Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Park Meadows Jewelry store returns to Colorado

James Avery, onetime CU instructor, opens Park Meadows store...

James Avery was teaching industrial design at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1951 when he created his first piece of jewelry. Now he's back in the state with the opening today of his first Colorado jewelry store, at Park Meadows mall. James Avery stores still have a large supply of religious jewelry, with plenty of crosses, fish, doves and butterflies. Increasingly over the years, though, the company has widened its focus to include themes from nature and other cultures, said Howell Rideout, the company's vice president for marketing and development.

All the creating and crafting of the products is done by company employees, and the business even makes the distressed-wood cabinets and doors that go in the jewelry stores. The pieces, crafted in silver or gold, range from $20 to $2,000.

The whole idea is not to be 'in your face' with the products, but more of an elegant approach, like a living room,
Rideout said of the stores.

The mall, which already has seven higher-end jewelry retailers, believes there's also room for Paul Avery, said retail marketing manager Stephanie Jackson.

They have a a very good reputation, and they're a very well-known brand name in the West,
she said.

Also, the company comes to town with a ready-made Colorado customer base of about 14,000 who buy from Avery's catalogs and Web site.

Avery's company is mostly owned by the family, said son and company President Chris Avery, who left an anesthesiology practice 13 years ago to help the company formulate a succession plan.

It was only supposed to be temporary, three or four years at the most,
he said.
But by then, I was immersed in the business. And then we had new goals, so I wanted to see if we could achieve those.
His brother Paul, who trained in horticulture, is an executive vice president at the company, and their dad still is chairman and chief executive officer.

And he still designs and creates the jewelry he passionately believes in...

Source by Rocky Mountain News