The Jewelry Shop observes 30 years meeting needs of customers

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Tom Motichka, left, and Tim Myers, owners of The Jewelry Shop, have worked together for 30 years.

A teenager and a young man, in partnership with an experienced mom, started a jewelry business in Greencastle that now is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Tim Myers, then 18, Tom Motichka, 30, and Tom's mother Nancy Motichka, opened The Jewelry Shop on April 1, 1983. The three owners (though Tom was a silent partner for five years), purchased the building at 18 E. Baltimore St. and operated out of a small showroom with limited inventory.

Nancy had entered retail in her midlife years, working her way up to managing a jewelry store in Chambersburg. Myers started working for her at age 15. Within a few years he threw out an idea.

"I commented it would be a good idea if we would open our own store in Greencastle. I was too stupid to realize that you could fail."

The trio ran with the concept, and timing was in their favor. They obtained frontage of a restaurant  that had to close for lack of a permit. The log building, partially condemned, required much labor to bring it up to standards. The site had been home to a butcher shop, The Treasure Shop, and other businesses, though few historical photographs have surfaced. They believed the front end of the 50 x 50-foot store was 200 years old, based on materials uncovered during renovation projects.

"We opened with less money involved than one of our lasers costs now," said Tom.

Nancy used her connections to snag used display cases and merchandise. Tom eventually left his own retail career and worked the business management end of The Jewelry Shop, as well as some repair duties. Myers focused on repairs and running the front of the store. They became co-owners with Nancy's passing.

The two remodeled in 2004 - the storefront, showroom and repair facilities. The inventory has grown forty-fold since the opening days.They now have six employees.

The repair of fine jewelry has been the mainstay of the enterprise. Myers and Motichka handle orders from six other stores in the area. For a period of time, no one else nearby had the capability to fix the damaged rings, watches, necklaces and other pieces that held such meaning for customers. Myers and Motichka created long-term relationships with wholesalers over the decades, many of which no longer exist. Today, technology allows people to watch onsite repairs via closed circuit TV in the showroom, or the jewelers can show them the condition of their valued pieces through magnified views before a mend is approved. Optics allow the jewelers to conduct repairs others won't tackle.

The businessmen carry Pandora, Gabriel & Co., Citizen, add-a-link diamond bracelets, and other fine brands. They appreciate the many loyal customers.

"Some of them have been with us since Day 1," said Myers.

"Now they are bringing their kids and grandkids," added Motichka.

His wife Marjorie credited the two men for the success of the store.

"They worked hard and provide great service. It is built into their reputation. And repairs are still such a big part of our business because customers like knowing the jewelers."

Working personally with front end traffic, Marjorie said she often heard from clients, especially young people looking for engagement rings, "My mom said this is the only place to come."

The main street location has served them well, and Myers likes Greencastle. When one business moves out, another always comes along to fill the spot.

"It's a nice downtown."

The Jewelry Shop has been a part of it for a long time, and plans to continue the tradition.