Happily ever after with the person you love is a dream and goal of many. But finding the perfect ring for the person who completes your happiness can be a daunting task. Sometimes a friendly smile and welcoming person behind the counter can make this process a little easier. Mervis Diamond Importers is one of these places.
“We represent and present literally love and loving relationships. In terms of employees, we’re looking for the people who have [the] excitement and personality to present our brand,” says Jonathan Mervis, Vice President of Strategy and Client Experience, and grandson of the company’s founder. “Certainly we aren’t prejudiced against anyone based on their sexual orientation, or their gender, background, or the color of their shoes. It’s totally based on who does the job. We’re proud to have a pretty eclectic workforce and staff.” Mervis employees come from a variety of countries and backgrounds, and many are part of the LGBTQ community.
This commitment to being open and inclusive goes beyond the business. “On a personal level, I think personal politics sometimes play into business politics. It’s 2017, it’s obvious that people should have equal rights, equal everything. Personally it’s important to me that we are progressive and at the forefront and [that we] speak out about this,” says Jonathan. He grew up in Washington, D.C. and is passionate about the civil rights of others. “You have to put your views out there and you have to take a stand in the world. You have to say, this is what we are and not everyone’s going to like it.”
Mervis Diamond has received a few unhappy letters for their support of the LGBTQ community, but despite the negativity they choose to focus on helping people find and create the pieces they are looking for. “To say the obvious, we stand for beautiful jewelry,” he says. “We can’t also stand for ugly jewelry. We stand for anybody who’s in love, and if you want to show somebody love, we’re here for you.”
Mervis Diamond was founded in 1935 in Johannesburg, South Africa and although the location has changed and Mervis has added lab-created diamonds to their inventory, the reasons people walk through their door are still the same. “Love, marriage, raising children, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, I think these things are part of what it is to be human,” says Jonathan. “The details change a little bit, but the idea that people are celebrating happy things and doing it with jewelry, that’s the same.”