Celebrating 40 years, Dominion Jewelers knows the secret to small business success

CEO Sergio Rojas says the Northern Virginia retail destination focuses on celebrating life’s special moments and building a sense of community
Director, Editorial Content
Dominion Jewelers CEO Sergio Rojas
Dominion Jewelers CEO Sergio Rojas

The overwhelming majority of retailers in the United States are small businesses, and Dominion Jewelers CEO Sergio Rojas recognizes the vital role they play in local communities and economies.

Dominion Jewelers was founded in 1984 to provide high-end jewelry repair and custom manufacturing to local jewelry stores. Forty years later, it has become a Northern Virginia retail destination for memorable pieces to celebrate life’s unforgettable moments.

Rojas, who is a member of the National Retail Federation’s Board of Directors, is a dedicated advocate for independent retail. We asked him about the opportunities and challenges of operating a small business and maintaining relevancy in an era of an ever-changing consumer. 

How did you get into the jewelry business?

The company was started by my father and my uncle in 1984, 40 years ago. They saw the need for fine jewelry repair and custom manufacturing at the wholesale level. They started a very small operation servicing other jewelry stores not only in the Washington Metropolitan area, but up and down the East Coast as well.

As the company grew, they realized that offering these services to the retail consumer was a niche market. Today the focus is on creating bespoke pieces for the retail consumer and providing the highest level of quality and service the industry has to offer.

What do you love about operating Dominion Jewelers?

Operating Dominion Jewelers provides me the opportunity to connect with so many different people on a personal level — whether it’s a custom engagement ring, a special gift for a specific milestone or repurposing a family heirloom. Working with people to create something memorable is what we love to do.

Dominion Jewelers is a family business that has seen the growth of corporate jewelers — often at the expense of Main Street jewelers. What have you done to stay relevant?

We’ve managed to stay relevant by sticking to the foundation that the company was established on. We provide the best custom design and manufacturing of the highest quality at an affordable price. We strive to be unique and stand behind the products we sell. Not everyone wants to just “add to cart.”

Individual making Jewelry for Dominion Jewelers.

As a member of NRF’s Board of Directors, how do you think the retail industry should highlight the opportunities and challenges facing small businesses?

Over 90% of businesses in the United States are small businesses. The industry should be helping small businesses understand the latest trends and marketing strategies. It should facilitate networking opportunities by organizing events and programs that connect small businesses with industry experts and other small business owners. The retail industry should also continue to lobby for policies that support small businesses, like tax breaks and regulation that levels the playing field with larger retailers.

What’s the most challenging and most rewarding part of being a small business?

The most challenging part of being a small business is having limited resources. Having fewer financial resources than a larger company makes it harder to invest in marketing and difficult to keep up with rising costs of labor, etc. Now more than ever, there is a lot of uncertainty and economic instability, making owning and running a small business extremely difficult.

Small business

Read the latest news and browse resources for small businesses in retail. 

The most rewarding part of being a small business is seeing the direct impact of hard work. Being a part of our clients’ meaningful moments, seeing the families that work for us grow and thrive, and looking back on all the time and effort made toward the success of the business is honestly the most rewarding part of small business.

What excites you about the future of retail?

The future generation. I have two kids and, although they are still very young, I can see that at least one of them is very interested in the family business. I’m super excited for the next generation to continue this business for another 40 years!

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