By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Business name: Designer Jewelers
Address: 18 Lyman St., Westborough Shopping Center, Westborough
Owner: Derek Varriale
Contact information: 508-366-5512
What does Designer Jewelers specialize in?
“We offer a complete range of jewelry, but engagement rings are our strongest line,” said Derek Varriale, owner of the jewelry business his father started in 1969 in downtown Westborough. The retailer moved to the Westborough Shopping Center in 1979.
“We also do a lot of custom design. We can design a piece from the ground up, whether it’s altering an existing piece to accommodate a larger stone or different-shaped stone or creating a completely one-of-a-kind, unique piece. We can make rings, necklaces, bracelets, anything. A large part of this work is updating jewelry people have inherited or using the stones in other pieces.”
How does the design-your-own engagement and wedding rings feature on your website work?
“The design-your-own portion of our website, www.designerjewelers.net, lets people see what their options are, what’s available, what looks good and doesn’t look good, what a ring looks like with a different-shaped stone instead of a traditional round stone.
“Technology has allowed people to have a lot of information at their disposal. When they come into a store, they have an idea what they are looking for and what they want to spend.
“People can change their minds, however, when they look at actual rings, and that’s why the service we offer is important. For example, a couple last fall had built an engagement ring on our website, but when they came in and tried on the prototypes we have, that ring just didn’t look right because she had very small hands. So we went with a much daintier look that was better suited for her. You do need to see how a ring will look on the wearer,” Varriale said.
What are the trends in fashion jewelry?
“The bolder looks, the bigger necklaces, are still popular, especially when women are looking at an accessory for a specific outfit.
“We have a line, Officina Bernardi, from Italy that is sterling silver, with necklaces, bracelets and earrings that feature beads made with a patented process called ‘moon cutting.’ That faceting makes the piece sparkle as if it is a diamond piece. It’s very fashionable and can be worn with just about anything.
“A Danish line, Endless Possibilities, features Italian leather bracelets with metallic magnetic clasps in 15 colors to mix and match. There are small charms to slip on to the leather bracelets, but it’s more about the color of the bracelet with the charms as an accent. This line just came into the United States in October.”
What services do you offer?
“We do in-house repairs, watch repairs and clock repairs, as well as our custom design service. Very few people still offer clock repair.”
What sets you apart from other retailers?
“You can have all the pretty merchandise, top brands, lights and atmosphere, but if you don’t have service, you’re like every other store out there. Service is huge for us. It’s not as much about making the sale as it is helping someone and making them know their piece is as important to us as it is to them,” Varriale said.
“You have to care about what you do. Sales are nice, but helping somebody goes a lot further.”