How Ivanka teamed up with a Chicago jeweler
September 27th, 2016
Ivanka Trump has her own business connection to Chicago, separate from her father Donald Trump’s Trump International Hotel & Tower.
She sells her jewelry line through Marshall Pierce & Company, located on upper Michigan just off Oak Street. It’s the only independent jewelry store in Chicago to sell the high-end collection.
The business relationship came about through the efforts of Marshall Pierce owner Jerry Bern, who remembers watching construction of trump tower. Bern had a store on Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, which offered a clear view of the level-by-level progress as the high-rise went up in the 2000s.
Bern knew Ivanka Trump was a style maven with an up and coming jewelry line, so he set out to get her jewelry in his store.
He wrote to her office, went to visit her representatives in New York and by coincidence, he says, bumped into her once as she walked through O’Hare International Airport.
Ivanka Trump visited Chicago often in those days as she helped with the tower’s design–she’s been credited, for example, with the elegant wine presentation in Sixteen restaurant.
Bern was impressed that she wasn’t surrounded by “people” when she got off the plane that day. She was even pulling her own luggage, he says.
His persistence worked and in 2010, Trump teamed with Marshall Pierce to showcase her sophisticated diamond rings, necklaces and onyx earrings.
“Her jewelry is a great fit for our customers,” says Bern, whose family has been running Marshall Pierce for 48 years. His father, a watch-maker, purchased the store from the original owner, Pierce, who opened the store in 1898.
For decades, it was located in the Heyworth Building in the jewelry district. It opened a second shop at Michigan and Wacker about 10 years ago and then last year consolidated both stores into one location at upper Michigan Avenue right off Oak Street.
Ivanka Trump is scheduled to attend a cocktail party Wednesday in Chicago to raise money for her billionaire father’s presidential campaign.
Bern doesn’t expect she’ll stop by the store. “She has before,” he says. “But she’s busy these days.”