Since 1959, Riddle’s Jewelry has been dedicated to helping customers celebrate life’s important relationships and events.
Founder Jesse Riddle was an entrepreneur at heart and held a love for jewelry. To fuel his passion, he worked in a local jewelry store and attended jewelry school before continuing to earn his business degree from the University of South Dakota.
Jesse combined his long-time love for jewelry and entrepreneurial spirit when he opened the first Riddle’s Jewelry store in Webster.
As the company began to expand, Jesse sought help and formed a partnership with his brother, Bob Riddle. Soon after, more family members joined the business, and the rest is history with second and third-generation Riddles taking the helm.
Sixty-four years later, Riddle’s Jewelry remains a family-owned business, with 65 stores across South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Colorado, and counting.
Brett Riddle, current president and CEO, says his father was always passionate about his work and therefore never worked a day in his life.
“He worked incredibly hard, but it wasn’t work to him,” recalled Brett. “He loved what he did and his family.”
There are currently seven family members working throughout Riddle’s Jewelry company.
J. Brett Riddle
CEO / President
President of Manufacturing / Gemology / Board Chairman
Gemstone Purchasing Manager
Manager of Watertown Riddle’s Jewelry / District Manager
Director of Corporate Office
Jesse Riddle III
Mt. Rushmore Outlet Manager
At a young age Brett and his sister Tamara Riddle-Schumacher, board chair manager, dipped their toes into the jewelry business. After college, the siblings entered the family business as full-time employees, in 1991.
Brett began his career hands-on in the stores as a regional manager, but quickly shifted gears into purchasing merchandise and property for the company.
“The love for jewelry is in our blood, and it’s exciting to be around it everyday.” – Brett Riddle
“I worked and traveled to our various locations in the beginning, while my sister started more in the diamond buying and design,” explained Brett.
As Riddle’s Jewelry continued to rise rapidly in retail, the company decided to expand in a new direction and enter the manufacturing world. In 1980, the company opened a factory in Rapid City to produce Black Hills Gold and create its own diamond and gemstone jewelry.
In an effort to expand within the manufacturing business, the family began to purchase properties and other jewelry manufacturers.
“We were always Mount Rushmore Gold, but we continued to grow by purchasing Rushmore Gold, South Dakota Gold, Landstroms Black Hills Gold Company, and Black Hills Gold by Coleman,” said Brett.
With recently purchased diamond and gemstone wholesale companies, Brett also spoke of their growth within the wholesale industry.
“We currently have 15 representatives that work with over 1,200 different jewelry companies to sell them diamonds, gemstones, silver, charms, and our Black Hills Gold,” he explained.
Brett reflects that while building and expanding a business can be difficult, the Riddle family ensures they work closely with one another to achieve their goals.
“We couldn’t have done it without the great people who work with us and our amazing customers,” said Brett.
Riddle’s Jewelry strives to serve its customers in whatever way possible, whether it be through in-house jewelry repairs, stone setting, and selling them beautiful jewelry.
“We want our customers to feel like we’re here for them,” said Brett.
Overall, the family’s favorite part of working in what they call, “the love business” is being able to share special moments with their customers.
From engagements and anniversaries to holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Christmas, Riddle’s Jewelry is devoted to serving its customer’s unique needs and sense of style.
“My sister and I saw the passion my dad had for the jewelry business all throughout our childhood.” – Brett Riddle
Brett describes the joy in helping create and share those precious moments in someone’s life and make people’s dreams come true.
“We remember those moments and our customers remember those moments they spend with us picking out that special piece of jewelry for their loved one,” said Brett.
Those shared moments are cherished in households for generations.
“We have people coming in telling stories about my dad from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s who are still shopping with us,” said Brett.
Brett continued, “We want to be that generational jeweler, we were here for your grandparents, we were here for your parents, and now we are here for you. When the next generation comes along, we hope that families say, ‘Well you better go to Riddle’s.’”
As the third generation of the Riddle’s family continues to move into the business, Brett explains that it is his generation’s goal to help keep the family legacy alive.
“It’ll be my sister’s and my job to prepare them to learn and understand the business,” said Brett. “They’ll be the ones managing the business down the road.”
Brett continues on to say how important it is for the upcoming generations to experience the same opportunities the second generation did.
“We aim to pass down the vision and teachings from the first generation and what we’ve learned over the years as well,” said Brett.
Brett shares his simple advice for future generations to always care for their family members in the business and to always think of the good in everyone.