Congress to debut Scot’s Fine Jewelers next week
Scot Congress, who has owned and operated jewelry stores in Southwest Florida since 1983, is putting the finishing touches on his latest business venture – Scot’s Fine Jewelers – which will open in Periwinkle Place on Monday, Oct. 19.
“The concept is exciting: a Rolex boutique complemented by a selection of fine diamonds and exclusive jewelry,” said Congress. “We’re going to be one of the few exclusive Rolex dealerships in Lee County and an authorized Rolex service center. There’s only five of those in the state, and now one of them is on Sanibel.”
Although the business is focusing on offering unique and exclusive Rolex watches – over 200 different pieces will be on display, more than double what he had in stock at his former jewelery business – approximately half of the sales floor will showcase top quality diamonds, rare and colored gemstones in one-of-a-kind settings.
“We’re going to have the finest diamonds, the finest gemstones and the finest watches anywhere… the finest in everything all under one roof,” he added.
Congress and watchmaker Chris Wiles, with whom he has worked with since 2000, will operate the day-to-day business, which will officially debut at 10 a.m. on Monday. They are expecting delivery of their Rolex inventory in the coming days, direct from their corporate headquarters in Switzerland.
“I’m more than pleased to continue my relationship with Rolex and look forward to providing Rolex owners a convenient option for service and the opportunity to see the best and newest in elegant timepieces,” said Congress, who owned and operated Congress Jewelers for many years until selling the company to Finlay Enterprises, Inc. in late 2006.
“We sold to them at the right time, before the country started to feel the economic crunch,” he said. “At that point, we had five store and about 100 employees. They were even talking about expanding the business, adding Congress Jewelers outlets in Sarasota and Fort Lauderdale.”
According to Congress, Finlay soon started talking about contraction. Then, in August 2009, they declared bankruptcy.
“After the bankruptcy canceled our non-compete agreement, that gave me the freedom to do what I wanted to do,” he said.
Scot’s Fine Jewelers will be located in the middle of Periwinkle Place, next door to the original Chico’s.
A longtime island resident, Congress currently serves on the board of Jewelers of America, an industry association of 11,000 jewelry stores nationwide. He is a 10-year Cornerstone member of Couture, the nation’s leading high-end jeweler trade event, which brings more than 200 designers and manufacturers to Las Vegas each summer.
Congress also serves on the board of Sanibel Island’s Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater and is past president of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce, a 20-year Rotarian and past Rotary Club president. He raised nearly a quarter-million dollars for the American Heart Association, chairing the 2006 Collier County Heart Ball and leading other humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.
“The Rolex market is vast, with an age group from 15 to 95. It’s a flight to quality, something that people aspire to or plan to pass down to other generations,” Congress added. “And the reason for that is high quality. They’re at the forefront of the industry. And because people know my reputation here, I think the business will do very well.”