It’s a Family Affair

Scott Zychowski is dedicated to making Anthem’s jewels shine

By Catherine Hathaway

Andrew Z Diamonds & Fine Jewelry has been an institution in Anthem for 15 years, but the business history runs deeper.

Third-generation jeweler Scott Zychowski took over the business a year ago and has been recognized for his work in the North Phoenix community. He was named Businessperson of the Year at the recent Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce Gala.

“Receiving that award is extremely special to me,” Zychowski says. “My dad (Andrew) actually received the award in 2010. I remember being there when he received that, the look on his face and how proud I was he was recognized by his peers. It was an honor to look down and see my mom and dad looking back at me.”

The family’s jewelry lineage began in the 1940s in New York, when Zychowski’s grandfather came to America from Poland after serving in World War II.

He used his GI Bill to learn watchmaking and in 1949, he opened his first jewelry store in New York. The company quickly grew into New Jersey, where the family moved.

Andrew, the eldest son, grew up in the business, helping stock displays and clean the cases from a young age. After honing his skills, he and his wife, Beth, took over the company and raised their children, Kristen, Scott and Kyle.

In search of sunshine, the couple closed the New Jersey location in the early 2000s and moved to Anthem. Eventually, they founded Andrew Z Diamonds & Fine Jewelry. Scott followed in his father and grandfather’s footsteps after graduating from Montclair State University.

“I grew up around the jewelry industry,” Zychowski says. “My dad had a store in New Jersey for 26 years. When you grow up around that it becomes part of you. It’s more than just mom and dad’s job.”

The profession came naturally to Zychowski, but he’s still deeply passionate about it. He and his father worked together for 10 years.

“He said, ‘You have to really want this,’” Zychowski’s dad told him about taking over the business. “I said there’s nothing I want more than this. That means something to me.”

Andrew Z Diamonds & Fine Jewelry is a full-service store, performing watch repairs and selling engagement rings. Zychowski says one of his favorite things is building custom pieces for clients. He presents his customers with 3-D renderings to show how it would look on a hand. He does “whatever anyone wants, from the ground up,” he says.

“We do the old school wax casting, so it’s truly a one-off piece,” he says. “We do a lot of re-imaginative pieces and redesign it into new pieces.”

Zychowski encourages the community to support small businesses.

“It’s so important for people who are local to shop here because it makes the community more vibrant,” says Zychowski, who lives in Anthem with his wife, Jessie, daughters, Emma and Brielle, and dog, Zoe.

“It adds another layer. People are making their living in the community. It’s a great place to live with a ton of character.”

Zychowski lives by those thoughts. He is on the Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is a member and former president of the PBA (Preferred Businesses of Anthem).

“Get out and support, when you have the opportunity and when the business is good,” Zychowski says. “It means the world to us that the community has supported us. Every year it is busier and busier. There are a lot of other small businesses appreciate it, too.”

 

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