Larry Jaffe said he has operated a jewelry business in the Dayton area for so long that his clientele now includes the kids of some of his first customers’ children.
“That’s a real kick,” said Jaffe, 76. “Some well-known Dayton families, I’m doing jewelry for the grandchildren of the people who started buying jewelry from me in the early 80s.”
Jaffe’s run of more than 40 years of owning a jewelry business that started in downtown Dayton before moving to Kettering and is now in Oakwood will soon come to an end.
Jaffe Jewelers has announced it is going out of business. That’s a term the son of the former owner of Mayors Jewelers in Dayton said he doesn’t particularly care for.
“I hate to see the signs on the wall ‘Going out of business. Everything reduced.’ I don’t like the idea,” he said. “But it’s part of the process.
“It’s really a retirement,” Jaffe added. “This store is a profitable store. The Dayton community has been very good to us … Most guys are long, long retired by this age.”
Jaffe said his wife asked him several years ago about how long he wanted to run the business. A vacation to Sarasota, Fla. — where he plans to work part-time at a jeweler — helped him make up his mind.
“I went down there for a week with my wife and she loved it,” he said. “She said the business is getting the best of you. You’re going to die there. Because I really love it. I love what I do.
“It’s not all about the money. It’s just the personal satisfaction of helping a young kid … or an old-time customer,” Jaffe added. “I get the same kick from both.”
But by about Aug. 1, he said, “I’m done.”
The U.S. jewelry industry has seen extensive growth in the past 30 years, according to a data provider of business trends.
From 1992-2020, jewelry store sales in this country more than doubled, going from $15.5 billion to $33.3 billion, according to statista.com.
In Jaffe’s case, he said, his business initially occupied 480 square feet in the Kettering Tower in Dayton. It landed a larger spot at 3951 Far Hills Ave. in Kettering. About three years ago, it moved to its current site, where it has five employees and about 2,800 square feet, at 2419 Far Hills in Oakwood.
The decision to step away from running a jewelry business is “a good thing and it’s a sad thing,” Jaffe said. “I’ve made some fabulous relationships here. I’m going to miss these guys.”