Shortly after graduating from the University of Michigan, I started serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, West Africa. In 1995, while I was in the Peace Corps, the family jewelry business was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway.
After the Peace Corps, I went to graduate school completing a law degree at Stanford University and an MBA at Columbia University. I began my career as an investment banker on Wall Street and then got into the investment management business where I spent 15 years prior to starting Best & Co.
Despite the fact that I was not in the jewelry business before starting Best & Co., over the years many friends came with questions or to get advice when they were making an important jewelry purchase. I always enjoyed helping them think through and then buy or create their desired piece of jewelry. I got great satisfaction from helping friends acquire a higher quality piece of jewelry and save money on their purchase.
Although the retail jewelry industry has changed dramatically as a result of the internet, the luxury segment has seen very little change.
Traditional luxury jewelry retailers have maintained very high margins and continue to spend lavishly on pricey retail locations and expensive marketing programs. Acquiring luxury jewelry still typically involves going into a store, fending off salespeople while one tries to look, wading through 100s if not 1000s of pieces that are not appealing, and being told prices that are hard to fathom.
Given my passion for jewelry, industry knowledge, and the opportunity to create significant value for clients, the time was right to return to my heritage in the jewelry business. Best & Co. was founded to make buying exceptional jewelry easy while providing significant savings versus traditional luxury jewelry retailers.