This is exactly what I did. I arrived at the Harvest Park Drive location and upon entering Broder Jewelry Design, I immediately observed the friendly atmosphere and I was warmly welcomed by Mark.
WHAT TO EXPECT
When you sit down with Mark to discuss your design, you can expect his undivided attention. He is focused and attentive to your every word, honing in on what your mind’s eye is seeing. It is most important to him that his customers are given ample time for this important decision. He says it takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete this design process.
First, he makes it a point to actively listen to his customers. Sometimes they have a photo of something they like, this is always a helpful starting point. He also has design portfolios on his desk filled with photographs of the jewelry he’s created over the years. Perusing over these can also be helpful for generating ideas, while lending to the possibility of blending what you see with your own ideas. The end result is a hand-drawn sketch of the design you have decided upon. This is one obvious difference between working with Mark or your average jewelry salesperson who generally sells factory produced pieces in large volume. Mark truly cares about this piece of jewelry and does not rush any phase of development. He is not one who will just take an order and pass it on.
Mark hears what you want, sketches it to scale and then personally creates the masterpiece. The only advertising that counts to Mark is customer satisfaction and the resulting word of mouth. Your excitement and the amazing quality of his work will have people asking who designed your piece day after day. There is something deeply satisfying to Mark in creating a piece of jewelry that you will treasure.
Mark’s designs are based on his decades of knowledge, expertise, and experience. He considers himself an educator as well. He said, “My job is to help guide my customers in making the most informed decision.” Oftentimes, couples come in to discuss diamonds. At Broder Jewelry Design, customers will receive accurate and trustworthy information. The four C’s will be discussed in detail: carat, clarity, color, and cut.
The jeweler’s eye loupe is a special magnifying glass with a focus lens that is used to see details more clearly. Jewelers use these to look closely at diamonds. If someone has an unlimited budget, they are able to purchase a flawless diamond; however, if a customer has a significantly lower budget, Mark can guide them to a beautiful stone that may have flaws while looking under the eye loupe, but this stone would be a lovely cut with beautiful brilliance and flawless to the naked eye. Since most people never look at the diamond through the eye loupe ever again, this can be a wonderful option. Customers can be assured that Broder Jewelry Design will provide the highest quality of diamonds, given that Mark has established relationships with his multiple reputable suppliers, and they only send him the very best.
Since jewelry wasn’t deemed an essential business, Broder Jewelry Design shut down in March due to COVID-19. However, Mark continued working solo in the back of his store where all of his creations come to life. He had many orders to complete. He typically works a 10 to 12-hour day and during this time he was able to catch up on orders while also cutting his workday back to about eight hours. He took this time to appreciate the extra hours at home with his family, helping with dinner, and enjoying some of the everyday things he often missed when working long hours. He was also grateful for a couple of long weekend visits with his son who is in the military.
BACK IN BUSINESS
He is back to business now by appointment, to accommodate one or two customers in the shop at a time. He has disinfectant spray, hand sanitizer, and masks in use to keep everyone safe. These past few months certainly have not been easy for small businesses. Mark shared that he’s noticed that people have been extremely generous lately. When coming in for a watch battery repair, he’s been handed a $20 bill and told to keep the change. He said, “It has warmed my heart to see people supporting the small businesses.” He is grateful to be seeing customers again and notices that they are equally as grateful to see him too.
While I was there, one customer came in for assistance. He entered the store and described a piece of jewelry he had purchased for his wife a few years ago. He was planning to add to the design. Mark remembered the man and the exact piece of jewelry he was referring to. I was impressed with this level of customer service, but not surprised. Mark’s desire is to establish long-lasting relationships with his customers, and he does just that.
Broder Jewelry Design also makes it a point to give back to the community. Over the years, this business has donated beautiful police badges to the Brentwood Police Officers Association for their police officer’s ball, gift baskets to various crab feeds, Deer Valley Education Foundation, and a variety of other organizations. He selects a handful of valuable organizations each year to donate either a piece of jewelry or gift certificates for various jewelry services. He enjoys giving back in this way.
ABOUT MARK BRODER
Mark’s favorite aspect of the business is having the opportunity to be an integral part of such joyous and momentous events in people’s lives. He appreciates participating in these precious occasions and said he feels like part of the family when he is sent wedding photos and big smiles of loved ones showing off their piece of jewelry on a birthday, anniversary, or some other special life occasion. This is what sets him apart from the average jewelry store; he’s the guy you share your ideas with about your dream jewelry piece, he sketches it on paper and then makes your dream a reality. An interesting aside, his wife works in a field where she encounters the less joyous occasions in life, so she greatly appreciates Mark’s stories of happiness, excitement, and celebration.
I was curious if Mark had ever taken a trip specifically to see particular jewelry.
“At Broder Jewelry Design you can be assured that you will find very reasonable prices.”
As you might guess, he has. He enjoys visiting museums that feature exquisite jewelry by famous designers such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, and other notable artists. While on a trip to Italy, he made it a point to visit certain locations to look at the old-world designs and styles, which he finds to be very inspiring in his own creations.
Curiosity led me to ask if he has a favorite piece of jewelry he’s made. He showed me a few in his portfolio and one caught my eye, a 12 mm wide gorgeous band, sprinkled with a variety of natural colored diamonds, including pink diamonds, set in platinum. I can see why it is one of his favorites, it has become mine too!
NOT YOUR AVERAGE JEWELER
At Broder Jewelry Design you can be assured that you will find very reasonable prices. The store does not have high overhead because they do not carry large amounts of jewelry in stock. This makes it possible for Mark to pass on the savings to his customers. While he does not have inventory on hand, he is able to accommodate most customers who come in needing a piece of jewelry the next day. If he doesn’t have something on hand to create, he does have a few U.S. companies he works with that will do an overnight order.
Hand engraving is becoming a lost art but it is something that Broder Jewelry Design specializes in. Mark particularly enjoys this outlet for his creative energy. From basic letter engraving to the most elaborate and sophisticated design, Mark is a master. This makes sense as he’s been in the jewelry business since high school when his father asked him to partner in his jewelry business. The road to mastery has been paved with extensive apprenticeships and years of hands-on experience learning about jewelry repairs, the fundamentals of stone-setting, and hand engraving. It is no wonder that he is continually trusted by customers.
Broder Jewelry Design isn’t your run-of-the-mill jewelry shop and Mark Broder isn’t just a guy trying to sell jewelry for a living; he’s simply an artist. He makes it a point to create a piece of jewelry specifically designed by you, for you, and different from what you will see anywhere else. He knows how special this piece will be for you and he aims to reflect that sentiment in your new centerpiece. The halo style ring is popular right now, so he might take that style and help you design it with some individuality. He works a lot with family heirlooms, antique restorations, and refurbishing and enhancing old hand engraving. Broder Jewelry Design is a store you can place your trust in for the most precise hand engraving to the basic necklace repair and everything in between. Mark’s high level of service and meticulous craftsmanship creates customers for life.
Photos by Melissa Van Ruiten