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CELEBRATING 81 YEARS: THE SUCCESS OF THE RUMANOFF FAMILY BUSINESS
Celebrating 81 Years
The Success of the Rumanoff Family Business
By Kyle Del Basio
Over 99 percent of America’s 28.7 million firms are small businesses, according to the US Census Bureau Business Dynamics Statistics, 2014. Yet, about 20 percent of small businesses fail within their first year. By the end of their fifth year, roughly 50 percent of small businesses fail. After 10 years, only 35 percent of small businesses survive (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Rumanoff’s Fine Jewelry has been in business for 81 years. Even more remarkable, the business has been operated by the same family (Silver’s to the Rumanoff’s) for its entire existence.
How is this family business surviving, let alone thriving, over such a sustained period of time? Jack Silver was the original founder of the company in 1938 (originally named the J.A Silver Co.). He eventually handed the business down in 1967 to his two sons and nephew, Eli Rumanoff. Before long, Eli became the sole owner, carrying integrity, honesty and dependability as the company’s core values.
In 1975, Michael Rumanoff graduated college with a degree in management and began working under his father’s wing. Learning the business, Michael earned responsibility, managing inside and outside sales for key accounts and heading business operations. In 1988, Steven Rumanoff, brother of Michael, joined the growing family business. Bringing in his own skillset, Steve continues to travel across the northeast, servicing accounts as well as developing corporate business.In 1998 Eli Rumanoff passed away, but his legacy would carry on as his sons renamed the store, in his honor, Rumanoff’s Fine Jewelry and Design.
Only 3% of family businesses operate at the fourth generation level and beyond, according to the Family Business Alliance. Fortunately, the Rumanoffs beat the odds, as Doug Rumanoff and Leslie [Rumanoff] DeStefano became the fourth generation of the family to enter the business. Doug joined the team in 2003, after graduating from the University of Connecticut. He was responsible for first computerizing the store and creating Rumanoff’s first website. Leslie, having a passion for jewelry since a young girl, worked part time at the store and eventually joined the team full time in 2009 after graduating from Rodger Williams University. Leslie has brought a social media presence to the business.
Both Doug and Leslie are passionate about helping and working with their customers, as they enjoy cultivating these relationships into friendships. “We all bring something different to the table”, stated Doug Rumanoff, the son of Michael. “Each of us brings unique perspectives and being able to bounce ideas off one another is a luxury not many other businesses have”.
Working together and sharing ideas for the success of their customers and business is a proven recipe for the company. Nevermore so then in the 90’s when the family business faced serious jeopardy as manufacturers decided to sell directly to stores, cutting out the middle man and thus their reliance on the J.A Silver Co. Eli pressed for the company’s preservation. His sons wanted to shift over to retail.
Eli, trusting Michael and Steve, relocated to 4133 Whitney Ave in Northern Hamden, this time as a jewelry store. Although their business adapted to modern standards, their identity remained. Eli, in that sense, kept what was most important to him, the great service and dedication to its customers.
The Rumanoff tradition has given customers reliability when it comes to the quality of products service. Doug Rumanoff noted the privilege of having a loyal customer base and seeing generations of families wearing their accessories. “Seeing friends wearing rings from us is special. It’s amazing knowing we play a part in their lives”. Customers walk in and get much more than a product. They get great value and experience. Even for those stressed – soon to be married – couples the Rumanoff family offers drinks to help ease the anxiety of picking that perfect ring.
The Rumanoff family is not in it for the one time transactions, but to create long-term relationships with its customers. Managing those customer relationships has been of key importance for the company’s success.We shouldn’t view this small business as an aberration, but celebrate an accomplishment only few achieve. A small business does not accidentally operate for over 81 years; the Rumanoff’s combine traditional values with innovation and continuous growth that deserves recognition, appreciation and perhaps replication.
For more information on Rumanoffs Fine Jewelry and Design go to https://www.rumanoffs.com/
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