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Celebrating 40 Years of Gerald Peters

STATEN ISLAND LIFESTYLE SITS DOWN WITH THE OWNERS OF GERALD PETERS, THE GO-TO DESTINATION ON THE ISLAND FOR FINE JEWELRY

To be the owner of a high-end fine jewelry store is an appealing title but in reality, becoming a successful entrepreneur in this industry doesn’t happen overnight and takes years of commitment and sacrifice.

Gerald Peters is Staten Island’s premier destination for fine jewelry and luxury timepieces. Staten Island Lifestyle sat down with the owners to find out what the secret sauce is to building a thriving business where clients feel comfortable shopping for life’s most memorable moments.

Congratulations on celebrating 40 years! If you wouldn’t mind explaining to us a little bit about how you got started?

Jerry: A friend of mine was the manager of a jewelry store in Brooklyn. It was during a time when the price of gold shot up and he asked me if I would like to help out. I was interested in the industry so took the opportunity to learn about the different types of metals, what’s real what’s fake etc. and it all started there.

How was the business different 40 years ago when you first started?

Jerry: It was very different, I would literally have a cigarette in my mouth, you would have a cigarette in your mouth and we would be talking with an ashtray in front of us and I’d be putting a necklace on you. It was very relaxed. The Pac-Man charm was our hottest seller at the time.

Did you always know you wanted to make this a family business?

Jerry: Their mother used to say they wouldn’t be in the business because the business takes a lot from you.  We work weekends, holidays, etc. Being in retail I had to give up a lot, but I liked it and made sacrifices for my family. When I started slowing down it was emotional for me, but now with my sons in the business, I’m taking up hobbies such as golf at the Richmond County Country Club.

What sets you apart from the other jewelry stores?

Jerry: Honesty is important. Reputation is important. One of our sayings is reputation before profit. You have to be nice to people. Relationships and trust go a long way in this business. It’s important to be personable and also have great products. I always strive to have the nicest product and a different assortment.

How would you describe the Gerald Peters experience?

Gerald & Peter: We pride ourselves on not pushing sales but assisting instead. We have 4 Core Values; 1. Reputation Over Profit, 2. The Gerald Peters Experience, 3. Honesty and Integrity and 4. Teamwork. It’s never about the dollar amount. The staff has all been here for 20-40 years so it feels like family and very welcoming whenever you come to the boutique whether you are making a purchase or bringing in a repair we always want you to have a positive experience.

What are you most grateful for and what’s an important piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out?

Jerry: Work in an industry that you are passionate about. Learn the business. Make the sacrifices you need to. Work hard. Being an entrepreneur means you have to love it because it’s hard work. My biggest accomplishments are having a successful business and being able to continue the legacy with my family.