By Jim Omori
It’s hard to believe it’s been over 30 years. I can still remember my very first day on the job. I was taken on a tour of the store by the manager, and shown the Rolexes and then the VVS diamonds. Being fresh out of college I was, of course, a bit nervous however, the prospect of getting to work with such amazing and prestigious merchandise really sparked my interest. Like most people I had heard about Rolexes, but nothing could compare to the feeling of getting to see a whole display case full of them. It was the diamonds however, that really got me hooked. Seeing them sparkle in the show case was something else, but it was when they were shown to me under magnification, that I realized I was dealing with a substance of such purity and craftsmanship that I knew I had chosen the right career path.
Once I had completed my training and was allowed to start selling diamonds I began to appreciate style more. I had been going out with my girlfriend for 3 and a half years and I decided it was time to get engaged. I surprised her with a ring I had personally selected. It featured a 0.17 ct. VVS diamond and was made with 18k white gold. Although, not a large diamond, it was what I could afford at the time and it was beautiful!
One year passed before I worked my way up to becoming a manager and, it was not long after, that I was given the position of district manager of Vancouver. It’s funny, looking back, that, as someone so young, with so much to learn, that I was given so much responsibility.
My passion for jewellery really took off in Vancouver as I was given opportunities to work with some of the best jewellery designers on the west coast. It was from these experiences that my passion for custom design and buying diamonds grew enormously.
Once it became time to start a family we decided to move back to Winnipeg where I had the opportunity to open my own store, Omori Jewellers. We specialized in custom design and manufacturing with two top goldsmiths whom I still work with to this day. It was here that I developed a real love of working with young couples, helping them to find an engagement ring that they would cherish for a lifetime. To this day I see many past clients who are still wearing the jewellery that I helped them make. Many of them now have children of their own who have come to see me for jewellery.
One of the many highlights of my design career came in 1998 when I won the Manitoba Jewellers Association design contest. Although awards pale in comparison to the feeling I get when a customer shows me the rings I made for them years ago, they are still nice reminders that hard work pays off.
During my career I have worked as a manager and general manager of different retail and jewellery manufacturing companies. To this day I am constantly learning and ask new questions.
Over the years the jewellery industry has undergone many changes. The most significant being the proliferation of the internet and online shopping. As a former manager of a large retail store I can definitely say that this has caused many brick and mortar stores to make changes. As with many areas of life, one must adapt and move with the times. So, after carefully considering the modern landscape, I have decided to formulate a new hybrid business model that I believe will allow me to bring my years of expertise and knowledge to the modern client.
This is why I have created Omori Diamonds inc., a company that will allow me to work with clients one on one and to build that close relationship with them to ensure that they will get the absolute best jewellery possible; and at prices that compete with the online market!
This blog will act as a place for me to share the knowledge I have attained over many years as well as offer advice and answer questions. If you have a topic you would like me to discuss please feel free to contact me and get in touch and I will be happy to help you out.
– Jim Omori