KLIVAN'S JEWELERS Store to reopen with new name
The VINDICATOR, YOUNGSTOWN
By CYNTHIA VINARSKY
VINDICATOR BUSINESS WRITER
WARREN -- May 11 was a sad day for Thom Duma Jr. That was the day he and a partner closed the doors for good at Klivan's Jewelers, one of Warren's oldest and best-known businesses.
Conversely, Duma expects Oct. 18 to be one of the best days in his life. It's the day he'll reopen the former Klivan's store at 115 W. Market St. on Courthouse Square with his father's name on the sign outside.
Thom Duma Fine Jewelers will occupy the same space Klivan's occupied before its closing, but customers may not recognize it. Duma said he has invested about $400,000 on an extensive interior and exterior renovation of the building, which dates back to the late 1800s.
Outside, a new stucco finish will accent the tall, arched windows, the Corinthian-style cornices and pillars.
Inside, the new store will feature display counters equipped with flat-screen computer monitors to attract technology savvy shoppers.
Diamond-shopping customers will be able to view magnified images of their diamond choices on the computer screen, to see the flaws and irregularities in each stone.
Watch and jewelry customers will be able to browse through online catalogs and view images of the catalog choices from several different angles.
The monitors will also offer informational videos about the store's product choices, and Duma plans to include one screen in his window on the street to help lure passers-by to come inside.
"My objective is to mix technology with timeless traditions," Duma said.
"We've got to have relationships with our customers. That's something you can't replace. But we also want to offer technology. We want to be considered a teaching store. We want our customers to be well-informed before they buy."
Duma said he has relationships with a diamond cutter in Israel and with a jewelry manufacturer that will help him to keep his prices low by eliminating the middleman.
"We aren't just competing with the business down the street anymore. With the World Wide Web, I've got competitors all over the world," he said. "I'm not afraid of the Internet."
The first area Klivan's jewelry store was founded by Russian immigrants in Youngstown in 1896, and the family opened a Warren store in 1938.
Duma Sr. bought the Warren store with a partner in 1958, and in the mid-1980s he sold it to his son Duma Jr. and a partner, Earl Maxin Jr. Maxin and Duma Jr. decided to dissolve their partnership earlier this year, even though the business had been doing well.
Duma Jr. said he and his wife, Jackie, decided soon after to reopen at the same location, and to name the store after his father. Duma Sr. encouraged them to start again, and though he is semi-retired he will be working part-time in the store.
The renovation was designed by Watt IDG, a Toronto company with a reputation as one of the best in the world for jewelry store design, Duma said. Financing for the project came from Warren's revolving business loan fund, Trumbull County's Reinvestment Partnership Corp. and a private financial institution.
Duma said he also serves as a full-time associate pastor at Believers Fellowship, a Pentecostal church in Warren. He said he and his wife try to live their life and run their business on biblical principals, and they prayed long and hard before starting up the business again.
"I don't think any of this happened by chance," he said. "It was all by divine appointment."