Industry / Retail

Texas Jewelers Relieved Beryl Was Milder Than Past Hurricanes


Jewelry retailers in Texas whose stores sustained minimal damage from Hurricane Beryl this week say they are thankful that the impact hasn’t been as bad as previous storms and that they can help their employees and friends in need.

Paul Hargrave, owner of Robson’s Jewelers in Baytown, Texas, says his store emerged from the hurricane with minor damage. However, his brother and some neighbors experienced wind damage, downed trees, and other issues at their homes. Many on his staff are without power.

“Spoke to all of my employees Wednesday morning—most of them don’t have running water or power. And with temperatures in the high 90s, it certainly makes life difficult,” Hargrave tells JCK. “CenterPoint [the electric utility] said they will be restoring over 1 million people with power. Cross our fingers we will be in that group.”

Texas trees
Houston-area jewelry retailer Paul Hargrave says Hurricane Beryl downed trees and left other debris in his family’s neighborhood.

The Associated Press has reported that Beryl knocked out power for nearly 3 million homes and businesses when it hit Texas as a Category 1 hurricane early Monday. It had slammed parts of Mexico and the Caribbean last week as a Category 5 hurricane. From Texas, Beryl has moved east and been downgraded to a tropical depression, according to the AP. Now the fast-moving storm is heading across the Midwest and into the eastern United States.

Texas Jewelers Association president Amber Gustafson, owner of Amber’s Designs in Katy, says she is staying in touch with the state’s jewelry community through texts, phone calls, and social media. She has employees and friends without power.

“Storm surges caused some electrical issues, and electricity is out for a lot of people, especially along the coastline,” says Gustafson. “It was mild enough here, but a lot of people are without electricity. My bookkeeper is working from my store for me and her other clients as she doesn’t have power or the internet at home.

“This is when people come together to help one another,” Gustafson adds. “I’m lucky because I’m building a store now [that will be done in June 2025], and only the forms are up. It didn’t sustain any damage.”

Robson staff
Following Hurricane Beryl, Robson’s Jewelers staff “will be compensated without question,” says store owner Hargrave (bottom right).

Hargrave says he spent Tuesday at his brother’s house, where the storm caused what likely will be thousands of dollars in damage. “Sadly, my brother bore the brunt of the storm’s wrath when a tree crashed down on both of his vehicles,” he says.

Having people to lean on is important during these weather-related challenges, Hargrave says. He has been through worse with hurricanes, including losing people he loved, he says.

“As uncertainty looms over the coming days, I reassured our team that they will be compensated without question. It is a testament to our exceptional staff, and we are grateful to be in a position to offer support,” says Hargrave. “My personal history with hurricanes is marked by tragedy, as I lost my girlfriend in the aftermath of a previous storm.

“Despite the harsh realities of life on the Gulf Coast, we remain committed to thorough preparation and extending a helping hand to our neighbors in times of need,” he says.

Top: Paul Hargrave’s brother’s cars were crushed by trees knocked down by Hurricane Beryl, the jeweler says. (Photos courtesy of Paul Hargrave)

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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