Precious moments in life are often accompanied by sentimental accessories—engagement and anniversary rings, necklaces, and watches. They are an investment that signifies a milestone and should be approached with the utmost care. It’s rare to find a local jeweler that resembles a family-owned store from the past. Sidrony Jewelers opened a year ago with the philosophy to provide old-fashioned, friendly customer service with the latest in jewelry and watches along with unique custom pieces.
Master Goldsmith and Watchmaker Garrett Peddicord grew up in the industry, but not through a family connection. At age 14, while working at a fast-food restaurant at a local mall in Baltimore, MD, he delivered breakfast every morning to the owner of a jewelry repair shop. His interest in the business led to an apprenticeship where he learned the craft of goldsmithing. Several years later he became certified through the Gemological Institute of America and also earned his Master Watchmaker certificate. By age 19 he managed a Zales location and a year later opened his own trade shop and serviced 11 jewelers throughout New England.
In 2003 he sold the business and decided to move to the Midwest for its family-friendly reputation and chose Omaha. He managed a new Brodkey’s Jewelers location in Bellevue where he met Jon “JC” Sronce, Sidrony’s current Store Manager. He also earned a degree in Criminology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and soon decided to engage in his next venture—the military. Peddicord spent the next 10 years serving in the Air Force as an airborne cryptologist language analyst and was deployed around the world, including 1,000 days in the Afghanistan war zone.
After completing his service, Peddicord felt the need to reignite his passion for the jewelry industry. His time in the military enabled him to save enough money to open his own store and establish a jewelry business that he described as “deliberately different.” Peddicord said, “We have the small-town jeweler feel with great face-to-face service by a professional who is passionate and knows how to make jewelry. I wear my leather apron over my shirt and tie. Most people haven’t had the opportunity to work with a real jeweler and have the piece in your hands quickly.”
Peddicord attributes Sidrony’s success to the ability to listen to customers, calling it an “underappreciated quality.” He said they try to make the experience non-intimidating but informative, because the experience you have in-store is such an important part of the process. From there, communication is the second half of the equation. Whether it’s finding something out of the case, changing the gemstone, or ring sizing while you wait, proactive communication and quick turnaround times are key.
Something you won’t find at Sidrony is the practice of negotiating price. “The industry has taught consumers to haggle, but marking up items just to give a discount is dishonest,” Peddicord said. “Our prices are already low, so you don’t have to worry if you’re getting the best deal. We accommodate all price ranges, but we’re not a mall jewelry store. We offer similar prices but the quality of our stones are several grades above.” If Sidrony doesn’t have a specific diamond or gemstone in house, Peddicord can order one or several and get them in overnight. “We have access to anything you want. Our selection rivals the biggest competitors and you’ll get a better value.”
Custom work is a particular passion for Peddicord. He loves nothing more than taking an existing piece and working with the client to design something new and beautiful. Using Computer Aided Design, he can create it in-house, text screen shots, and keep the client part of the process every step. Repairs are also popular, which Peddicord performs in-house and is one of the parts of the business he likes the best, which goes back to his early days as a hands-on apprentice.
Sidrony is undergoing a big expansion, from 1,600 sq. ft. to 3,500 sq. ft. A majority of it will be dedicated to bridal displays and engagement suites. “Buying an engagement ring is a major life event, and we don’t take that for granted,” Peddicord said. “We spend as much or as little time as you need and are devoted to that.”
The expansion will also enable the store to carry more watch brands, which Sidrony hopes to rival in size to its competitors’ watch selections. “I’m obsessed with beautiful gems, precious metals, and watches for their rarity and sentimentality and the impact they have on people’s lives,” Peddicord said. “We participate in the most positive side of humanity, and we love being a part of that.”