Our History

Urban Jewelers – Since 1968

Our History at a Glance

  • 1946 My dad, Stanley A. Urban, returns home from Europe following the end of the Second World War.
  • 1949 He starts his post-war career on the bottom rung in the jewelry industry at Sydney Jewelers in Detroit.
  • 1949 After a number of rejections my mom, Eleanor R. Matylewski from Detroit, finally gives in and she agrees to marry my dad.  Good thing she did or someone else might be writing this history.
  • 1950 After a year looking up from that bottom rung dad changes employers and starts working at Dobson Jewelers in Detroit.
  • 1952 My sister Janet Marie is born.
  • 1953 Dad graduates to ring/pin maker at Dobson Jewelers and mom was glad for the extra $$ in his paycheck.
  • 1954 A son, me, Mark Kevin, is born.
  • 1956 Dad changes employers again and begins work at Art Jewelers, also in Detroit.
  • 1968 Dad has finally had enough and manages to convince mom to let him go out on his own and open Urban Jewelers, Inc. in downtown Ann Arbor.  At the time it started as a “trade shop” above the former Lucky Drugs which was just down Main Street from our current location.
  • urban1976-a1972 Dad decides to expand his horizons and become a retail jeweler, specializing in custom jewelry design. He opens our first store in a new shopping mall (Plymouth Road Mall) at the corner of Plymouth Rd. and Huron Parkway. I graduate from high school and start working part-time with my father while attaining a degree in fine arts.
  • 1974 I start working full time at Urban Jewelers.
  • 1977 My buddy since grade school, Tom Veasey, leaves General Motors and joins the team full time.  Tom is now our store manager.
  • 1982 I married my best friend and soul-mate, Cheryl K. Borton
  • 1984 Cheryl starts working at Urban Jewelers
  • 1987 Serkiz Kiraz, direct from working in the Gold Bazaar in Turkey, joins our staff.  (He made a great addition to the team and is still with us)
  • Stan-Web-Photo1988 We return to downtown Ann Arbor, and open Urban Jewelers at our current location on South Main Street.
  • 1997 Cheryl completes her gemological studies in Toronto, Ontario and receives her Graduate Gemologist diploma from the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.).
  • 1997 After 48 years, Dad finally decides it’s time to retire from the day-to-day operations of the business.  We negotiate for me to buy the business, and I become president of Urban Jewelers.  However, the jewelry business is in his blood, so “The Boss” (as everyone called him) continues to come in and work or just spend time with us…he just does it on his own schedule now!
  • 2001 Myself, Cheryl and our talented staff commit ourselves to carrying on the same traditions and principles that Urban Jewelers was originally founded on, that is knowledge, professionalism, quality and service.
  • 2004 A high point in my career came when I won 1st place (Division One) in the Michigan Jewelers Assn., 15th Annual Jewelry Design Competition, Individual Goldsmith Category.  My entry was a stunning (if I do say so myself) yellow gold, sculpted citrine and diamond pendant.
  • markandcheryl2008 We celebrated our 40th year in business and 20 years at our current, downtown Ann Arbor location.
  • 2009 Dad is diagnosed with lung cancer in July and after a very brief struggle, passes away in August.  Our lives, and the business, will never  be the same.
  • 2010 All of us here at Urban Jewelers continue to give our clients our best efforts as we strive to meet the challenges of a small, independent business in these difficult economic times.
  • 2014 – While this year marks the 5th anniversary of Dad’s passing, we are still operating based on the principles he taught us…honesty, integrity and quality. The styles have changed, the way business is done has changed, but those things WON’T change at Urban Jewelers. It’s still working after 46 years!