Tarentum jewelers create meaningful relationships with friends, families
Seita Jewelers in Tarentum has been putting engagement rings on people’s fingers for more than 60 years.
Owners Curt and Sandi Marino have plenty of stories about how their customers popped the question, from putting a ring inside a specially made hockey puck to proposing on top of a Las Vegas building.
“It’s exciting for us every day because when clients come in to see us, they’re usually celebrating a very special time in their life,” Curt Marino said.
One man asked his girlfriend to marry him by putting a message on the store’s billboard overlooking Route 28. Another man and his girlfriend came to the store to look at engagement rings. He ended up buying one and proposing to her right then and there.
“(He) just knelt down and proposed to her right here in the store,” Sandi Marino said.
The Marinos work at the store with their daughter, Nicole Moret, and 10 employees.
Sandi Marino, a gemologist, buys the jewelry and handles appraisals and diamond grading. Moret manages the employees. Curt Marino handles the finances.
They get along well, and working together is easy.
“We’ve heard a lot of families can’t do it, but it really came natural to us,” Curt Marino said. “A lot of people, when you tell them that you work together, they (say), ‘I couldn’t do that.’ We’ve been blessed.”
Sandi Marino’s dad, Dom Seita, opened the store in 1951. He sold it to his daughter and son-in-law in 2001.
Seita picked up watchmaking while serving in the Army Air Forces during World War II. After leaving the service, Seita worked for his brother, also a watchmaker, who had a jewelry store in Leechburg. He eventually found the Sixth Avenue building and opened his own store.
While Seita’s has undergone expansions over the years to house more merchandise and enhance services, it has always been in the same place.
“We tripled our size about six years ago. It was a lot smaller,” Curt Marino said. “It’s nice sometimes to go back and look at those pictures of the old building when it first started and how it progressed through the years.”
The store sells all kinds of jewelry but is known mostly for its bridal rings.
Curt Marino couldn’t say exactly how many bridal rings the store sells in a year but noted “it’s a large amount.”
Moret said it’s fun to help people shop for engagement rings because they’re usually excited. Nervous, too.
“Every story’s unique,” she said.
Including the story of her parents. Curt Marino bought his wife’s first engagement ring at the store.
“She’s had a couple over the years. We’ve upgraded several, but the first engagement ring that I bought her was purchased here through my father-in-law,” Curt Marino said.
All of Sandi’s upgraded rings also have come from the store.
“We’re not going anywhere else,” Sandi Marino said, laughing.
The Marinos take the time to get to know their clients and their families.
Curt Marino said building relationships has been a big part of what continues to make the business successful.
“We send out birthday cards and anniversary cards to our clients each month. We call them up and see how things are going,” Curt Marino said. “It’s always really important to us to continue to build those relationships.”
Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, [email protected] or via Twitter .