Published: 2:21 pm, Thu. Dec. 7th, 2017Updated: 2:19 pm
Founded in 1941, Carlsbad’s oldest jewelry store and a downtown landmark is closing its doors.
Gossett Jewelry, which has been offering excellent customer service and high-quality jewelry to Eddy County for nearly eight decades, is currently holding a retirement/going-out-of-business-sale.
The decision to retire and close wasn’t easy for late founder Adair Gossett’s daughter Dianne Mathis and her daughter, Kim Cavender, who both run the store. They said they believe customers will be surprised and saddened by the news, because the store has become such an ingrained part of many people’s lives over the years, including multiple generations of families.
“The customers are our friends,” said Kim, who officially started working in the store as a gift wrapper at the age of 13. “They will be shocked. It’s known as a landmark and it’s one of the oldest retailers in Carlsbad.”
But Kim and her mother felt the time was right to begin a new chapter in their lives.
How the business became a staple of the community
Adair Gossett’s decision to embark on a career in the jewelry business began, oddly enough, with a stapler.
His mother Edna Gossett was a cashier at a local store in Lubbock, Texas. One day, a man named “Mr. King” came into the store and bought several items including a stapler.
“Mr. King, I see you are purchasing a stapler — do you need staples to go with that?” Edna Gossett asked.
King promptly replied, “Young lady, that is an add-on sale. You need to work for me!”
Edna Gossett agreed and began working at his store called King’s Jewelers in Lubbock. She eventually moved up the ranks, becoming store manager until she retired. Adair Gossett grew up in the jewelry industry and would travel with King on business trips.
King took him under his wing, teaching him all about the jewelry business.
“Without offering to sell Mr. King staples, Gossett’s Jewelry may not be here today,” Kim laughed.
A landmark in the community
During his travels with King, Adair Gossett became familiar with Carlsbad, thinking it would be a great place to raise a family.
His dream of becoming an entrepreneur in the jewelry business began with a few cases of inventory he stored in the back of a drug store on Canyon Street in downtown Carlsbad in 1941.
As he gained a steadily growing number of customers, he relocated the store in the early 1950s to its Fox Street location. His store would eventually become the largest business of its kind in town.
Many will remember Gossett as the mayor of Carlsbad back in the 1950s who left a long-lasting impact on the community. Named Humanitarian of the Year in 2001, his family thought of him as a “great ambassador” for Carlsbad in his tireless efforts to promote the town.
He died in 2004.
Adair Gossett had a saying that became a foundation of the store: “Buy with confidence, own with pride.”
“It’s knowing everything they bought was with integrity,” Kim said. “It’s not just a slogan, it’s our business philosophy. It doesn’t matter how you’re dressed either. Everybody’s treated the same. We’re a good Christian business.”
On the floor at the entrance of the store is a diamond logo with a ‘G’ that others have commented resembles the Superman insignia.
It became the store’s signature tagline: “Gossett’s Jewelry has been turning men into Superheroes since 1941.”
Growing up in the jewelry business
Like her grandfather, Kim also took the jewelry business at a young age. She recalled coming in the store with her mom Dianne and earning 50 cents crawling underneath glass cases to give them a thorough clean.
When she turned 13, she was hired as a gift wrapper, earning $1 an hour after school. She also took to jewelry repair, becoming a bench jeweler apprentice when she was a senior in high school.
Treating people right
For Kim and her mother Dianne, they look forward to spending more time with family after the store closes.
But they’ll miss all the customers who have become good friends over the years.
“We want the store to be remembered as a place where people were treated right and with dignity,” Dianne said. “That it was always a jewelry store people could trust.”
Gossett Jewelry will be open for its going-out-of-business sale from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturdays.