Last week, Washington DC-based Retailer, The Tiny Jewel Box earned itself the name of The (not so) Tiny Jewel Box while at the same time, cementing itself as a DC institution. Along with COUTURE’s Director, Gannon Brousseau, I headed down to DC to participate in the festivities. The expansion of the store from a narrow (though cozy) 4 story space into a sprawling 8,000 Square foot showroom (total facility is 20,000 square feet) boasting every elegant trapping one could imagine was impressive, certainly, but I walked away with more than visions of gorgeous baubles dancing in my head–I walked away feeling like I’d just attended a joyous family reunion.
I met staff who had been working at TJB for years! From the security guards at the door, to the sales associates to the design and watch specialists to each and every one of the guests, everyone treated everyone else like family. I had the pleasure of meeting one woman, Barbara Kimrey, who had worked at TJB for 20 years, and who’s daughter and granddaughter, Karen and Chloe, currently work at the store. I asked the owner, Matthew Rosenheim, about Mrs. Kimrey and he told me, “Oh, Barbara! She’s the original, she was the most amazing salesperson! When she retired, I told her she had a job here for life. Any time she wanted to come in, she was on the schedule and I’d happily pay her!”
Further exemplifying the longevity of TJB’s roots was a woman in attendance named Sonia Herson. Mrs. Herson’s husband, who recently passed away, gave her the first gift he ever gave her when she was 16 years old–a piece of jewelry purchased at TJB. In his remarks to the guests, Matthew’s dad, Jim Rosenheim, said of her, “Mrs. Herson holds all of the memories from TJB that I hold, if not more. She’s part of my life and my family, and Matthew and I would not have wanted to have tonight without her being here.”
Both Jim and Matthew addressed the crowd, expressing gratitude first, to their employees, noting that their success would be impossible without an amazing team that shows up each and every day with “gratitude, not attitude.” They also thanked their designers, noting that the trust they’ve built with their clients is the same as the trust they’ve built with their vendors. And of course, they thanked their families for giving them the support needed to invest the time into building a heritage store. Jim referred to himself as “A sentimental slob” when he spoke and I’ve got to admit, seeing 3 generations of Rosenheims in the middle of that big, beautiful space brought a tear or two to my eyes as well!
The next morning we were privileged enough to attend the official ribbon cutting of the store. Held outside the store on a perfect, crisp autumn day, Councilman Jack Evans, Chairman Phil Mendelson, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia, Muriel Bauser, all came out to celebrate and congratulate the Rosenheims and the entire Tiny Jewel Box Family. And I’ve got to admit, when I walked away, I truly did feel like part of The (not so) Tiny Jewel Box Family.
For an inside look at the store, and to see Jim and Matthew in action, be sure to check out this clip from a CBS This Morning segment.