Albert’s Diamond Jewelers
Joshua Halpern’s senior year at Ball State University proved to be a pivotal moment for the Albert’s Diamond Jewelers president. His senior project was to develop a business plan in a highly competitive pass/fail class.
“Our class had 27 students and only 17 passed. I can remember how stressful it was. If I didn’t pass, I didn’t graduate,” he says.
Joshua’s project, which earned a “pass,” served as the business model of where Albert’s is today, from its physical location in Schererville to its success as one of the largest jewelry stores in the country.
Joshua is the fourth generation to be part of the family-owned business, which also has a location at the Southlake Mall in Merrillville. The family offers all things jewelry – from wedding rings to watches – as well as services such as custom designs, repairs, appraisals and complimentary jewelry cleaning.
“My father (Fred) started something great and when I came on board I added an influx of energy. As a young kid, teenager and college student, I worked at the store (formerly in East Chicago) with my dad – hanging out on Saturday mornings – and that evolved into working in every single department that we have,” he says. “After college, it became evident that I wanted to continue in the family business. My father and I worked very well together. I completed the graduate gemologist program in Santa Monica, Calif., and brought that additional layer of knowledge to the business.”
While they are one of the largest jewelry stores in the country, Joshua says their level of personalized service is singular to every customer.
“We treat people better than how we want to be treated. We want clients to feel like family when they enter the store and surpass their expectations,” he says. “We focus on smaller details – from fresh-baked cookies to offering some services complimentary. We know our clients by name, and take time to get to know them and their loved ones. These ‘layers of love,’ as we call it, allow us to build rapport and genuine connections with our customers.”
Joshua’s family has been woven into the business’s fabric since Fred took it over in 1960. Today, Fred serves as the chairman, Joshua’s wife, Ashley, is chief designer of an exclusive jewelry collection debuting this fall and Joshua’s mother-in-law, Linda Bulduk, is the Pandora manager. Joshua also owns Pandora franchises with his sister, Holly Metzger.
“My mother, Donna, used to work as the bookkeeper until she couldn’t any longer. She has had MS (Multiple Sclerosis) for 40 years,” Joshua says. “When she started getting sick, we turned to fundraising for MS. That was 15 years ago that we started the event for charity.”
Joshua says taking on the annual charity auction is one of his proudest accomplishments. This year’s event raised $295,000, building on its first year of $17,000. The total raised over the years has hit over $2 million.
“My father taught me about being charitable since I was young. Because of our position as a business and family within the community, we feel it is our duty to give back in meaningful ways. Our mission statement, to offer more in value than we accept in payment, extends beyond the walls of our store.”
Joshua attributes the success he has found in business to a great support system surrounding him.
“I couldn’t do it by myself – without my family and team putting in all of the sweat equity behind it,” he says. “I truly believe I am in the greatest business there is. We celebrate life’s most important moments with people each day. Marriages, birth of children, birthdays, anniversaries – we consider it a profound privilege to be a part of these meaningful moments in our clients’ lives.”
Albert’s Diamond Jewelers
Schererville and Merrillville