Starnes Jewelers in Albemarle, NC, was set to close this year after 124 years in business.
But now the store has a new lease on life, the Stanly News & Press reports.
Due to health issues, Gene Starnes decided he could no longer run the business he’d owned since 1976.
But after the February announcement of the planned closure, it began to hit Chris Bramlett, a longtime certified gemologist appraiser at the store, that “it would not be very good if Albemarle were left without a jeweler the stature and kind that Starnes had been for 124 years.”
Bramlett, 83, reached an agreement with Starnes, who is his brother-in-law, to take over ownership. The store rebranded recently as Starnes Bramlett.
Bramlett said the community’s reaction has been positive.
“Everywhere I go people search me out and tell me how pleased they are that Starnes Bramlett is here and that we’re going to be the same jewelry store that they have been accustomed to all their lives,” he said.