Sitting down with Bill Knight, sales associate
How did your business begin?
Sylvan’s was founded by Gustaf Sylvan in 1897, which makes us one of the oldest jewelry stores in South Carolina. On June 24, 1905, the Sylvan brothers moved to their second Empire-style building on the corner of Main and Hampton streets where Sylvan’s Jewelers is located to this day. A year later, they installed a beautiful four-sided clock on the sidewalk in front of the store. Today the Sylvan Building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the Sylvan’s clock is a cherished local landmark. The company was purchased by the Schiffman family in 1985; a fourth generation family-owned retail jeweler from North Carolina.
What is the mission of your business?
It is our mission at Sylvan’s to provide unique high-quality jewelry coupled with an unparalleled level of service and commitment to our customers 100 percent of the time.
What do you like best about your line of work?
I love knowing that the jewelry that we have been selling for the past 119 years is heirloom quality and will be passed down for generations to come.
What is your business’ biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge is the misconception that most people cannot afford to shop in our store. Although we do carry high quality jewelry and timepieces, we do have something for everyone.
What are your goals for this year?
With a freshly remodeled store as of late 2015, which includes a new Rolex Boutique and expanded jewelry collections, we hope to bring more people to visit us in downtown Columbia this year.
How does your company give back to the Columbia community?
Sylvan’s is very involved in many local charitable events through charities such as Pawmetto Lifeline, the American Heart Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Children’s Trust of South Carolina and more.