Fletcher’s Jewelry to Be Recognized by the City of Covington, Ga.

The city will install a commemorative paver in front of the shop

The quaint town square of Covington, Ga., has gone the way of many small town squares following the late-2000s recession. Empty storefronts abound—relics of a bygone retail era. 

Fletcher’s Jewelry, which resides on the square, has sidestepped extinction for 92 years by offering friendly service, fairly priced fine jewelry, and a fix-everything repair shop.

And now the city of Covington is celebrating the shop—along with a handful of other businesses—with a commemorative paver, to be installed this fall in front of the store. The awards were spearheaded by Covington City Councilwoman Janet Goodman to recognize family businesses that have operated on the square for 50 years or more.

Photo by Wade Marbaugh, courtesy of the Newton Citizen

Jim and Gayle Fletcher of Fletcher’s Jewelry 

Fletcher’s has been in Covington for 82 years but was founded 92 years ago in Thompson, Ga., by co-owner Jim Fletcher’s grandfather, James Fletcher.

The Great Depression hit soon after the store’s founding, and “my grandfather followed the railroad tracks to Atlanta,” says Fletcher. “His thinking was, the closer to Atlanta he got, the faster the recovery would be. He put up a watch bench and did real well right from the start.” 

Fletcher, who co-owns the store with his wife, Gayle (their son, also named Jim Fletcher, is a jeweler in the shop), says the secret to the business’ success has been “to keep the prices right and not try to rob anyone.”

Fletcher grew up in the store but officially started working for the company in 1966 and purchased the store from his father in the mid-1970s. “I never thought I’d be in the business,” he says, “but it was the best decision I ever made, coming down to the store with my father.”

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JCK Magazine Editor