Misiak Jewelers to close after 16 years of service
“Most of the people that come through here are repeat customers, people we have grown to known through the years and people we’ll sadly miss,” said Dianne about their jewelry business in the Village of Hamburg, which will be permanently closing their doors at the end of the month.
After 16 successful years at their Pine Street location, the husband and wife team decided to retire to spend more time with family.
“It was a difficult decision to come to,” said Robert, who has been in the jewelry business for 45 years. “I kept asking myself, ‘What time is the right time?’”
Robert’s passion for designing and working with jewelry began in college, where he majored in art at Buffalo State.
“Jewelry design was an area that I excelled in, and I enjoyed it,” he said.
For years, Robert worked as a master goldsmith at various businesses, until the mid 1990s, when fellow jeweler Eugene Bihari Sr. and his wife, Elizabeth, told the Misiaks that they were planning to close their business and that they should take over their space in the Hamburg Village Square Plaza.
“It’s history. Sixteen years of wonderful friendships made and serving the community as best as we can,” Dianne said.
Running Misiak Jewelers has been truly a family affair. Not only did Robert and Dianne work together through the years, but their daughter, Jennifer, also came to work for the business.
“A lot of people used to ask, ‘How could we work together?,’” Robert said. “Sometimes it wasn’t easy, but we rely on each other for our strengths.” Dianne said that her husband brings the creativity and expert knowledge of gemstones and diamonds to the table, while Dianne excels at customer service, paperwork and other “behind the scenes” tasks.
“We see different sides of each other,” said Dianne about working together as a family. “We see our daughter as an adult woman who has very creative talents.
“We see each other as partners, I call him my buddy,” she continued.
“It brought us together even closer,” Robert added.
Not only did their business strengthen the bonds between family members, but it also built friendships with customers and coworkers alike.
“The relationships we have built over the years have been fantastic. I am going to miss that the most,” Robert said.
The couple acknowledged goldsmith, Mike Kasperek, who has worked at Misiak Jewelers for over nine years.
“He has helped greatly,” Dianne said.
As members of the Independent Jewelers Organization, Robert and Dianne took biannual trips to buying shows, where they would research vendors and products and expand their knowledge of the jewelry business.
These trips took the couple around the world, including Belgium, Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City, Texas, Boston and Chicago. Robert even travelled to South Africa to see the diamond and platinum mines.
“It was new places, new faces and new and old friendships,” Robert said of the experiences.
Yet Dianne said that these trips, while wonderful, were still centered around business.
“If you could get an hour out of the day to sightsee, that was a lot,” she said.
Though they enjoyed travelling, the couple has cherished living and working in Hamburg.
“The Hamburg community has been very, very supportive,” Dianne said, adding that in turn, Misiak’s has been able to give back to the area, donating to various organizations and benefits.
The couple plans to remain living in Hamburg after they retire.
“I love Hamburg too much. I am here to say,” Robert said.
Robert and Dianne believes the key to their success has been honesty.
“Honesty is the most important thing in this business, said Robert.
Dianne added that they have been careful to treat each item that customers bring in with respect.
“If it’s a sentimental piece to a customer, that outweighs the price,” she said.
They run their business on the principle that they “will only display jewelry that they would be proud to wear, at the price they would be willing to pay.”
Robert and Dianne value customers’ satisfaction and joy as if it was their own.
“Especially when the holiday time came and the fact that on Christmas... there were things being opened up that were purchased from us,” said Robert, who loves that he and Dianne brought smiles to many faces.
Though looking forward spending more time with their grandsons who live in Oregon, Robert and Dianne believe closing the business is bittersweet.
“It’s almost like having a child and raising it, and then letting it go,” Dianne said.
“What the amazing thing for me was when a young couple would come in and buy their engagement ring, and then their wedding band. Then they would come a couple years later with their new baby, and their second and third. You saw this family grow, and that was really neat,” she said.
“It will be an emotional day that last day when we turn the key,” Robert added.
Even so, Robert refuses to rule out any possibility that the future may hold, including designing the occasional piece of jewelry or helping out his dear friend Robert Hoffman, who owns Buffalo Watch & Clock.
Though they will not reopen, Robert said he does not want to say goodbye. Instead, they are just saying thank you.
“Thanks to everyone who were a part of us,” Robert said.