Very few accessories carry as much sentiment or personal style than jewelry. Alissa and Bob Sweet understand that.
In September 2015, the husband-wife team opened Sweet Custom Jewelry
in Lansing's Old Town. The pair was driven by dual desires to own their own business, as well as to apply their talents to creating one-of-a-kind jewelry by hand. It's something, they say, sets them apart from other jewelers that are designer-oriented and outsource custom pieces.
"Most every piece here is made in-store by hand, from start to finish," says Alissa. "Customers can be as involved in the process as they want to be."
Those pieces can be bracelets, wedding and engagement rings, bands and rings, necklaces, earrings, charms, pendants, money clips and cufflinks. The Sweets source gems from New York, while metals come from multiple places. Customers can also bring in pieces that might have been passed down through generations, and ask that gems or other parts be used as the foundation for new jewelry.
While the Sweets come up with the majority of designs, customers are also welcome to bring in ideas and concepts. Regardless of the approach, Bob applies the same care and expertise learned from a combination of 15-years-on-the job and training through the California-based Gemological Institute of America
The Sweets met at a local jeweler and worked together for about eight years. After getting married in October 2014, the two began looking for a spot to launch their own business. Old Town was the perfect spot, and emulated the small town feel they had grown to love from their Michigan travels.
Just like their line of jewelry, the 1,000-square foot shop was customized to accommodate display cases and a visible work area where Bob casts and creates custom pieces. Alissa and Bob are there most days, in addition to their greeter Jorge—a mid-sized, mix-breed rescue dog.
"Even Jorge has a custom-made collar," says Alissa. "There's a scroll engraving border that matches our wedding bands. They all kind-of go together."
Source: Alissa Sweet, Co-owner and Manager, Sweet Custom Jewelry
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
Got a story idea for Capital Gains? Email Ann Kammerer here.