It’s All Relative: Northeastern Fine Jewelry

After college, Ray Bleser committed to working in his father’s pharmacy for at least one year. He lasted all of one day. So in 1980, Bleser took over an aging coin dealer’s shop, rode out the volatile precious-metals market, and eventually transformed the business into a full-fledged jewelry store. The first Northeastern Fine Jewelry was incorporated in Schenectady, N.Y., in 1985. Today, Bleser has four locations in upstate New York and Vermont and is planning a Pandora store in Rockaway, N.J. While he oversees day-to-day operations and diamond buying, his daughter, Valerie Kelly, handles marketing and fashion-jewelry buying. She’s been at Northeastern since 2006—about five years longer than Bleser lasted at his own father’s business. Father Knows BestRay: My dad does everything in his [pharmacy]. He knows every part of the business and constantly works at improving and ex

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