Erickson Jewelers: Putting some local sparkle into Christmas
IRON MOUNTAIN — For Erickson Jewelers, Christmas truly is “the most wonderful time of the year.”
Sales in the three weeks before the holiday can equal a normal three months for the business, said Sherri Erickson, who owns the store at 511 S. Stephenson Ave. with her husband, Randy.
“There’s no other month that’s as busy,” she said. They add staff and hours leading up to Christmas.
The important part is not the sale, she said, but making sure the customer walks away with something they want, either for themselves or a loved one. A piece of jewelry is a luxury item, so no matter how much is spent, it’s an important purchase, especially when intended to be a gift.
They expect to take up to an hour or more catering to each shopper, showing them a range of items to see what strikes his or her fancy. “It’s a different experience; a personal experience,” she said.
That’s one of the advantages of “shopping local,” she said — she knows most of her customers and their preferences. She recently assisted one man who wanted earrings for his wife.
“He had no idea what she’d like, but we did,” Sherri Erickson said.
Plus, if that choice isn’t right or something else needs to be changed, they can fix the problem here, she said. That’s not going to be the case if the purchase is made hours away, she said.
Being part of the community, they can’t escape if someone is displeased with a transaction, she noted. “I’m going to see them at the grocery store, I’m going to see them at my kids’ games,” Sherri Erickson said.
The Ericksons first opened an Iron Mountain store at 1820 S. Stephenson Ave. in August 2009, after years in Escanaba. Both have more than two decades of experience in jewelry sales and design, with Randy a master goldsmith who specializes in award-winning custom work.
They moved to the downtown location in 2018, taking the same space that once had been Frankini Jewelry Store. They still have customers come in with pieces from that store.
Erickson Jewelers is known for diamonds, annually going to the Diamond District in Antwerp, Belgium, to acquire new stock, she said. They remain the most popular stone they sell.
“It’s a safe bet,” Sherri Erickson said. “It matches everything.”
But yellow gold is making a resurgence, she noted, after a period in which white gold and platinum had been favored. Their shop has rose gold as well, along with quality sterling silver that is all priced at $300 or less.
Along with gifts, Christmas traditionally has been a popular time for engagement rings, Sherri Erickson said. She speculated getting together with family makes the holidays ideal for announcing engagements or proposing.
They also can reset family heirloom pieces, as gold can deteriorate over time, she said. “He (Randy) is kind of a perfectionist,” she said of her husband. “He treats it like it’s his mom’s.”
They had one person come in recently who had his grandfather’s wedding ring to be resized and polished so it could be worn again, Sherri Erickson said, adding, “That was so cool.”
They have a special item at the store this year — a gold-dipped Milk Bone ornament — for $30 as a fundraiser for Almost Home Animal Shelter. Those who purchase the ornament also will receive a $20 store gift certificate.
About half of the ornaments have sold so far, Sherri Erickson said. If they sell out, it could generate $3,000 for the shelter.