Drew Rummell, Owner of Glasmann and Hanson Jewelry, Talks About the Jewelry Industry
September 12, 2018
Erik Wolf: Hello and welcome to The Denver Executive Association’s Trusted Advisor Podcast. Twice a month our artisanally handcrafted collection of 30 of Denver’s top execs, man I almost murdered that line, gather above the University of Denver to share knowledge connections and to do business with one another. And twice a month one of our members swipes right and ends up in the chair across from me for this podcast. My name is Erik Wolf and I’m with the digital marketing agency estound. We serve small and mid-sized business owners with CMO-level digital strategy, website design and development, Search Engine Optimization, pay-per-click advertising, marketing automation and all of that goodness and more. Today my guest is Mr. Drew Rummell, the owner of Glasmann and Hanson Jewelry, a Denver institution for nearly 75 years. Drew has owned it for the last seven. He’s a classically trained bench jeweler but also has a B.S. in neuroscience. You’ll bet we’ll be asking him about that. He has a wife, three children. He’s about to have a fourth. And he is a lifelong Denver resident. Welcome Drew.
Drew Rummell: Thanks for having me.
Erik Wolf: Thank you for being here. And so let’s get it out of the way. How does a neuroscientist end up making jewelry for a living?
Drew Rummell: Yeah. I’ve wanted to own a business as long as I can remember. I’ve always had a bend for science and biology, chemistry physics, so medicine just seemed like a natural fit when I was in college, I wanted to own my own practice. But after graduating, I graduated in 2008 when everything kind of exploded in the world and owning your own general practice seemed pretty difficult at the time, a long road, even impossible. So my wife and I got married right out of college and we decided we wanted to do the family thing when we were young and being in med school for eight years didn’t sound great. So I worked for my uncle in a small business for a while. This opportunity opened up after I bought my wedding set for my wife at Glasmann and Hanson Jewelry and ended up getting her a store.
Erik Wolf: A diamond store is forever is that what they say?
Drew Rummell: Yeah that’s right.
Erik Wolf: So now that we’ve segued it into the store, tell me about Glasmann and Hanson. Tell me what you really excel at.
Drew Rummell: Yeah. So Glasmann and Hanson. Charles Glasmann started Glasmann Jewelry back in 1945 after he got back from World War II. He was an old war vet and started mostly as a wholesale shop doing things for local shops in Denver. He met and trained John Hanson in the 60s and early 70s and John bought his store in ’73 where he transitioned it more from a wholesale shop to a retail shop, moved the location down the street in Denver and then I learned from him and bought it from him in 2011. So I trained under him and yeah. He did things old world so I learned how to fabricate from scratch. Just take a piece of melted metal, roll it out and make rings and pendants from it.
Erik Wolf: I’m sure that’s evolved since.
Drew Rummell: It’s evolved a lot. But it’s great to have that foundation because you know how to construct a solid piece of jewelry, how to fix almost anything. We do a lot of antique repairs so some really complicated things that not everybody can do. So it’s great to know how to do those things. And then I’ve applied kind of a technology bend to it. I love technology. So I’m self-taught in CAD, in manufacturing with 3D printers and CN S and so I’ve applied some of that old world knowledge and applied to new technologies to it to really be able to produce anything and some really unique and cool pieces of artwork.
Erik Wolf: So sort of a fusion sort of thing you got going on. What’s something that most folks don’t know about the jewelry that they buy?
Drew Rummell: What people don’t know about the jewelry they buy?
Erik Wolf: Or maybe what they don’t know about what makes a quality piece of jewelry I guess versus you know, why would somebody go to someplace like Glasmann and Hanson versus the place at the mall.
Drew Rummell: Yeah. So for me I mean it’s marrying price and quality right? So the price is obviously important to most people. But what people don’t get is that it’s the adage, “you get what you pay for.” So what I’ve really tried to do is be budget conscious for my customers but also maintain a quality for them as well. When you buy something that’s been mass produced, you know when I make one of something if I use an extra 15 or 20 or 30 dollars worth of gold into it to make it a heavy piece, that’s not going to cost a lot more. But when you’re manufacturing 10,000 rings at a time that 10 to 20 dollars per ring and extra gold really adds up fast. So oftentimes people will skimp on the amount of material that they’re using in order to make large quantities of things. So we don’t do that. We make sure that it’s a quality heirloom style piece that’s going to last for generations and you know I stand by it with a solid warranty, one to two years for almost anything, stones falling anything, stuff that’s rare. So we really stand by the products that we make and really want them to be things that people love and enjoy for a long long time.
Erik Wolf: So come to Glasmann and Hanson where you get more gold.
Drew Rummell: That’s it. More gold!
Erik Wolf: More gold. Well, that is actually a really cool thing that I’m sure a lot of people don’t realize. But of course, anybody who knows anything about manufacturing and how things are made knows that generally speaking for the business owner, cheaper is better, for the customer, they want to get the maximum value. So that’s a really neat way that you talk about that. How much of what you guys do would you say, you talked about being sort of that combination of old world and new technology, about how much of what you do would you say is really that handmaid Old World Style versus the stuff that you are using the machines for?
Drew Rummell: You know just for price-wise to be budget conscious, we really do a lot more with the CAD-CAM manufacturing and 3-D printing. You know I can 3D print 25 rings at a time versus hand fabricate one at a time. You’re limited by the two hands that you have. So it really depends on what the customer needs and is asking for. And also achieving some of the delicate parts that they want in some of the designs, some of those things are just impossible to do by hand. So you have to do the CAD-CAM manufacturing for. But there are certain things solitaries, pendants, engraving different things that people want for, signet rings, those types of things will still do by hand.
Erik Wolf: Sure. So as a jeweler I’m sure that you have quite a few very lovely stories about your customers and the things that they ask for and the situations you hear about. I would love to hear one of those stories and I’m expecting to be crying at the end of this just to set that expectation.
Drew Rummell: Yeah we deal a lot with brides and potential grooms. You know it’s funny, my job isn’t to be the hero. My job is really to make the husband or the fiance or the boyfriend the hero so that they get the tears. You know most guys walk into my store kind of like a big and doe-eyed, you know kind of uncertain about what they’re getting themselves into, a little afraid even maybe to cross that street. So I try to take a laidback approach, really low pressure. I want to get to know them and their story so that we can construct something that’s unique and meaningful to them. So that’s really my goal when somebody comes in is just to hear about them so that we can come up with something that speaks to them. You know there’s always those crazy stories. I had a bride a couple months ago actually and a friend of ours who lost her wedding ring the week of the wedding. Just one of those.
Erik Wolf: Oh man. How did that happen?
Drew Rummell: She doesn’t know she was wearing it in the morning and she came home in the night and it wasn’t on her finger. And they looked everywhere, I mean they were going through everywhere she ate that day, digging through trash.
Erik Wolf: Checked all the pawnshops.
Drew Rummell: Checked all the pawnshops. So we remade it for her, we got it done before the wedding everything came out great. Tried to take as much of the pressure off of them as I could and it came out fabulous.
Erik Wolf: That is amazing. Very good. This is the, we call it the trusted advisor podcast and we mean it. So I’m going to ask you to be my trusted advisor for just a moment here. What should I look for when I decide that I’m going to go out and buy some jewelry for that special someone.
Drew Rummell: Yeah. You know budget matters. So it’s good to have an idea of how much you want to spend.
Erik Wolf: You’re damn right it does.
Drew Rummell: It does. And you know in jewelry it’s difficult. I mean you can spend five dollars or you can spend five hundred thousand dollars, so you really have to have an idea of what you want to spend and then I’ll do my best to or hopefully the jeweler that you go to, if you’re not in Denver, will do their best to help come up with something that fits your budget and checks all the boxes as far as style and quality and those types of things. So yeah when you buy a piece from me you know we’ll sit down and I use CAD software and we just try to start building. Most people don’t know what they’re looking for but once they see it they know..
Erik Wolf: And then, of course, you mentioned before the intimidation factor that a lot of folks feel when they come into that situation I think that’s a real thing. I was married once I know how that works, didn’t go to Glasmann and Hanson and so things didn’t work out. We’ll just leave that there but. But yes. So thank you so much, Drew. We really appreciate you joining us on the podcast. How can the good people get in touch with you?
Drew Rummell: Yeah. We moved our shop about a year and a half ago to Ken Caryl so we’re at 11786 Shaffer Place Unit S-208 Littleton 80127. You can call me 303-629-1144 or look at our Web site at www.Ghrjewelry.com
Erik Wolf: Well awesome. Thanks again Drew really appreciate you being here and thanks to everyone who religiously listens to the DEA Trusted Advisor Podcast we’ll talk to you next time.
Drew Rummell: Thanks. Appreciate it.