Construction crews are installing the many display cases that will house the fine jewelry that Feldstein’s will offer.
It began with a card game in Austin Texas—Charles Feldstein won a deed to a piece of land in Northern Wisconsin. When he went to see his prize, he saw a great opportunity in the booming logging town of Marinette. He opened the original Feldstein’s, then known as “Loan Brokers and Jewelers” selling musical instruments, golf clubs, luggage, clocks, and jewelry.
Charles’ son Sam worked long hours seven days a week to keep the business going. After high school, Sam went on to watchmaking school and later returned to run the store. When Sam’s son-in-law, Rick Francois, took over the business, Feldstein’s became a high-end jewelry store. In 1988, Rick’s brother Scott and his wife Julie purchased the store.
In 125 years, the store changed locations several times. It started downtown, moved to the mall, and ended at the current location, a free-standing store on the main highway connecting Wisconsin and Michigan. In fact, back in the 1930’s, Feldstein’s even had a location in downtown Green Bay next to the Meyer Theatre. This month, Feldstein’s is opening a second location off of Lineville Road at 1803 Condor Lane in Howard, and thus, the oldest jeweler in the Green Bay area.
Throughout the years, the business has taught the Francois family to cherish customer’s special life occasions. “Jewelry is a celebration of love,” says Scott. “and there’s nothing more important in our store than those celebrations.” Feldstein’s specializes in birthdays, engagements, anniversaries, and the just because gifts. The number one goal of the sales team is to build relationships with clients. By building relationships the salespeople have the opportunity to learn about each client and find jewelry that represents them. Knowing about their clients makes the memories more successful. The store mantra is “The customer is always right.”
Feldstein’s growth stems from the family’s involvement. “We have three children, one daughter and two sons. Our daughter, Kali, is a thoroughbred-horse jockey on the East Coast, and our two sons, Mitch and Tommy work at the jewelry store.” says Julie Francois. “Mitch attended New Approach School for Jewelry where he earned his Graduate Bench Jeweler Program degree. He is the head of our in-store shop, with five goldsmiths under him. Mitch is a CAD operator and, with our recent purchase of a 3D printer, we do everything in-house: CAD, printing, casting, and setting. Tommy has earned his Graduate Gemologist degree from GIA in Carlsbad, CA. He has been working with us for three years and plays an integral part with our clients.”
Education is also important to the team. It keeps them up-to-date on the newest products and is provided to every employee. Feldstein’s has two graduate gemologists and eight diamond graders through the Gemological Institute of America, GIA.
“We are excited to get back to Green Bay,” says Scott, “and we look forward to being a jeweler they can trust with their valuable pieces. This new store and our staff are a source of pride for us. We are forever ready to cater to your wishes.”