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Selling jewelry at every price point a goal for newly opened Fali Jewelers in Naperville – Chicago Tribune

Business: Fali Jewelers

Address: 226 S. Washington St., Naperville

Phone/website: 630-857-9108, www.falijewelers.com

Owner: Fahsal Ali, 54, of Burr Ridge

Manager: Karen Munici, 56, of Oswego

Years in business: Opened in May

What does your business do? “We are a fine jewelry store that caters to customer service, repairs. commitment around. We specialize in high-end diamonds,” Munici said.

Do your diamonds come from Africa? “They come from many different vendors from all over the world. Canada is the No. 1 place now. Lab-grown diamonds are the thing right now.”

Can you tell a difference with the naked eye? “No. Even the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) stands behind those. … Everything is the same. Exactly. They’re about a third of the price of a natural diamond.”

How do you grow a diamond? “It takes four weeks in a lab compared to a billion years.”

Why open in Naperville? “The opportunity came up, so (the owner) decided, ‘Why not Naperville.’ We’re right on the main strip.”

Is that good for business? “It is. We get a lot of walk-ins, which is nice.”

How long have you been with the company? “I’ve been with Fali Jewelers six years. … Working for a family-owned local business, it doesn’t get better than that. Working for Fahsal is like working for family.”

Why are you in this business? “I’ve been in the jewelry business for 30 years. It was a fluke. I was in the salon business. I talked to a friend in the jewelry business. I didn’t know anything about diamonds. … I worked for the Whitehall Co. for many years until they went out of business. Then, Michael Hill, a company from Australia, came in for 10 years and took over some Whitehall stores. Then they left. I knew Fahsal. He said, ‘I need you.’ I started the next day. He’s the best.”

What misconceptions do people have? “A lot of people think jewelry prices are high and you make a lot of money on it. You don’t. In the ’70s, yes, the jewelry prices were high. … A lot of stores sell jewelry service plans, protection care plans. Fahsal and I are old school. We believe that we’ll take care of that customer, we don’t have to sell them extra. If they lost a diamond, we replace it free of charge. If they need a resizing, it’s free.”

Is there another store? “Yes, at Woodfield Mall. … What’s nice with this location is we have something for everyone. We have all price points. A lot of people think it’s all high-end. It’s not. … We have different collections here. We want to make sure we have something for everyone.”

You manage both stores? “Yes.”

How did the virus impact this business? “We were closed at Woodfield for two and one-half months (in 2020). Once people came back, they wanted to get out and shop. … A lot of new guests came in. It was like Christmas.”

What do you like most? “Making people happy. It’s more than selling a ring. It’s selling their commitment to each other. … They come back and show us the wedding pictures. They come back with their babies. Their children wind up buying from us.”

What do you tell people who aren’t familiar with jewelry? “We ask them what they want and we educate them if we need to. If they have a question about diamonds, I can explain anything they want to know about diamonds. And then find the right diamond for themselves or whoever they’re looking for. … ‘Can you imagine that ring on your wife’s finger?’ If the answer is ‘yes,’ then that’s the ring. If the answer is ‘no,’ then we have to keep looking until we find the perfect gift. You want to sell something so the customer is happy and they come back.”

How’s the competition? “Online is the biggest competition right now. … You don’t get the service (online). Why they want to buy a diamond online is beyond me. You’ve got to see what you’re buying. Especially a diamond.”

When is your busy time? “This is it. We prepare in July for Christmas.”

Any future plans? “That’s up to Fahsal.”

Any favorite stories? “We’ve had guests get down on one knee in the store. That’s amazing, sharing that moment with us.”

What’s your advice for someone starting a business? “Never ever give up on your dream. And, it takes a lot of hard work.”

If you know of a business you’d like to see profiled in Down to Business, contact Steve Metsch at [email protected]

Steve Metsch is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun.

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