MATTHEWS – Suat Pamukci and her husband, Steve, are living the American dream.
Originally from Turkey, they both grew up in the jewelry business and ran a successful store in Istanbul before deciding to move to the United States in 1999 to raise a family. Shortly after, they opened Kings Jewelry in Matthews and have been in the same location for the last 16 years.
“Being a small business owner is not easy, but if you have faith in yourself and the people around you, you’ll do good. And faith in God,” Suat said.
Steve is the jeweler at Kings Jewelry and performs a variety of services from custom jewelry design and crafting, to watch and jewelry repair, resizing, remounting, soldering, engraving and stone setting.
Meanwhile, Suat handles the sales and customer service side of the business. She said it’s a mix of passion and family tradition that’s kept her going all these years.
“It’s a very interesting job. Once you’re around it, you love it and you want to continue that tradition,” she said. “It’s also very rewarding. Jewelry always gives happiness to people. They come to you when they want to celebrate, whether it’s a birthday, an engagement, a new baby … you see that sparkle in their eyes and that’s what makes you happy.”
She likes helping and building relationships with customers. People often come to Kings Jewelry and ask about her when she’s not there.
“I think that’s because I connect with people and I take my time,” Suat said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a high-ticket item or a battery. Everyone gets my full attention and it’s not rushed.”
Kings Jewelry offers a variety of styles and price ranges for nearly any budget and it’s Suat’s job to help customers find the perfect gift. The store has a variety of fine pieces including diamond jewelry, engagement rings and precious and semi precious stones and jewelry.
She said many come in with little to no idea what they’re looking for, so she asks questions to help narrow it down.
She tries to learn as much as she can about the person receiving the gift by asking what kind of jewelry they like; their favorite colors; whether they’re into earrings, rings, necklaces, watches or pendants; if they’re casual or dressy; what their birthstone is; and what pieces or styles they already have.
Despite Kings Jewelry’s large inventory, Suat said it’s actually quite easy for her to visualize the person receiving the gift and help the customer choose.
“I enjoy the challenge of trying to find the right gift to the right people,” she said.
Suat’s son, John, is in graduate school and helps out at the store whenever he can. He admires his mother’s ability to not only remember each customer who walks into Kings Jewelry, but also make a personal connection.
“She can see you five years earlier and see you again and know what jewelry you like and everything about you,” he said. “Everyone is like family to her and that’s why they come back here.”
Plus, he said, her story is inspiring. She came to America and was able to adapt to a new language and culture and start a thriving small business, all while being a mother to three young kids.
Growing up, John said his mother always maintained a healthy work-life balance because family is important to her. Even to this day, no matter how busy her day is, she always makes time to cook dinner for the family.
“She taught me passion, positive attitude and work ethic. They always told me, ‘Hard work pays off,’” John said. “So I hear the words and I see the action.”
“When I come to work, I am happy,” Suat added. “When you love what you do, you are happy and I think that makes a difference.”
Want to go?
Kings Jewelry is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 1819 Matthews Township Pkwy., Suite 400, Matthews. Call 704-841-2013 or visit www.thekingsjewelry.com for details.