Matt Stuller – Jewelry Business Magnate With a Heart for His Community

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Matthew “Matt” Gordy Stuller has forged his own success in life, entering the jewelry business as a high school student in his beloved hometown of Lafayette LA. Against the advice of his parents, Dr. Gilbert and Alma Stuller, as well as industry titans he met at the age of 18 when he traveled to New York to share his innovative ideas on the more timely delivery of orders, Matt has always followed his own intuition when it comes to building his business. Over the years, his parents were able to see him achieve monumental success. As Matt shares, “There is nothing better than being able to make your parents proud.”

In this episode of Discover Lafayette, you will have the opportunity to hear the heart and soul-felt message delivered by the man who built Stuller and employs approximately 1250 talented professionals in Lafayette. Matt Stuller still focuses each day on delivering outstanding service to customers worldwide who order beautiful jewelry which may be handed down from generation to generation. He attributes his success to the talent of his staff. “They are truly the ones that drive the business. Our people make it happen.”

Matt Stuller, along with Ray Weiland, at the groundbreaking of his headquarters at 302 Rue Louis XIV, Lafayette, LA. The facility currently houses about 1250 local employees, many of whom have been with the company for decades. He made the decision to build his business in Lafayette against the sage advice of jewelry industry titans in the early 1970’s and has never looked back.

Stuller is now the largest jewelry manufacturing and distributing firm in the United States and will celebrate its 50th anniversary on November 12, 2020. From Matt’s early days of delivering his wares to small mom and pop jewelers from the back of his Datsun 240Z and creating designs in his dad’s orthodontic dental lab, to his current operation which delivers hundreds of thousands of orders worldwide each and every day, Matt delights in the fun adventure of creating “gifts of God’s greatest creations of gold, platinum, and silver with the most beautiful gemstones harvested from the inner earth.

We get to be the artists in building jewelry that allow people to celebrate life’s most meaningful events.” Always mechanically inclined, Matt fell in love with the business when he worked with a craftsman in the back of a local jeweler’s store when he was still in high school. He learned sizing, stone setting, and polishing, and in the process, he fell in love with the business. As he sold jewelry and componentry to small, independent store owners throughout Louisiana in his early days in business, his passion for service was cemented and he looks back fondly on all the kind people who helped him by purchasing his wares as he was starting out.

Stuller is now the largest jewelry manufacturing and distributing firm in the United States and will celebrate its 50th anniversary on November 12, 2020. Some of Matt Stuller’s employees have been with him 20, 30 and 40 years.

Over the years, Stuller has had to adapt to changing business conditions. “You have to change to stay up to date with the market place.” Yet he’s also awed by the number of employees who are daughters, sons and grandchildren of some of his original employees. Each quarter Stuller celebrates work anniversaries of employees, some of whom have been with him for 20, 30 and 40 years.

“I think we’re the best in the jewelry business worldwide. I certainly know we’re the best in service and reputation worldwide. That’s been my goal. It’s not ok to just be ok.

Matt Stuller also believes in giving back to others. He started The Stuller Family Foundation 26 years ago when he realized that part of the responsibility of his Christian faith is to tithe from his earnings. He has committed to giving 10% of all his earnings to be invested back into the community’s 501(c)(3) organizations that deliver humanitarian, youth, religious and educational services. For more information, visit http://www.stullerfoundation.org/.

Matt is also the driving force behind the recently launched Parish Proud, whose goal is to work with community partners to eliminate chronic blight and litter; to promote and invest in beautification initiatives, and to educate all of us on the economic, environmental, and social costs of blight and litter. The genesis of Matt’s interest in cleaning up our community began in the 1950’s when he fished with his dad in the Atchafalaya Basin. Even then it was full of trash and as a Boy Scout, he realized he needed to do something about it. On October 9, 2019, Parish Proud was launched with great fanfare at the LITE Center as it shared its message with community and elected leaders.

Parish Proud will focus on seven primary sources of litter: (1) Fast food packing; (2) Garbage trucks; (3) Open-containers (beverage cups and cans that end up on streets and in yards); (4) Cigarette butts; (5) Trash that flies from the backs of pickup trucks; (6) Illegal signs; and (7) Illegal dumping. Matt speaks highly of Skyra Rideaux, community activist and head of LCG’s Project Front Yard, for teaching him that it’s not just about litter, but also about high grass in the medians, signs that litter our roadways, and getting the general population to realize how important it is to experience behavioral change and learn new habits regarding upkeep of our community. “One piece of litter on the ground gives permission to others to throw their trash on the ground.” We can each make a difference by being intentional and changing our laissez-faire attitude toward littering.

Matt Stuller is driven to share his message that “We should all be very proud of where we live, just as we are proud of our community for being friendly, its food, its music. We just don’t have that pride yet insofar as living with litter and waste. One piece of litter on the ground gives permission to others to thrown their trash on the ground .” Visit
https://parishproud.org/ to learn more, volunteer or contribute funding.

During the podcast, Matt opened an envelope from Chris Rader of RADER which contained a generous contribution to Parish Proud. You can also make a difference by contributing a tax deductible donation to support Parish Proud online or mail a check (made payable to CFA, memo: Parish Proud):Community Foundation of Acadiana, Attn: Parish Proud
1035 Camellia Boulevard, Suite 100, Lafayette, LA 70508.

Discover Lafayette thanks Matt Stuller for his commitment to our community and his continuing example of good stewardship. He never thought of leaving Lafayette and is now working to provide good job opportunities and a better place in which we may all live. Please share his story.

134 episodes