Rasmussen Diamonds Makes Room for New Owner

Bill Sustachek, the second-generation owner of Rasmussen
Diamonds in Racine, Wis., will retire and Joel Hassler will assume ownership
following a retirement sale.

Hassler tells JCK the retirement sale began April 19 and he
expects to transition into the ownership role by August 1.

Hassler will become the third-generation owner of Rasmussen
Diamonds. The store was founded in 1900 by RP Rasmussen. In 1977, Sustacheck’s
father, Cal, bought the company and Hassler says Sustacheck has been running it
ever since.

“[Bill’s] been in the industry since 1975. He was with the
GIA in Santa Monica before it moved,” Hassler says. “In 1988, Bill and his
wife, Kathy, bought the business from his parents.”

Hassler says the store focuses primarily on diamonds and
bridal. “We also carry Pandora, so we have items that can range from $25 to
$25,000,” he says. “Originally, the store was founded as Rasmussen Jewelry. In
1996, the name was changed to Rasmussen Diamonds.”

Hassler, Sustacheck’s son-in-law, started at Rasmussen
Diamonds in 2000 in a supportive administrative role. An American Gem Society
certified gemologist and appraiser, Hassler moveed toward management positions.
Last year, he was named president.

His new role as owner is something he has wanted since he
started at the store. “[The store] is well respected in the community. I’ve
learned well from [Bill and Kathy] over the last decade,” he says.

Hassler says he’s feeling a combination of excitement and
stress with a new role on the horizon. “It’s a great industry and I’m happy to
be part of it as an owner now.” 

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