COMMISSIONED BY SYNCHRONY
THE PEAK PERFORMER
The jewelry business has taken Samir
Maharjan far in life. Born in Nepal, Maharjan
was introduced to the industry by his older
brother. Thanks to a combination of hard work
and beautiful jewelry, the family business
took o;. When the decision was made to
expand internationally, New York City was a
natural choice due to its substantial Nepalese
Samir was chosen to make the 7,500-mile
Maharjan set up his first store, a booth just
5-feet wide, on 47th Street in the heart of
Manhattan’s Diamond District. The booth was
an immediate hit, which quickly allowed him to
move to a store in Jackson Heights, Queens.
He later opened stores in Maryland and
California, embodying a classic immigrant
success story. With Classic Diamonds &
Jewelry well established in America, Maharjan’s
objective is to recreate the powerful sense of
community in his adopted country that marks
life in his native Nepal.
“‘Community’ is not just a word to me. It’s
everything. And I’m very glad that I can serve
that community in America financially, morally,
and in every way possible,” he says.
Maharjan uses his hard-won knowledge to
help others. He serves as a mentor and role
model to Nepalese business owners and to
those dreaming of starting their own business.
“I want to teach them entrepreneurial
concepts, so they’re not
limited in what’s possible
for them,” he explains.
“I want them to see
opportunity and grab it.”
Pauls Furniture Co. isn’t merely a fixture in Selden, Kansas. It’s
the dominant business in town, covering 17,000 square feet and
occupying half a city block.
Pauls has attracted a substantial customer base through
high-quality inventory, massive variety, and a lot of hard work.
People come to this town of just 220 people to buy furniture and
to experience Pauls’ cultural phenomenon.
Seven years ago, Renee Spresser and her husband, Leroy,
bought Pauls, which had already been in business for six
decades. She modernized the business, building a sophisticated
website and leveraging social media to bring in business from as
far away as Colorado.
Spresser is especially proud of her tongue-in-cheek video
series, in which she stars along with her team and two adorable,
“I have always believed in marketing with memorable
commercials,” she says. “We have one we did last year that has
more than 50,000 views online. We want to entertain people
and make them comfortable coming to visit the store.”
Pauls is beating the odds by thriving in a community where
many businesses are struggling. The store employs local
residents and helps other businesses in town by attracting
shoppers from a large radius.
“Not long ago, there were businesses up and down Main
Street. Now there are crumbling buildings in many places,” she
says. “My husband and I bought and operate this business with
She admits that the pressure is “enormous,” but it’s worth it.
“It’s a great deal of responsibility, but it’s what drives us to keep
going, to succeed, and to make sure this community survives
PAULS FURNITURE CO., SELDEN, KS