Oakbrook Terrace jeweler focuses on quality
Richard Cheng, owner of Merry Richards Jewelers. | Jerry Daliege~for Sun-Times Media
On the ring
Name: Merry Richards Jewelers
Address: 17W300 22nd St.
Phone number: (630) 516-8000
Updated: November 13, 2012 10:54AM
OAKBROOK TERRACE — It wasn’t difficult for Merry and Richard Cheng to select a location when they decided to expand their jewelry business.
“We have lived in Oak Brook for 26 years and wanted to be part of the community with our business,” Merry Cheng said. “Business was down some starting with the recession, but it’s been getting a little better every year.”
They started the business on Jewelers Row in Chicago in 1985, selling loose diamonds and settings. The moved Merry Richards Jewelers to Oak Brook in 1992, before moving to Oakbrook Terrace in 2004.
They carry a variety of jewelry, but specialize in diamonds, which account for about 70 percent of business. Engagement rings make up about half of overall sales, Cheng said.
“We deal in fine jewelry; very high end and top designers,” Cheng said. “We want everything to be top notch. We enjoy and have a passion for the top quality diamonds.”
Cheng said she and her husband also have a passion for providing outstanding customer service.
“People come in all the time because someone they know, from their family or a friend, told them about our quality,” she said.
Cheng said two goldsmiths on staff help create custom jewelry.
“People sometimes bring in old jewelry that they want made into something,” she said. “People also come in and upgrade to bigger diamonds for anniversaries.”
Cheng said probably the biggest change in business over the years has been a large increase in educated customers.
“People do a lot of research before they come in to buy something, but that’s good for us because we only sell good quality,” she said. “Everyone goes on the Internet to find information now. You have to be careful about that, though, because the information is not always good.”
Cheng said she is uncertain of what the future will bring for her family’s business, which added son, Scott, 26, to the fold in December 2011. A Hinsdale Central alumnus, Scott also graduated from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., with a degree in economics.
One change planned at Merry Richards Jewelers for the near future is an online presence, Cheng said.
“It’s hard to say how things will change,” he said. “Whatever happens, we will continue to offer top quality merchandise and customer service.”