Supplier Spotlight: NEI Group
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Nanasi Enterprises, Inc (NEI) was founded in 1964 as a diamond trading company. NEI’s founder, John Nanasi, was always looking for opportunities to better serve his customers.
Through partnerships and acquisitions, NEI became NEI Group and grew to include eight departments, each specializing in their own area of the industry.
These departments include: Nanasi Enterprises (round diamonds), NEI Fancies (fancy shaped diamonds), NEI Gold Products (gold fashion jewelry), NEI Basics (diamond rings), NEI House of Chains (diamond body jewelry), NEI Jewelmasters (custom jewelry), NEI Fashions (Penny Preville), and SJA (jewelry special events).
Spectra Update had a chance to connect with Marc Nanasi, RS, Business Development Manager at NEI Group, and son of John Nanasi. He is Vice President of the Young Titleholders Steering Committee and a member of the Board of the AGS New York City Guild. Marc answered a few of our questions about his family’s business.
What aspect of your business are you most proud of?
NEI’s legacy. I frequently cross paths with jewelers who I am meeting for the first time but still know my family or my company. Many times they have funny stories about my father or can even list NEI styles and diamond lot numbers!
Sometimes I’ll meet a new retailer who has who bought a piece of NEI jewelry from an end consumer. Upon inspecting the piece they are curious about NEI and what our company sells today. NEI has a handful of customers who we have met in this way and this is a testament to how NEI has been serving the jewelry industry for decades.
My father and his partners would tell you the reason that we have thrived for this long is because we have always valued honesty and integrity first. Our credibility is our #1 asset.
What can clients expect from NEI Group?
Customers should expect high-quality, relevant products, and a customized service approach.
NEI Group is made up of eight internal departments, each operating independently. This structure allows us to make the best decisions from a cost and quality standpoint. Oftentimes, departments share resources and suppliers, and sometimes they don’t. Our department managers have the freedom to make real-time decisions that make sense for their category. This philosophy has helped us stay nimble and weather different business climates.
Because we are structured this way, we put extra emphasis on being "easy to navigate" and making sure our customers have quick access to what they need within NEI and are not confused with our internal structure.
We find that some customers like dealing with various departments so they can talk to the experts in the factory directly, and some customers prefer to deal with a single representative (like me, my sister Sarah, or one of our other sales reps). We’re a family business and we strive to be friendly and approachable!
NEI Group recently went above and beyond for a client. Please tell us more!
A long-time customer’s store was completely robbed right before the 2016 holiday season. Between all our departments we were able to overnight 100+ pieces across categories so that he could fill his cases for his unassuming shoppers. This went against a bunch of our usual business policies, but it’s important to us to keep this industry thriving and our partners open. We were happy to help.
How has being a member of the American Gem Society helped you and NEI Group?
AGS fosters an environment of personal and professional growth.
Consumer behaviors, retailer needs, and industry trends are constantly evolving. AGS provides an ongoing education for me and my NEI colleagues on the best way to provide customers with what they need through the ever-changing business climate. AGS connects me with top-tier jewelry professionals who have invaluable insights into the market and honest feedback about NEI. This helps us find new opportunities and refine or business.
On a personal level, my involvement with the New York/New Jersey Guild and the Young Titleholders fosters friendships and professional support with local and like-minded individuals.
What advice do you have for new members of the AGS?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! You’ll read a ton about the awesomeness of Conclave, Guilds, and other AGS programs but the true value of all these activities is much greater if you allow yourself to be vulnerable. Be open to feedback, open to learning and open to meeting new people. Know that AGS members want to see other members succeed and are constantly trying to meet new faces—so don’t be afraid to walk up to a stranger and say, "Hello!"