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5:22 AM Wed, Sept. 26th

LEADERS & ENTREPRENEURS: Greg Raskin of Raskin’s Jewelers

Greg Raskin is owner of Raskin’s Jewelers on Gurley Street in Prescott. The store has been in Prescott for 53 years, since 1963.

Photo by Les Stukenberg.

Greg Raskin is owner of Raskin’s Jewelers on Gurley Street in Prescott. The store has been in Prescott for 53 years, since 1963.

Family: My wife (the boss), Renee, is the Chief Deputy for the Yavapai County Education Service Agency. Despite her title she is not a sheriff, she works in school finance. My son, Alex, 21, works full time in the IT Department for the Prescott Unified School District and attends Yavapai College. My other son, Drew, 18, just graduated from Prescott High School and will attend Yavapai College in the fall.

Education: Born and raised in Prescott, I went to Lincoln Elementary School, Taylor Hicks Elementary School, Granite Mountain Middle School and, in 1984, graduated from Prescott High School. I then went on to be a Wildcat at the University of Arizona and graduated in 1988. BEAR DOWN!

How many employees? We have seven employees at Raskin’s Jewelers, we are like family.

Years in business (Raskin’s and yourself)? I came in to the business in 1991 with my father, Lynn, after working in corporate retail for three years in Washington, D.C., for the Army Air Force Exchange Service. Raskin’s has been in Prescott for 53 years, since 1963. My grandfather started Raskin’s Jewelers in Phoenix in 1946. Overall, 70 years in Arizona.

Secrets to success? I believe the secret to success is service above self and giving back to the community we live in.

Did you always want to go into the jewelry business? Growing up in Prescott and working in the family business when I was young, I never thought I would end up living here and especially didn’t think I would take over the family business. I have a brother and two sisters and they had no interest in the business. Things work out the way they are supposed to and I guess I was destined for the jewelry business. I love this business because I like to work with people and I get to be part of your secrets – surprise engagements, wedding anniversaries, birthdays and graduations. I get to help in making very cool memories with people.

If not or if you could do it again, what would you want to do when you grow up? My dream was and still is to be a giant slalom Olympic skier. You never know, a gold medal at 50 seems like a reachable goal!

Community involvement? I have been a member of the Prescott Sun-Up Rotary Club for 24 years. I like to give back to many charities in the community. I tend to focus on charities that benefit children.

Well known for (personal & professional)? I chased a guy down who ran out of my store with a gold chain. Little did he know I was training for the Whiskey Row 10K. Of course, I caught him with a little help from some guys on their bikes. I did get my gold chain back and they put the bad guy in jail. I would like to think I am known for being honest, having integrity and giving back to the community.

Changes or fluctuations in business? The jewelry business has been thriving for the last five years. During that time we remodeled the store and changed our inventory. Millennials want unique one-of-a-kind pieces and center stones in engagement rings are getting bigger. Technology, social media and the way we advertise have been the biggest changes for us.

Trends you see for Prescott’s economy? Prescott is a unique town. It has always had the coolest downtown for residents and tourists. High-quality retail, restaurants, and entertainment are really improving along with new development and continues to give the downtown great energy. I see Prescott growing as more visitors fall in love with our town and become residents.  

Health of downtown Prescott: what would you like to see happen or change? Downtown Prescott is alive and well and getting better all the time. Merchants and proprietors are positive with a positive outlook on growth. I think traffic and parking are a couple of minor issues.

What do you do away from work (hobbies, passions, preferred leisure)? I am a runner and love to mountain bike and ski. I will be running the New York marathon in November. It will be my first marathon and am very excited about it. I mountain bike with my son, Alex, a couple of times a week. During ski season my son, Drew, and I head to Colorado, Snowbowl or Sunrise to hit the slopes. I enjoy traveling with my wife.

How many hours do you work in a typical week? I am an early morning guy so I like to get in early. I typically put in about 40-50 hours a week.

Something people don’t know about you? I went to a high school in Israel and was a foreign exchange student to Germany. I worked on Wall Street and for the federal government in Washington, D.C. When I came back to Prescott in 1991, I played French horn in the Prescott Summer Pops Symphony.

What three things do you hope to accomplish in the next five years? Not sure why but I want to go to India. My wife, Renee, is probably going to retire in four years and I would like to travel with her. There is a marathon at the Great Wall in China and that is intriguing to me.

Best advice received and from who?  My wife’s maternal grandmother, who lived to be 98 and was married for 76 years, would always say: “We are rich and some day we will have money too.” Amazing lady!

Three words that describe you: Positive, caring and energetic.

Professional contact information:

Email:  raskinsjewelers@cableone.net

Phone number: 928-445-6120

Business/office address: 110 W. Gurley St., Prescott, AZ 86301

Website: raskinsjewelers.com