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150 Years

Dec 9, 2021 | SOAR Magazine, Elevated Lifestyle

Few stores have a history like Borsheims. From a small, family-owned shop in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, to one of the nation’s largest independent jewelry stores with a worldwide clientele – its evolution is anything but ordinary.

 

So how exactly did an unassuming jewelry store in mid-America come to be known as an industry leader? It started in 1870 when Louis Borsheim opened a shop bearing his name that specialized in fine jewelry and watches. The demand for wristwatches had dramatically increased following the wars of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, while the jewelry of the time was heavily influenced by cycles of boom, depression, and war.

In 1947, the Borsheim family sold the store to Louis Friedman and his son, Ike. The new owners kept the Borsheims name, but it was Ike who would develop the store’s longstanding philosophy that customers all over the country would come to know and trust: offer a vast selection of inventory and deliver exceptional customer service, all at the lowest possible price. In an era of economic boom and self-indulgence, Ike could often be found helping customers on the sales floor and treating everyone as if they were the most important person in the room. His passion for people, paired with a firm commitment to customer service, helped catapult the business into a new realm of success. By 1986, Borsheims had outgrown its 8,000-square-foot location and relocated to a new home in Regency, a high-end shopping destination located in the heart of Omaha. Driven by its reputation for stylish jewelry, expert watchmaking and reasonable prices, Borsheims continued to grow and eventually became known as the preeminent store in the region.

 

 

Business continued to flourish under Friedman’s leadership, so much so that it caught the eye of longtime Borsheims customer and world-renowned investor Warren Buffett. In 1989, Buffett purchased a majority stake in Borsheims, making it part of his Berkshire Hathaway family. The deal is said to have been sealed with a simple handshake between Mr. Buffett and Ike.

While the store’s daily operations didn’t change under Berkshire Hathaway, the acquisition helped usher in a new era of opulence and success for Borsheims, bringing in customers from all over the world, including celebrities and business magnates alike. And every year, more than 20,000 loyal shareholders make the journey to Borsheims during Berkshire Hathaway’s annual Shareholders Meeting in Omaha. The weekend’s festivities include private parties and shopping experiences at Borsheims, complete with luxury trunk shows and special pricing that create a frenzy for all who attend.

 

THE BORSHEIMS PROMISE

 

At Borsheims, you’re assured to receive the highest quality products for the best possible price — Borsheims uses unmatched buying power to create savings that are passed on to the customer. Because of this promise, Borsheims cherishes the privilege of sharing in special moments with their customers, treating each opportunity with the respect and importance it deserves by providing exceptional service. A highlight of visiting Borsheims undoubtedly comes in the store’s exclusive Luxury Salon. Private viewings of rare treasures from prominent designers like Rahaminov Diamonds, OMI Privé Gems and Kwiat Diamonds offer an experience that no other jeweler can hope to match — items valued up to $10,000,000 comprise one of the most respected jewelry collections in the world. From the rarest diamonds and gemstones on the planet to hand-selected South Sea pearls, the Luxury Salon experience puts Borsheims in a class all by itself.

While the store’s impressive Luxury Salon presents once-in-a-lifetime finds, Borsheims’ 20,000-square-foot showroom boasts jewelry designs from esteemed houses like Roberto Coin, Marco Bicego and Mikimoto, and stunning timepieces from maisons such as Cartier, IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre. And the store’s tasteful Gift Gallery features designer collections from the world’s leading makers of fine crystal, tabletop collectibles and more. Customers take comfort in trusting Borsheims’ full-service jewelry repair and design shop as well.

 

Omi Privé Dangle Earrings, Oval Sapphires, Round Diamonds, Platinum.

 

Today, Borsheims proudly stands as one of the nation’s longest-running independent jewelry stores, having celebrated 150 years of business in 2020. This remarkable milestone is an indication of the company’s commitment to evolving its business while continuing to exceed customer expectations. Borsheims now houses more than 50,000 pieces of jewelry, engagement rings, watches and home décor gifts — an inventory well-suited to serve an international network of clientele.

The company has invested heavily in technology in the past decade to engage with customers where, when and how they want to be reached. The store’s website is continuously evolving to provide a best-in-class customer experience and stay on top of consumer trends. The Borsheims team can curate personalized shopping experiences for clients even when they are halfway across the country or on the other side of the world. This capacity for innovation while staying true to the company’s core values are what will ensure Borsheims success for another 150 years.

As the preferred destination for unique experiences in giving and getting gifts, all Borsheims purchases come wrapped in their signature silver box and burgundy ribbon with an assurance of beauty, quality and exceptional service. And with multiple graduate gemologists on staff, rest assured you’ll be taken care of by their expert associates every step of the way.

Customers are initially attracted to Borsheims for a multitude of reasons—the unmatched “Borsheims Price” and world-class signature service, to name a few. But they come back time and time again for the unparalleled experience and selection that’s supremely unique to Borsheims. Whether you are shopping from afar or browsing in-store in one of their private luxury suites, this is the kind of premium, personalized experience that you’ll come to know and expect as a Borsheims customer. And if they don’t have that rare 10-carat ruby ring or pink diamond pendant you’re looking for, their team will go above and beyond to source it for you at the best possible price.

View featured Borsheims products (perfect for holiday gifting!) in SOAR Magazine. >>>

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