GOLD COAST — Stanley and Jane Razny opened their first jewelry store in suburban Oak Park in 1951.
After opening up more locations in the Chicago area over the ensuing 65 years, the Razny family opened its first store in the city last month in the Gold Coast
The three-story, 2500-square foot shop at 109 E. Oak St. opened Nov. 1. It offers a selection of Rolex and Patek Philippe watches and will later be stocked with couture jewelry collections, according to Stan Razny, president of Razny Jewelers.
Customers can also have their jewelry and timepieces repaired.
The Gold Coast store opening was a long time coming: Razny said the jeweler had been eyeing the neighborhood since 2008. The same block is home to many more luxury brands including St. John, Tory Burch and Prada.
Christine Razny, a member of the family business, said the openness of the store, which features large exterior glass windows, as well as the luxury lifestyles of the neighborhood's residents made the location more appealing
Jewelers Row has more of a “transactional” feel because of the second-hand Patek Philippe and Rolex watches sold there, and Oak Street has more high-end brands that complement Rolex and Patek Philippe better than those on the Magnificent Mile, Stan Razny said. But he allowed the jeweler could someday open a Mag Mile store.
“We wanted to create more of a lifestyle, too, where a wife shopping can come in hang out, have champagne with us, [and] their husbands talk watches,” Christine Razny said. “We’re kind of part of their whole lifestyle.”
Five members of the Razny family oversee the business. The secret to maintaining a successful family business, Stan Razny said, is balancing the wisdom of the elder generation with the fresh ideas.
Having a Razny family member at each location also adds a personal touch to the customer experience that other corporate-owned jewelers lack, Christine Razny added.
“You run out of gas when you’re in a family business for a lot of years, and the greatest way to turbo-charge your business to be ready for another blast-off is when you can bring in another generation that has the same vision, the same work ethic, the same drive,” Stan Razny said. “They came with a lot of great ideas.”
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