What started as a goal more than 30 years ago for independent retail owners Mark and Rhonda Jacobson hit a new level of reality this year. The husband and wife team proudly cut the bright orange ribbon on the grand re-opening of their store, Cumberland Diamond Exchange, and celebrated not only the new look and feel of their store, but the enormous impact they’ve had on their Smyrna, GA (Atlanta suburb) community.
Since 1982 when Cumberland Diamond Exchange first opened its doors, the goal of then owners Mark Jacobson and his brother Wayne was to always make his customers feel at home. Starting with only 1200 square feet, the fledgling company followed a path of expansion every five years until moving into their current location in 1992. Regardless of the size or location of their store, the Jacobsons remained committed to greeting everyone who walked through their doors with a smile, making sure to refer to them by name, and offering them a beverage. These were just a few of the ways they created an at home vibe for the store.
Fast forward 32 years to Mark and Rhonda Jacobson cutting a bright orange ribbon signifying the re-model of this same space, and the goal hasn’t changed. “We wanted to create a living room experience,” explains Rhonda. “We have always sought to make our customers feel like they’re visiting our home and this remodel had that concept as its core.”
The June celebration was the culmination of almost two years of discussions, planning, and labor. Mark and Rhonda thought carefully about the details while working closely with their architect. Expansion of floor space to 2800 square feet was at the top of the list, followed by new carpet, new lighting, and a new entrance.
“Our 90 day project quickly turned into a 5+ month project,” commented Mark. “We added a foyer-type space at the front of the store that measures 9x20 and includes sofas, chairs and coffee tables on either side of the front doors, inviting our customers to sit and chat in a comfortable setting. We’ve also added new landscaping and a flagstone walkway to the entrance making it feel very warm and familiar as our customers enter the building. Prentice Johnson, our general manager, also played a key role in overseeing the work during off hours, giving up his off days and ensuring the security of the store was not compromised.”
The Jacobson’s did not stop there. They also included as much natural light as possible, making the store feel bright and airy. Add to that redesigned cabinets, the addition of several beautiful chandeliers, pendant lighting over the bridal area, and new interior paint and the results are spectacular. Customers are now greeted with a grand, more inviting Cumberland experience.
As impressive as their remodel is, the most noteworthy feature of this event was enormous community support. A local “Who’s Who” were in attendance at the ribbon cutting event, including the Smyrna city mayor, members of the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia attorney general, all celebrating and extolling the philanthropic contributions of Cumberland Diamond Exchange.
“We are, and have always been, about supporting the local community in which we do business,” explains Mark. “We believe in giving back and eagerly support the YWCA, American Cancer Society and SafePath, a children’s advocacy center. We can’t imagine doing business for 32 years in a community we didn’t support. It’s not who we are.”
Maybe that’s why Cumberland Diamond Exchange was named in the top 25 Small Businesses of the Year for Cobb County this year, or why out of the 55,000 businesses evaluated Cumberland Diamond was in the top five.
“Although we sell diamonds, we are not in the jewelry business,” the Jacobson’s wrote in a letter to the Cobb Chamber of Commerce this spring. “Cumberland Diamond Exchange is a people business. We treat our guests in the store the same way we treat guests to our home.”
Maybe that’s why Cumberland Diamond Exchange is on track to have their best year ever, with a potential increase in sales of more than 20%.
Congratulations Cumberland Diamond Exchange, not only on the remodel, but on 32 years of solid service to your customers and your community.