I W Marks Jewelers has been committed to providing tireless and personalized service in the Houston area since 1978. A family-owned-and-operated business, I W Marks is now in its second generation, as President and CEO Bradley Marks continues his late father’s legacy of honesty, integrity and excellence in customer care. The company’s intergenerational success can be measured not only by its longstanding client relationships and its ever-expanding selection of fine timepieces and jewelry, but also by its physical expansion.
Nearly 40 years after its founding, I W Marks’ store on Bellaire Boulevard, once measuring 500 square feet, has grown to encompass more than 13,000 square feet of elegant retail space. The company underwent a 3,000-square-foot expansion and now incorporates a sleekly designed luxury watch boutique, with shop-in-shops throughout to display the collections of elite brands.
“It was important for us to modernize our space, while still keeping traditional elements that my dad [Irv Marks] put into place all those years ago,” Brad shares.
I W Marks offers a welcoming and tranquil atmosphere, allowing customers to leisurely browse the many showcases filled with watches, jewelry and luxury accessories. Among the acclaimed watch brands available are Rolex, Tudor, Zenith, Seiko, Glycine, Raymond Weil, Michele, Philip Stein, Shinola, G-Shock and more.
Complementing the timepiece selections are watch winders by Wolf Designs, fine writing instruments by Visconti, and jewelry collections by Mikimoto, Alor, Lagos, Kabana, Mattia Cielo, Kimberly McDonald, Federica Rettore, Suzanne Kalan, Rodney Rayner, Ponte Vecchio and Mary Esses. The most popular price point is between $5,000 and $10,000, while Rolex stands out as the most sought-after watch brand by I W Marks’ clientele. They also have many great gifts starting under $100, such as Visconti leather, silver gift items and IWM watches.
“We look for unique and different items that our customers would love,” explains Brad. “Exclusivity to our store is a true partnership. It’s just you and the designer/watch brand in that city.”
With a well-trained staff of 25, and a watchmaker on site, the store is a haven for watch lovers. In-store training as well as vendor-led educational sessions, weekly informational meetings and a plethora of literature keep the staff well informed and up-to-date on the fine points of particular models. Bradley underscores the importance of high-quality customer care and emphasizes that a knowledgeable staff is paramount for their success.
Beyond supporting the nuances of watch collecting, the company’s associates also serve those in need of gifts for milestone events, such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, wedding gifts, and certainly engagements. I W Marks is recognized throughout the greater Houston area for its bridal lines, with diamonds of all cuts, carat weight and color available. If a bride-to-be doesn’t see her ring in the showcase, the store’s talented in-house master craftsmen will design and create a one-of-a-kind piece to suit her style. This commitment to client communication extends beyond one-on-one interactions, as it is also prevalent throughout the digital space.
With a presence on prominent social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the store is able to communicate quickly and efficiently with its mailing list of clients and friends.
I W Marks also provides users with an informational website that includes their history, the brands they carry and the services they offer, as well as an “education” section explaining how to choose a diamond. It also offers etiquette advice about jewelry buying for special occasions.
I W Marks hosts annual Holiday Trunk Shows beginning in late November and running through mid-December for major designer lines and some watch collections, and it also presents an annual watch fair.
But the most fulfilling occasions on the event calendar are those benefitting others. An elegant seated luncheon benefitting the Houston Grand Opera was held, as was a kickoff party in support of the Project 88 Foundation, founded by Texans football player Garrett Graham and wife Ericka. The organization provides college advisors and leadership for public schools in need.
I W Marks Jewelers underwrites the annual Holiday Shopping Card, benefitting the American Cancer Society. This philanthropy-minded company has also raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through silent auctions to support the families of children battling cancer.
Joanna and Brad Marks hosted the Friends of Periwinkle, “Making A Mark,” Sneak Peek party at the Bellaire store, welcoming guests for a night of art in support of the Periwinkle Foundation. The organization works to positively change the lives of children, young adults and families challenged by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses while cared for at Texas Children’s Hospital.
Other commitments include the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Educational Scholarships, the Houston Humane Society and Rice University athletic scholarships.
I W Marks stands out among Houston’s landscape of fine jewelers, offering great products, excellent service, a tradition of trust and a sincere interest in the community. By adhering to these unwavering standards, it will continue to thrive in the city it calls home.