An Interview With Emily Hughes, GRC OWNER

Grand Rapids Coins Rockford store

We are excited to announce that Emily Hughes has joined Grand Rapids Coins as an owner of the business! As a woman in this industry, she offers a unique perspective on collecting and investing in coins and precious metals. We asked her some questions about her background and her focus with regard to customers, and here are her answers. 

How did you become involved with Grand Rapids Coins?  Were you already a coin collector/enthusiast? 

I have always loved the history behind old coins and the thrill of the hunt, but what really brought me to Grand Rapids Coins was not the collector aspect of our business, it was the investment side. I was constantly looking for a local business I could feel comfortable working with. I would go to other precious metal retailers with my husband, Tim, and time and time again I would be overlooked. The retailers would only look at and talk to my husband if he was with me. If he wasn’t around, I often felt uncomfortable as many of the retailers were not professional. I found Grand Rapids Coins and Ben Soldaat through mutual acquaintances at our children’s school. The first time that Ben and I met, he was professional and knowledgeable, and he treated me as an equal with no pressure and no hassle. 

As a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field, what unique perspectives do you believe you bring to the business?

I knew that if I wanted to invest in precious metals, there were many other women out there just like me. This business can be intimidating at times, and at GRC we remove those barriers to interacting with customers. We take the time to educate both women and men and give them the knowledge to make decisions that fit their unique investment needs. Although these are my own personal feelings, I believe that many women feel comfortable working with other women and just offering that to our clientele is a huge asset for our business. 

Are there any specific initiatives or changes you have implemented at Grand Rapids Coins or plan to implement to make women feel more welcome and valued as customers?

There are no specific changes, but listening to both our female and male customers’ needs and taking the time to educate our clients is a top priority. We empower our clients to make wise investment decisions.

What steps are you taking to ensure that the shop environment is comfortable and inviting for women who may be new to investing?

Women typically pay more attention to the little details of their surroundings. We are in the process of transforming our retail to space with some aesthetic touch ups to make the environment feel more comfortable.

Does Grand Rapids Coins offer educational resources or events to help customers learn more about coin collecting and investing?

Our first step when someone walks in the door is to educate the customer, to speak with them and get a sense of what they are looking for specifically. We do provide informational sessions for specific organizations and that information can be requested on our website.  Also, we have a vast library of previous blogs on our website that are informational.

Are there any challenges you’ve faced in making the coin dealing business more inclusive, and how have you addressed them?

Unfortunately, I cannot change other businesses’ perspectives, values, or beliefs. My biggest challenge is getting the word out there that we are here and available.

What advice would you give to women who are interested in starting to invest in coins and precious metals?

My best advice to women looking to invest in gold and silver is to know that it is easy. Educate yourself, make informed decisions, trust yourself, and be confident. Working with a trusted coin and precious metals broker like Grand Rapids Coins is also important if you want to avoid being taken advantage of. 

Brent Ashcroft

After wrapping-up an award-winning 30-year career as an anchor/reporter in West Michigan TV News, Brent’s passion for history, collectibles and coins has led him to Grand Rapids Coins as one of our top collection appraisers. Alongside his experience as a coin evaluator, Brent's knowledge in precious metals can be trusted when it comes to help with making investments. Brent provides valued solutions daily to interested buyers, both locally and nationally, helping clients develop budget-conscious investment choices, whether they’re just getting started or wishing to expand their portfolios.
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