Clairemont’s Time Wise Jewelers owners calling it quits with a “Retirement/Liquidation Blow-Out Sale”!
Unique, Colored Precious Stones, Diamonds, and Estate Jewelry go on Sale November 17
By Dave Schwab
Originally opened in Clairemont in 1981, family owned Time Wise offers fine jewelry and brand-name watches plus custom design and repairs.
November 2018 Publication
After 38 years in Clairemont, Time Wise Jewelers co-owners Glen and Linda Blumenthal felt it was time to step away and turn the reigns over to a long term loyal employee who has learned the business from the Blumenthals.
A Legacy Continues
Time Wise is not going out of business! In 2019 Blumenthal’s are relinquishing control to Stephanie Langlois, who’s worked for the Blumenthals for 10 years and who the couple described as “just like a daughter.” A total inventory retirement/liquidation sale gets underway on Friday, Nov. 16 and runs through the end of the year.
“We have tremendous confidence in Stephanie, and we’re thrilled to be turning the store over to someone who we know will treat her customers the way she’s learned to here at Time Wise,” said Glen.
Generations of Jewelers
Glen hails from a jewelry background. “My father had accounts with a wholesale jewelry company in Chicago,” he said. “I traveled for that same company for 10 years throughout the Midwest.”
Tired of lonely life on the road, Glen moved to San Diego to work with his brother Guy at the original TimeWise , founded and opened by Guy in 1979, with the goal of eventually opening his own store in Mira Mesa. Linda had been managing retail watch stores in the Los Angeles area for years and made the move to San Diego to open the third TimeWise in Santee.
After marrying, Glen and Linda opted to tie the knot in business as well as life, merging their two businesses into the Clairemont store they’ve inhabited ever since.
WHY TIME WISE?
Linda noted, “The name came from a play on words… being “wise” about time.”
“We started out strictly as a watch store, and didn’t do jewelry much at all,” said Glen, noting they were originally a Timex factory service center.
After transitioning into jewelry, Linda said they decided “not to change the name in the middle of the game.” Instead, the couple opted to add their own name along with Jewelers to the original.
“We felt we’d lose a lot of our customers if we just changed the name,” said Glen.
Glen said Stephanie Langlois will move forward in 2019 with the same name, Time Wise.
“It will be business as usual,” said Linda of the ownership transition while adding, “The store will continue on with the same excellent goldsmith and watchmaker .”
From Watches only – to a Complete Jewelry Store
After realizing they couldn’t make a living with only watches, Glen said they reworked their business plan knowing, “We needed to expand. But in the beginning, we didn’t have the kind of working capital we needed.”
Time Wise slowly but surely built up their inventory to the large selection they now offer.
“We didn’t have the money to invest in expensive inventory, so relying on vendor consignment really helped us get our start. It took us five to seven years before we became a full jewelry store,” he said adding, once jewelry started coming in, “It just grew, and grew, and grew.”
Competing in the jewelry marketplace
Reflecting on how much the jewelry industry has changed, Glen said, “If you don’t do service, repair and custom-make items, you won’t make it – service is more important than ever. We can fix or make anything. That’s what’s saved us.” – added Glen
Linda said price consciousness remains paramount in the jewelry business. “We are diligent about making sure that we are competitive with the Internet on our prices,” she said adding, “We shop the Internet to make sure we reach equal or lower prices.”
Offering custom work is also extremely important, noted Glen, because, “from an emotional standpoint, people want things that are unique, not just what everybody else has.”
Unique pieces – including colored precious stones and diamonds, and Estate Jewelry
Time Wise delivers something different than other jewelers, especially with its colored precious stones. “We carry a lot of colored gemstones. For example, no two rubies are the same. Impossible to see the true color of a stone online. Colored stones are, for us, one of our strengths.” Glen explained.
Linda Blumenthal noted bridal jewelry is about a quarter of Time Wise’s business, ”that will remain a mainstay at the company under new management”.
“The bridal service part of our business that has already been very successful here will continue with diamond rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets and watches, as well as colored precious stones and estate jewelry,” Linda added.
Treating customers like Family
Time Wise’s website, www.timewisejewelers.com, clearly lays out what the company’s business philosophy is all about.
“Our company is based on the belief that our customers’ needs are of the utmost importance,” their website states. “Our entire team is committed to meeting those needs. As a result, a high percentage of our business is from repeat customers and referrals. We would welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and deliver you the best service in the industry.”
“I’ve trusted the Blumenthals with my own very special and heirloom jewelry. I’ve never seen such a selection of really unique colored precious stones. remarked customer Christie Craig, “Their Estate Jewelry and precious stones can be a great alternative to traditional engagement rings”.
Clairemont’s affordable neighborhood jewelry source
Linda characterized Time Wise as “value jeweler”. “That’s why Clairemont is so perfect for us,” she said. “We’re not too fancy, although we can, and do, create and sell higher-end items.”
“We call ourselves an affordable jewelry store,” agreed Glen, citing a case in point. “If a young couple wants to come in and buy a diamond engagement ring and wants to spend $1,500, we can accommodate them. Many jewelry stores wouldn’t even have anything to show you under $2,000 or $3,000.”
Reflecting back on their tenure as jewelers in Clairemont, Glen commented, “I have loved doing this the entire time. It’s a very rewarding business. There’s a lot to learn and know.”
“It’s creative, designing a new piece of jewelry with a customer is fun,” concurred Linda adding, “We honestly give the same care and attention to everyone, the customer who needs a watch battery gets the same service as the customer looking for a diamond ring.”
Linda praised Time Wise’s customers as a cut above.
“We still have some of the first customers we ever had.” she said. “We know our customers: A lot of them are family. We’ve gone to their funerals, weddings, baseball games.”
“It’s a true family business for sure,” concluded Glen.
A Family of Employees
The Blumenthals feel the same way about all the staff they’ve had during their 38 years in business in Clairemont.
“We’ve had many employees who’ve stayed here for 15 years,” said Linda. “We’re still in touch with almost everybody who has ever worked here. They are like family.”
Time for a new phase in life
While the Blumenthals are retiring, they’re uncertain of exactly what that’s going to entail. Nonetheless, they will likely continue as consultants at Time Wise to ensure a smooth transition, as well as preserve the company’s time-honored traditions.
A final “Blow-Out” Sale!
The Blumenthals wanted to give a shout out to Clairemont with a final inventory reduction sale.
“We would like to thank Clairemont and the area for all these really good years,” he said adding the best way they could think of expressing their thanks was to “have this giant blow-out sale.”
“It’s been great,” said Linda of the community’s support of their jewelry and watch store. She talked about what she prized most about running their jewelry business.
“What I’ve really liked is helping people remake their jewelry into something sentimental that makes them happy,” she said. “That has been very rewarding.”
Linda said people have been so happy when they see their heirloom pieces restored, “We’ve had people cry.”