“In jewelry, customers want someone they can trust, someone that’s fair and provides a good product.” —Tonya Marthaler
Entering its eighth year of operation, Marthaler Jewelers is looking to switch it up a bit.
“We’ve experienced growth every year we’ve been open. And we started changing a lot of the things typical jewelry stores do. We’re moving away from brands,” said co-owner Tonya Marthaler. “In jewelry, customers want someone they can trust, someone that’s fair and provides a good product.”
With her husband, professional gemologist Andy Marthaler, behind the scenes creating intricate pieces of beauty, the couple has built a business on long-term friendships with their customers.
“The honesty isn’t just a tagline for us. Personally and professionally, that’s our moral compass,” Tonya said. “People work hard, and it takes a lot to make that $10 or $20 an hour. We work hard to focus on relationships, and I think that’s where we’ve really set ourselves apart from other stores. There’s not enough advertising you could pay for to undo bad business practices.”
Originally from Minnesota, Andy found himself in the jewelry industry at age 16. He was formally trained at the Gemological Institute of America in California. Hailing from Charlotte, Tonya has an extensive background in nursing. She finds that she uses a similar skill set in her new position running the jewelry store.
“It’s meeting people’s needs and building relationships,” Tonya said. “Trust is huge. You can’t start a procedure on someone without gaining their trust.”
And as the company edges towards a decade in business in Biltmore Park, the couple takes great pride in “paying it forward.” They give a percentage of their profits each quarter to a local nonprofit organization. That initiative is just one of the many reasons they live, work, and thrive in Western North Carolina.
“The diversity—it’s a melting pot,” Tonya said. “There’s just a multitude of opportunities in this area. If you can imagine it, it’s available. The people that we’ve met, it really is such a great representation of the best of what this country has to offer.”
For the Marthalers, it’s about avoiding an arm’s length interaction. Instead, they wanted to develop a business where you feel—and are—treated like family.
“It’s one of the best feelings, when you know someone is going to go to their significant other and present them with this gift they are so proud they were able to come in and find,” Tonya said. “It’s incredible—you get to be part of people’s stories.”
Photos Marthaler Jewelers