The founder of Marks Jewelers met his wife in a watchmaker’s factory in the city of Kiev, Ukraine in 1965.
They fell in love, married and had a son. As conditions deteriorated in the former Soviet Union they decided to begin their life anew in the United States. They relocated to Philadelphia where they already had family. Within weeks, he found himself working for the national Seiko Service.
After a short while, Mark left to open a small watch repair shop in Pennsauken, New Jersey. During the summer of 1981, he received a recommendation that he begin selling watches in addition to his steady repair business. He sold out his first weekend! Within a year, the business had expanded to three showcases of watches and jewelry.
Several short years later, in 1983 the business grew again. Mark not only bought out one of his competitors in Pennsauken, New Jersey, but he also opened a second store in Levittown, PA.
Mark’s son decided at the tender age of thirteen he was going to follow in his father’s footsteps. The young entrepreneur graduated Penn State and set off to make a mark for himself opening a kiosk, with 15 linear feet of showcase space in the Montgomeryville Mall. Not content on selling “charms and trinkets,” he began selling fine jewelry including diamonds and precious gems.
By 1996, he outgrew the mall and moved to a larger store in a strip center, this one with 75 linear feet of showcases. A decade later, he was on the move again. This time he opened his dream store, a 4100 sq. ft facility that houses 250 linear feet of showcase space, an accredited gemological laboratory, a state-of-the-art repair and restoration area, and a three dimensional (3D) computer assisted design center, where clients can preview and alter their custom projects prior to the commencement of manufacturing.
In the years that have passed, the younger Bruse has successfully expanded his product mix to include such nationally acclaimed designers such as Verragio, Simon G., Hearts On Fire, Bellarri, Gregg Ruth, Phillip Charriol, as well as Michelle Watch and Philip Stein Teslar. And, if that isn't enough, he travels yearly to Antwerp, Belgium — the diamond buying capital of the world — all in an effort to provide his customers with the absolute best diamond selection available in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.
The summer of 2004 was truly eventful, when he married his college sweetheart. As a Master Graduate Gemologist (GIA), she established an in house accredited gemological laboratory, where she can produce appraisals, identify gemstones, and provide insurance replacement services. And if that’s not enough, in September of 2006 a third generation was introduced to the Marks Jewelers family.
Marks Jewelers is well known throughout the community for its support and caring toward its respective neighborhoods. The company is most proud of its active support for the Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs of America, donating yearly scholarships to young children in need.
Please feel free to stop by and meet the Marks Jewelers staff; you’ll be glad you did.