Bailey's Jewelry observes 50th anniversary
By Laura Collins
Published in News on December 6, 2009 1:50 AM
A gem of a business in Goldsboro is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month.
Bailey's Jewelry of Goldsboro, located at 1209 N. Berkeley Blvd., was first opened in 1959 by Thurman Bailey. Today, the business is run by Alan Bailey, Thurman's son.
After World War II, Thurman Bailey went to watch-making school with the help of the GI Bill.
"He came back to Goldsboro way back in the day," Alan Bailey said. "He originally started working (at a pawn shop downtown) as a watchmaker, jeweler and gunsmith.
"Back then they fixed everything that came into the pawn shop."
Bailey's Jewelry first opened downtown then in 1994 it moved to a location on Ash Street where it stayed for 12 years. Nearly four years ago the store moved again to its current location on Berkeley Blvd.
Alan Bailey started working at his father's jewelry store after he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1983. In 1994, he and his wife Cindy bought the business.
"I wanted to be the second generation carrying on the family business," he said. "I like it. I just have a natural knack for it as far as a bench jeweler and a stone setter. I enjoy the business and the people."
Bailey said one of the unique things about the store is the customers.
"A lot of it is dealing with generation after generation," he said. "We have a lot of people who their parents bought from my father and now they're buying from me."
He attributes the store's success to honesty, hard work and good relationships with his customers.
"We're more in touch with our customers. We're not out just for making profit. We're a part of the community: We live here, shop here, go to church here and have our kids here," he said.
Steve Hicks, Chamber of Commerce executive director, said it's quite an accomplishment to be in business for 50 years.
"We're certainly thrilled to have companies in our community that have that kind of staying power," he said. "We're very blessed in Wayne County. We have many businesses that have been here for 50 years. It's not unusual but any time you meet that milestone it says a lot, not only about the business, but also the employees and the people who support it."