Edited by Amber Lake
Village Jeweler, a jewelry store located at Sawgrass Village in Ponte Vedra Beach, celebrated 32 years in operation last October.
Store owner, master goldsmith and certified gemologist Richard Felder said he attributes the longevity of his business to the way he interacts with shoppers.
“I’m very straightforward and honest with my customers,” he said. “Everything I do is at the fairest price that I can do it.”
What sets Village Jeweler apart from other jewelry stores, Felder said, is that he interacts with buyers one-on-one, and he recognizes people who come in more than once. Getting along with clients is something you have to be able to do in his line of work, by connecting with customers, by helping them with remedial tasks, such as popping a band back on a watch, cleaning a ring or checking the stones on a ring. In that way, quick fixes turn to long-term client returns.
Village Jeweler started out small, but Felder said it grew slowly over the last three decades. The gemologist revealed that he established his business in Jacksonville and then moved to Sawgrass Village because of the number of customers emanating from the Ponte Vedra area. Village Jeweler has since remained at Sawgrass Village for the better part of three decades. In 2014, Felder moved about 100 feet to a new store due to a reconstruction project at his location. The gemologist said he wasn’t excited about the change, but is now glad he did it.
As for the future, Felder said he is happy with his accomplishments, and he plans on continuing to offer the same services that brought a fledgling business in 1987 to a Sawgrass Village mainstay in through 2020 and beyond.