No. 8 Small Company
110 E. Washington St., Iowa City
M.C. Ginsberg is not a typical jewelry store.
The downtown Iowa City business is a retail jewelry store on the first floor, but an innovative art, design and manufacturing company on the second two levels.
“We have so many fun activities. We sponsor a number of different events such as a Dance Marathon fund raiser, private martini parties, and art shows,” one employee said in their survey of the company.
Owner Mark Ginsberg said it’s a cool place to work because “we’re not exactly as we appear.”
The business has been in the family for four generations, Mr. Ginsberg’s daughter, Lizzie (the fifth generation) started working there after graduating from the University of Iowa. His brother, Doug, is a gold and platinum smith and master jeweler at M.C. Ginsberg.
The company employs 14 people. Over the last seven years, that number has grown by 50 percent, he said.
When a customer first walks into the storefront at 110 E. Washington St. in downtown Iowa City they won’t see any jewelry displayed. Instead, there’s a full wall covered with drawers that hold their retail stock. Rather than the traditional setup, where the sales person stands behind a glass counter and the customer stands on the other side.
The drawers aren’t labeled, the idea is when a drawer is opened, the customer experience is surprising and exciting.
“As we continue to grow and keep our minds open, we continue to add state-of-the-art machinery to compliment the human skill sets we have,” he said. “Every single day brings a different perspective.”
One of the ways the business has reinvented itself is through incorporating science, jewelry making and art.
M.C. Ginsberg offers prototyping for complex parts for new inventions and proof of concept for a patent process. M.C. Ginsberg Studios for Advanced Design and Manufacturing shop has 3-D printers, CNC Mills, laser welding, induction thermal and vacuum casting machines. The business has $500,000 of equipment in 1,200 square feet of space downtown.
“I think we have the capacity depending on the contracts we get, to grow into a multi-million dollar company,” Mr. Ginsberg said.