Let us tell you a tale of two jewelers.
The two jewelers are Nick Poetz and Randy Hudson.
Both started in the jewelry manufacturing end of the business as apprentice jewelers working for a St. Louis manufacturer specializing in lodge and Masonic jewelry.
Poetz and Hudson soon became best friends (fishing and camping buddies).
After serving their apprenticeships, Poetz started his own jewelry subcontracting shop and Hudson worked at the manufacturer for nine years. After a bitter six-month strike with the company, some of the men crossed the line and the union folded.
Hudson shopped many retail stores in St. Louis and St. Charles counties and decided on O’Fallon to open a retail jewelry store. He was sure he could beat the competition’s prices on high quality jewelry and borrowed a meager $17,000 to start.
He rented a location on Main St. in O’Fallon and opened Randy’s Jewelry in January, 1981.
In the beginning, Hudson subcontracted work for many small retail jewelry stores. After a slow start the retail end of the business really took off.
During the same time, Poetz had moved to several locations with his shop doing work for several well-known retailers and wholesalers. He also worked for a short time with a large jewelry repair shop in downtown St. Louis.
About six years later, Hudson noticed a lot of his customers were coming from Troy phone numbers. After persuading Poetz to come on board, they decided to open a store in Troy.
One Saturday after looking at potential locations, they saw a sale bill. The building on the corner of Cherry and Main in Troy was to be auctioned off the next day. They went and sat on the steps of the building and saw that every car on Main and Cherry stopped in front of the building (well they slowed down).
They bought the building and opened Lincoln County Jewelry in August, 1987.
After 12 years, Randy’s Jewelry bought the partnership and Poetz stayed on as a 33–percent owner.
In 2017, it has been decided that both locations will be named Randy’s Jewelry Inc..
Hudson and Poetz are very proud of their stores’ history and involvement in the Troy and O’Fallon communities. In Troy, Poetz and his wife, Karen, have been involved over the years with the downtown business association, PumpkinFest, Relay for Life in which they donated four days and three nights stay in the Smokey Mountains, working in the car show and have been longtime members in the Troy Chamber of Commerce.
In O’Fallon, Hudson served as co-chair of the newly formed O’Fallon Business Association ad hoc road committee after Main Street was closed in September of 1991. In 1992, he chaired the association’s Hurricane Andrew food and supply drive which collected 22,000 pounds of donations and delivered them to the Salvation Army in Louisiana.
In 1993, the association and chamber joined hands in supplying and delivering food and supplies to Missouri victims of the ’93 flood. He served as president of the association from 1994-1996. In 1995, served as chair of the Oklahoma bombing sympathy card committee in which 2,270 signatures were collected on a four-sided card delivered to Oklahoma City. In 1997, he was voted Person of the Year.
Randy’s Jewelry has received the Gault Foundation’s award for most charitable in St. Charles County and the store was voted the best jewelry store (17 times) in the county.
Randy served on the board of the Old Town Preservation Committee which in 2003, defeated a proposed TIF which would have destroyed many downtown businesses and many long time O’Fallon homes.
The owners of both locations plan to continue serving their communities for years to come.
In recognition of the 30th anniversary, 50 free gemstones will be awarded each day Sept. 8 and 9.