Lee Michaels Fine Jewelers may have first opened its doors in 1978, but its retail legacy begins 100 years before that. Lee and Brenda Berg, the founders of Lee Michaels, come from a long line of entrepreneurs who successfully launched enterprises around meat, whiskey, high-fashion maternity clothing, and, of course, beautiful jewelry.
You may remember their brands as Berg and Shafer, Levines, and Page Boy Maternity; however, to the Bergs, they weren’t just storefronts. They were family.
What would seem like a diverse offering offered a fairly consistent platform for viability and profitability: Be the first, be the brightest, and be the best. It often started with picking great locations, knowing when and how to promote their products to their target audience, and trusting intuition when it was time to pull back and try something new.
It was that intuition, and a little entrepreneurial thirst, that first compelled Lee and Brenda Berg to set off and create their own brand of jewelry store nearly 40 years ago. Lee, having worked for Zales Corp for several years after its acquisition of Levines, had the connections and experience in the industry; Brenda channeled the innovative marketing drive of her mother and aunts, the founders of Page Boy.
They chose an affordable location in Baton Rouge, a storefront in the Cortana Mall nestled between a Karamel Korn and a Space Port. While a bit unconventional for a high-end jewelry store, the Bergs knew the secret to their success wasn’t where their door opened, but what possibilities opened to their customers once they walked through it.
Strong customer service skills and even stronger marketing savvy proved a winning combination; as the business grew, so did its reputation. Soon international brands like Roberto Coin, Mikimoto, Rolex, and Patek Phillipe hand-selected Lee to sell their exclusive products. David Yurman chose Lee Michaels as his sole Louisiana distributor, adding to the brand’s the prestige.
Thirty-eight years and eight stores later, Lee Michaels has transitioned from a brand to a legacy of its own. The couple’s three sons are bridging the company’s success into the next generation, leading some of the jewelry industry’s most prominent societies and boards, including the Jewelers of America, the American Gemological Society, and the Jewelers of Louisiana.
The Berg family knows that the heirloom quality of fine jewelry is more than the sum of its craftsmanship, the distinction of its gems, and the class of its service. It is honed in its relationships, set in its traditions, characterized by innovative style, and polished in its commitment to attentive care.
Jewelry, in this way, is more than an accessory to life’s wardrobe. It is a statement piece of integrity, trust, and the highest of standards. And that’s the legacy of Lee Michaels.
Founded by David and Sybil Yurman, the David Yurman brand has been a fashionable celebration of jewelry and art for over 35 years. Using fine metals, rare gemstones, and unconventional materials, David Yurman has been aligned with craftsmanship, beauty, and enduring quality.
Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry is one of only 32 David Yurman boutiques in the world, and the only one in the state of Louisiana. David Yurman chose Lee Michaels as his sole Louisiana distributor, adding to the brand’s the prestige. To explore our exclusive collection, please schedule an appointment or come visit one of our 8 locations.