One of my favorite things about living in New Hampshire is that young people have access to lots of resources and are given a lot of room to run. Last month, I wrote about Jesse Demars, a young entrepreneur who owns the Java Cup in Claremont. Jesse’s story isn’t unique. Because the cost of entry for businesses is much lower here than in other cities, young people can take a shot at something that they might not otherwise have.
Today’s article is about another young entrepreneur. Jordan Schucart owns Jozach Jewelers, with her mom, Lori. The shop has been open in Claremont for a few months now, adding to a downtown that’s starting to fill up. I wanted to talk to Jordan about some of the same things I brought up with Jesse – why she started the business, why she came back to New Hampshire, and where she sees things going from here.
Jordan, thanks for talking with me. Can you give us a quick bio first? And maybe tell us a bit about your journey into the industry?
I’m not from Claremont, but I am from New Hampshire. I grew up in Swanzey, down near Keene. While I was in high school, my mom started dating a guy who lived up in Claremont, so that’s when I started coming up here more.
So, I was born into the jewelry industry. My parents met at gemology school out in Santa Monica, California. In high school, I worked for my dad in his jewelry shop.
After I graduated from high school, I ventured out a bit. I moved down to North Carolina and worked in the jewelry industry there. I worked at a chain jewelry store, which was a very different experience than I had had in Swanzey. I didn’t stay there as long – I didn’t think the culture there suited what I loved about jewelry.
Was owning your own business part of the plan? I mean… were you thinking about that while you worked other places?
Well, no one really gets into jewelry with a goal to work for someone else. Either you’re born into the industry, and the plan is to take over a family business, or you move from different shops, trying to learn until you can open your own place. After North Carolina, I enrolled in gemology school in New York, and moved down to Manhattan.
I love New York. Where did you live in the city?
I lived near 45th and 8th, right near Schmackary’s, which is an awesome little cookie place that I miss dearly. I lived right in the theatre district and worked on Madison Avenue.
School was six months of intensive work, and I was working full time the whole time. After the first year, I worked in wholesaling, to get a feel for a different side of the industry. Then I moved up to Queens and worked for a smaller store out on Long Island.
And now you’re back in Claremont. What is it like owning and operating a business here in the City?
Claremont is a great general location. We’re right between Keene and the Dartmouth-Lebanon area. If you are selling a good product here, people will come. And the overhead here is so low. We’ve done great so far this year.
Plus, I get to work with my mom. The two of us make a great team. We both have our strengths. And she knows so many people that came with her, from the other places she’s worked, and from her friends in Claremont.
Do you feel like you’re in a different position, as a young business owner in your industry?
I’m always learning, every day. But one thing that’s great about running the store is that I have an intimate knowledge of everything we have in here. Every gem, every piece, I know about it.
A lot of times, people think that jewelers are just trying to push the most expensive pieces. But – especially at small, independent stores – we’re really just trying to make someone as happy as we can with their purchase. In our industry, we rely on trust. It’s great to be at the front of that.
Thanks Jordan. We’re so happy to have you.
Thank you! It is such a honor and privilege to be part of this amazing community. We couldn’t be more excited! I’m looking forward to seeing Pleasant Street flourish with the new addition of my store.