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20 years ago last month, Jerry and I signed a letter of intent to purchase our second business, what was previously known as “Tysons Art & Jewelry Exchange” and now is ”Tysons Watch & Jewelry Exchange”.
The landscape of not only our building, but the entire Tysons Virginia area has changed dramatically since then. I used to stare at what was once the Old Mclean Bible Church, and then subsequently an open field for years. Now I overlook a major office building and of course, The Capital Grille Restaurant. The Silver Diner had not even broken ground yet. Some of you old timers may remember the old Mustache Café’, where I stood with so many others waiting for the verdict from the OJ Simpson Trial!
I believe that we are the only retail operation still in business in our building from that time. The store was so small, I think we had 3 showcases, 3 desks, 3 employees, a bathroom, and an “upstairs” workroom for the goldsmith. We’ve renovated and expanded 5 times since then and now have a payroll of over 20 employees including our on-line auction house, all in order to provide our clients with the high level of care that we are known for today.
Years ago I sat in this very location and observed such a small operation, but after a week I had convinced Jerry and Gus that it would take a lot of hard work but all three of us could envision the store that you know today. At that time we had two toddlers and another large bank loan, but we just had a gut feeling that the Tysons area was going to grow…and eventually so would the store. All I know is that we couldn’t have defied the statistics of staying in business for this long if so many people hadn’t believed in us or helped us out personally and professionally along the way. We owe our biggest debt of gratitude to Gus Goldsmith, our partner and original financial backer.
As with any business, there have been so many highs and lows over the years. However, we have been fortunate to have some of the most hard working (and fun) employees working with us. One has been with us since day #1 (I say he came with the store), and a few for over 10 years. We’ve also collectively mourned the death of 3 “family” members from Tysons. Hopefully they are laughing together and giving each other grief in heaven. Without all of the hard work of all of our current and former employees, we simply wouldn’t have survived.
Last, but certainly not least, I am eternally grateful and humbled that so many of our customers return to the store year after year. I truly believe that you know that whenever you seek our help, that we’ll honestly do our best. We are truly blessed to have customers who have been with us since the beginning, and others who have become such an important part of our store family along the way. “Thank You” doesn’t even come close to summing up these past 20 years. We’ve had the privilege of serving so many wonderful people and consider ourselves lucky to have you as our customers. Gratefully,