By Keith W. Strandberg
A tiny booth at the local jewelry exchange. Four display cases. A lifetime of savings. That’s all Robin and Mark Levinson started with when they first went into the jewelry business exactly 30 years ago. It was a business adventure that took off along side a personal one: the couple had just married. It was “great to work together,” Mark says. “We’d come home at the end of the day, we didn’t have to ask what each other did.”
They’re still working together today, and Mark says that’s precisely part of the charm of walking into Levinson, which in 2008 moved into more far more glamorous digs on Ft. Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard. “I think our customers feel comfortable that there is Mark or Robin to speak to,” says Mark, a third generation jeweler. (The photo Robin holds is of his father and grandfather, both diamond dealers.) “If you go into a brand boutique, the owner of the brand doesn’t come out. Here, our customers can deal with us.”
Indeed, it was a customer that inspired the Levinsons to add a charitable component to their business, one that Mark says has fundamentally transformed them. “We started working with charities when one of our clients made a nice purchase, the most expensive piece we had, and they asked if we would consider donating to their charity,” Mark recalls. “We said yes because it was the right thing to do. Then, other clients started asking us to donate and we did. And we saw that what goes around comes around. Today, working with charities is a part of our business approach.”
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