As John P. Kuehn puts it, “My retirement was a monumental failure”. He could have rented his downtown location to numerous bar/restaurants, but his desire to keep quality retail in the downtown made him hold out for better options. The solution was for him to stay in the jewelry business. But, in order to survive in this economy he had to figure out a way to provide products and services that would solve the problems of the elusive Millenniels.
The front two thirds of the store is being converted to an artist studio and an art gallery. Several artists will be painting and sculpting in the store and juried local artists will be displaying their work for sale. Below are just a couple examples of work that is currently being created inside the studio.
Gallery construction is on-going but John is open during the process. He encourages both old and new customers to stop in and see the progress. It’s messy, but it’s evolving. “We’re not sure at this point what it’s going to look like.” Kuehn said. “We are developing a new concept…..it’s outside the box”.
The back one third is John P. Kuehn Gemologist. Inventory is limited so prices will be competitive. John will still do the basics but he will specialize in alternative, non-traditional engagement rings, and since most items will be custom designs, “ethical” jewelry will be featured.
Also, more information will follow but next door to the Gallery is a new store preparing to open in early August. The name is River Fair Trade. Shannon Dowling, the owner, will be carrying fair trade clothing and gifts. Kuehn is very happy to welcome Shannon because it indicates the downtown is maintaining its unique shopper experience.