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AlumNews: Talon Articles

McMillan expands jewelry business

Tuesday, February 5, 2008  
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By Kathleen King

For most college students, the thought of popping the big question can be frightening, but for Mac McMillan, it means only one thing: business.

McMillan has been a diamond salesman for more than 30 years and has boosted his business, McMillan & Wife, significantly by selling diamonds to the Oklahoma Christian University community.

Over the past 25 years, McMillan has sold at least 30 engagement rings per year to buyers who are associated with the university.

In the early 1980's, McMillan's wife Carolyn was working at the university library when one of her co-workers was in need of an engagement ring selling at a reasonable price.

Her husband had been selling diamonds in Texas but never really considered bringing his business to Oklahoma until he sold the diamond to Carolyn's co-worker.

"That was the very first one I sold here, and it just blossomed from there," McMillan said.

Since then, McMillan has become a household name on campus when it comes to diamonds.

Oklahoma Christian graduate, Caleb Panter, heard about McMillan through his brother-in-law who was a previous buyer.

"I wanted to do it right," Panter said.

Panter was so satisfied with the high quality and friendly service, he now recommends McMillan to everyone.

"Everybody I talk to I say, 'Go to Mac, go to Mac," Panter said.

Panter said the best thing about buying a diamond from McMillan is buyers can personally work with McMillan to get the exact quality of diamond they want.

"The quality was great, everything I could have asked for," Panter said. "It was a no brainer to buy from him."

McMillan talks to the students about what they would like to have, and he can get the diamond shipped in overnight since he goes straight through the manufacturer.

"The kids are excited about the economics of it, and they recommend me to their friends," McMillan said. "It's just been really rewarding for me because I make a lot of young friends."

McMillan has already sold three engagement rings to students from the university this semester.

Athletic Communications Coordinator Dave Seat knows McMillan through Memorial Road Church of Christ, and he recently bought an engagement ring from McMillan.

"I heard about Mac through my brother and brother-in-law," Seat said. "They told me how easy he was to talk to."

Seat, who did not know much about diamonds, appreciated McMillan's ability to help him understand what he was getting.

"He had charts that made it easy to understand, and he put it in layman's terms," Seat said. "I was scared to go to a jewelry store and be bombarded with salespeople. With Mac, there was no middle man, so it was less expensive, and he was very helpful and nice to do business with."

As McMillian became popular with the Oklahoma Christian community, more and more referrals began coming his way.

"I've just blindly stumbled into this. Each year gets bigger and bigger because of the referrals," McMillan said. "I must be doing something right."

One of the most rewarding aspects of the industry is continuing to be involved with the couple's lives after the ring purchase. McMillan enjoys hearing the stories of how his customers propose.

"I should write a book of engagement stories," McMillan said.

The impact of his contribution to young couples was finally realized while attending the wedding of one of his customers. While at the reception, McMillan counted a total of 27 couples who had purchased their engagement rings from him.

"It just bowled me over how many were right [at the wedding]," McMillan said.

McMillan continues to keep his customers' business even after they get married.

"I've had quite a few students come back for their 5th, 10th, and even 20th anniversary rings," McMillan said. "People remember me. It's really rewarding to have this many friends."

On top of the significant increase in sales, McMillan cherishes his business with Oklahoma Christian because of the relationships he is able to make with his clients.

"It's been a lot of fun for me," McMillan said. "I'm involved with a bunch of young people at the beginning of the happiest time of their lives."

For more information about McMillan & Wife's Diamonds and Fine Jewelry, students can contact McMillan at (405) 550-9552.

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