Bill Skidmore just began what he says is his last retail adventure.
The longtime jeweler opened Amore Jewelers in Bonita Springs, Fla., on Feb. 16, with accompaniment from the Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce.
For 17 years, Skidmore operated Skidmore’s Family Treasures in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. But “it just got a little bit colder there,” he tells JCK.
After taking several trips to Bonita Springs, Skidmore fell in the love with the area and decided to settle in the warmth of Florida for his last venture in the jewelry industry.
Despite the lag in luxury spending the past few years, Skidmore is optimistic about the future of the store. “The past few years we flatlined as far as the economy is concerned,” he says. “We’ll start to level off and we’ll start to come back. If I didn’t believe that, I would have opened the store.”
Skidmore with employee Mark Sams
After searching for four years, Amore Jewelers found a location in a busy plaza with a grocery store, two banks, a nail salon, andseveral restaurants. “It was really the only thing missing in the plaza,” he says. “The traffic that comes by from the plaza is great.”
A deco-style arch greets customers as they enter the store and the sales floor is filled with flat screens playing local commercial spots for the company. “We’ve been having a lot of fun with ‘Amore Jewelers, where love shines,’” Skidmore says.
Amore’s specialty will be loose diamonds and custom work. “The biggest void in the area is service,” Skidmore says.
Mark Sams, Dana Gauer, Dayana Landazabal, and Bill
Skidmore says Amore is filling another void for the Bonita Springs community: charity. Since opening the store has been involved with six different charities, mostly focusing on breast cancer awareness.
“Local business don’t give the high amount back that we do in Ohio,” he says.
Skidmore says several of his friends have asked him if he’s lost his mind for opening another retail store, but he hasn’t let it ruin his optimism.
“We’re in affluent area,” he says. “I think the mindset of the customer is going to change, and we want to be established when it does.”
Don’t miss a story! Subscribe to JCK’s daily e-newsletter here.