The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Bill’s under new ownership

Deb Shearer welcomes customers to Bill’s Jewelry. Photo by Sydney Hamamoto

Sam Curry

Bill’s Jewelry Shop in downtown Grinnell recently changed ownership, as Deb Shearer, who has worked at the store for a number of years, took over for Bill Hammen. Shearer is enthusiastic about taking over the store and describes it as a culmination of her lifelong goals. Shearer started her career as a teenager, working in a flower shop in Grinnell, where she has lived her whole life. Becoming a small business owner is therefore a culmination of a life of service to Grinnellians.

“This is my dream job,” Shearer said.

The job fits well with Shearer’s personality type, as it allows her to interact with a wide range of customers face to face every day.

Deb Shearer welcomes customers to Bill’s Jewelry.  Photo by Sydney Hamamoto
Deb Shearer welcomes customers to Bill’s Jewelry.
Photo by Sydney Hamamoto

“I’m a people person … [I enjoy] the variety of people … from the doctor to the college professor to the president of the college to a … noted basketball player. We [even] have customers from Germany,” said Shearer.

The store offers services that are unique to the area. In addition to being the only shop of its kind in Poweshiek County, or even the surrounding counties such as Jasper County, Bill’s Jewelry Shop offers unique, comprehensive services in selling and restoring jewelry and other items with the intimacy and care of a mom and pop store, according to Shearer.

“You can come and you can talk to your jeweler about what you want made. It’s not going to be shipped off, which is what is normally done in the industry … we do [services] ourselves here,” Shearer said.

Grinnell College students also sometimes come and visit the store, although not normally to buy expensive jewelry.

“The last one I had in here needed a watch battery, the one prior needed his eyeglasses repaired … We try to give quick service on stuff like that,” Shearer said.

Despite the changes, customers, both long-term and those that are newer to town, can continue to expect high-quality, varied, locally-done work from Bill’s Jewelry Shop.

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