Some of life’s most precious moments are immortalized through jewelry, and the Geigers know that best. The family’s longtime downtown jewelry store is preparing to close its doors after 37 years of providing the Turlock community with rings, necklaces, watches and memories that will last a lifetime.
Geiger’s Fine Jewelry first opened on Main Street in 1983 as a small shop located inside of a men and women’s boutique. After managing two different jewelry stores inside Vintage Faire Mall, owner Rick Geiger decided to take the plunge and open a store of his own. He still wanted the open feel of a mall shop, he said, which allows customers to walk right up the counter without opening a door, so he opted to sublease a small space rather than operate his own storefront.
Four years later he was in charge of his own door, as the jewelry store moved across the street into its current location at 430 E. Main St. Since then, Rick, his wife Yvonne and his two daughters, Kendrea and Marissa, have helped the community celebrate engagements, anniversaries, births and more without a hitch thanks to their jewelry.
But, as every good story does, that of Geiger’s Fine Jewelry must come to an end. Geiger said he and Yvonne plan to sell the rest of the shop’s inventory and retire in order to spend more time with their family and focus on their own well-being, but it won’t be easy to say goodbye.
“I think the community is going through what we call ‘shell shock.’ We’ve had some very emotional customers in here who we’ve had forever. They’re happy we get to retire, but on the other hand they’re very sorry to be losing their jeweler,” Geiger said.
The relationship between the Geigers and their customers is unique thanks to the items they sell, he added. They’ve helped couples pick out engagement rings, who then come back and select a “push present” to celebrate the birth of their first child. Years later, that same couple may come back to look for anniversary gifts, and eventually search the Geiger’s jewelry cases while hunting for a gift to welcome their new grandchild.
Eventually, the Geigers often feel as if they’re part of the family as well.
“We’ve watched all of these people’s lives change in front of us, and every day that tugs on our hearts,” Geiger said. “We’ll be that way all the way moving on. We have bar none the best customers in this community.”
Geiger isn’t surprised by the community’s support over the years. He’s lived in Turlock since 1954 and says the family name was known for “honesty,” as his father served as a pastor in town. The jewelry store also gives back to charitable causes whenever it can, and the family’s hard work keeps customers coming back time and time again.
“The most rewarding thing is how the community has continuously accepted us. We worked together very hard for it, so it’s going to be weird to leave,” Geiger said.
The Geigers are looking forward to spending more time with their grandchildren, they said, and can’t wait for the first Christmas in decades where they won’t have to worry about the store. There are plenty of travels in their future, Geiger added, but until then, the shop is offering up to 60 percent off on select items through the holidays.
“It’s been amazing to go through the cycle with our customers and be a part of their lives,” he said. “It’s an honor.”