NeighborhoodNews: Nobles Pond
By: Meghan Stetzik
Simply stepping onto the beautiful Persian rugs in the doorway and looking around at the wide variety of stones and styles on display, it’s easy to see why Biris Jewelers stands out. This is not your average jewelery store.
Judy Biris and her brother, John, co-own the business, and together they have created a place for customers of all ages and incomes to find unique and meaningful pieces of jewelry for every situation.
“We don’t carry the exact same thing every other store carries,” Judy explained. “We offer a wide variety if distinctive pieces to suit the needs of each customer.”
Biris Jewelers offers many signed pieces by designers such as Cartier, Tiffany and Bulgari, and also provides custom pieces upon request. Most of the store’s custom jewelry comes from Beverly Hills, Calif., Judy said, and she and John travel year-round to locations such as France, Italy, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Vegas to find the best pieces to offer their customers.
“We are a specialized business,” John said.
When the pair finds a piece they think will be particularly successful at a store in a different area, or see a piece in a store they’d like to take back to their own shop, they broker a deal.
“When you get to know people, you get to know what their stores like better,” John explained.
This summer, for example, the Biris’s had a big surprise when they saw a tiara they had sold to a firm in Beverly Hills turn up on an episode of the TV show Rich Girls in Beverly Hills.
“It’s fun to see what different areas like,” Judy said. “There’s no call for a tiara here!”
While their focus is predominately on new jewelry, John and Judy also specialize in antique and estate jewelry – a niche that draws many customers for its unique design and history. In addition to selling and buying jewelry, the Biris’s also offer jewelry appraisals, and clean and check pieces at no charge.
John and Judy come from a family of jewelers, and have over seven decades of expertise running in their blood. Their grandfather, Jack Biris, started the first jewelry store in 1940, and their parents, Gus and Kathleen, have been with the business since 1959. Both John and Judy have fond memories of hanging out at the shop when they were young.
“As kids, we worked in the store on the weekends, and traveled a lot as a family looking for jewelry,” Judy recalled.
John majored in finance at Kent State University, and Judy attended the University of Miami in Ohio and finished her major in general studies at Kent State University. After graduating, the pair decided to return to the family business and run it together – a decision that has proved rewarding and exciting. John and Judy opened a second location in 1984 but decided to consolidate the two stores in 1999, and they have been growing their business on South Main Street ever since. Both John and Judy have a diamond grading certification from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
John said their favorite part of being jewelers is collecting. They also take customer service very seriously, and are committed to helping their shoppers find exactly the right item at a price that fits their budget.
As far as rings, particularly engagement rings, are concerned, Judy has some advice.
“We try to stress quality over size,” she said. “You’re always better off going for quality and finding a happy medium, instead of just going lower-end for the lower price.”
Whether a customer is looking for an exquisite Cartier diamond love bracelet or a simple silver band, Biris Jewelers is committed to matching each buyer’s price point. In addition to what’s on display, there are also catalogues available in the store with more pieces and styles, in order to accommodate everyone’s personal taste.