William (Bill) Merkely, long-time proprietor of Merkely Kendrick Jewelers, the oldest independent jeweler in Louisville, Ky., announced Sept. 9 he has retired from the business after 50 years.
His son, Brian S. Merkley, is taking over the store, which will run a retirement sale from Sept. 13 to Oct. 8.
Bill Merkley tells JCK the decision to retire wasn’t an easy one.
“It’s been my baby for so long, it was hard to give up,” he says. “But there just reaches a time.”
Being a jeweler, he says, has been “a good living. You meet so many nice people and you are always sharing in the good parts of their lives, like weddings and anniversaries.”
As for advice for his peers, the elder Merkley says to always offer quality.
“I have always felt quality always wins out in the long run,” he says. “Give a good value and good service, you will make a living.”