How to Build a Successful Multi-Generational Jewelry Business

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How to Build a Successful Multi-Generational Jewelry Business

RDI Diamonds CEO Michael Indelicato shares his advice for taking a family business to the next level.

Brought To You By RDI Diamonds

Written by Michael Indelicato, CEO of RDI Diamonds

With passion and determination, I started RDI Diamonds from my parents’ basement more than 25 years ago. It’s become a family business that now boasts one of the largest active diamond inventories in the world and has consistently experienced tremendous growth. I’m proud to welcome the next generation into the business and excited to see where they will take us.

Research shows that family-run businesses like RDI Diamonds tend to outperform their competitors. It’s largely attributed to their long-term investment philosophy, commitment to their employees and suppliers, and strong ties to their communities. But, running a multi-generational business and eventually handing the reins over to younger generations isn’t always a slam dunk. In fact, 40 percent of family businesses are passed down to a second generation, while only 13 percent successfully transition to a third generation and a scant 3 percent make it to a fourth generation or beyond.

Creating a family business is an incredible experience, but it’s not without its challenges and growing pains along the way. It’s often about navigating family dynamics and generational differences, embracing unique perspectives, and being willing to compromise.

If you’re considering bringing family into your jewelry business or starting a new business together, consider these words of advice:

Find a Balance Between the Old Way and the New Way
Long-standing relationships will always be paramount to the jewelry business. Many of the traditional approaches to building them still hold true—think personalized attention and top quality products—but there are also powerful new strategies to explore. 

“Things change and if you don’t change, too, your business won’t survive,” said Ted Koester, a third-generation jeweler at Herzog Jewelers. “It’s important to realize that you know what you know, but you’ll never be a master of everything. You need to be willing to explore the unknown, including others’ perspectives, and to regularly communicate to find what works best for your business. It often lies somewhere in the middle of the old way and the new way.”

Embrace Digital
Technology has changed the game for jewelers. While traditional approaches to marketing still have their place, in order to evolve the business you must embrace technology and the new marketing tools it provides. That means going digital. And guess what? Your younger counterparts are digital gurus. Take advantage of their knowledge to create a comprehensive digital strategy, which may include a website revamp, webinars, and digital advertising. A strong digital strategy will enable you to appeal to younger buyers and broaden your reach. It will also improve the buying experience for new and established customers by making it easier and more enjoyable for them to connect with you. 

Don’t Discount Taste and Aesthetic Differences
Traversing personal taste is tricky, but it’s important and it touches everything from inventory to ad content. Realize that aesthetics go deeper than just color and photo preferences. If you haven’t updated your look and feel, it’s likely time to refresh your image to appeal to a younger, more diverse mix of shoppers. Younger generations are more emotionally driven and want to see themselves in your ads. Brands including Rare & Forever diamonds cater to everyone by using inclusive images and a fresh approach that earns shoppers’ trust and provides high-quality products they can feel good about purchasing.  

Enjoy the Benefits
If you’re among the 5.5 million businesses that are family-owned, count yourself lucky. Working with family to build and sustain a business offers unique advantages: A high level of trust, years of shared wisdom, career training and mentorship, and the possibility of a smooth succession for the business and job retention for your employees. 

Owned and operated by family, RDI Diamonds is committed to leveraging the perspectives and skills of each generation within its business. We embrace our values and fresh approaches to offer our customers the highest quality diamonds, a modern shopping experience, and a lifetime commitment to service and support. To find out more about RDI Diamonds, visit

Michael IndelicatoCEO of RDI Diamonds

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