Family-owned and operated James Avery Artisan Jewelers has been a staple in the Texas Hill Country for over 65 years.
But the company has been hard-hit by the state and local closure orders and has announced that it will be closing its Fredericksburg Craftsman Center on July 12. The company expects this to result in 82 layoffs.
Some employees will be offered a transfer to the Kerrville manufacturing location. It also has manufacturing locations in Comfort and Hondo. According to its website, the company’s retail stores remain temporarily closed.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the Texas Retail Outlook Survey showed sharp declines in retail sales and labor in March and April. Additionally, manufacturing production saw a decline in output by over 20 points last month, according to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey.
These same surveys showed “expectations regarding future business conditions remained negative in April.”
Last month, the jewelry manufacturer announced that it would furlough manufacturing and retail employees due to the closure of “non‐essential business activities statewide” by Governor Greg Abbott’s executive orders.
“As we navigate this ever‐evolving situation, James Avery Artisan Jewelry is experiencing many challenges and tough decisions regarding the future of our business,” James Avery CEO John McCullough said in a press release on April 2.
In an effort to ease the burden on its employees, the jewelry maker said in April that it would provide employees with health and basic life benefits through the duration of the furlough at no cost.
Founder James Avery began his jewelry-making operations in 1954 in a garage with $250 of capital. It has since grown to operate 90 retail stores of its own, and sells jewelry at Dillard’s stores in 28 states.
“It was his desire to create jewelry that had meaning for him and his customers as well as having lasting value,” the website states of the company’s founder.
Many Texans hope to have a chance to share Avery’s jewelry with generations in the future.
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Kim Roberts is a reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.