It takes many years to build a solid relationship, whether that relationship is romantic, friendly or professional. Allen Mozingo, owner of A Diamond In Time in Mount Pleasant, knows firsthand how networking with people in your industry, as well as being accessible to clients, promotes a healthier business and loyal, trusting customers.
Mozingo stumbled upon the jewelry business as a teenager, when he befriended the owner of a jewelry shop in the mall. He worked in the shop through high school and eventually became friends with one of the store’s sales representatives. Upon graduation, he transitioned to the wholesale side of the business while attending North Carolina State University. He also spent time in a watch repair store, learning about the inner workings of high-end timepieces.
Mozingo wholesaled watches and diamonds for 12 years. Then, aware of the growing demand for luxury watches and quality gemstones, he decided it was time to make another move. In 2009, he opened his own shop, A Diamond In Time, in I’On village in Mount Pleasant.
A Diamond In Time is not your typical jewelry store. Rather than offer dozens of showcases to peruse, this shop takes a different approach.
“We don’t get browsers,” remarks John Nunn, who has managed the company and helped Mozingo build the business for the last six years. “We get people who know what they want and would like to find the best price for it.”
Here’s the way that A Diamond In Time works: A client sees a piece of fine jewelry—either in another jewelry store, the pages of a magazine or adorning someone’s neck—and consults with Mozingo and Nunn, who often provide a lower price than the client would find elsewhere.
In fact, the prices that the store offers are so reasonable, the men sell not only to retail customers but to established jewelers as well.
Why would one jewelry store bother to buy from another? The answer: After more than 20 years in the business, Mozingo and Nunn know some of the industry’s top brokers—and they have a reputation for getting the very best from them.
During my visit, Nunn explained that recently a client called about designing a “custom-built” engagement ring, one where the stone and setting are chosen separately. Interestingly, Mozingo doesn’t have a jeweler laboring away in the back of the shop. Instead, he delegates the work to specialty jewelers all over the country.
Even though the store sells fine jewelry to clients in any city or state, A Diamond In Time prides itself on treating both clients and associates like family, encouraging personal service and communication.
“The guy that called about an engagement ring yesterday has my cell phone number, so he can call or text me anytime,” remarks Nunn. “We’ve been known to drop things by a client’s office if they don’t have time to visit the shop,” Mozingo says.
This is the kind of service and trust that A Diamond In Time has established with clients—and the reason it is able to offer aggressive pricing for luxury and designer pieces.
“We’ve spent years doing good business,” says Mozingo, simply.
Denise K. James is an independent writer and editor based in Charleston.