How did your business begin?
It’s a true American success story! In 1890, Gus Sylvan left Sweden and made his way to America, eventually finding his way to Columbia. Finding a vibrant city with a growing economy, he saw a need for a jeweler in the community who understood quality and exceptional customer service, which are the core values that we live for today, and he opened on Main Street in 1897. In 1905, Gus purchased the iconic “Sylvan Building,” and the rest is history.
What is something some of your customers might not know about you?
I personally got involved in the jewelry business when I answered a newspaper ad for a part-time job at a local jeweler in Tallahassee when I was attending Florida State University. Quite literally, I began in the “mail room,” made deliveries, and helped stock the shelves, but I began to absorb the world of gems and precious metal, along with what makes a successful sales associate: service! After college, I began a career that I have enjoyed for more than 40 years.
What is most rewarding about your business?
What makes this field so much fun is that jewelry is a FUN product! It is inspiring to be a part of important occasions for our clients, such as engagements, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and “push presents.” All joyful events in our lives. We have clients who have been shopping at Sylvan’s for generations, and we’re actively working on the next generation as well. Every day is unique and different with the opportunity to speak to so many different wonderful and happy people.
Currently, what is your greatest challenge?
Of course, the biggest challenge that we (and so many others) are facing now is the shutdown from the COVID-19 virus outbreak. We have used this “down” time to continue to work from home to reach out to our clients. Social media platforms have made staying in contact so much easier.