Featuring King's Jewelry
Story by Liesel Schmidt
Walking down King Street, things have changed greatly over the past decades; but there’s something that hasn’t changed in all that time: 66 years into its relationship with the people of Alexandria, King’s Jewelry is still thriving.
Open since 1955, it wasn’t until Norman “Brad” Bradford bought the store from its original owner that King’s Jewelry truly came into its own as a premier place to buy all things sparkly. Originally begun as a store that sold household items alongside jewelry, King’s owner hired Brad in 1962—who, at the time, worked next door at a shoe store—and so the story really begins. Brad fell madly and deeply in love with his job, ultimately buying the business in 1978. From there, the vision for the store evolved into a business focused solely on high quality, beautiful jewelry and watches—with a priority of exceptional customer service.
Along with their reputation for their excellent service and selection, King’s has also become synonymous with family. In 1983, Brad’s daughter, Tari, began working at the store, and his wife Cathy has been handling accounting and day-to-day operations with Tari since 1986.
Their two sons, Andrew and Gregory, have also more recently joined the team, lending their respective expertise in purchasing inventory as well as social media and engraving. “While all family members have specific duties, our main concern is always working with customers making purchases or wanting expert consultation about jewelry or watches,” says Andrew.
The family feel extends to the employees, as well—many of whom have been there for decades. “We all work together as a tight-knit team,” says Cathy of the relationship the entire staff has, noting that sales are all non-commission. “Our main priority isn’t just making a sale—it’s working with our customers, providing them with jewelry that is high quality and lasting.”
“Lasting” is something of a buzzword for King’s. It refers to the jewelry they sell, the store itself, and the employees. But it also is apt when it comes to their clientele. Those are lasting relationships, often built over years from the first purchase—most notably engagement rings. “We’ll build a relationship with a customer who comes to us for an engagement ring, and that trust is there for the future: wedding bands, anniversary and special occasion jewelry, heirloom baby gifts. That kind of relationship is something we strive for.”
With so much changing over the past 66 years, King’s has naturally moved with the times. And while they may have an active presence on social media and online, they don’t currently sell any jewelry online. “Jewelry needs to be held and admired. You need to be able to feel the weight of it, see how it’s made, admire how the facets of a diamond catch the light. That’s not something you can do online,” says Cathy. “We also try to focus on explaining the different quality aspects so the customer can make an educated choice,” adds Andrew.
Along with a large selection of engagement and wedding rings in a variety of styles and sizes, King’s also carries an extensive collection of gemstone and fashion jewelry, luxury watches, and estate pieces. For customers with a unique vision that falls outside of the scope of what’s in the case, they also specialize in designing custom rings. Additionally, the repair department handles expert jewelry and watch repair.
With 66 years behind them, King’s has high hopes of many more years to come—and many, many more diamond anniversaries.
Visit King's Jewelry at 609 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. You can also call 703.549.0011 or visit KingsJewelry.net