It’s Wedding Pro Wednesday! A time to showcase a wedding professional’s business story as well as their advice for brides-to-be and newlyweds. Who better to give advice than the professionals who work with engaged and married couples on a daily basis? The individuals behind dream weddings deserve a little limelight themselves!
I couldn’t be happier to introduce you to Jonathan Mervis. Jon is an “artist of business growth” at Mervis Diamond Importers, and one of the nicest DC entrepreneurs you will meet. Perhaps his “sparkling” personality runs in the family! With direct access to the world’s finest diamonds, Mervis offers an amazing array of magnificent diamonds. By importing directly, Mervis eliminates the middleman and provides unbeatable prices daily. Their guiding mission is very simple: provide the finest quality diamonds at the lowest price to the most people. Their obsession with this is the driving force behind the company’s continued success. If you have inherited a family business, or are in the midst of wedding ring shopping, don’t miss Jon’s answers and advice below!
Have you always been a wedding professional? If not, what was your previous career?
Yes – my family has been in the diamond and jewelry business for over 80 years! My grandfather started our company in Johannesburg, South Africa and I’m the third generation. I joined the family business full time after graduating with my MBA in 2009.
As a kid before joining the family business, I had several small businesses and little ventures. Just after undergrad, I started a clothing line called Crooked Monkey. We made graphic t-shirts and sold to companies like Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom. In college, I didn’t want to get a boring summer job and so I started a company doing the only thing I was qualified to do at 19 years old: Take the SAT’s. So I started an SAT tutoring company with some friends and amazingly we were able to really help local high schoolers improve their scores!
What inspired you to create your company?
I’m really grateful to work in a family business and continue the family tradition that my grandfather started. While the diamond ring is a timeless tradition – the world of today is so very different than it was for my grandfather and even father’s generation. What drives me is the challenge and joy to continually adapt and innovate. We need to continue to do what our clients appreciate while also finding new ways to appeal to tomorrow’s bride.
What was your biggest obstacle and failure in going from idea to business?
The biggest obstacle for any multi-generational business is often the balance between longstanding traditions that have proved successful versus new ways of doing business.
What do you love most about your job?
I love meeting couples that are just so happy together and excited to get married! DC is an exciting place, bringing together interesting people from all over the world for any variety of reasons. I love hearing our client’s stories, not just about how they met, but about their lives and what’s important to them.
What is your best advice for brides related to your area of expertise?
When you’re planning your wedding and budgeting costs, remember to consider the lifetime value of each part. You will keep your photos and wedding rings forever. You’ll wear your wedding rings every day and keep getting joy from them! On the other hand, many other parts of the wedding will be consumed within a few hours. You’ll want flowers to make the ceremony beautiful, but it’s helpful to remember that your flowers won’t last and budget accordingly.
What is your best of advice for newlyweds?
My one piece of advice is to stay humble. Remember that neither one of you is 100% right at any point and the other 100% wrong. Look for the good in your partner and you’ll always find something to smile about!