GRANDVILLE, Mich. — Imagine having a grand opening of a new store and then being forced to close in the next month. Kendra Pfaff has lived that story.
“We had a grand opening in February,” she remembers. “And then the pandemic hit. And it was very frightening at first.”
“But when you realize we're all going through it together, when we have to be strong for each other, you realize we will get through it.”
Pfaff was able to feel that way because of the people who live in the area. “You have those those Grandville, Jenison, Hudsonville people that come through our door are just so warm and welcoming.”
That’s probably the reason she and her business have been able to navigate through many changes since she first opened a cash-for-gold store in a small strip mall in 2011. That store transitioned into a jewelry store, and Pfaff’s current location at the corner of Chicago Drive and Wilson Avenue opened in February 2020.
“The best thing about downtown Grandville is such a hometown community feel,” Pfaff says.
That works to the advantage of a local store. “The biggest difference between us in a big box store is always going to be customer service,” Pfaff notes, remembering one customer who chose to buy local: “A guy came in the other day, and he had found a watch at a big box store. And he brought in a picture of it. And he said, ‘Hey, I know you carry this brand. Can you order it for me? I know, you probably can't get it at the price that I saw. I really want to shop local, and I want to keep my money in the community. Can you order it for me?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, that's a current style. We'll get an order for you. I'll call you when it's in.’”
Pfaff says while her store is a complete jeweler, they are “known for the cheapest watch battery in town.” But the store is much more.
“We cater to all budgets,” she says with pride. “We don't want to be that jewelry store where you walk in and there's everything is thousands and thousands of dollars. And there's some sort of intimidation when you walk into those stores. We're very casual here. Today he's not here, but Bentley, my little dachshund’s usually here with me every day to help create that inviting super dog friendly, casual setting.”
“People come to us for that last minute $50 gift $40 gift, or if they want to spend a couple hundred dollars, or even up to a couple thousand dollars.”
Just in time for Valentine’s Day.