It’s All Relative: Barron’s Fine Jewelry

The Singadias built their Atlanta superstore on years of internationally sourced jewelry expertise

The Singadias’ ties to the jewelry and watch trade span three generations and four continents: Nanji Singadia’s father, Khimji, repaired watches and sold parts in India and then in Kenya. Not surprisingly, Nanji went into the watchmaking trade as well, eventually opening a shop in London in 1970 and another in 1972. A decade later, after visiting a friend in Atlanta, he moved the family—and the family business—to the United States. He and his wife, Pushpa, opened three ­jewelry stores before their son, Ajay, joined them behind the counter in 1995. When daughter Rakhi came on board, Nanji made another big move: building a strip mall with his 6,000-square-foot Barron’s Fine Jewelry superstore as the anchor. That was in 2004; today, Barron’s is one of the Atlanta area’s leading ­jewelers. And the way the kids tell it, they’ve only just begun. “We’re on our way to doing great things,” says Rakhi.

Growing the Business

Nanji: Consistency in service has always been important in growing my retail businesses. Maintaining and exceeding that level of service as products, people, and trends change remains a challenge. Another key challenge for us was opening a superstore of 6,000 square feet when we built the strip mall. I wanted a smaller store, but Ajay convinced me to go with a larger, more visible store. He was right. We do about 99 percent of our custom work and repairs. This quality control has made us a leading store in Atlanta.

Ajay: My membership with Entrepreneurs’ Organization has been an important part of growing our business locally, domestically, and even internationally. A recent custom project for a fellow EO member was a gold scepter set with gemstones. We made it in six days, and it is valued at $100,000.

Rakhi: When I joined my father and Ajay in 2002, I took on a lot of the marketing and a significant amount of the buying. Now I’m probably doing about 75 percent of the buying.… We have become much savvier buyers by focusing on fast-turners and steady sellers. I pay close attention to entertainment news and fashion trends. Now the inventory mix is much more creative.

Looking Ahead

Nanji: Ajay and Rakhi have been a part of the many business decisions I’ve made and are ready to take on many ambitious goals ahead. What will get them through proposed expansion plans is that they remain close as family members at home as well as at work.

Ajay: I’m working hard to develop a structure to our business model: a set of Barron’s policies and practices so that we can open other store locations where people get the same quality of goods and service as they receive at what we hope will one day be our flagship. When we opened this store, we built a strip mall from the ground up and new neighboring office buildings. We aren’t afraid of taking risks.

Rakhi: We’re positioning ourselves to have the right inventory, the right marketing, and the right team in place when that happens. We see it already happen­ing as we take on hot designer brands, bring on stronger sales associates, and develop a good online presence. We’ve been named Best Jeweler in our market five years in a row and hope to continue that trend for years to come.

More “It’s All Relative” on
+ Blakeman’s Fine Jewelry in Rogers, Ark.
+ NAGI Jewelers in Stamford, Conn.
+ Lee Read Jewelers in Meridian, Idaho