In sitting with two of the most charming people in the industry, it comes as no surprise that Richard and son A.J. of Bogart’s Jewellers have stood tall through all the challenges time has thrown at them. They are celebrating 30 years of the family business, and those were not just typical years, but extraordinary ones as well! “I’m Richard Rooney, the owner and founder of Bogart’s Jewellers. I have been in the jewellery industry for 42 years and started Bogart’s 30 years ago. I was on the road as a salesman, and then I decided to branch out into the retail world with Bogart’s Jewellers.”
A fearless innovator and master craftsman
From an outsider looking in, Richard’s success is not just having a thriving business that employs over seventy people, but as well as being an anchor to many families and their communities in Newfoundland & Labrador. Every entrepreneur on the planet would agree with Canadian Jeweller Magazine’s statement, Richard’s real success is to be able to pave the road for the next generation of his business with his son A.J.
The time has come for A.J., with his father’s stewardship, to establish his place at Bogart’s while keeping his personal flair and bringing his modern vision to the brand.
“I’m the second generation at Bogart’s Jewellers, a GIA Graduate Gemologist and I’ve studied Comprehensive CAD/CAM For Jewlery. I also have a Bachelor of Business Administration from Memorial University here in Newfoundland. I’ve been spending time with my dad at our office my whole life, and always wanted to follow in his footsteps in the family business. I started working with my dad part-time while I attended school, and I became full-time when I completed my studies four years ago.”
We cannot overlook Richard’s beginning as a wholesale salesperson on the road in the early 80s’ to now being at the helm of one of the most predominant retailers in Atlantic Canada with 7 locations across Newfoundland & Labrador. “Success wasn’t overnight,” says Richard. “Putting my clients first, always providing exceptional
customer service with personalized relationships, and having the right inventory, has paved the way to where I am now in business. My team also plays a crucial role in our success, utilizing dynamic selling techniques, product expertise, and visual excitement.”
“Our clients are the most important part of our business. We work very hard to ensure a perfect shopping experience for each client that approaches our Bogart’s locations. Whether it is looking for sterling silver earrings or finding the engagement ring of your partners dreams- we always strive to make it an experience our clients will remember for a lifetime.”
“Our team members always work together to continue to create a seamless experience for all our clients. Our store level associates always advise our head office what items clients have requested and what seems to be trending.” “We noticed a large number of clients looking for Canadian Diamonds specifically, so we decided to curate a line of Bogart’s Diamonds that are hand selected for our Bogart’s locations.” Says A.J. “Also, inventory plays a major role in the business. Our showcases are constantly replenished with trendy, top-selling items that people are interested in. We review our structure and inventory on a weekly basis, we always want to have the jewellery items that everyone desires.”
We are all aware of what the internet has done for the fashion industry worldwide – it has given consumers access to brands and their products from the comfort of their homes. Many consumers find it comforting to browse a brands product line at home before venturing in the store to shop. Many brands find their voice with the internet, social media and brand advertising. The same phenomenon applies to our industry internationally as well as locally.
Bogart’s clients and the company have really understood how to use the internet to each party’s benefit. It is no longer something that they feel intimidated by. Since the beginning, Bogart’s Jewellers understood that at the end of the day it is all about creating a seamless experience that their clients should not be without.
With Richards 42 years of experience in the industry, perfectly paired with A.J.’s modern vision for the brand- they have created a strong online presence. This allows the company to showcase distinctive designs and offers that also contribute to consumers’ creative process. Having an updated, user-friendly website to view items online has been an amazing asset to Bogart’s Jewellers. “We have many clients daily come in to purchase what they have viewed on our website.” says A.J. “Our engagement ring builder is our most recent feature on our website. This allows our client to hand select every detail of their one-of-a-kind piece while the visual of the ring changes in real time so they can see what the ring will look like.” “We’ve recently seen a shift towards more adventurous jewellery at the forefront of the trend as well as some styles that were fading out are making a post covid comeback,” says Richard.
”E-commerce has tremendously helped the business. Having and managing an active website is part of our business now, which appeals to a lot of clients. The social media team and photographer are fantastic, this is a marketing component every business should have based on the scale of their business.” says A.J.
Where do we take it from here?
In addition to their 30 years of experience and service, Bogart’s Jewellers has also developed a variety of quality jewellery, Bogart’s diamonds, and timepieces. They also offer Bogart’s custom designs, which allows the client to create the piece of their dreams with Bogart’s on-site gemologists, designers and bench jewellers. Being able to offer these services and unique pieces, gives them a completely different experience than other jewellery brands, creating an amazing experience for their clients.
Being a GIA Graduate Gemologist and CAD designer helps A.J. realize customers’ visions.
The company has put so much effort into ensuring that their custom pieces are timeless while responding to sometimes what seems to be complicated arrangements.
Richard and A.J. remembered a case where a client requested a piece of jewellery that reminded them of a rose. The client wanted the shoulders of the ring to be vines, while leaf petals flowed seamlessly off each side. The vines flowed into an oval brilliant cut diamond that was set to resemble a blossoming rose. This is just one of the fantastic custom creations A.J. and Richard articulated.
30 years in the making
With over 30 years of Bogart’s- Richard wants every client to have an amazing, personalized experience. There is always a quality jewellery piece to fit everyone’s budget. Always keeping the major brands in-store including Swarovski, Pandora, and Elle for the brand lovers- Bogart’s also focuses on their own Bogart’s brand that is always on trend and current. Walking into any of Bogart’s 7 locations, you see signs reading “Custom by Bogart’s” “Bogart’s Canadian Diamonds” “Bogart’s Lab Grown Diamonds” and much more Bogart’s, you quickly realize what the main brand name is.
“It wasn’t always this way” Richard explains. “When you used to walk into our stores before we used to be heavily branded. From diamond brands, gold brands, and silver brands, the stores had very little Bogart’s branding. Today it’s different, the industry is everchanging, and has changed a lot over the past 30 years.”
When we are in an era where young consumers relay on digital devices for time, you wonder if it is still a viable segment. To both Richard and A.J. watches are jewellery, and is something that needs to be offered at a jewellery store. Richard goes to explain that Bogart’s main watch segment has seen a decline due to young consumers switching to smart watches.
A string of pearls is the ultimate way to look confident in the boardroom or elegant at a posh garden party. While some people will always prefer silver. It’s a plus to have a classic chain with a twist, so you stand out from the crowd. A gorgeous cocktail ring is an instant statement – perfect for when you must compete with the big guys. You can’t go wrong with a diamond pendant because every woman needs something to show off. This fashion sense is always transparent to staff. Our staff, which we should call fashion consultants, are our ambassadors between us and the client. Their flair and knowledge of style are as valuable as knowing the products.
Bogart’s will be opening its largest store in Newfoundland in the near future, a unique experience-oriented jewellery store, currently featuring more customized and unique pieces, individual showrooms, bench jewellers who perform detailed repairs, a sit-down client room, and also a coffee station. “We have gone with a local Newfoundland Architect to design the building, giving it a recognizable and Newfoundland inspired look. It’s something we are excited about. Seeing we are a proud Newfoundland owned and operated business, it’s nice to tie that into the design” Says A.J.
They are by far the undisputed masters of jewellery. 10 years running, Consumer Choice Award winner in St. John’s and the surrounding area in the Jeweller’s category. “We know how it feels to be a customer favourite in the region. All our products are beautifully presented in the stores and known for their inspired collection which is truly a statement of style.” These collections are exquisitely crafted and made of high-quality precious metals and gemstones that are combined into elegant and luxurious creations.
PRETTY LITTLE THINGS
It’s a bling thing. Engagement rings with the wow factor, as something truly precious holds its beauty forever. Whether it’s an opulent gemstone or silver earrings and rings, we could say that heading into the next 30 years and more their motto is “be inspired at Bogart’s”.