AIBA Member: Kruger's Diamond Jewelers
If you have ever set foot in downtown Austin, you have likely noticed Kruger’s Jewelers at the corner of Congress Avenue and Eighth Street. The iconic mid-century modern façade and signage has drawn the attention of customers and passersby since 1939. But the business was started long before that, in 1906 in Fort Worth, when David Kruger’s grandfather and uncle began what has become a multi-generational enterprise. It was David’s father, Aaron Kruger, who in 1939 opened the Congress Avenue location, which David has operated since 1991.
David Kruger credits the success and longevity of his diamond jewelry business to his staff, several of whom have worked for him for many years. He says, “All the people on the floor—five all told—put themselves in the position of the customer. That kind of service surpasses empathy.” One of Kruger’s Jewelers’ employees has worked for him for more than 35 years, while other staff members have been on board between eight and 20 years. Kruger says of the jeweler who is a 20-year veteran, “He’s probably the best jeweler I’ve ever had. He is technically very good, but he also has a wonderful attitude and demeanor.”
Every person who works at Kruger’s Jewelers—including David, his daughter Rachel and the rest of the staff—shares the ethos that everyone who walks in the door is a good customer, whether money changes hands or not. According to a quick survey of consistently glowing reviews found online, this philosophy has served the business well. Google “Kruger’s Jewelers Austin” and you’ll find a long list of happy customers sharing stories of the tremendous service, workmanship and low- to no-cost repairs they were treated to at Kruger’s. Many remark on the sweet “store cat” (aka Mariposa) and how her presence enhanced their overall experience. Lest anyone think she’s just a cat, Mariposa has her own business card, which proves how integral she is to the Kruger’s Jewelers family.
In addition to its stellar customer service, quality products and unparalleled craftsmanship, Kruger’s probably has the largest loose diamond inventory in Austin. Back in 2004, Kruger made a strategic change and began focusing on the bridal aspect of the business. He said it was the best thing he ever did. “Those customers are excited and overwhelmed. It is uplifting working with them, helping them make an informed purchase.”
Remarkably, the Krugers have paid rent for the Kruger's Jewelers storefront to the same family since 1939. Every so often David phones and asks for more time on the lease. This past January he was granted another 10 years, giving him a total of 27 more years downtown. That means Kruger's Jewelers will grace the corner of Congress and Eighth until 2038 -- at least.