Reed & Sons Jewelers in Business for 77 Years
Reed & Sons Jewelers, 825 Thompson Blvd., is a family-owned business that has been serving all of central Missouri since 1939, when watchmaker James Sherman Reed opened his own business.
Reed had set aside $50-75 to begin his new venture, but had to use most of that money for hospital expenses when he experienced appendicitis. He later rented a building from the McLaughlin family in the downtown Sedalia area. He rented half of that building out to a local glass blower, a sign maker who constructed neon signs.
The business later moved to 3rd and Osage and also next to the Fox Theatre, according to Kathy Reed, manager. Newspaper ads from that era included the tag line, “C Reed next to the Fox.”
“As he got a little money, he would buy some jewelry merchandise to resell, repair watches and buy and resell jewelry, etc.,” Kathy said. Her husband's father, James (Jim) came out of the Merchant Marines and became a watchmaker and jewelry repairman. Father and son worked together for a long time until about 1970, when the son's sons came on board into the business (James S. and Charles).
Both of those sons did benchwork. Charles started out as a watchmaker, but later discovered that loved to make jewelry and began doing custom work.
The business has evolved over the years to the point where Reed and Sons do custom work from start to finish. Kathy's son Ron Reed now works at the business, designing rings by computer. “The designs are grown into a wax resin, which is later cast,” she explained.
“We now have Kevin Schroeder here, who is my husband's brother's brother-in-law. He actually started (working here) in high school doing janitor work, and he has apprenticed over the years. He is an excellent craftsman, and so he designs and makes jewelry too,” Kathy said about the business' fifth generation.
When asked about trends in the jewelry business, Kathy responded: “We sell more gold overall than we do sterling silver. Right now, it's more white gold, but it's moving over to yellow gold again,” she explained. “Back in the “60s, white gold was popular, in the “70s when I got married, it was yellow gold, then it went to white gold, and now it's going back to yellow. And if you get two-tone, you're always in style,” she laughed. “And then rose gold is starting to gain in popularity, too.”
Reed and Sons has been at their present location for 25 years, since 1991. The company has been in business for 77 years partly because of the custom work that they do in-house. “If you can keep all your repairs in-house and you do a really good job, then you're going to get business,” Kathy noted. “You can turn it around quicker, and you have control of the quality of work.”
Reed and Sons is seeing quite a few customers come in today whose grandparents bought rings from the business, Kathy noted.
Reed and Sons is now open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. To 2 p.m. Saturday. Business hours will change in the fall. For more information, call (660) 826-2282, or visit them online at http://reedsons.com/.
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