Everyone has a story. We want to tell you ours…
It all started in 1890, when our great-grandparents, Samuel and Ida Schreibman, established a jewelry manufacturing company in Kubrin, Poland, a small village near Warsaw. Ida would often travel throughout Poland in a horse-drawn carriage selling rings, gold necklaces and ruby brooches from a leather satchel while Sam managed the business end, made jewelry and repaired watches.
They soon started a family while continuing to cultivate their business. As their children grew, Sam realized they would have better life prospects in America. In 1918, he arrived in Cleveland, Ohio with his two sons, Alvin and Wilfred, and established a jewelry store on East 37th Street and Woodland Avenue. The boys helped their father financially by selling balloons and newspapers on the street corner, and six years later, Sam had finally saved enough money to send for his wife and two daughters who were still in Poland.
In 1931, at the height of the Depression, 26-year-old Alvin, our grandfather, was working as a watchmaker and salesman in a downtown jewelry store and quickly worked his way up to a store manager. With the entrepreneurial spirit brewing inside of him, he took a risk and opened his first jewelry store, Alvin’s Jewelers on East 55th and Broadway. Three years later he married Edith, and within the next five years the couple had three children: Larry, Marcia and our father, Richard. All three were born in January, after the Christmas holiday season! The kids would often help out in the store during the summer and holidays selling jewelry, wrapping gifts, sweeping the floor and making sure the showcases were spotless.
In 1964, Alvin and his sons and daughter opened a free-standing jewelry store at 26th and St. Clair Avenue. By now, Larry, Richard and Marcia were working in the business; they decided to combine Alvin’s name and the word “son,” creating a new name for their store, “Alson.”
Growing up, we would often go with our dad on Saturdays to the store and do odd jobs, like cleaning the showcases and emptying the trash cans. We remember sitting at our master jeweler’s bench on his day off and drilling holes on the bench. Back in the 70’s, we had ashtrays on the top of each case and it was our job to gather all the dirty ashtrays and clean each one. After we graduated from college we came back to Cleveland and started working in the family business along side our dad.
After residing at the location on St. Clair Avenue for over 40 years, we (Chad and David) decided it was time to follow our own dream and bring Alson Jewelers to the east side of Cleveland. We opened at our current location on Chagrin Boulevard in June of 2002 and have been here ever since.
Now, as the fourth generation of Schreibman’s in the jewelry business, we are amazed by how far Alson Jewelers has come since our grandfather opened his first brick-and-mortar jewelry store back in 1931, and we are proud to carry on the tradition that our great-grandparents started all those years ago in a small town in Poland. Thank you to all our valued customers, past and present, who have helped make Alson what it is today.
~Chad and David Schreibman