This year, Hale’s Jewelers celebrates their 160th anniversary. They opened in 1856 in Greenville, SC, specializing in fine watches and jewelry, and engraving services. They survived WWI, the market crash, and Great Depression, and the business grew in the post-war economy. President of Hale’s Jewelers, Lucian Lee, RJ, fills us in on the incredible history of Hale’s Jewelers and gives us a little insight into who they are today.
Tell us a little more about Hale’s Jewelers’ history. How did you start your career with Hale’s?
What's remarkable about the history of Hale's Jewelers is that it is one of the few jewelry stores in the United States that was able to remain in business throughout the Civil War. The store owner, James Hunter Randolph, kept the store in business by braiding hair for mourning and remembrance lockets for sweethearts to wear while their soldiers were at battle. Stories like that this helped create a unique legacy for our store.
My personal background is in banking. However after graduating from Clemson, I walked into Hale's Jewelers to buy my girlfriend a ring. I was offered a job during that process and haven't looked back.
How has being a member of the American Gem Society helped you and your business?
The families that began and continue to maintain the Hale's brand of integrity align with the principles of Robert Shipley and the American Gem Society. We consider ourselves partners in that tradition of honesty and ethics. Hale's is proud to have the AGS emblem on our website so that our customers know our staff is well educated in the gemological industry.
What type of customers do you work with?
Hale's Jewelers attracts a wide variant of customers. We have continued to carry the traditional fine watch and jewelry wear that we have always been known for, as well as increase our presence in the bridal market. Our customers all have a deep appreciation for high quality, so we work hard to provide the best watches, jewelry and service in order to match their expectations.
How do you add value to the customer experience?
First-time guests to Hale's Jewelers generally remark on how welcome they felt while visiting our store, and that's something my staff and I value. We work hard to ensure that every single person who walks through the door is personally greeted and treated with the respect they deserve. We understand how busy our customers are, so it's a true pleasure to see them in person in our store and choosing to work with Hale's Jewelers for their jewelry needs.
What would you say is Hale’s proudest achievement?
Hale's Jewelers proudest achievement has always been continuing the original Hale's Jewelers traditions of practicing integrity in every aspect of the business. This year marks our 160th year of continual business and we recognize it is due 100% to our customers. When a client purchases an item from Hale's Jewelers, they know that the jewelry or watch is attached to our long-standing reputation of quality and excellence. It's our honor and our privilege to work with such an incredible legacy.
To learn more about the long and fruitful history of Hale’s Jewelers, be sure to read the following articles: