Classic Creations

by Irina Lytchak Photography by Steve Carty

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Family matters

The brainchild of brothers Ami and Sam Freiberg, Classic Creations has been around since 1984 and this jeweller is here to stay – all thanks to a dedicated younger generation and the family’s utmost devotion to its clientele.

When you walk into Classic Creations, it’s very likely that the entire Freiberg family will greet you as soon as you step through the doors. And that’s not to say that the store is lacking business. On the contrary, Classic Creations is constantly bustling with positive energy and customers walking in and out of the store but each one of the Freibergs and their staff will still take the time to say ‘hello’ and offer you something to drink.

In an industry that is oversaturated with product and new ideas popping up around every corner, the Freibergs have found success because of their passion for the business. “I’ve always really enjoyed working here,” says Daniel, the elder of Ami’s two sons. “It’s a happy place and a very nice place to work in.”

Three decades later

Brothers Ami and Sam Freiberg started the business about 30 years ago. They were joined by Ami’s wife Shari and would ultimately bring their two sons, Jordan and Daniel, on board as well.

After finishing university and working for another jewellery firm, Ami saw an opportunity to open a store and along with his brother Sam, they started Classic Creations in the Newtonbrook Plaza in Toronto, their current location. This summer, Classic Creations is celebrating its 30th anniversary and everyone is involved in running a very tight ship just as much today as they were when the store first opened its doors.

“Sam and I are very involved in the day to day operations of the business. It’s very hands on,” says Ami.

That’s why it’s hard to give anyone a specific title, since most of the family members do just about everything and anything when it comes to their store.

“We do everything from start to finish ourselves here. We are manufacturers as well so we do special orders and custom-made work,” explains Ami.

Customer service is key

On the day of our photo shoot for this issue’s cover, the store was open for business and busy as ever. Each one of the Freibergs had to be quietly stolen away for their individual photograph while being in the midst of greeting new clients, taking orders and going through product with returning customers. The dedication that we saw that day was a clear sign of why Classic Creations has stood the test of time in this industry for 30 years.

“Our clients are here all the time,” says Ami. “Not just on special occasions, once or twice a year. Our clients like to see what’s new and exciting in the world of jewellery and like to drop by every month or so.”

Being in constant communication with their customers, the Freibergs are very aware of what’s trending and what people want. On top of this awareness, the family makes a point to travel the world and be at the top trade shows in order to stay ahead of the game. “I always say that what distinguishes us from our competitors is we’re constantly traveling the world to try to find the latest trends and make sure we’re the first ones to bring them back to Canada, to Toronto,” says Ami. “We want to be trendsetters not trend-followers. Our clients appreciate that.”

Daniel adds that having clients who come in on a weekly or monthly basis has resulted in the store constantly producing new pieces and increasing stock so that they have something new to show every time they come in.

It’s all in the family

Both of Ami’s sons, Daniel and Jordan, have also made Classic Creations their full time job.
“If you ask my brother and I how long we’ve been in the business, we’d say ‘our whole lives,” says Daniel. “But full-time, we’ve both been here about five years.”

Since it’s a family business, they find themselves doing everything from processing orders to custom-designing jewellery for a client. But being a younger generation, they have also brought a fresh, new flavor to the business when it comes to technology and marketing objectives. While Daniel is more focused on advertising and special events, Jordan is more inclined to take care of social media and web development.

“This has opened up avenues we never had before because of the expertise in these fields,” says Sam.

Having his two sons on board has been a huge help for Ami and Sam as well as an imperative factor in the success of the business.

“It took a lot of things off mine and Sam’s plate that we were doing constantly and this way, now a lot of the responsibility has fallen to Daniel and Jordan,” explains Ami. “Our clients tell us all the time, “Your kids love being here!” and you can see that they love it.”

Setting the standard

Aside form the excellent in-store dynamics, Classic Creations carries premium jewellery pieces and watch brands, making them one of the top jewellery destinations in the entire city.

While the store does carry a few outside jewellery brands, the majority, about 70 per cent of the store’s jewellery stock, is a Classic Creations brand. The pieces are designed with the collective input from all of the Freiberg, as well as their entire staff.

“It’s great having everyone involved in creating beautiful and unique pieces,” says Ami. “Out entire staff takes great pleasure in knowing they have contributed to Classic Creations’ success in helping their clients.”

All of the jewellery designs, production and repairs are done on site, with two goldsmiths and two setters working directly at the store. The family takes great pride in the quality of materials they work with and the care they take in selecting the right metals and stones for their pieces when traveling around the world.

“Sam and I always say, “It’s not as important sometimes how you sell but how you buy,” says Ami. “If we can buy really great pieces at the right price, our clients will appreciate it and we pass on the savings to them.”

Classic Creations also carries an extensive and very exclusive selection of some of the top watch names in the world, including Chanel, Montblanc, Baume & Mercier, Ebel, Bell & Ross and Ralph Lauren, to name just a few. The store is also the only retailer in Toronto to carry the prestigious Carl F. Bucherer.

“We want to try to offer pieces that match our jewellery. Part of the reason we carry these brands is we enjoy the people we work with,” says Daniel. “If you’re working with people that you feel have the same sense of passion you do, then you feel confident that they will be a true brand partner and stand behind you 100 per cent. I feel like we enjoy working with people who are very passionate because we’re so passionate about jewellery.”

It’s this kind of passion that comes full circle at Classic Creations. While the family shares a very strong bond with one another, they also extend the same kind of passion to their staff, customers and industry partners, making them one of the largest families in the business.

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