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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Portillo Jewelers The Engagement Ring Experts

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Ricardo Portillo has become more sophisticated and has learned to know the customer’s taste.
Ricardo Portillo has become more sophisticated and has learned to know the customer’s taste.

By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez

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Many of you already know Ricardo Portillo; he owns and operates Portillo Jewelers in McAllen, Harlingen and Brownsville.

He is a retailer that focuses on diamond engagement rings and wedding bands. Ricardo said, “We like to position ourselves as the engagement ring experts.”

A little over 30 years ago when his father and mother started the business in Brownsville, it was a small location. He said that it was about 300 square feet of space, which consisted of about three showcases with gold-filled jewelry, and silver, and baby bracelets.

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Ricardo said that with nurturing under the watchful eye of both parents overseeing the operation, it grew by catering to customers and providing service that was not being rendered to them.

“There was an economic boom at the time so many large gold operators would sell gold in bulk and service was not necessary. Even the retail market in the malls was different than what it has become,” Ricardo said.

After so many years of being in the market, Ricardo has learned the cycles of this industry. He said that now with a much more competitive nature of the business and Internet sales as well, there is a more informed client base.

“Customers don’t come into a retail store without information, they are so well-informed and capable of comparing apples to apples.

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The differentiating factor has become a higher level of service to attract and retain business.

Ricardo has become more sophisticated and has learned to know the customer’s taste. He said, “Our products are more individualized, they focus on a customer’s individual taste, their inclinations, their style, and are also considering their budget.”

He pointed out that in today’s world, there isn’t a way to approach a customer without understanding all those factors especially their budget. He said, “Every customer, whether they share their budget or not, has a budget.”

He continued, “Because we are conscious of that fact and we understand that women have specific tastes, likes and dislikes, we want to make sure that they can get what they like and what they want within their budget.”

Portillo Jewelers carries a great variety of beautiful jewelry. He said, “Most inventory gets replenished but replenished with similar pieces, never identical pieces. There are a few exceptions when it comes to some wedding bands, men’s wedding bands, ladies basic diamond bands but for engagement rings they tend to be unique and original.”

Ricardo operates his business with about 14 people and likes to keep his personnel employed year round.

What made you stay in the Valley? “Family, family is very important to us. That’s how we were brought up.” He also pointed out that Portillo Jewelers represents a family business. “Yes, would I like to be on 47th Street, dealing gems with people from across the world living in the Big Apple? Of course, that’s an exciting and thrilling prospect but that doesn’t mean that would make me necessarily feel fulfilled or happy. It’s just a decision that I made considering my future and my future is to become a father, a better husband, grow the family and this is a great place.”

Portillo Jewelers has three locations, La Plaza Mall McAllen, Valle Vista Mall Harlingen and Sunrise Mall Brownsville. You can contact them at McAllen, Texas 956.971.0087 or visit their website for more information: https://www.portillojewelers.com/

Portillo Jewelers is a proud member of the Mission Chamber of Commerce. TBB

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