Goldsmiths: New owners, familiar faces in Wailua

WAIPOULI – Finally, the new owners of Goldsmiths Kaua’i (formerly The

Goldsmith’s Gallery) made former owner Eric Vogt an offer he couldn’t

refuse.

While the details of the deal were not made public, let’s just say

the quartet of new owners who bought the business allowed Vogt to ease into his

long-awaited retirement.

It was close, though.

When Mark Meador, Dana

Romsdal, Micheal Meador and Marilyn Hively first offered to buy the business

from Vogt when he started making rumblings about retirement about 18 months

ago, he turned them down.

Liquidators were filling his head with the idea

that they could give him more for his inventory than the new owners could,

Hively said.

So, after a lengthy retirement sale late last year and early

this year, Vogt on Saturday, Jan. 8 closed the doors of The Goldsmith’s

Gallery.

On Tuesday, Jan. 11, the four new owners opened the doors of the

same Kinipopo Shopping Village location as Goldsmiths Kaua’i.

They bought

Vogt’s equipment and some of his wax moldings of his original jewelry art,

negotiated a new lease with the landlord, and off they went. While these are

new owners, though, all but Micheal Meador have worked with Vogt for at least

six years.

Romsdal worked with Vogt for over 20 years, even before The

Goldsmith’s Gallery was born. Mark Meador and Vogt have a 10-year history

together, and Hively and Vogt worked together for six years.

All but

Micheal Meador, who does the repair work, and actually sets stones and casts

the designs for the artists, have won awards for their jewelry

creations.

One of Hively’s pieces took a third-place award in the

colored-stone category of last year’s Hawai’i Jewelers Association annual

competition. Romsdal has won international and statewide design contests, and

Mark Meador was nominated for Designer of the Year honors in another Hawai’i

Jewelers Association competition.

The familiar faces at the new shop are

still enjoying a loyal, repeat business from both residents and returning

visitors, Hively said.

“We’ve had a long, loyal following,” which has

withstood Vogt’s retirement quite nicely, thank you.

Backed by a U.S. Small

Business Association loan and a solid business plan, Hively, the shop manager,

reports sales close to what they expected in their plan.

As far as the

loyal following, she relays a story about visitors returning to Hawai’i who no

longer stay overnight on Kaua’i but still make Goldsmiths Kaua’i their main

destination in a one-day shopping trip to the island from, say,

Maui.

They’re all on a first-name basis with returning visitors and

residents who buy their creations each time they enter the gallery.

People

who haven’t been inside the store recently will notice some changes, as the new

owners undertook some remodeling, the end of which is cause for celebration,

Hively said.

“The cases are full, and the construction is all over,” she

says, an unheard sigh of relief coming through loud and clear.

Actually,

though, some minor improvements still have to be accomplished, but nothing like

the noise of circular saws that greeted some shoppers last month.

The end

of the remodeling work is a great excuse for a grand opening celebration, set

for Friday, April 7. There will be drawings for jewelry pieces, plus champagne

and pupus.

While invitations will be sent out to friends who have become

customers, and customers who have become friends, Hively stressed that anyone

interested is invited to attend.

The shop’s regular hours are 10 a.m. to

5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They are closed Sunday. Call 822-4653 for

more information.

The owners recently launched their new Web site,

www.goldsmiths-kauai.com, which has details as well as pictures of some of

their creations.

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