Clarity of Purpose

Williams Diamond Center takes a personal approach to customers’ jewelry needs

SERVICE WITH SPARKLE. Williams Diamond Center owner Denise Wurtzel (above with designer Teva Dekel) has held a passion for jewelry for 37 years.
SERVICE WITH SPARKLE. Williams Diamond Center owner Denise Wurtzel (above with designer Teva Dekel) has held a passion for jewelry for 37 years.

‘We’re a small-time jeweler with a big flair,” Denise Wurtzel says of Williams Diamond Center, the independent jewelry shop she’s owned for two decades on Eau Claire’s south side. For 35 years, the shop has catered to customers of all kinds – and all budgets – with an eye for both style and personal attention.

“Our niche was, is, and will always be that we go above and beyond,” Denise explains. “We do the customer service. If somebody comes in and they want a $20 item, and they need a special one, we’re going to try and find it for them. If they come in and want a $20,000 item, and they want a special one, we’re going to try and find it for them, too.”

The result is a neighborhood jewelry store built on repeat customers who come in for everything from watch battery replacements to custom-designed engagement rings.

“Jewelry is a luxury item, but jewelry is very meaningful,” Denise says. “Every woman remembers every time she got a piece of jewelry. You remember the occasion. You remember the moment. And that’s the passion that we have.”

Denise’s own passion for jewelry dates back 37 years when, as a recent high school graduate who had excelled in a jewelry class, she got a job at a jewelry store in the suburban Twin Cities. Five years later, she moved to Eau Claire to manage Williams Diamond Center, which William and Audrey Mueller opened inside London Square Mall in 1982. Thirteen years later the store relocated to its current home in the London Galleria shopping center, and Denise bought the business from its founders in 1997.

Since its inception, Williams Diamond Center has specialized in fine jewelry, catering to customers who want cutting-edge trends as well as classics. In recent years, the store has added a focus on custom jewelry, thanks to in-house designer Teva Dekel, who works with customers to create personalized treasures.

“It’s one-of-a-kind for this one person with their one vision,” Teva says, describing the design process as organic. “There are people I can design a ring for within 20 minutes,” he explains, “and there are people that will take 20 days.”

Before getting into the jewelry business, Teva worked as a fashion designer for eight years in New York, Italy, and Israel. “The big thing for me going from fashion is a lot of times I didn’t know who my client was,” Teva explains. By contrast, as a jewelry designer he works directly with people to bring their dreams into sparkling reality. Teva conjures intricate designs for rings and pendants using client’s input as well as his own art deco-inspired sense of style. The designs are then sent away to master goldsmiths who fabricate the items.

“I like to be out with people, and every day I design for people – people who have different needs and different desires, and for different reasons,” he says. “I laugh and cry all day long at Williams, I really do.”

And whether they are buying or selling jewelry, coins, or other items containing precious metals, catering to customers’ needs and emotions is the ultimate goal. “We have to be good listeners in this business. It’s not about us telling them what they want, it’s (being) willing to hear what they want,” Denise says.


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