engagement and wedding rings, all made with diamonds of exceptional quality. In addition, they sell rings, pendants and bracelets made with diamonds and/or other gemstones.
For a look at their line of extraordinary jewelry, stop into their Old Town location or visit their website at www.sweetcustomjewelry.com