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Interview with BB Associate Mimi Pak in News Korea

October 13, 2009

Mimi

The following is an interview from News Korea of Ben Bridge Associate Mimi Pak. Mimi works in our store at The Domain in Austin, Texas.

Congratulations on a terrific profile Mimi, we are so proud of you!

-Marc

(Article translated by Mimi Pak)

“Introducing the Highest Quality and Greatest Value”

An interview at The Domain with Mimi Pak, a Korean employee at Ben Bridge Jewelers.

There are numerous luxury brands inside The Domain, a new and upscale mall in Austin. Near Border’s Bookstore and Macy’s is the Ben Bridge Jeweler’s sign.

Mimi worked at Ben Bridge in Denver, Colorado before transferring to Austin this past August. While she’s only been at The Domain for two months, she’s had a career with Ben Bridge for eight years. Even before that, she was working with fine jewelry for many years. Mimi has a total of 22 years of experience, including owning and managing her own jewelry shop back in Seoul, and working at JC Penney’s fine jewelry dept.

The Domain has a Tiffany’s, a Bailey Banks, and a Ben Bridge Jewelers, and I asked for more details on the company itself. “Ben Bridge was established in 1912, and has been passed down through four generations. Nationwide, there are almost 80 stores,” Mimi said. “Ben Bridge places a heavy emphasis on trust and tradition to build their customer base.”

If I want to buy jewelry, why should I go to Ben Bridge? Mimi answered, “At other stores, you pay a premium in order to get the brand name. At Ben Bridge, we price our merchandise fairly, without inflated markup. You’ll find the highest quality, greatest value and widest selection with us.”

Mimi continued with, “Ben Bridge follows the rigorous standards of the American Gem Society. There are strict rules and regulations related to compliance with the quality, as well as fair trade that comes with being a part of AGS. Because Ben Bridge is a member of the AGS, we can be trusted with the fairness of the price and the quality of the diamonds that have been purchased from us.” In addition to that, Mimi said, “we offer a limited lifetime diamond warranty.”

While we’re talking of diamonds, I ask her for some common sense advice when thinking of purchasing a diamond, so Mimi gave us a few quick tips.

Q: How can you tell the quality and value of a diamond?

A: Remember the 4 Cs, the qualities that diamonds are valued on determine the price. The Cut, Carat (weight), Color, Clarity (flawless transparency). Lately, however, there has been been a trend of how precise the ‘Cut’ is as being a very important factor of a diamond’s brilliance.

Q: Is it true that you can trade in your diamonds that have been purchased at Ben Bridge?

A: Yes! When trading in your diamond piece for another one, you receive credit for the full price you paid to put towards your new piece.

Q. Do you have any baby jewelry? (I asked unexpectedly, but Mimi was prepared–she showed me a large selection of pieces).

A: Ben Bridge does not carry the Korean traditional style of 24 karat gold baby rings, but we have a variety of 14 karat baby rings. There are also necklaces for baptism gifts, bracelets and earrings.

Q: There is a large sign for Rolex inside Ben Bridge, a very well known brand.

A: Ben Bridge is the biggest Rolex dealer in the United States. They have a very wide selection of styles. Also, Ben Bridge offers free watch cleaning and a battery changing service.

Ben Bridge is a certified Rolex dealer, but they also sell the well known Mikimoto Pearl, Tag Heuer watches, Italian Toscano 18K gold products, and various birth stone jewelry as well. The designs are fresh and a wide range of prices should appeal to a lot of people. Over by the manager’s desk, I saw a familiar face in the pictures and I had to stop. Warren Buffett, the world’s richest investor, was standing with the staff of The Domain’s Ben Bridge in a picture, all of them smiling.

When asked about his relationship with Ben Bridge, Mimi answered, “In May of 2000, Ben Bridge Jewelers merged with Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. Mr. Buffett’s policy when he acquires a company is to let the original owners continue operation as they always have, while making sure they’ll be around in the future. Berkshire Hathaway has demonstrated a legendary record of protecting the unique characteristics of individual businesses in a diverse portfolio of companies.”

Mimi’s usual work schedule is Tuesday through Saturday. Sunday is by appointment only. She has 22 years of jewelry experience, is very knowledgeable and is a solid choice for your personal Registered Jeweler, because of her wisdom, confidence, and energy. Mimi Pak thanked us for “the chance to introduce me to the Korean people of Austin,” before she ended the interview.

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