The 2017 Family Owned Small Business of the Year Award goes to Nelson Coleman Jewelers in Towson, nominated by the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce.
To say that “some things never change” is often a bad reference to a situation. However, for the customers of Nelson Coleman Jewelers, it’s a great thing. The company just celebrated an astounding 160 years in business last month. They’ve built a reputation as the area’s premier jeweler by “staying the same,” meaning they’ve stayed true to the founder’s commitment to offer quality merchandise, extraordinary customer service and reasonable prices. It’s a reputation that they’ve “polished” year after year, through world-altering events and fluctuating economies and it’s served them well. The company posts annual sales of approximately four million dollars and employs 14 in total, four of which are actual Coleman’s and they are looking to open another location within the next two years.
Now, we all know that family relationships can be tricky at times, so how has the Coleman family managed to stay together and prosper for so long? In the words of Chris Coleman, a fifth generation owner with his brother, Mark, “no one “owns” the business, we are its custodians.” This philosophy has served the Coleman family well over the years and continues today with sixth generation President Amanda Coleman-Phelps. It’s not about one person’s ego or making a name for themselves. It’s always about what’s in the best interest of the business, preserving the family name and caring for their customers.
Beyond donating jewelry or gift cards to local charities, Nelson Coleman gets involved. They volunteer and have helped raise over five hundred thousand dollars in recent years for numerous local charities and are active in the local Rotary Club and serve on the Board of the Maryland Retailers Association.