Gordon Jewelers has been a family owned
business since 1946.
In June of 1946 on the same day they became parents of a baby boy, Edward and Maxine Gordon also signed the papers to purchase a jewelry store in Kansas City. Little did they know then, but one day that baby boy, Dale, would follow their footsteps in the jewelry business.
Along with the challenges of motherhood, Maxine worked as a hand engraver in the store. Edward had been a watchmaker during World War II and chose the jewelry business afterwards, “because he wanted a sit-down job,” recalls Roz Gordon, their daughter-in-law.
After 19 years in business, which included seven on-site burglaries, Edward and Maxine decided to relocate based solely on the recommendation of a World War II buddy. Dale recalls, “they left Kansas City for Boonville without ever seeing the city.” Gordon Jewelers became more than just a fine jewelry store with a diverse inventory of upscale gift items.
In 1982, as the couple contemplated retirement, their son Dale and his wife Roz, were contemplating a career change. Dale, who had worked as an Air Traffic Controller after leaving the Air Force, had been laid off and was at home with the couples' two children. Dale and Roz bought the store from his parents and moved to Boonville, Mo. Dale attended Trenton Jewelry School in 1983 and 1984 and became certified as a Senior Management Professional by the Jewelers of America. Roz, who graduated from the University of Missouri at Columbia with a bachelor's degree in Fashion Design, embraced the move and started her career in fine jewelry. "We were ready for a change," recalls Roz. "Dale had been at home with the kids for over a year and was ready to get back into business. His parents were ready to turn over some of the responsibility so it was perfect timing. They still came into the store but we were running it."
At the time they bought the store their middle child, Katherine, was 7 years old. She would come up during the summer and help with their sidewalk sales and during Christmas. When she was in high school I would even allow her to run the store for small amounts of time," states Roz. “Katherine really grew up in the store.”
Today, Katherine and Jonathan are following in their parents and grandparents footsteps. After graduating from college with degrees in Jewelry Design Technology from Oklahoma State University and Horalogical WoStep certification, both children reside and work in New York City. Katherine, after completing her internship with Yehuda Diamond Company, works for Lazare Kaplan in their Bellataire Division. Jonathan works for Reichmont North America in the Service Group working on watches. Both are happy with what they do and where they do it. "Both children left our small city for the big one. Katherine actually wanted to go to Italy but ended up in New York. We are thrilled they've chosen the fine jewelry industry as a career and we know their grandparents would be proud as well," states Roz. Their youngest son, Mark, currently works in computers, but is thinking about attending watch school.
Whether or not the store will be passed on to the children is still uncertain. They do, however, relish the fact that the third generation of Gordon's call the jewelry industry home. "When the kids left Dale and I said we'd give them 10 to 15 years to decide whether or not they want to come back. We're in no hurry. And we know the lifetime of exposure to jewelry and watches is what has given them their passion for their jobs. Besides, right now we really enjoy coming in to work everyday. We enjoy giving our customers what they want. We're known and respected and very involved with our community. We're enjoying the longevity and trust that started with Maxine and Edward and, hopefully, will continue with our children.
In addition to all her business activities, Roz is also a very active in the Parish. For many years she has served as an organist for mass as well as special occasions; she is a member of the Daughters of Isabella. All three Gordon children attended St. Peter and Paul School.