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Jewelry Store Closes After 69 Years, but ‘We’re Not Done Yet,’ Says Owner’s Son

‘More than one customer had tears in their eyes.’

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Shown here is Andy's Jewelry in 1962.

LOOKING BACK more than 50 years, one of Keith Anderson’s earliest memories is sliding in his socks across the polished terrazzo entrance to his father’s jewelry store in Blue Ridge, GA.

Built in 1962, when Anderson was 5, the building is still there, butting in the back to the tracks now used by a tourist train that is one of the town’s biggest attractions. And the old mosaic spelling out Andy’s Jewelry is still there, inlaid in the terrazzo at the front.

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The store itself is gone, however, one of 52 jewelry stores reported to the Jewelers Board of Trade as closed or sold during October.

“It was an awful thing,” says Anderson of the closing of a local institution, which dates back to 1949, when his father opened up to do watch maintenance for the railroad. “More than one customer had tears in their eyes.”

Anderson shed some tears of his own. The store, he says, was “an anchor in my life,” he says, and even now when he passes the old building, leased to a dress shop, “I still have ideas of leasing it back. Anything can happen.”

But probably not that, he admits. Since 1980, Anderson has had a small design studio, TK Anderson Designs, a little over 100 miles away in Athens. After his father died 20 years ago, Anderson’s mother, Betty, ran the old store and Anderson divided his time between the two. Since Betty Anderson’s death in 2017, the demands on his time became a strain, even for a man who says “I have always had a bad habit of working too much.”

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Plus, Anderson and his brother and sister, co-owners of Andy’s Jewelry, received “a tremendous offer” for the property, which sits in the middle of a highly desirable area in booming Blue Ridge.

So Anderson is resigned to the sale, more or less, even if he still rents a storage space containing all the miscellany he moved out of the store’s catch-all basement — leftovers from Anderson’s grandfather’s time, everything from hair dryers to musical instruments.

Before Anderson’s father built the new place to focus on jewelry, the store was “a kind of neighborhood Walmart,” in the words of Anderson’s son, Wes.

Wes Anderson, 30, works full-time with his dad in the Athens studio, running the design operation with state-of-the-art CAD equipment that leaves Keith Anderson awed by its capabilities.

Even considering the internet and its enormous effect on sales, he thinks the computer-aided design is the biggest thing to have changed in the jewelry business during his long tenure.

By the time he was 12, Anderson had his own miniature bench and an electric soldering iron to do “repairs” in the back of the store.

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“I never really thought of doing anything else,” he says, so after college, he returned to Blue Ridge and the family business.

“I am not much of a numbers guy,” says Anderson. “I never took the route that would make me the most money. I was lucky to find something to do that I loved.”

And that’s the secret, he says, to success in any business. “Find something you love and just love it.”

Wes Anderson started working off and on at the Athens design studio while he was in town as a student at the University of Georgia. After graduation, he joined full time.

“I was shocked,” says Keith Anderson. “You know, things happen, and I had had a divorce from his mother, and I think he just felt sorry for me at first. But he really jumped in, and after a year he had found his place here.”

Wes Anderson does most of the design work these days, as his father moves gradually toward retirement, possibly next year.

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“I won’t buy a condo in Florida and sit,” he says. “I have always wanted to be an artist-jeweler instead of jewelry-store-owner jeweler. For me, retirement is getting to make jewelry that I want to make for myself.

“I have a beautiful collection of stones, waiting on me to play with.”

Recently, father and son worked together on CAD to transform one of those stones into a five-carat diamond engagement ring that sold for more than $150,000, representing the largest single sale of Keith Anderson’s long career.

“Legacy is important to both of us,” says Wes Anderson. “And we’re not done yet.”

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Pandora Names CEO

He’s joining the company from outside the industry.

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The Pandora board of directors has appointed Alexander Lacik to the roles of president and CEO.

He joins Pandora from the position as CEO of Britax Ltd., a child safety product company.

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Previously, he was president of North America at RB (Reckitt Benckiser) from 2013-2017 and has held key management positions with the leading global consumer goods company since 2004. He held positions in sales and marketing with Procter & Gamble from 1992 to 2004.

Peder Tuborgh, chairman of the Pandora board, said: “I am delighted that we have secured Alexander Lacik as CEO of Pandora. Alexander is a strong match for our recently announced strategic direction and will be instrumental in executing Programme NOW. Alexander is a brilliant marketer and brand architect and has throughout his career shown himself as a great leader and a highly effective executor. His skills and experience will be key to revitalising the Pandora brand.”

Lacik, 54, said, “I am honoured and excited to join Pandora. Pandora is an incredible company that has grown to be the world’s largest jewellery brand at unprecedented speed. I am encouraged by the current direction with a strong focus on brand reignition to restore growth.

“These are business aspects that I am particularly passionate about, and I look forward to joining and supporting the management team in the execution of Programme NOW.”

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The company said Lacik will begin the role “as soon as possible.”

Following the appointment, the executive management team of Pandora will consist of Lacik, Anders Boyer (CFO) and Jeremy Schwartz (COO). Until Lacik joins, the joint leadership of Boyer and Schwartz will continue unchanged.

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Renowned Retailers to Judge INSTORE Design Awards

Nine distinguished retailers form the panel.

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INSTORE ANNOUNCES THE JUDGES for its fourth annual design competition, the INSTORE Design Awards, which is accepting entries through February 22. Nine top retailers comprise the panel, which will determine 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each contest category (the contest will also have an online voting component wherein all retailers will be invited to cast their votes for Retailer’s Choice in each category).

The judges are:

Patricia Faber
Co-owner, Aaron Faber, New York

Patricia and her husband, Edward, co-own Aaron Faber, which was founded in 1974 and resides on Fifth Avenue in New York. The store is dedicated to the presentation of contemporary studio jewelry, boasting nearly 50 designer collections. Patricia is a graduate gemologist and a frequent lecturer in the field of studio jewelry.

Elizabeth Gibson
Owner, Eliza Page, Austin, TX

Elizabeth founded Eliza Page in 2004 to showcase select independent jewelry artists based in Austin and around the world. Now with two locations, Eliza Page has been featured in various industry publications including INSTORE. Elizabeth is also the president of the Austin chapter of the Women’s Jewelry Association.

Lindy Kavanaugh
Owner, Lindy’s Jewelry, Fernandina Beach, FL

Lindy, a graduate gemologist, opened Lindy’s Jewelry in 2001 in her hometown: Fernandina Beach in the greater Jacksonville area. The store moved into a new downtown building in 2016, adding about a dozen designer lines.

Lauren Kulchinsky Levison
Chief Style Officer, Mayfair Rocks, East Hampton, NY

Lauren represents the fourth generation at Mayfair Rocks alongside her brother Justin Kulchinsky. The store delivers a high-end client experience while representing nearly 40 jewelry designer collections. Lauren was inducted into the NATIONAL JEWELER Hall of Fame in 2002.

Marcus Majors
Owner, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX

Marcus represents the fifth generation of Majors at Sam L. Majors and is a certified gemologist through AGS. Founded in 1898 by J.P. Majors, Sam L. Majors has been an authorized dealer for many high-end luxury jewelry and watch lines for over 40 years.

Sia Maravelias
Director, Quadrum Gallery, Chestnut Hill, MA

Sia considers her life “one big treasure hunt” as she is constantly seeking new jewelry artists to present to her clients at Quadrum, which is celebrating 40 years in business in the greater Boston area under owner Cynthia Kagan. Nearly 40 designer collections are currently on display in the gallery.

Orin and Tina Mazzoni
Owners, Orin Jewelers, Detroit

Orin and Tina represent the second generation of Orin Jewelers, which celebrates its 86th year in business this year. Orin is a graduate gemologist and a certified gemologist appraiser; he took over from his father as president and CEO in 1969. The store numbers nearly two dozen designer lines in its showcases.

Matthew Rosenheim
President, Tiny Jewel Box, Washington, DC

Matthew oversees the day-to-day operations of Tiny Jewel Box, named America’s Coolest Store in the Big Cool category in 2011. Matthew is the third generation of the Rosenheim family at Tiny Jewel Box, having joined the company in 1993. A graduate gemologist, Matthew is a founding member and serves on the Executive Board for Gen-Next Jewelers, serves on the Advisory Board of the Jewelry Information Center and is a member of the Young Presidents Organization.

Laurie Watt
Co-owner, EAT Gallery, Maysville, KY

Located in historic downtown Maysville, KY, EAT Gallery offers one-of-a-kind local art and breathtaking natural treasures from around the world, including many independent jewelry designer collections. The gallery launched in 2006.

These judges will choose winners in each of the following categories of jewelry: gold, platinum, silver, colored gemstones, diamonds, colored diamonds, alternative materials, pearls, men’s jewelry and engagement/wedding rings, as well as best bracelet, best earring, best necklace, best ring and best statement piece.

Additionally, all entries will be included in a Voting Guide shipped with the April issue of INSTORE, as well as displayed online at instoremag.com where jewelry retailers will be invited to vote and choose a “Retailer’s Choice” award in each category.

Winners will be featured in the June issue of INSTORE, which is distributed at JCK and Couture in Las Vegas, as well as online at instoremag.com. Each winner will also receive a trophy commemorating their achievement. The grand prize winner will be featured on the front cover of the June issue.

Designers may enter at instoremag.com/awards.

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Retailer Sells 20,000 ‘Placeholder’ Engagement Rings for $1.30 Each

A British discount chain launched the rings in January.

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In just one week, British discount retailer has sold 20,000 “engagement rings” for the equivalent of $1.30 each.

Poundland says its Bling Rings are “placeholders” that people can wear until they can afford to buy actual fine jewelry, Insider reports.

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As a result of the frenzy, which began in January, the chain is now touting itself as the UK’s largest seller of engagement rings.

Poundland is similar to a U.S. dollar store. It has 850 locations in the UK and Ireland.

The rings serve as “an excuse to pop the question and make it official before they save up to purchase the real thing,” according to the retailer.

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A spokesperson told The Guardian: “These are beautiful placeholder rings because we know they’ll want to buy their own.”

The rings come in four designs and various sizes.

Read more at Insider

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