The Glen Ellyn jewelry store looks to do the same at its new store at 128 N. Hale St. in downtown Wheaton, which opened Oct. 1. Larc Jewelers' new Wheaton store formerly housed Wheaton Ltd. Fine Jewelers, which closed recently after the owners, Jon and Carole Schroeder, retired.
"I had enough inventory, and I was able to retrofit kind of the concept of what we do into their store," said Larc Jewelers owner Wes Barrow, who was friends with the couple.
Barrow decided opening a store in Wheaton would be a good fit.
"Since it was already an established jeweler in Wheaton and since we're sister towns, I decided to take the opportunity in front of me to take on a second store," he said. "With Wheaton Ltd. closing, there was less support for the town for their jewelry needs, so I felt like we could provide not just a certain type of inventory, but a certain type of service that we've always been able to extend to our customers."
Cary Zaras is the manager of the Wheaton store. He worked at the Glen Ellyn store for six years and has known Barrow since attending high school together.
Zaras hopes people walking into the store will have a pleasant shopping experience.
"It's real easy from the sales aspect of it because pretty sells," he said. "For me, it's just a matter of listening. God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. I listen, and I hear what they are looking for. If I sell something, that's great. It keeps the doors open and the lights on. I would much rather educate somebody so they can make a good investment."
Established in 1972, Larc Jewelers is Glen Ellyn's oldest established jeweler. The new Wheaton store will have a grand opening Nov. 10 and 11. As part of the festivities, there will be a drawing for a handmade 14K white gold tanzanite and diamond pendant with a retail value of $3,150.
Since May 2011, Larc Jewelers has been located at 479 N. Main St. in downtown Glen Ellyn. The store previously had been located at 413 N. Main St.
Barrow has owned Larc Jewelers since 2001 after starting at the store as a salesperson in 1990.
"I started there when I was 22," Barrow said. "I worked my way up to managing the store, and I bought the previous owner out in 2001."
Larc Jewelers strives to cater to those looking for something special.
"I specialize in fancy gemstones from around the world," Barrow said. "[We have] a whole different group of opals that you wouldn't see in most jewelry stores."
The store also does custom-design jewelry and provides such services as in-house engraving and pearl and bead restringing.
Selling jewelry is in Barrow's blood.
"This is something I've been educating myself on since I was a little kid and reading books on rocks and minerals," he said. "It's always been something that's appealed to me, so the fact that I get to make a living doing something that was exciting to me as a child is kind of cool. It's just a lot of fun. Plus I like educating people about it. I've taught a couple of one-day courses over at College of DuPage for the last three years on rocks and minerals and gemstones."
If you go
WHAT: Larc Jewelers
WHERE: 128 N. Hale St., Wheaton
HOURS: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays
INFO: 630-221-9100, larcjewelers.com