Our family didn’t start Friedman’s Jewelers, but our legacy with Friedmans began with my grandfather. I remember him cherishing his time with his grandchildren, he would show us magic tricks and teach us how to do them. He would record his favorite jokes on tapes so that one day he could make us smile when he was no longer with us. His name was Felton Thompson and no, he wasn’t a Friedman. After coming back from WWII, my grandfather joined his brother to begin working for A. A. Friedman, at Friedman’s Jewelers in Augusta, Georgia. He was a committed man and in 1992, I attended a ceremony that would celebrate my grandfather’s 45 years of service and retirement from Friedman’s Jewelers.
My grandfather knew that it was customer service that would help propel the growth of what became the 3rd largest jewelry company in America. He told us stories of how he took jewelry door to door to show customers what wonderful new pieces of jewelry Friedman’s had to offer. Friedman’s used door to door sales to give their customers an easy and comfortable buying experience.
My father, Donnie Thompson started sweeping floors at 14 and became the youngest manager of a Friedman’s store at the age of 18 in 1964. A number of years passed and the Friedman’s family allowed our family to purchase a single store from the mega-chain of jewelry stores on June 22, 1989. My dad learned a few things from my grandfather and he, with the help of an amazing staff, grew his single store into one of the top 10 largest independent stores in America, Windsor Fine Jewelers in Augusta, Georgia.
Well, if you can all remember, the entire Friedman’s jewelry chain closed in 2007. When the opportunity had risen for our family to purchase the name and trademark for Friedman’s Jewelers – how could we not? We purchased it in 2009, we did it as part of our family legacy and part of a tribute to where we came from. If my grandfather were here today, I think that he would be proud of us and he’d say that those 45 years were worth every moment.
Today, it’s not realistic to visit every home, but with 3 generations of over-the-top customer service, we’re pretty sure that our web platform can continue the mission of showing customers and friends, fine jewelry without them having to leave their homes. We’ve taken the mindset of an independent, local jewelry store and we’ve applied it to a nationally known name. We’ve weathered recessions, embraced the internet and increased our business in times when many independent jewelers did the opposite. Yet, our greatest successes – are the smiles from pleased customers and all of those friends that we’ve made along the way.
We hope that you find something that you love. =)
Shane Thompson – 3rd Generation Jeweler