Missouri Jeweler Closes After 61 Years

Facing adversity in a tough economy, Taylor’s Jewelers in
Fulton, Mo., will close after selling its remaining inventory. Taylor’s has been family owned and operated since 1944.

“We were looking for people to take it over,” owner Ray
Taylor says. He adds that after receiving no responses to inquiries, in
addition to his upcoming 74th birthday, it was time to retire.

Taylor’s launched a liquidation sale Nov. 16. “We’re just
trying to get rid of the inventory. We feel like it will be through Christmas before
we get things down,” Taylor says.  

Taylor says his father, Ernest Taylor, started the business
after his job at a shoe factory threatened his health. “His doctor told him he
had to find a different job. So he took a correspondence course from the Wisconsin
Institute of Horology to learn how to repair watches and clocks.”

After educating himself, Ray says his father ran the business from his living room until he found a storefront
downtown. “We’ve been on the main street since the 1960s,” he says.

Ray worked in a factory for 13 years but upon realizing
his position would soon become obsolete, he and his wife Carol bought the
store from his father in 1974. “Carol is the one with the good taste as far as buying and
dealing with customers. We’ve had good partnership the whole time. People ask
me all the time how can you work with your wife and I tell them it’s like going
to work with your best friend.”

He says the close will affect Fulton shoppers hard, as
the next jewelry store is in Columbia, Mo.—nearly 23 miles away: “I really
hate that there’s not going to be a jewelry store, someone who can sizes rings
or change watch batteries.”