Sparkling success

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:33 pm

Kesslers Diamond Center has three stores in the Milwaukee area, one in Appleton and plans to open another store in Madison.
The state’s largest diamond retailer, Kesslers had 50 percent growth in annual sales for 10 years in a row in the 1990s, and the company’s revenues grew 15 percent each of the past two years, bringing the firm’s 2005 projected revenue to $20 million.
"I want to be the most respected name in diamonds in southeastern Wisconsin," said Richard Kessler, owner of Menomonee Falls-based Kesslers Diamond Center. "(Kesslers will) continue to serve Wisconsin to the highest level possible."
The best way to gain respect is to respect others, Kessler said.
"The key to our success is having respect for our clients, for our employees, for each other and for the community," he said. "What makes our company unique is our culture of caring. It goes back to what your mother taught you, to treat others the way you want to be treated. That is our philosophy, and it works big time."
Kessler said he tries to give his employees all of the tools they need to successfully serve the customers.
Every new employee attends a four-week training program called "Kessler University" before they ever set foot on the sales floor. New employees then work side-by-side with an experienced associate for another four weeks before they work on their own.
"Nobody else in the industry does this," said Kessler. "It’s our sophisticated training that separates us from our competition. I expect [our employees] to make decisions for our company, and I know that 9 out of 10 of them make money, but that once in awhile, one will cost me money. I let the employees know that they are forgiven in advance for their decisions that cost the company money. I have never fired someone for doing what they thought was the right thing."

Diamond Center
Location: N82 W15340 Appleton Ave., Menomonee Falls;
3600 W. College Ave., Appleton; 17260 W. Bluemound Road, Brookfield; and
5075 S. 76th St., Greenfield
Year Established: 1980
Main products/services: Diamonds and engagement rings
Number of Employees: 67

June 24, 2005, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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