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Jewelry store entrepreneur shines with gold-standard attitude

 Jewelry store entrepreneur shines with gold-standard attitude

Tammy Haggerty has successfully steered her five-year-old jewelry business through everything from the COVID-19 pandemic to traffic-slowing road construction.

When the usually-busy five-lane road in front of her Canton jewelry store was torpedoed by a summer-long replacement project, Tammy Haggerty didn’t inherit a woe-is-me attitude.

She created a construction sale, offering customers who navigated through the Canton Center Road nightmare a chance to win an amazing trip to Boyne Mountain.

When the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged numerous small businesses, Haggerty found ways to move Jacob Matthew Jewelers (which she named after her two sons) through the once-in-a-century crisis with a successful blend of creativity and ingenuity.

And now, as inflation rears its cyclical shadow across the country, Haggerty is continuing to set a positive example, serving as a diamond in the rough, so to speak.

“As a business owner, I can sit here and act like these things like the road construction and inflation don’t exist, or I can find ways to pivot and get through it,” Haggerty said. “I choose the second option, even if it means taking less of a profit for the short term while still being able to help people.”

Sterling start

Haggerty’s initial brush with the jewelry business came at the age of 18 when her mother — who managed a jewelry store — asked her to help.

“I fell in love with it,” said Haggerty, who enrolled in the Gemological Institute of America based in Carlsbad, California and became a licensed gemologist. Not long after, she was hired by a world-renowned jewelry company and — at the age of 23 — found herself managing a store by herself in Pittsburgh.

Dazzling Christmas ornaments on display at Jacob Matthew Jewelers in Canton.
<strong>Dazzling Christmas ornaments on display at Jacob Matthew Jewelers in Canton<strong>

Following stops in other Rust Belt cities, including Cleveland, Haggerty moved to Canton, where her business has become the go-to place for fine, everyday jewelry.

“Except for the construction (she smiled) I love this location because it’s the third-busiest road in Canton (behind Ford Road and Michigan Avenue) and the least-headache-inducing of the three,” Haggerty said. “It takes people all the way from Van Buren Township to Northville. Pretty regularly I’ll have customers who tell me they weren’t necessarily looking for my place, but they saw it while driving along Canton Center and decided to stop.

“What I like about Canton Center, too, is that 99% of the businesses along here are small businesses, except for Beaumont and a bank.”

Emerging jewelry trends

Haggerty is constantly adapting to the changes emerging in the jewelry industry. The latest is the heightened popularity of lab-grown diamonds, which mimic natural diamonds in look and structure but are created in a laboratory using either a chemical or pressure process.

“When the advanced lab-made diamonds first started becoming popular just before COVID, I refused to sell them because they were just too expensive; it was the same as when big-screen TVs first came on the market,” she said. “But once the price dropped considerably, I started to sell them and they are incredibly popular. My job is to sell whatever is available in the industry, educate customers on the difference between mined diamonds and lab-made diamonds, and let them make the decision.”

Jacob Matthew Jewelers has a 3,000-square-foot showroom showcasing dazzling jewelry.
<strong>Jacob Matthew Jewelers has a 3000 square foot showroom showcasing dazzling jewelry<strong>

Supporting veterans

Haggerty has earned a reputation throughout Wayne County as a friend and giver to non-profit causes, particularly those related to veterans. Her 3,000-square-foot store even offers 20% discounts to military veterans.

“My brother was in the Army and my dad was in the Coast Guard, so helping the military has always been important to me,” she said. “Ideally, I want to help somebody every day. My family grew up relatively poor — at one point I remember eating government-issued cheese — so I lived in humble surroundings. Looking back, I’ve always wanted to give back. I mean, you only need so much to live. It’s so easy to help people … either with money or your time.”

Like most small-business owners, Haggerty is battling the costs of inflation. One example, she noted, was the rising cost of decorative ribbon that has escalated from $5 a roll to over $15 a roll.

“There’s a lot of gouging going on now,” she said. “The best way to fight it is to stop buying the products that you feel is overpriced for no reason. Eventually, the price will drop down to where it should be.”

If you would like your business featured on, please contact Ed Wright at 734-664-4657 or 

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