In today’s business spotlight, Rich and Katrina Neciuk, of K and Co Family Jewelers in the City of Brentwood who highlight how they have had to temporary close their doors during the shelter-in-place directive as they were deemed a non-essential business. They plan on reopening soon while undertaking safety precautions.
This series is aimed to provide a Business Spotlight on local people and businesses in the East Contra Costa County community that are being impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and their response to the virus.
What is K & CO Family Jewelers?
K & Co Family Jewelers is a third-generation full service jeweler specializing in Bridal, Engagement rings, and diamond fashion. We are also equipped with a full-service goldsmith shop in house specializing in stone setting, jewelry repair, custom and bespoke jewelry. We also provide watch repair service work performed by AWI (American Watch Institute) certified watchmakers for all makes and models, and appraisal services by a certified GIA gemologist. K & Co is set apart from our competitors because we make you part of our family and that’s how we treat you. We appreciate being part of your special occasions and love working to help you select the right piece that will become something that special someone in your life will cherish for years to come.
Why did you open?
Owners Rich and Katrina Neciuk opened K & Co in town six years ago with a dream to serve their local Brentwood residents with an experience not just merchandise. This dream is an extension that comes from three generations of jewelers, goldsmiths, and watchmakers.
Rich’s grandfather began the first retail jewelry and watch store over 70 years ago in the capital city of Asuncion, Paraguay, South America. He and Rich’s eldest uncles opened the family business where later Rich’s father would work and learn the watchmaker trade. Fast forward to 1986, Rich’s father Andres and mother Nina realized the American dream after immigrating to the US and working as a watchmaker by day and a janitor by night allowing him to save the funds to begin their first jewelry store in San Francisco, California. It is there where Rich would grow up in and around the trade, fiddling with knick knacks and learning how to transform metals into finished works of art.
In 2013 Rich’s parents decided to retire and have a huge retirement sale. It was through this event that Rich and Katrina came to the realization that they couldn’t see the family legacy end like this. At the time they had moved to Brentwood and the commute to SF was horrible to say the least. It was then that they decided to purchase the store and move it to their new hometown.
“We spent a lot of time searching for a great place to live and raise our kids, Brentwood had a small town feel and the people and community were great”, said Rich. “Why not build our business here where we can serve and work with the people we spend a lot of our time with anyways.”
By June of 2014 Rich and Katrina, their family, many friends, community members, church friends, and the mayor cut the ribbon on K & Co Family Jewelers. The name derived from Rich’s nickname, his wife, and two daughters that all had names that start with the letter K. His two boys and everyone else that has helped us along the way are the & Company, and finally Family Jewelers because Brentwood and the surrounding cities are great for families and we want to be part of that heritage.
What do you love most about the service you provide?
Katrina tells it best when it comes to why we love this business so much. She married into it, most of the experience were new, but one experience stood out above them all. It never fails when we sell an engagement ring we see the nerves of a new bridegroom as they select the perfect ring for their new bride, but nothing compares to look on their face when we open the ring box with their finished ring for them to see for the first time.
“The facial expression is unreal!” says Katrina. “Each time regardless if its someone with a dry or tough guy personality or a real softy, the first time they lay eyes on that finished ring says it all”.
That’s what makes the job enjoyable. The monetary part of this is great it pays the bills, but as many already know the jewelry business has become more and more competitive each year. Events such as the current Covid-19 shutdown has labeled us as “non-essential”. If we relied on the monetary portion making us happy, we would fall short every time. It’s the people, the clients of K & Co Family Jewelers and their loyalty makes things enjoyable.
How has the Corona Virus impacted your business?
On day one of the directive by Governor Newsom we read and re-read the guidelines. By definition we were defined as “non-essential”, we get it. When times are tough and people loose work and income the last thing on their minds is buying a new piece of jewelry. We are a business built on thing people want, not things people need. That being said, we also knew that health and safety was far more important to us and our employees, far above the money. We shut our doors, began notifying customers through social media and direct email contact, and we began developing a plan.
It was hard as March and April are our second and third largest months other than December.
Another aspect of this was that Rich broke his foot in five places a couple of weeks before the shutdown and was due for his second surgery in a two weeks. We couldn’t risk him getting sick because it would delay the surgery. So health became a big concern.
In response, customers understood and arrangements were made to hand deliver items that were in progress. Payments were processed by phone and then Katrina and Rich drove to their clients homes in Brentwood, Oakley, Antioch, and Rio Vista.
When asked why, “It’s what was needed to be done to make our customers happy”, said Rich. “You feel real anxious during trying times like this. We had peoples engagement rings, family heirloom jewelry, and more. A little inconvenience for us means these customers will remember us for years to come”.
“We could have arranged appointments in the store but we were worried about health issues, potential public backlash, and the fact that we are right across from city hall.”
Now that we are seeing the curve flattening and no chance for any bit of SBA assistance we have begun scheduling some sales by appointment only.
How has your business changed?
When we open, one-to-two customers will be allowed inside with masks on and all sanitary provisions in place to ensure clients and our staff are safe. Things have changed and like many we are adapting. We don’t have a plan B, the business is our sole income source. We have had to humbly call vendors and financial institutions and simply tell them that they are not getting paid until we can produce income again. Most understand and have put in place provisions to accept delayed payments etc, but we don’t know what will occur after the closure is lifted.
Any special deals right now that the community can take advantage of?
Currently as stated we are still closed for regular business operations, however if you have a special event coming up please email us at [email protected] or text us at 925-626-5090. We would be happy to either email or text pics and pricing of gift options or arrange for an in-store private appointment. We are definitely in this together, please stay safe and healthy. We are praying for our entire county, our nation, and our world.
Also keep in mind dad’s that this year your kids won’t be bringing home school projects. It’s time to start thinking about something special for the moms in our lives.
Business Spotlight Series
- #15: Service Pros Plumbers Says In Home Safety Top Priority During COVID-19 Service Calls
- #14: Family Therapist Highlights Coping is Different for Everyone During Shelter-in-Place
- #13: Chaman Kabob Restaurant Offers Takeout Only During Shelter-in-Place
- #12: Tumble Time Xpress Stuck in Park for Now
- #11: With Gym Shut Down, Fit Body Boot Camp Moves to Virtual Workouts
- #10: Diablo View Florist Still Delivering, Urges Support of Shop Local
- #9: Dan Torres Moves from Face-to-Face to Technology to Meet Client Needs
- #8: Brownstone Gardens Impacted After Ban on Large Gatherings
- #7: Hilton Family Law Navigates Case Load With Court System in Flux
- #6: GolfBallin Stays Positive While Navigating Around Golf Course Closures
- #5: Rapunzel Wigs Closed After County Ordinance, Supply Chain Impact
- #4: Rick Fuller Says Technology Helping Move Property During Covid-19 Pandemic
- #3: The Bike Shop Reopens After Clarification on Essential Business
- #2: Revive Salon and Spa Closes, Now Waits Out Stay-At-Home Order
- # 1: Josh Young at Newfront Insurance Navigates Through Coronavirus Pandemic
Disclosure: this series is being done at no cost to local business or individuals as an attempt to provide value to our community. If interested in potentially being included in this series, email [email protected]