As a child, Sarah Sockolof often would walk through her family business, Simms Jewelers, admiring the pieces in the cases. When she was about 12, she fell in love with a tanzanite ring. “I was a big nail-biter. My parents promised me I could have the ring if I stopped biting. After a month, I started biting again and the ring disappeared,” she says.
When she turned 21, her parents surprised her with a bouquet of flowers. Attached to the ribbon was the tanzanite ring. “I still have it to this day,” she says. “That’s what jewelry does: When you wear a piece, you relive moments.”
This retail family knows how to capture moments. The store, based in a century-old former home in Bedminster, was founded in 1953 in New Brunswick by Sid and Mae Sockolof and next led by their son, Arthur, Sarah’s father. And now, it’s led by Sarah, and they've never lost that desire to capture and cherish moments with jewelry and gestures.
The holidays are a busy season, but they take the time to give special touches for guests. “Year round, we have a chocolate truffle dish set out in the entryway,” Sockolof says. “Around the holidays, we put two truffles in gift boxes to give to clientele to place in their Christmas stockings or at the table. We have become known for our truffles.”
On Christmas Eve, the store takes on a festive open house atmosphere. “We serve refreshments like small bites, coffee, tea and eggnog for those who are stopping by to pick up their gifts,” she says.
The staff is like family; jeweler Gerald (“Jerry”) Beck has been with Simms for over 30 years. “We close on Christmas Eve at 3 p.m. so that our staff can go home and celebrate,” Sockolof says. “My family descends on the store either before or after other holiday parties to raid the refreshment table. Afterward, we return to my house for a lasagna dinner together and then we all go to my sister-in-law’s house on Christmas Day. It’s a lovely family tradition.”
View the latest jewelry collections at SimmsJewelers.com.