Global Excellence Awards 2020 Page 43 LUX 2020 Global Excellence Awards Being a full-service jewellery store, Vandenbergs has spent the years it has been in operation since 1976 building and developing its self-sufficiency. They sell bespoke jewellery both from their own collections and by way of working with their clientele to design elaborate and meaningful custom pieces – every element of which is achieved in-house by their own team. With an expansive inventory of loose and set gems, Vandenbergs designers, goldsmiths, jewellers and specialists work to craft every piece with the client’s happiness in mind. The team are just as important as the products, with an internal culture of group participation in all elements of their operation. To Vandenbergs, it is as important that the client enjoys the journey of the design process as it is that they enjoy the product they receive at the end. Additionally, in the world of bespoke crafting, it has a unique approach to its business. As a non-commission company, it sets itself apart from the competition by taking all sense of Vandenbergs Jewellery is a family owned business devoted to meticulous excellence every step of the way. With a shopfront renovation and recent award win under its belt, owner Ralph Vandenberg tells us a little more about how this innovative business has made a name for itself. Vandenbergs Jewellers Best Custom Jewellery Store 2020 - Canada obligation off the client. When they are approached for a custom piece, their designers work with the individual to develop the look and feel of it over Skype or Zoom, and from that the item is created in a concise time-frame allowed by their expansive “As a family-owned business, we’re passionate about our legacy.That’s why we offer so much more than other stores that just sell jewellery. Taking care of your diamonds, gems and precious items is included. Free cleanings and check-ups, texture refurbishing, polishing, minor repairs while you wait – these are just a few of the benefits.” - RalphVandenberg, Owner,Vandenbergs Jewellery internal operation. If at the end of the process when the piece is finished, the client is dissatisfied, Vandenbergs makes it clear that they are under no obligation to take the item. ‘If it’s something that we like and would typically want in our inventory, we’ll make it on speculation,’ Ralph Vandenberg told us, although he also pointed out that in their experience a client rejecting one of their pieces has been an incredibly rare occurrence. Another facet of their business that sets them apart is their commitment to education. Using all cumulative 125 years of experience shared between the team, Vandenbergs prides itself on its ability not just to satisfy customer demand, but to fully enlighten a client about their options as they do so. With so many gems and design features to choose from, this allows a collaborative experience and ensures the individual can make truly informed choices regarding their purchase. Whilst their services are available through their website and include a virtual tour of their Edmonton store, with items such as these, online shopping sometimes simply doesn’t do it justice. Thus, Vandenbergs is committed to making its shopfront the flagship of the experience it offers when it is safe to do so. In this way, the pandemic has presented the business with challenge, especially in a resource-based economy like Canada. Over the course of the past year it has become clear just how much the nation relies on the export of raw goods over the development of value-added goods internally. Perhaps advantageously for companies like Vandenbergs however, in response there has been more pressure on Canada’s government to rethink this mindset after so many of their luxury jewellery retail competitors were forced to close due to Covid-19’s restriction of in-person purchases. So, what’s a family run business to do? Well, in response to the uncertainties of recent times, this company has plans to come out the other side better than ever. Having completed a total renovation of their store in 2019, they were chosen as one of the winners of InStore’s ‘Coolest Stores in America’ award due to their world class shopfront – and once the dust of the pandemic has settled, Vandenbergs fully intends to use this to light their way into a bright future. Ralph Vandenberg also went on to mention the business’s continued commitment to visiting trade shows and keeping afront of new and upcoming technologies. As well as keeping their cornerstone of tradition and legacy at heart, this business is clearly one that is prepared to update itself to adapt for an exciting and innovative future. Company: Vandenbergs Jewellers Contact: Ralph Vandenberg Website: