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FROM HOBBY TO BUSINESS

FROM HOBBY TO BUSINESS

In 1975 on a farm 50 km north of Bloemfontein, Dolores Laubscher started making rings as a hobby. At first she only made rings for her friends and neighbours. It wasn’t long before her husband joined her and their creations became very popular, to such an extent that within two years, production for the market became a reality. In 1977 the business was registered as HDL Diamond Dealers (with ‘H’ representing Hermias, ‘D’ for Dolores and ‘L’ for their surname Laubscher.)

By 1978, three of the farmworkers were trained as goldsmiths. There were two sales ladies and one administrative lady.

In these pioneering years, the business was introduced and handled from the upper level of the double story farmhouse, which was converted to accommodate the workshop and retail area. The business was conducted with a personal touch.

Hermias supervised the workshop and was directly involved in the manufacturing process. Dolores was responsible for marketing, customer services, stock and designs.

The customers visited the farm and were exposed to a huge variety of diamond rings, earrings, pendants, pearls, chains and loose diamonds.

The house is situated right next to the Modder River, and periodically, some couples even succumbed to the romantic atmosphere, and got engaged right there under the Willow trees overlooking the river.

Dolores realized that her clientele was looking for exclusive designs and individuality. With that in mind, she started her well-known visits to international Jewellery Fairs overseas. This tradition is still running today with visits to four International Jewellery shows every year with the purpose of sourcing exclusive designs and jewellery.

Continued growth in 1984 necessitated a decision by the Laubscher family in favour of the jewellery business in preference to farming. The first jewellery fashion house was opened in Bloemfontein “Middestad” centre. This 380 square meter shop was the largest Jewellery shop in South-Africa

The company just kept on growing and in 1990 Pieter and Johan, the two sons, joined the company.

Pieter specializes in custom-designing diamond rings, and other jewellery to suit the specific needs of his clientele. Johan specializes in loose diamonds, locally and abroad.

Today, after more than thirty years in the industry, HDL Jewellers strive to be the market leader with jewellery of the highest quality being custom manufactured and exclusive pieces being imported from international markets. Personal attention to customers, and the best service in the industry is guaranteed.

Highlights:

1984 Jewellery made for miss SouthAfrica to be worn in the USA.
1985 Dolores Laubscher crowned as South Africa’s Small Business Woman of the year.
1988 Opening of first Galaxy franchise in SA
1992 Opening Mimosa mall shop. 1994 Sonja and Mylanie Laubscher joined the business.
1997 Opening Preller plain shop. 1998 Website launched and first international sales begins. 2000 Opening of Mimosa Mall flagship store.
2003 Development of computerised jewellery Valuation Program.

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