Johnson Jewelers, a symbol of downtown Bellflower, Calif., has closed its doors after 58 years.
Established in 1954 by Reynold Johnson, the store has served generations of customers. “The jewelry industry is a very emotional business,” Kevin Stevenson, the store’s current owner, says. “You become very close to your customers.”
“I had four generations come in as a family to give us warm wishes during our closing sale,” he says. “We had made rings for all of their engagements.”
Stevenson, Johnson’s son-in-law, took over the business in 1987. “My wife grew up in this store. My children grew up in this store,” Stevenson says. “There is a picture of me repairing a watch with a baby on my lap. That baby is all grown up now.”
In spite of the rough economy and paradigm shifts facing the industry, Johnson Jewelers continued to achieve financial success. “The downtown area became obsolete with malls and online shopping,” Stevenson says. “However, we took what most people would see as a bad location and turned it into a destination.”
Stevenson gives credit to the Wilkerson Company for assisting with the successful store-closing sale and executing marketing initiatives. He decided to close his business because of a family member’s illness and plans on opening a small office that caters to custom appointments. “I love what I do, so I’m staying in the industry,” Stevenson says.
“The jewelry industry, like many industries, is going through changes,” Stevenson says. “With change comes opportunity and you need to take advantage of that.”