Sunday, March 15, 2015

Not What I Expected!

Today, I wanted to share a little secret, that we just recently found out about. It came from one of my husband's co workers, who lives is Toledo. I've lived in Michigan my whole life (except for a couple of years when I first got married, when my husband was stationed in California while he was in the Navy). I never even knew this place existed! I'm very glad he told Mr. about it. Funny that it came from a guy living in Toledo, and not any of my Michigan friends. Maybe not enough people know about it-so that's why I'm sharing!

What is it you ask? It is a place that will change how you shop for jewelry. It's in Southfield, and it's inside the Advance Office Building. It is very unassuming from the outside. It looks just like an office building-I even thought we might be in the wrong place! It had nothing, that I saw. that would make you think you could buy jewelry there.

When you first walk in, you see a couple of boutiques and in the middle of everything is a security guard desk and wall signs with business names and floor/suite numbers. Kind of like what you'd see if you were in a mall looking for a specific store. There were somewhere between 10 and 15 jewelry shops on the third floor. All the jewelry shops are on the same floor.

It was kind of weird. It almost felt like we were doing something wrong. Some of the places were brightly lit, and looked just like a jewelry store you'd see in the mall. some were just little hole in the wall kind of places. We walked through about half of the stores before we found one that had exactly what I was looking for, and the price was amazing!!!

This whole quest began a couple of years ago, for our 25th wedding anniversary, when Mr. bought me a ring at a local jewelry store. He told me he knew it wasn't what I was wanting, but he was afraid if he didn't buy something, I'd just say I didn't need a ring and I'd never get one. He figured if he bought something, I'd have to take it back and get what I really wanted.

We took it back, and I told the sales person that I wanted a three stone ring, in white gold, with a plain band. They didn't have anything in the store remotely close to what I was looking for. She brought out catalog after catalog of rings for me to look at, but none of them had the simple ring I was wanting. She even ordered a couple of rings in for me to look at that were way to ornate and nothing like what I was telling her I wanted.

Since he bought the initial ring there, we felt trapped into buying a ring from them, even though they couldn't get what we wanted. They finally told us that in order to get what I wanted, I'd have to have it custom made. You know what custom made in the jewelry business means, right? Custom prices!!

I just couldn't get enthused about spending so much money for a custom-made ring when I knew there were places out there that had that type of ring in stock, already made and ready to go. After about six months of going back and forth, I finally just asked for a refund.I could tell that they didn't want to do it, but they also knew they couldn't provide what I wanted.

We've looked on and off for the past couple of years, but not too seriously, because of our experience at our local jewelry store. I didn't want another sales person promising me they could get what I wanted and spend six months with them trying to sell me everything but the ring I wanted.

Our journey came to an end on Friday. I got a beautiful three stone ring, and a band to go with it. I still can't stop looking at it! The sales person in the shop told us that they can keep their prices lower because they don't have the millions of dollars of over-head that many other shops have. They have office space rent vs mall rent, and they don't spend money on advertising or fancy displays.

I wasn't expecting to go ring shopping that day. We actually started off going to Harbor Freight in Flint, so I was wearing jeans, a t-shirt and a hoodie. So, some of the places seemed to act like we were not going to be able to afford what I was asking for. I guess they were judging us by our cover (clothes). One place was super high, and trying to sell us the moon. One place was reasonable, and could have what I wanted within ten days. Other places didn't have anything similar, but did offer to order something in. The place we bought from, was what you'd expect from a great shopping experience.

So, if you live in Michigan, and are looking for jewelry, not just rings, take the time to make a trip to Southfield to the Advance Building. You won't regret it! By the way, the ring we bought, was about a third of the cost of the "custom" ring at our local store, so yeah, it's worth driving a little bit for prices like that. I could tell you the name of the shop we bought from, but I think it would be better for everyone to wander through the shops just like we did, and get the best piece and the best price for whatever it is you are looking for.

The weather is finally warming up, so hopefully next week there will be some sales, and  I'll be sharing some fun vintage finds!!

Have a great week friends!!


  1. Would love to see your ring!! It sounds so pretty!

  2. What?!? No photo?!? I'm glad you found the perfect ring.