Avery in the News
Newspapers, magazines, and press releases - here are some recent printed materials featuring James Avery the man, the art, and the business.
Sharing Life, Love and Faith Through the Beauty of Design
Posted On: Sunday, Feb. 1 2009 05:41 AM
Matthew Hollifield, an apprentice for Hollifield Signs, touches up paint on a James Avery jewelry store sign before it is hung Thursday afternoon in preparation for the store’s opening in Market Heights. The store opened Friday.
The temptation to turn the throttle on growth wide open is there, but James Avery jewelry instead has settled into a steady pace.
"We don't build dozens or hundreds of retail outlets like some businesses," said Howell Ridout, vice president of marketing and development for the Kerrville-based company. "We believe in steady growth, opening three to five retail outlets per year. That's our pace, and it seems aggressive enough for us – steady but not over-reaching."
That includes the location that opened Friday in Market Heights, the 49th outlet in a venture started by its namesake in a garage in the summer of 1954.
That modest beginning has expanded into a strong mail order and online business – www.jamesavery.com sees a steady flow of visitors – and those are supplemented by the select few retail outlet locations.
The Avery line is billed as "Christian jewelry" with more than 1,100 unique designs and more than 14,000 separate jewelry designs in the active product line, all handcrafted pieces in sterling silver, white, 14- and 18-karat gold and gemstones. The company's motto: "Sharing life, love and faith through the beauty of design."
In fact, there was a "boom" period a few years back, Ridout said, that saw the expansion outpace the typical steady growth. When that surge settled, however, the company – with a main campus based on 20 picturesque acres just outside of Kerrville – returned to its thoughtful business plan.
The plan flourishes even now, with the national economy in the middle of serious issues. Ridout said the addition of three more retail outlets are in the works for this year, pushing Avery's growth from its one-man, garage-based roots to 52 satellite stores across Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Louisiana and Georgia.
"We had several years of double-digit growth," Ridout said. "It would be challenging for any company to maintain that kind of growth constantly, though we are still experiencing solid growth.
"In challenging times, people lean more heavily on the lasting values and relationships that really matter and we fit with that. Also, we have a plan to not be overly ambitious but rather grow wisely and steadily so we can maintain quality in the total customer experience from product quality to caring service. So we're not over extended, we're a very solid company, and we're marching steadily forward with our expansion plans."
Including Market Heights in those plans, Ridout said, was easy. The company's research – including demographics, and "psychographics" analyzing the mindset behind those numerical breakdowns–identified "a strong following and customer base in the Killeen area. ... Killeen appears to have the type of people who resonate with the lifestyle and values which we strive to support," he said.
The Market Heights store hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. A grand opening is set for Feb. 19, with members of the Avery family on hand for a 4:45 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Part of that celebration will be the sale of the company's "God Bless Our Troops" pendant, with proceeds from 50 percent of the item's price going to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Texas and Fort Hood Military Youth Centers. That fundraising promotion will run through March 31.
"We are in the connection and meaning business, not just the jewelry business," Ridout said. "We believe that meaningful expressions between people are timeless and that there is always a market for beautiful art at a reasonable price."
A philosophy that has proven both steady and true.
Contact Bill Begley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7541.