Lux Bond & Green sells watches and fine jewelry from locations in West Hartford Center, Somerset Square Glastonbury, Main Street Westport, Greenwich Ave Greenwich, The Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino, and Central Street in Wellesley Massachusetts and in the Back Bay in downtown Boston Massachusetts. On to its fifth generation, it is the oldest continuously operating family jeweler in New England.
Its formula for success has been a combination of strong relationships in its industry and deep ties in the communities it serves. On the industry side Lux Bond & Green plays an important role with John Green as the current Chairman of the board of Governors at the Gemological Institute of America and the firm is a member of Jewelers of America, American Gem Society, Jewelers Vigilance committee, an accredited member of the Council for Responsible Jewelry Practices and his brother Marc an executive board member of the Jewelry Security Alliance. Recently John Green stopped by and spoke with Elite Traveler Editor-in-Chief Doug Gollan to share the secrets to his company’s success and what he sees for the future.
Elite Traveler: Tell us about the history of Lux Bond & Green?
John Green: Lux Bond & Green was founded by my great grandfather in 1898 in Waterbury, Connecticut. At the time the city was one of the country’s biggest manufacturing centers. I’m fourth generation and today we have seven stores. We’ve always been innovative. Before billboards were popular in the 1940s, we had billboards with our motto “famous for diamonds.”
ET: And did you ever consider anything else for your career?
JG: I’ve been in the business my whole life. I have a passion for diamonds.
ET: You’re part of the One & Only One colored diamond program. Why?
JG: It’s all about quality. Quality equals value. We’ve delivered quality for four generations and that’s how you do it in small communities. We have experience in diamonds. I have a great understanding of diamonds and value, and One & Only One delivers all of it.
ET: What separates Lux Bond & Green from the competition?
JG: Back in the Seventies we were one of the first independent jewelers to go to the shows in Basel, Bangkok, Vicenza and Hong Kong. We did it to get to the source. We wanted to make sure we were brining our customers the most beautiful diamonds and jewelry found around the world.
ET: Has the Internet impacted your business?
JG: We have a nice online business. People want to be informed. We were early in e-commerce, starting about 10 years ago and usually we end up with a personal phone call or a store visit.
ET: Have you seen any changes in what affluent consumers are looking for?
JG: The high end, sophisticated consumer really wants both good value and high quality. Whether it’s their boat, a second house or their airplane. Just like they ask, ‘Am I buying the right airplane,’ they want to know, ‘Is this the right diamond.’ Most of our customers don’t plan on reselling, but they want to make sure they are making the right choice. With our customers it’s a relationship for life.
ET: What about expansion?
JG: We don’t say we need to add stores in certain places. We would rather build our business where we already are and where we know.
ET: There seems to be more competition at all ends of the spectrum, from mega-stores to chains to brands?
JG: The jewelry business is a relationship business. That’s why it hasn’t been taken over by the big boxes. Everybody says they give great service. But you can only give great service if you have qualified people. That’s something that is hard to replicate in companies focused on scale.
ET: So what’s the secret to you success?
JG: For us it really goes back to our history, and that is the communities we are in. Big companies come in then leave. Other companies want to diversity into different areas of expertise. We think it’s important to remember who you are and be happy with who you are, and to be the best at it. We are very proud to be part of each community where we are located. We are experts in diamonds, jewelry and watches for our communities, and we want to bring our customers the most beautiful quality, value and designs found anywhere in the world.