David R. Norman and Thomas S. Fox have purchased Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Diamond Reflections from owner Oli Chokr, and renamed it Thomas S. Fox Jewelers. Chokr, a wholesale and retail jeweler from Sarasota, Fla. told the Grand Rapids Press he was tired of being an absentee owner and had approached Fox about finding a manager or becoming a part owner. Fox, who was retired but had continued to privately buy and sell diamonds, contacted Norman, and the sale was rapidly concluded.
The venture brings Norman, most recently the president of Richmond, Va.-based Schwarzchild Jewelers, back to work with the jeweler who first brought him into the industry.
Fox was a well-known fixture in the Grand Rapids area. His commercials for the 44-store family-owned Fox Jewelers chain always began, “Hi, I’m Tom Fox.” In 1996, he retired and sold the business to the Fred Meyer Jewelers chain. Norman—a Michigan native who initially met Fox when he was a newspaper carrier for the Grand Rapids Press —began working at Fox Jewelers while still in high school, then entered its manager trainee program in 1973. He rose through the ranks to become executive vice president, leaving shortly before the Meyer acquisition. Norman dabbled briefly in e-commerce as one of the founders of iJewelry.com, which folded in 2000 due to lack of funding, and then went to Schwarzchild. He returns as president and chief operating officer of the new Thomas S. Fox venture. Fox will do some diamond buying for the new venture and act as a consultant.