A new custom jewelry shop has opened in Grand Forks, and its name is an ode to its location.
Diamonds on Demers is located at 667 DeMers Avenue, Suite 1002, in the train depot building. Owner Scott Imberi has worked in the industry for nearly 30 years. The South Dakota native came to Grand Forks in 1987, and has worked lengthy stretches in local jewelry stores. Imberi opened the shop in mid-February, and told the Herald it had been in the works since October.
“It’s a beautiful space. It has huge windows and probably 14-foot ceilings,” Imberi said. “When we moved in here it was empty, so we built all the walls and put in all the flooring and everything ourselves. I think we did OK.”
The business focuses on bridal jewelry, but offers products for other customers. Through the store’s suppliers, customers can have rings and other jewelry customized to their personal tastes, and can bring in their own jewelry – for instance, an inherited piece, to have it copied to share with family members. Imberi said he is stressing customer service along with helping people bring their jewelry ideas to life, sometimes from a photo.
The store displays and sells art from local artist Jessie Thorson. According to Cara Werner, who works at Diamonds on Demers, Thorson frequently does animal pieces off of photos people send her. A painting of a dog, designed to set the mood of the store, sold before it could be hung.
Opening during the coronavirus pandemic was a challenge, Imberi said, as it was sometimes difficult to get workers to do needed improvements. He admits it is risky to open a business at a time when others are closing, but he believes his business will succeed, in part because his lengthy experience in the industry might have him helping a second generation of customers.
“The people that I’ve helped in the past, I think now their kids are probably coming into getting married, and I think that’s a good thing,” he said.