“It tickles my fancy,” Richard MacPherson reveals, “when I show a client her newly created custom piece and she says ‘Wow! This is far beyond what I imagined.’”
Fortunately Richard of MacPherson’s Diamond and Design (11 Union St., Ste. 102, Concord NC, www.macphersonsjewelers.com) frequently enjoys such accolades. A master jeweler, he’s worked in the trade for decades, starting in NYC’s jewelry district, then working for years for several top Charlotte, NC stores.
“I was lucky. I fell right into benchworking straight after school. I can work with any metal or stone. Even setting a $10,000 emerald is not a problem.” MacPherson’s Diamond and Design also does bench and custom work for other retail stores.
In April 2008 Richard bought his current store in historic downtown Concord, which he runs with his son John. Richard and John often work side by side at their benches, bantering and exchanging tips and ideas, pausing to meet with incoming clients. Although a father and son team working side by side might present challenges, the arrangement seems to work.
“John’s easy going, social, great with customers,” Richard confides. “We can work together. The bottom line is he’s someone I can count on. I trust him.”
John concurs, “It’s always good to be working with my father.”
“I always tailed my father around,” John continues. “From when I was very young, I was always surrounded by benchworking. When I was 14 or 15, my father started showing me how to size rings, to polish pieces. He would say, ‘Today, I’m setting a princess cut diamond, if you’d like to watch.’”
After working off and on for various jewelers, John’s been at the bench full time for the past seven years. “I’ve started wax-casting pieces and fabricating pieces of my own design, including mixture of metals, which I really enjoy.”
MacPherson’s frequently collaborates with other local businesses for marketing and promotion. “We’ve just started a campaign with a fashion photographer and an upscale salon, photographing our jewelry on models.” The resulting framed poster-size photographs are displayed in their showroom which is furnished with elegant wood and glass cabinets. “We use frequent Facebook updates and e-mail blasts, and are planning Spring promotions for radio and TV.” MacPherson’s also hosts designer Trunk Shows, including Mia Katrin for Jewel Couture LLC.
What’s in store for the future? “We’d like to pick up additional trade accounts, our bread-and butter. We’d also like to expand our store area, perhaps with a store front on the main street, which would bring in additional traffic.”