A century-old business

Eye on KELOLAND

MITCHELL, S.D. (KELO) – Many businesses come and go, but one KELOLAND business has been around for more than a century. Woelfel’s Jewelry has been in Mitchell for 114 years. The longtime family business is getting ready to close its doors.

As soon as you walk in the door of Woelfel’s Jewelry, something shiny is bound to catch your eye. From watches, to bracelets and rings, Brad Jamison has quite the selection.

“Just a lot of watches, a lot of clocks, figurines, costume jewelry, we’re one of the old retail jewelry stores, we’re not like a chain store where we have certain items, we try to carry everything,” owner Brad Jamison said.

Jamison has worked here full time for 35 years, and before that worked part time through junior high and high school.

“It was all I really wanted to do, I would come in after school at about 3 and I’d work until 5:30, I’d work Saturday’s and I got to work with my grandpa Fred and I got to work with my dad and we really had a good relationship, a good thing going,” Jamison said.

Jamison’s great grandfather opened it more than a century ago.

“My grandfather Fred Woelfel started in this jewelry store back in 1960 and then my mother was a Woelfel so my mother married Bill Jamison,” Jamison said.

And after more than a hundred years of serving Mitchell and other surrounding communities, Jamison has decided to close the doors at the end of the year.

“It was hard to make this decision,” Jamison said. “I asked my mom, because she was a Woelfel of course, she’s the last one and she said whatever you want to do, I’m totally okay with it.”

While Jamison has kids of his own, they aren’t interested in taking on the business.

“I’ve got two children and my son is a school teacher and my daughter is a housewife, she has three kids and just neither one of them wanted part of it and I just thought it was time,” Jamison said.

So now, Jamison is selling out his entire inventory.

“I know about everybody in Mitchell, and they’re all really good people, and that’s one of the reasons I decided to have this going out of business sale, there’s companies that will come in and buy up all your jewelry and you’re done, and instead of doing that I decided I’m going to go 40% off all across the board and 50% on my estate things and the other side of the jewelry store and let people get good values and it’s my way of giving back,” Jamison said.

Joseph White is a longtime friend of Jamison’s and he’s been in the store helping him with the sale.

“When he said he was doing this, I knew what he was getting into, I’ve closed three of my own stores, and I knew he needed help,” longtime friend of Brad, Joseph White said.

He says while the community will be sad to see the store close, he is happy for his friend.

“This is a very small town and everybody that walks in the door says I bought my wedding band here 40 years ago, they bought from his father, they bought from his grandfather,” White said. “As much of a sad event it is for the town, I kind of look at it as this is the start of his new life.”

So while Jamison will be closing the doors in a couple of weeks, he will cherish the memories he’s had here working with family and customers.

“Mitchell and the surrounding areas have been good to the Jamison family and the Woelfel family, it’s been a good, clean place to work, I’ve just loved it all this time,” Jamison said.

Jamison says he plans to spend more time with his grandkids and also traveling with his wife once he closes the store.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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