It has been all in the family for Turner’s Jewelers for 100 years this year.
Brandon Turner, owner of Turner’s Jewelers of Newberry is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Turner’s Jewelers this year. Not many businesses, especially retail, can claim being owner by the same family for 100 years.
When the Turner family first came to the United States, they settled in Edgefield in the early 1800s, but Wiley H. Turner decided to move to Greenwood in the early 1900s and open Turners Mercantile Store. Turner’s Mercantile Store started carrying jewelry in 1912 and operated until the early 1920s when Wiley Turner passed away and his son, William E. Turner Sr. took over the jewelry part of the business and relocated it to Newberry.
As the business grew, William Turner Sr. brought his brother, Howard F. Turner, into the business. Howard Turner was just a teenager when his father passed away and was attending Clemson University when William Turner asked him to come into the business. He joined the family business in the late 1920s.
William and Howard Turner worked well together along with Bill Turner Jr. and Gerald Taylor, who did jewelry, clock and watch repairs. In addition to jewelry, they also carried fine china, crystal stemware and silver flatware.
Turner’s Jewelers was the place where grooms purchased their engagement rings and then when the date was set, their brides-to-be selected and registered their tableware patterns. They knew they could depend on Turner’s and when a gift was purchased for them, it would be gift wrapped and delivered to their homes.
After William Turner’s death, Bill Turner Jr. continued the original W.E. Turner Jewelers store on Caldwell Street and Howard Turner and Gerald Taylor opened Turner and Taylor Jewelers in 1963 where Woolbright’s Florist is presently located on Main Street. After completing his junior year at Clemson, Howard Turner’s son, Hugh Turner, joined the business.
In 1973, Turner and Taylor Jewelers realized they needed more space to better accommodate their customers. The owners of Rabin’s Shoe Store decided to retire and close their store so Howard and Gerald bought their building. Turners had the building completely renovated, interior and exterior. This took several months but opened their doors on March 25, 1974, the day before Brandon Turner was born.
Then in 1983, Gerald Taylor passed away. Howard and Hugh Turner continued the business and brought Hugh Turner’s wife, Linda Turner, into the business and the name was changed to Turner’s Jewelers of Newberry.
Hugh and Linda Turner’s son, Brandon, started working in the business part time when he was 14. Brandon Turner enjoyed the jewelry business, learning at an early age to engrave and do minor repairs and after graduating from high school decided his goal in life was to be a part of the family business. The Turner’s oldest son, Chip, also worked in the store after attending Clemson University and Savannah College of Arts and Design.
When Bergen’s Gifts closed, the Turners felt Newberry needed another store where people could find gifts for most any occasion so the Turners, already owners of the building next door to them, opened Turners Gifts and Bridal Registry, which Linda Turner ran until she retired.
Howard Turner passed away in 1996 due to a fall in his home. He was 85 and still working in the business part time. Howard Turner had a reputation of being one of the corner store merchants in Newberry. He was quite a craftsman and instilled in his son and grandsons to always take care of customers with honest and integrity.
In 1997, the son of Frank Addy, owner of Addy Jewelers in Greenwood died. Addy grew up in Newberry and was a friend of the Turners so he offered to sell his jewelry business to them. After much consideration, the Turners bought Addy Jewelers, which just happened to be located on Main Street directly across from where the original Turners Mercantile store was located. Hugh Turner’s oldest son, Chip Turner, took over the business and named it H. H. Turner Jewelers.
In 2007 when Hugh reached retirement age, the opportunity arose for him to sell his buildings. Turners held a retirement sale. At that time, Brandon Turner, who had worked in the business since age 14, had to make a decision if he wanted to continue his career in the jewelry industry or seek other opportunities. He already owned a building two blocks from from the present Turner’s so after considering all option, decided he wanted to carry on the Turner’s Jewelers name in Newberry.
He had continued his education in the industry by going to jewelers schools and taking courses on jewelry repairs and custom designing and courses on diamonds and gemstones and still continues taking courses to keep up with the industry.
He said, “There has been a Turner’s Jewelers in Newberry since the early 1920s, servicing the area with quality jewelry and merchandise at fair prices and providing their customers with good service. My grandfather and father worked hard to build up the business and I feel I had a desire to continue it. I think that’s what my grandfather would have wanted me to do.”
After Hugh Turner’s retirement, Brandon Turner opened Turner’s Jewelers of Newberry at his new location at 1414 Main St. and continues running it the way he was trained by his grandfather and fathers and is appreciated of the customers who have been faithful over the years. His repairs are done in house and he still offers watch repairs, custom designs, engraving and stands behind what he sells.
He stocks a large inventory of quality jewelry at very fair prices. Brandon Turner still has customers who share stories about when either they or a family member always shopped with one of the older Turner’s Jewelers and still have jewelry from Turner’s. He says it’s a good felling that a fourth generation jewelry sells jewelry to the grandchildren and even the great-grandchildren of families that have shopped with Turner’s for so many years.
Brandon Turner thanks his valued friends and customers for supporting Turner’s Jewelers for more than 100 years.