Longtime jewelry store owners retiring
|Leslie’s Jewelry owners Curt and Dana Hirsche are retiring at the end of the year and will be closing their doors. The Hirsches purchased the business from Curt’s parents in 1988. Photo by Ruth Ellis||Leslie’s Jewelry re-opened on Mother’s Day in 1940 in a new building near Primo Deli. Leslie Mastolier originally opened the business at 700 Main Street, the store’s current location, in 1930. Photo submitted|
Oct. 29, 2013— For 83 years, Leslie’s Jewelry has been offering beautiful jewelry selections and other items for customers to select a lifelong, meaningful gift to celebrate any occasion.
But to some, if not a lot of peoples’ disappointment, one of Susanville’s most beloved business icons will be closing at the end of the year and owners Curt and Dana Hirsche will be retiring.
The Hirsches bought the business from Curt’s parents when they retired in 1988. Curt, however, has worked in the business for 35 years and now, Dana Hirsche said it’s time to retire and enjoy life.
People have expressed worry they are leaving Susanville, but Hirsche assures them they are staying in town and she will continue her work with the Susanville Symphony Society.
Hirsche said they are looking forward to doing some traveling and seeing their nine grandchildren.
During its many years of business, customers could go to Leslies’ Jewelry and select that perfect engagement ring or choose a necklace or bracelet to mark a special occasion such as Mother’s Day or a girl’s sweet 16 birthday.
People can even find other gift items such as picture frames, baby gifts, desk sets and clocks.
Leslie Mastolier opened the store opened at its current location at 700 Main St. in 1930. He also sublet part of the facility, which was used as a tailor and dry cleaning business.
Wanting to own his own property, Mastolier then bought a piece of land and built a new store located a block up near Primo Deli. It opened on Mother’s Day 1940.
In 1971, Curt’s father, Leo, moved his family to the area so he could work at Leslie’s as a watch repairman. He ended up buying the business from Leslie’s brother-in-law and his wife in 1979.
After the Hirsches purchased the business, they moved it back to its original location in 2000.
Hirsche said, “We’ve survived snowstorms and street closures, recessions and dot.com bursts, all of these things that are negative for business and growth and we were able to prosper and grow during a lot of these times and support our family, support our community, give back to the community even during the hard times.”
She attributes the store’s survival to its diversity, treating people like they want to be treated and providing the best possible price while still maintaining a business, giving back to the community and employing people.
The Hirsches have worked with clients in creating jewelry from scratch or refurbishing older pieces. They also did prong work, jewelry repairs, replaced watch batteries and offered full-service engravings.
During their years in business, many of the customers have become like family.
“We’re really lucky that our customers have become our friends and part of our family …” Hirsche said.
“The hardest part about retiring will be us missing those relationships on a daily basis.”
Working in a jewelry store is a “very pleasant business to work in,” said Hirsche.
“It’s personally satisfying to help the customer find that really perfect gift for their loved one because jewelry is way more sentimental than some people give it credit for being,” she said. “There’s nothing more rewarding than finding that piece that their loved one absolutely goes crazy over. That, to me, about this store, is knowing our customers well enough to know what piece will be perfect for them.”
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