After 104 years of business, R.L. Lackner
Jewelers in Brownsville, Texas, will close its doors.
“The economy isn’t suitable for our type of
business in this area right now, so we decided to get out when we could,” owner
Carolyn Lackner Baird tells JCK.
Baird—whose store is located near the Mexican border—says
business from shoppers across the border has declined. “It started happening
during the recession and the problems across the border didn’t help.”
Baird’s grandfather started the business in
1907. Baird grew up with the business and took ownership in 1989. “I worked on
and off in the store almost all my life,” she says. “I guess it’s in my blood.”
Her daughter, Shannon Ostos, a registered
gemologist, joined her 10 years ago as co-owner. “She’s been a great help,” she
Reflecting on the store’s long history, Baird
says a woman from Dallas recently came back to Brownsville following the death
of her mother. “She told me her mother had bought her something from the store
a long time ago.” The customer made a purchase to honor her mother. “I thought
it was really sweet because it was something she wanted to do in memory of her
mother,” she says.
The store is mostly known for its high-end
collections including Roberto Coin, Gurhan, and up until last year, Rolex. R.L.
Lackner Jewelers also does custom design, jewelry repair, and watch repair. “My
grandfather was originally a watch master and engraver when he started the
business and we’ve done it ever since.”
Baird expects the store to close within the
next month following a going out of business sale. “We’re not sure what any of
us are going to do right now,” she says. “We’re going to take it easy, judge
our options, and see what’s available.”
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