The end of an era has come.
After 65 years in business, my family’s store is closing.
My parents have decided to retire.
My grandparents moved to Fort Valley and opened the store in 1945. My dad was born 2 years later. He grew up in the store. After college, my mom & dad came back to Fort Valley and went to work at the store.
They have dedicated the last 40 years, 6 days a week (really 7) and their whole being to Herbert Jewelers.
My sister and I were raised in the store. We have never known anything else.
It is a special place. I don’t know what life will be without it.
No. The economy didn’t force them into retirement. Their desire to travel, visit the grandchildren, sleep in, not do work at home, etc did.
I am so proud for them. It was a hard decision, but one that was well thought out and very deliberate. My sister and I are very supportive and so excited for them to be able to do the things they have always wanted to do, but have never had the time to do.
Here they are, with Dawn (27 year employee) locking the door on the last day of regular business.
My sister and her family (husband not pictured) have been here for the entire celebration.
These were taken at noon on November 7. It was very strange to see the big yellow and red signs going up. It was one thing to talk about it, but to see it in print made it really real.
It was time to make a few calls. Daddy’s first call was to his best friend James Khoury (aka The Kommish) who was at work down the street.
Dawn is fighting back tears while putting the signs in the windows that normally would be clad in holiday decorations this time of year.
Word spread fast. Beth Cleveland from Peach Palette was emotional when she saw the signs. Once people know the reasons for the Retirement, they are excited for them!
James Khoury in shock!
The finished product.
A lot of work was done in the next 3 days. Jewelry was marked with sale prices, more merchandise was pulled from the back of the store. Alas, it was time to open to the masses.
Here are Daddy, Dawn and Mama looking at the rain… wondering why there were about 30 people standing in the rain waiting!
Our memory board.
Daddy went around the building to open the door for the people waiting.
Then the floodgate of people opened.
At one point during the day there were probably 70 people in the store.
Frantically trying to get the best deals on those pieces of jewelry they had been eyeing for a while!
Daddy had a chance to greet customers.
It has been really humbling to all of us. Our customers have been very supportive. We have received so many messages on the phone, by letter, on Facebook… it has been great.
One of the most exciting things is that we have had a FOURTH generation of Herberts working in the store. My sister’s daughter, who is 11 1/2 has been working some. She is quite the salesperson and everyone she has waited on has been more than impressed with her personality and professionalism. It’s really neat to be able to say that another generation has had the opportunity to serve the people that we cherish as our customers.
More later on the final days of our store…