Mills Menser on Jewelry Equity Lending 101

Show Notes

Jewelry entrepreneur turned lender, Mills Menser shares why the herd is always wrong, jewelry equity lending 101, and why you shouldn’t be concerned about what you are qualified to do something or not before starting.


Introduction –

  1. Ladies and gentlemen, on today’s show we are interviewing a third-gen entrepreneur who was able to successfully take over his family’s jewelry business.  Although the business was successful, he was not excited about just running another jewelry store so he focused on trying to disrupt the entire jewelry industry. Mills Menser then went about successfully creating a hybrid between a jewelry business and a financial business. Mills Menser actually then pioneered the phrase, “jewelry equity lending” and created a “bank without bureaucracy”. He then created a new capital market for both entrepreneurs and investors. This gave entrepreneurs access to the short term capital needed to expand their portfolios and borrowing against the equity and the value of their jewelry. The company is now called, Diamond Banc and they have multiple locations around the United States and have successfully lent nearly $6 million in loans thus far. Mills Menser focuses on digitizing the business to allow clients to access their liquidity digitally from anywhere on the planet, which is very different from the traditional brick and mortar bank.


  1. Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes! Mills Menser, welcome onto the Thrivetime Show, how are you sir!?
  2. Mills, now my understanding is that you took over a third-gen entrepreneur family jewelry business. My friend who first started the family business?
    1. My mother’s father had a store in Athens Georgia
    2. My father worked for my grandfather and eventually wanted to have his own store.
    3. He bought out a store in Columbia Missouri.
    4. I purchased that store in 2007 and Diamond Banc started the same year.
  3. Mills Menser, I heard that you were not very excited about just running another jewelry store so you focused on trying to disrupt the entire jewelry industry. What did you not like about the idea of running just another jewelry business?
    1. Having a retail jewelry store was a wonderful opportunity. Being in the business I was excited about but I believe that the retail business model is very stuffy and not how people want to engage.
    2. Many people want to access their liquidity that their jewelry holds.
    3. I knew that jewelry stores were excited to sell jewelry but they were not buying jewelry.
  4. Mills, today your business is called, Diamond Banc…when did you first get the idea to create a business that is essentially a hybrid of a jewelry business and a financial business?
    1. It was in 2008 and, as you could imagine, there were many people wanting to sell their jewelry.
    2. I loved the idea of Diamond Banc and the first location was 2 miles away from my retail jewelry store.
    3. We remodeled the location, which was previously a Thai restaurant.
    4. Our first customer was a woman who had a 10K diamond bracelet. She wasn’t happy with the price we offered her. We thought about it and eventually came up with the idea of loaning the money for the bracelet.
    5. This is where the idea was born and we grew it from there.
  5. Mills Menser, rumor has it, that you actually created the concept of “jewelry equity lending.” What is this concept all about?
    1. We can purchase the jewelry outright
    2. We offer consignment services
    3. We have a platform where we work upon an agreed upon commission
    4. We have a “HERO” product which is out jewelry equity loan product
      2. We give you the industry-leading loan amount. We don’t want to end up with your jewelry. We want you to keep your jewelry.
      3. We quickly get back to you about your jewelry and our offer.
      4. We send you a shipping label
      5. We overnight it to us.
      6. We have the jewelry on camera from the time we receive it to the time we ship it back.
    5. We have several offices and are opening many more this year.
  6. Mills Menser, it appears as though you are really gaining traction, and that you have now successfully lent out nearly $6 million in loans, thus far. How have you gone about getting the word out?
    1. Our biggest problem is obscurity.
    2. Most people don’t even know our services exist so we are still working on spreading.
    3. We have slowly optimized our website through search engine optimization.
    4. Most of our clients have come from online.
  7. What have been the most challenging aspects of launching this venture?
    1. It was getting people to overnight ship us their valuables to Missouri of all places.
    2. Finding customers.
  8. Mills Menser, what kind of person is ideal for using your services?
    1. Mostly benefit driven. Why:
      1. The loan is strictly asset based. It is based on the equity you have in your jewelry.
      2. It is very very private.
      3. It is fast.
      4. You’re unlocking liquidity instead of taking out another loan.
    2. Business owners
    3. People who need cash fast
      1. Tuitions
      2. Real Estate closing costs
  9. Mills, who have been some of the biggest mentors in your life up to this point?
    1. My father was a great mentor. We still have a great relationship.
      1. He taught me that results are all that matter and effort doesn’t mean anything.
      2. He taught me to work on weekends and holidays.
    2. I read a lot so I have many mentors from business books
    3. “Failure is a part of success. It’s like breathing.” – Mills
  10. Mills, you come across as a very proactive person, how do you typically organize the first four hours of each day and what time do you typically wake up?
    1. I wake up at 5:15 AM
    2. I always try to be proactive. I know that you are either following your agenda or someone else’s agenda.
    3. I lay out 4 or 5 things that have to get done that day.
      1. I focus on what is important and what is urgent.
  11. Mills Menser what are a couple of books that impacted your life the most and why?
    1. Grant Cardone – The 10X Rule
    2. Jim Collins – Good To Great
  12. What is one message you would want to tell everyone?
    1. The average home has $10,000 in credit card debt.
    2. People now look down on Jewelry Equity Lending but they need to look into it and learn how they can access their jewelry liquidity.
  13. Mills, most of the entrepreneurs that we have interviewed have some idiosyncrasies that have helped them to achieve massive success…what is something that you do that most people don’t do or something that you believe that most people don’t that you believe has allowed you to achieve success?
    1. I live my life uniquely. I don’t accept the common approach to anything because the heard is always wrong. Remove the “This is how it has always been.” Don’t be concerned if people tell you that you are not “Qualified.” I am a contrarian.


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