CHICAGO – Michael A. Razny, a third-generation jeweler and graduate gemologist, is trailblazing the jewelry industry by launching Crystal, a first-of-its-kind cloud-based inventory management and point-of-sale platform for single and multi-location jewelry stores.
“Throughout my entire career in jewelry I’ve had to use outdated technology, along with many other jewelers. The jewelry industry has been underserved and overlooked for so long. I knew the problem wouldn’t solve itself because our industry is too niche for big tech,” Razny explains.
Crystal officially launched in 2020 after Michael A. Razny teamed up with Joel Steinbaugh, the Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Crystal. Before Crystal, Steinbaugh previously led design and full-stack development at multiple seed-stage startups in the education, music, and gaming industries. To displace generic retail point solutions and antiquated jewelry management software that owners have struggled with for decades, Razny and Steinbaugh created Crystal, a jewelry software that finally provides independent jewelers unprecedented inventory management capabilities. This includes custom attributes, dynamic reporting, an integrated point-of-sale, and an iOS app that allows retailers access to the platform with any device at any location.
Prior to Crystal, Razny managed retail operations at Razny Jewelers, one of the top revenue-generating independent jewelry stores in the nation. There, he experienced first-hand the inconveniences independent retailers faced when utilizing inventory management that contributed to negative customer experiences, strained vendor relationships, and decreased profitability. Razny reflects, “It was frustrating operating with such limited software, so Joel and I decided to build an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and test its viability in my store. Shortly after that, word spread and we saw interest from jewelers across the country.”
Since launching in 2020, Crystal has managed inventory, point-of-sale, and operations for industry-leading jewelers from New York to L.A., including Henne, Polachecks Jewelers, Material Good, Michael Herman NY, David Gardner’s Jewelers, and Walter’s & Hogsett, among many others.
Razny shares, “Jewelry stores are generational businesses passed down through families. My grandfather opened Razny Jewelers in Chicago in 1951. It’s been in the family for 70 years. As a third-generation jeweler with more than eight years in tech, I felt uniquely suited to move jewelry software forward. Crystal is more than a software company to me, it’s my family’s legacy.”