Building for the Future

Regina Sigman and her daughter Sarah

The jewelry retailer Regina Jewelry & Treasures is moving to The Summit with Gus Mayer. The business, and the decision  to keep building it, is really a family affair.

by Richard James, Photo by Billy Brown

For Regina Sigman it all comes down to the eye—the ability to discern from examining a piece of jewelry its attributes and appeal. That eye and the intuition to know what would appeal to her clientele have been the building blocks for a successful business for Sigman.
After a long career as a teacher, Sigman founded Regina Jewelry & Treasures in 2004 as an upscale boutique featuring an array of talented and original designers from around the world. Chic jewelry, colorful unique taste and exceptional customized service were the hallmarks of the business from the day it opened as a store within Gus Mayer in Brookwood Village Mall.
Now with Gus Mayer’s move to The Summit, Regina Sigman at age 62 (an age when some might think about slowing down) is taking the plunge into a new store and new adventure.
“I’m not particularly traditional as a person and my business isn’t traditional either. When people come to us they think of it as an experience, they wanted to see what we are up to,” Sigman says.
“In the new store at The Summit, we’ll have a new look with great showcases. Many of the designers we’ve had since day one will be with us, and we have a bunch of new designers we are very excited about,” she says.
Part of the decision-making process that went into choosing to make the move and re-open in a new Gus Mayer location was the flowering of Regina’s Jewelry & Treasures as a family business.
“We wanted new growth. My daughter, Sarah, has my sensibility and my tastes. From generation to generation as we say; we believe one generation begets the next. We want to keep the business in the family. A lot of men and women at age 62 are thinking about slowing down. I don’t want to retire or slow down. And my daughter will help me keep it all in perspective and under control,” Sigman says. “She is now an integral part of the business.”
Mother and daughter share many things, from both being school teachers to always having been “true girls” in love with sparkly, shiny, girly things. Both are very dynamic, high-energy and personable.
“She went on market trips with me as I built the business. We’ve talked over the years about her coming back home. She’s lived in Atlanta and Chicago. We wanted to be closer. She decided to move back to Birmingham with her family,” Sigman says.
Sarah Engel made the move last year. “I was a teacher in Chicago. But I would meet my mom in New York for buying trips. I learned a lot and always dreamed of the day when I could be part of the everyday ins and outs of the business,” says Engel, a graduate of Mountain Brook High School and the University of Alabama and mother to daughter Aubrey, age 3.
“I always wanted to come back. I followed in mom’s footsteps as a teacher. I love teaching, but I got the retail bug during the buying trips with my mother,” she says.
“Mom is an amazing person. She knows so much about products and customer relations, and she has the best eye for fashion and detail. It is a privilege. I am happy every day to work with her. Not many people can say they go to a job they love, but I adore working with my mother. She knows the business and she knows her customers. She can buy with the customers in mind.”

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