For Chris Lyons, CEO of Adele Diamond on Laskin Road in Virginia Beach, jewelry is emotional as well as functional. That’s what makes being a part of the jewelry business such a good fit for him.
“I have a cufflink collection from my grandfather,” Lyons said. “It’s a great honor to be able to speak about him to clients of his life of service in the Navy, the places he traveled in the world, and the great inspiration and model he was for me in my childhood.”
Lyons joined the business in part because of his wife, Ashley, who ran the jewelry store when it was then known as Lyons Jewelry, which first opened its doors in 2007.
“You buy jewelry not because you need to, but because you want to commemorate a birth, a memory, an anniversary, or mark a celebration such as making partner in the firm or finally graduating,” Lyons said. “Jewelry can tie you to your late grandparents, your mom that lives halfway across the country, or that moment of pride when you achieved great success.”
Lyons left his job in the corporate marketing world to join his wife in the jewelry business in 2014. They renamed the business Adele Diamond, choosing the name Adele from a baby book.
“Adele means noble, something worth doing or of a worthy cause,” Lyons said. “We specialize in engagement rings and wedding bands, making the statement that marriage is noble, something worth doing.”
The majority of Adele Diamond’s patrons arrive at the store in search of the perfect engagement ring.
“That was the single product my wife sold when we started out, so we have been perfecting the process for a decade now,” Lyons said. “Our only agenda when we sit down with a client is thrilling them with exactly what they want and need, and I think that catches some people off guard.”
Bridal rings aren’t the only pieces of jewelry Adele Diamond custom makes, however.
“We customized a pair of alligator skin shoes with dazzling gemstone buckles we crafted out of a pair of earrings,” Lyons said. “That was a fun project. We enjoy giving new life to an old worn out family heirloom, turning an old pin into a custom bar-style necklace, setting old family diamonds out of a broken ring into a new piece, or combining grandma’s and mom’s diamonds on each side of the family into a wedding band or an engagement ring. I think that’s the work that some bigger chain operations shy away from as it takes time, creativity, and a lot of effort to get it done right.”
Lyons also works to ensure his employees have the proper expertise. All staff go through education and training courses to be certified by the Diamond Council of America. And they all know how to put the customers first.
“Tears shed in the store are not an uncommon occurrence,” Lyons said. “When a memory of days past is tied up in a piece that gets broken, it’s almost like that memory is falling apart with the jewelry. When you restore that piece back to shining new condition, it has quite an effect on the owner, almost as if you brought that special meaning right back out of the past into their eyes in that moment.”
Lyons and his employees also enjoy keeping in touch with customers long after they walk out the door.
“Getting the first text from a client when they get engaged, even before it’s on Facebook or public knowledge, is a sign that you meant a lot to your clients in the process,” he said.
“And getting to see babies of your clients who come in the store a few years after that ring purchase shows that you really know that you have a special connection with the couple.”
And that is what Adele Diamond strives for on a daily basis. Jewelry can also be purchased online on Adele Diamond’s website, but Lyons prefers the face-to-face interaction.
“My favorite customer is the flip flop wearer,” Lyons said. “We’re near the beach, so we get a lot of those, and it’s a client that feels comfortable anywhere in their beach lifestyle attire. The more my clients are comfortable and easygoing, the more fun we have working with them. People that want a relationship with a local jeweler that looks out for the success of their relationships and their jewelry, those are the types of customers that fit in and want to come back.”
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