You may not find a Nordstrom department store in La Verne, but you’ll definitely find Nordstrom-quality service here, courtesy of one of the legendary store’s former managers, Mickey Rehm, now the classy and very approachable owner of Micky’s Jewelry Studio located in the Office Depot/Orchard Supply Hardware center.
As soon as you walk into her shop you’ll notice the classic Nordstrom touches. She or her son Jon will greet you with a smile and invite you to look at their beautiful display cases filled with both fine and lovely fashion jewelry, while warmly and genuinely answering all of your questions. While they can certainly design and customize a one-carat diamond ring for you, they are just as happy if they change out an old battery on your watch.
Here’s the killer part, you’ll even get a note in the mail a few days later thanking you for stopping in – the Nordstrom touch at work.
Micky’s also keeps a wish list for all its clients. Let’s say an irresistible pendant or pair of earrings catches your eye but the serendipitous find isn’t in this week or even next month’s budget. She simply puts it on your wish list, jotting down a few notes. Come Valentine’s Day or a special anniversary, your significant other might get a call from Mickey secretly sharing the item or two on your list. This simple touch has saved or enhanced many relationships. Again the Nordstrom touch at work.
Micky’s also has revived layaway plans, once a customer service staple but largely abandoned by shop owners today because of the time and trouble it takes to keep up with accounts.
“We have young people who come in all the time and don’t know what layaway is,” Mickey said. Layaway is a way to purchase an item without paying the entire cost at once. However, rather than taking the item home and then repaying the debt on a regular schedule, as in most installment plans, the customer does not receive the item until it is completely paid for. Micky’s doesn’t charge a fee for this service, nor are customers charged any interest, as they might by putting the purchase on their credit card.
Again, the Nordstrom touch.
Actually, Nordstrom doesn’t deserve all the credit for Micky’s incredible customer service. Before going to work for Nordstrom, Mickey worked 20 years for Rob and Debbie Lantz, one-time owners of La Verne Jewelers in downtown La Verne. The shop has since become Generations antique store. During her tenure with them, from really teenhood to adulthood during which she married, had two children, John, now 22, and Sarah, now 26, she learned every facet of the industry.
It was only when Nordstrom had come calling did she decide to make a change, rising quickly up the ranks moving from lingerie to the women’s department (alternatively called Town Square or Point of View) to managing the Nordstrom Rack, an experience like no other.
“It was like working the first day of a sale every single day,” Mickey recalled, describing the trial-by-fire crucible, where again all of her presentation and customer service skills were put to the test and essentially refined to a brilliant luster.
Seeds of Change
But it was her son Jon, now an Economics and Business major at Cal State Fullerton who was also working at the Montclair Nordstrom at the time, who planted the seed of Mickey opening her own store. Both open to the idea, they went into Los Angeles to the merchandise mart to meet with reps of different clothing lines.
“Our time spent there, we didn’t get a welcoming feeling,” Mickey said. “Here we were potential customers, but they weren’t treating us very nice.” No Nordstrom touch to be seen.
That’s when Mickey and Jon entertained opening a jewelry store. Mickey looked up some of her old contacts, but much of the industry had changed in the 10 years she had been away from the business and working for Nordstrom. Meanwhile, Nordstrom had dangled another offer in front of her, which would have her commuting throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties, but which would lead to a Regional Manager position.
A resident of La Verne for 27 years, Mickey was not enthralled, nor was her husband, by the prospect of her hitting the road, so she and Jon searched for a La Verne storefront and found their present location, opening in October 2007.
Mickey has since put her jewelry experience and expertise to work, showcasing a variety of fine fashion to 18k and platinum jewelry. She has introduced such popular lines as Mark Silverstein Imagines, Soul Fetish, Mars and Valentine, Amery Carriere, Coast Diamond and other lines embracing classic, vintage, romantic and modern styles and quality to fit every taste and budget. Only last week, Mickey returned from Las Vegas where she purchased some new lines that will be arriving shortly in the La Verne store.
Mickey has her own wish list, which is bringing beauty and style to every person who has a passion for jewelry. Besides offering lovely sets, pieces and collections at almost every price point, she specializes in custom design, repairs and appraisals.
Perhaps most important to her customers, she sparkles as much as any piece of jewelry in her store, a professional in her craft, but also a friend who is a pleasure to do business with and someone whom you trust the moment you enter the store.
The Nordstrom touch right here in La Verne.
Micky’s store hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays are by appointment only. Micky’s is located at 2210 Foothill Blvd. in the Office Depot/Orchard Supply Hardware Center. Phone: (909) 593-0748.