He would bring his son, Rob Weinberger, who was only nine years old, to work with him every Saturday, and any other chance he got. In 1969, he moved to Southfield on Greenfield & 9 Mile, into an office building. He stayed there until 1974, when Emery and his wife Natalie opened Emery’s Creative Jewelers at the Charter House in Southfield. Luckily, he and Rob had a great imagination – an amazing vision for what could be – along with a lot of courage, which would bring us to Hunter’s Square in 1984.
Rob’s sister, Terri Herman, graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Fine Arts from Arizona State University, and came home to work in the store. Rob continued working at the store after he graduated high school – taking design and gemology courses. All too soon, Emery passed away in July of 1993. Natalie retired in 2008, but always continued to be an influential part of the business until her passing in January of 2016. May their memory be for a blessing.
The legacy continues with Rob’s daughter, Ali Weinberger, who has worked at the store since about age nine – following in her father’s footsteps. She graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology in December of 2012, and is employed full time at the store.
Tragically, in 2019 Rob passed away after a heroic 8 month battle with cancer. May his memory be for a blessing. It is clear through the wonderful family and community he created and the kindness he instilled, that his memory will live on. Rob’s wife, Debe Weinberger, who has always been influential in Emery’s success, has taken on a new leadership role since his death. Terri’s husband, Howard Herman, also works at the store. The store is also run with help from many dedicated employees who have become family along the way. Although many things have changed in 30 years, one thing still remains – the integrity and love for people that Emery passed on to his children and grandchildren. Everyone is always welcome.
The below is an excerpt from the Mid-America Jewelry News:
Liz Pinson, Staff Writer
Artisan Jewelry, Unique Gifts
Emery’s Creative is a full-service store with artisan jewelry and unique gifts in all price ranges, a great assortment of watches, custom designs and repair. The store is proud to offer the beautiful work of Michigan artists. “Of course, we do custom work ourselves, so we’re Michigan artists, too!” says Rob.
“When Dad died, we kept the business moving along,” he says. Terri is in charge of buying. Her husband, Howard Herman, and Rob’s wife, Debe, are involved in the business. And following in her father’s footsteps, Rob’s daughter Ali, 27, was initiated into Emery’s Creative at the age of 9. “Ali is involved in purchasing and inventory; she’s involved in basically running the business.”
Emery’s Creative isn’t large – the showroom takes up about 420 square feet of the store’s total 1,050 square feet. It lends to a friendly, bustling atmosphere. “People walk in and say, ‘I haven’t seen a store this busy in years!’” Rob laughs.
He and his family actively promote the store with local television news appearances, offering gift ideas for special occasions. They showcase items such as wooden beads and stunning pens handcrafted by Michigan artists, a Father’s Day flask – items designed to draw customers into the store.
Since 1987, Emery’s has been offering ear piercing as well – Rob figures he’s done about 12,000 of them. “I have enough pictures to wallpaper the store several times over,” he laughs. “Babies, adults . . . I pierced a grandfather and son who were 18 and 80 years old.”
Rob trained with GIA but describes himself as mostly self-taught. “My father also learned by watching other people. Then you learn how to do it your way.”
Of the many lessons learned from Emery, Rob holds these close: “Don’t get rich on one customer, and be a good person. When you’re good to the people, they’re good to you. Don’t assume a customer can’t afford something by the way they look.”
“It’s a fun store and a great place to be,” adds Rob, who employs 12 people besides family. “There’s no pressure here. No suits and ties. Everybody likes to come to Emery’s. Our motto is, ‘Curiosity brought you here – satisfaction will bring you back.’”
The store’s website says it all: “Although many things have changed in 30 years, one thing still remains, Emery’s integrity and his love for people that he passed on to his children. Everyone is always welcome.”