Who is Steven Singer? The mastermind behind the ‘I Hate Steven Singer’ ad campaign

Steven Singer

‘I Hate Steven Singer!’ is a phrase one might have stumbled upon in online ads for wedding rings or seen on billboards across Philadelphia. For those in the dark, people don’t actually hate Steven Singer, it is simply a clever marketing ploy to distinguish the jewelry brand from others and imbibe curiosity in the minds of potential customers. Surprisingly, it worked.

Their website states that Steven Singer, the founder of the Philadelphia-based jewelry store, is just “one of those people you love to hate”. The brand has even managed to rope in customers in the inside joke as many reviews have people gushing over how much they ‘hate’ the jewelry pieces (‘hate’ being the code word for ‘love’).

Steven Singer Jewelers, now a premier bridal store, was once the smallest store in Philadelphia’s Jewelers’ Row

When Steven Singer opened his jewelry store on October 7, 1980, little did he know that it would turn out to be a fairly successful business over the years to come. But at the time, it was the smallest store (with an area measuring only 144 square feet) in Philadelphia’s elusive Jewelers’ Row.

Singer, who founded the store at 22 years old, also became the youngest first-generation jeweler in the district. Prior to the opening of his store, he worked part-time at Jewelers’ Row selling wholesale jewelry during his school days.

He pursued his passion for jewelry and completed courses in diamond residency, gem identification, color stones, and cultured pearls at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

The humble Steven Singer Jeweler store picked up its business through positive word of mouth and became a hub for customers to have “the most fun you will ever have while buying a diamond”.

Singer was instrumental in the formation of the Philadelphia Jewelers Row Association

In 1986, Singer initiated the formation of the Philadelphia Jewelers Row Association that outlined the jewelers’ code of ethics, and eased collective marketing of the district to a wider audience. Today, the association is a part of the community and Singer still sits on the Board of Directors.

By the late 90s, Singer had amassed a reputation for being the best in the business, and his store recorded some of the highest sales in the country. As he became a recognizable figure in the jewelry industry, he was also invited to be a member of an undisclosed elite jewelry organization.

With the expansion of his business, Singer upgraded his little store in 1999 and bought a three-story building (with an area of 6500 square feet). The building houses the store to this today.

Steven Singer was presented with the ‘Small Business Excellence Award in the category of Small Business Person of the Year’ by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. The store is now a premier bridal store and owns the largest inventory of certified diamonds in America.

‘I Hate Steven Singer’ is apparently inspired by a customer who jokingly blamed the jeweler for a personal incident

Although there is no doubt that the ‘I Hate Steven Singer’ is a well-known marketing gimmick of the brand, it appears that it was inspired by a real-life ‘altercation’ between the store and a customer.

The official version of the story, as laid out on the website, goes that a young man once bought one of Steven Singer’s engagement diamond rings to propose to his girlfriend. The couple had a successful marriage and to commemorate their 20th anniversary, the man bought another diamond ring from Steven Singer Jewelers to gift his wife.

The ensuing celebration culminated in the conception of an unplanned child. After nine months, the couple revisited the store with their new child and told Steven about how it all came to be. The tale on the website reads:

“The wife proclaimed “I love Steven Singer!”. The man responded “Here we go again. We’re up all night with feedings and diaper changes. I HATE STEVEN SINGER!”.”

The above man is allegedly the original customer who unintentionally pioneered the ‘I Hate Steven Singer’ ad campaign. And strangely enough, this is the story of why “men hate Steven Singer while women love him and his beautiful diamonds”.