Dan Moyer is one of those true entrepreneurial spirits who chose his calling at a young age and never looked back. How many jewelers today can say they started their business while still in high school? That is exactly what Dan did, selling mainly Indian jewelry after school to friends and family. What did Dan do during his summer holiday before entering college? He happily spent the summer traveling the east coast, selling turquoise jewelry at art fairs and festivals. His last stop on that summer tour was the Chicago gift show, where, he was exposed to what he recalls as "a bigger world of products," inspiring him to take his business to the next level. "I decided to take the few hundred dollars I had saved, invest it in products like solid gold chains and other small 14k jewelry products and expand my offerings for my first year at college," he says. "I also sold other cool things like tumi leather. It was a huge success."
He didn't stop there. In addition to selling his jewelry in sorority houses, Dan also expanded into beauty salons. Working weekends was always part of the picture. "I came home from college every Friday and Saturday to sell my salon route," he recalls. "It helped me to put myself through college." A few weeks after graduating in 1979, with a degree in finance, Moyer decided to make jewelry a full-time job, convinced that it was a better career path than anything he might do in finance. He opened his first shop in a storefront space he shared with a nail salon. Many of his first customers - and still customers today - are the beauticians and their clients that he met during his college years.
"The nail salon brought me a great group of ladies who are still clients today," he says. "They loved my modest selection of products." Dan's goal, however, has always been to constantly improve and refresh his product mix. "My aim, starting with that first gift show in Chicago, has always been to find the latest and coolest jewelry for my customers to buy." Today, he travels to shows all over the U.S. and to Italy and Switzerland, in search of the most beautiful jewels and the greatest watches for his customers. Today, 35 years later, Moyer Fine Jewelers has grown into one of the top 100 jewelry stores in America.
In 1993, Dan moved the business into a new 13,000-sq.-ft. building, with a 6,000 sq. ft. showroom a 2,000 sq. ft workshop and a 50-seat bar/lounge, where he can entertain clients and hold events. The new premises allow him to display an even greater range of beautiful jewelry and watches. "I have always been inspired by beautiful design," says Dan, "whether it's in architecture, art or jewelry, and I try to stock a good selection of inspiring, desirable designs from all different types of designers." Those designers currently include Emily Armenta, David Yurman, John Hardy and Ivanka Trump. It also includes the world's top bridal brands in the store's large bridal section, including Tacori, Simon G., Christopher Designs, Martin Flyer, Hearts on Fire, and Ritani, as well as an enormous selection of very affordable designs from the in-house Moyer bridal collections.
Dan understands that, despite the wide variety of jewelry he offers, there will always be customers who want to design their own special, unique pieces. He therefore maintains a full design studio, where a staff of master jewelers create custom pieces and fabricate them on site. It is a collaborative process with the customer which, in some cases, may involve a trade-in. "We are also big buyers of estate jewelry," Dan points out, "as well as gold and diamonds. We have a large state-of-the-art repair and restoration facility on the premises."
From a giving-back standpoint, Dan estimates that Moyer Fine Jewelers has donated over a million dollars to Indiana charities over the years. The store has held a Pro Am golf tournament for the past 27 years, raising money for Saint Mary's Child Center in Indianapolis. "Through the various parties and events we have held, we have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities such as the Indiana Children's Wish Fund, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Susan G Komen Society and literally dozens of others," he says.
Dan feels that achieving excellence in the jewelry business is really all about mastering five separate businesses: the bridal business, the fashion/designer jewelry business, the estate jewelry business, the watch business and the service business. "I believe we are leaders in each one of those categories," he says proudly. "I think we have all the key things everyone wants: a great building in a great location, great staff and great products. We truly try to give our customers a great experience and that," he says, "sets us apart."