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Clair’s Jewelry-Marshfield Hidden Gem | Swamp Mail

By Amber Brand amberb@marshfieldmail.com

Just down North Clay Street, tucked away behind Clair Land and Title is a hidden gem: Clair’s Jewelers. Opened in 2008, Clair’s Jewelers has been creating, selling, and winning awards for beautiful jewelry for years, but the story of this local jewelry store doesn’t begin in 2008; it starts in 1979 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“I was going to school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the Spartan School of Aeronautics. I was training to be an airplane mechanic,” says Randy Clair, owner and jeweler at Clair’s Jewelers. ‘a part-time job that matched my school hours… One night I decided to go to the mall… and start applying.’

Grey’s Jewelers was the stop that landed Clair a part-time job, but little did he know that this stop would forever change the path of his career. After passing a polygraph test to get the job, Clair was hired and worked there from 1979 to 1981 before leaving Oklahoma to return to Marshfield.

“…graduation was at the height of the Carter recession and once I graduated, there was no job,” Clair explained. “I was interviewed by the gentleman who was hiring for [an overseas royal family] and he said ‘your interview went well and I’m going to give you a job but I have to ask you one more question, do you mind being shot at?’ I said “Yeah, that’s not at the top of my list”. Clair declined the job offer and returned to work in the jewelry industry, this time in Helzburg.

After about a year and a half of working in Helzburg, Clair realized: “People were coming to Helzburg and buying from me because of me. They knew me and trusted me. So I decided to open my own store.

In September 1983, Clair opened his first jewelry store at the current location of Clair Land Company, Inc. thinking about closing your store and coming here (St. Roberts) and running one,” Clair shared. “So he and I went to this store together.”

Clair remained there as a partner, driving from Marshfield to St. Robert every day until 1993, “We had a fire and our mall burned down…all the way, I pray dear lord, please.” please don’t let it burn us. .” Clair’s prayers were answered, the fire was put out before it consumed their store, and none of their inventory was damaged, but they had to find a new location. “I was ready to get off the road…I told him (my business partner) that I was going to come in once a week and do all the repairs and custom work. I will do all the work in my studio and bring it back to you once a week. »

Clair spent the next few years doing custom work and repairs in the Marshfield workshop. During this time Clair also bought and ran a dry cleaning shop, within three months of opening Clair was too busy running dry cleaners to reopen her custom jewelry shop. “I never really opened this (the jewelry store’s current location) to the public, I had window displays and stuff. People were going into the dry cleaners ‘Randy, can you fix that’… I had the used to tease everyone that I was the only dry cleaner jeweler in the country,” laughed Clair.

In 2000, Clair was one of the county commissioners when he purchased his father’s real estate office from his mother. “I chose to step away from the county commission, I loved the job, but I stepped away to focus on my private business,” Clair explained. “But I still had people coming to the real estate office, ‘Randy can you fix this, can you find this for me, I’m looking for this’…” Clair laughed.

“Then in 2008, when the stock market crashed and everything crashed, there was no real estate deal…I didn’t know what I was going to do,” Claire said solemnly. “I was standing in the shower one morning, the water running over my head, I said ‘Okay Lord I give. I don’t know what to do. It was like he raised his hand and scolded me. tapped on the shoulder and told me I gave you a talent and you weren’t using it… so I reopened the jewelry store.

“I’ve always loved doing things with my hands. Do things, fix things. I was very intrigued by jewelry repair, as well as custom manufacturing,” says Clair. “In Tulsa we had an old German, Carl, and he was a goldsmith. You could go back and he would let you watch it. You didn’t talk to him, you didn’t make a sound…he didn’t want his concentration broken. He left me standing and watched over his shoulder.

“When I opened my store here, I originally took everything to Springfield to have it cut by friends of mine. I quickly realized that when people walk into a store and buy a ring, they want put it on their finger and walk out,” Clair explained. “I quickly came to the conclusion that I had to learn how to size rings. My old watch repairman, he said the only way to ‘to learn is to get in and try…so I basically learned on my own.

Clair never had any formal training in the art of jewelry making and repair, but that didn’t stop him from learning. In fact, some would say it’s perseverance and a desire to learn that makes him a better jeweler. “In 2014, I joined the Jewelers Association of Missouri. It’s an association of independent mom and pop stores. I found out they were having a jewelry design contest,” Clair laughed. “J I was reluctant to enter the design competition, but my wife Jan was a driving force who encouraged me to go ahead and participate. I didn’t think I was good enough, but she did and persuaded me to go ahead and give it a try. I didn’t think I would win, but I thought if I signed up I could get closer and find out what the judges like and dislike and next year I could be a real contender.

The competition has three different categories including Best of Show, Jewelers Choice, and Craftsmanship. “That year, I won Missouri’s two major state awards: Best in Show and Jewelers’ Choice,” Clair said.

Clair won Best Show and Jewelers Choice in 2014, 2015, and 2016. In 2016, Clair also attended a Midwestern conference, “…it was jewelers from six different states. They only give one award – Best of Show, and I took it home. Because I won the best show award at the state level, my pieces automatically entered the National Jewelers of America design competition…My three pieces made it into the Top 15,” Clair explained humbly. “It was a great honor.” In 2017, Clair joined the Missouri Jewelers Association as a board member where he can help judge the pageant he has entered for years.

When Clair’s Jewelers first opened, all jewelry was handcrafted and designed by Randy himself. You will now find a mix of wholesale/retail pieces and custom earrings and pendants. “After I started winning all the awards, I was so busy doing custom work for clients that I didn’t have time to do inventory. I still make a lot of necklaces and earrings…but rings take 40 hours and I just don’t have 40 hours,” Clair explained.

“The shop where I do all my work is a state-of-the-art repair shop. I have all the latest equipment: laser welder, laser engraver, diamond setting bezel, computerized casting furnace and more,” Clair detailed of her business. “I carry the title of master goldsmith and award-winning custom jewelry designer.”

“If you (go) to a chain store, they don’t do anything at home, you don’t know where your jewelry is. If I sell you a piece of jewelry and you have a problem, I’m here,” Clair said when asked why it’s important to buy local. “It’s just service.”

In true entrepreneur fashion, Clair is also opening another business in Marshfield: the highly anticipated The Jackson Street Grill, which is set to open later this year. When he’s not busy making and designing jewelry, selling houses, or working on the next restaurant; you can see him playing in his band Ozarks Travelers or volunteering for the Marshfield Development League where he is a board member.

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