PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Along Pensacola’s historic Palafox Place, it seems appropriate to find one of the city’s oldest jewelry stores. When you step inside, you will find pretty jewelry from today, but you will also find jewelry made from art that spans the generations.
Like all jewelry stores, Jewelers Trade Shop has beautiful pieces by celebrated designers. But it’s what happens upstairs in a small, but energy-filled workspace that sets the shop apart.
“Upstairs” is where the magic happens. It’s where jewelers not only perform repairs but where they create custom, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry using artisan skills perfected through the years.
“People love to come up here. All the time, we walk people upstairs and let them watch what’s going on,” said Corbett Davis III, third-generation owner and operator of Jeweler’s Trade Shop.
The shop was founded in 1956 by Corbett Davis Sr., a bench jeweler who began his business by making repairs and creating custom pieces for other jewelry shops around Northwest Florida.
That custom aspect of jewelry sales remains “the DNA of the business,” Corbett Davis III said. He added that they never know what a customer might want in a custom piece. A recent piece was made for a woman who’d recently lost her husband.
“She wanted to incorporate her engagement ring with his wedding band,” Davis said. “It turned into a beautiful piece.”
Others want to repurpose jewelry.
“People may have inherited an old brooch or some jewelry from a loved one, but it’s not their style,” Davis said.
Davis said having a custom piece of jewelry made can be as expensive or as economical as needed to fit the customer’s budget. However, it’s becoming harder to find these one-of-a-kind jewelers.
“Unfortunately, it is a bit of a dying art,” Davis said. “When we need someone, we often have to go into other areas and sometimes move families here.”
He’s hopeful that a desire for something different will keep the client’s imagination and the artistic talents of the jewelers alive.
“We shouldn’t get so caught up in the everyday same old, same old,” Davis said. “It’s wonderful to have something different and unique, something that nobody else has.”