Bill French Jewelers heading east
By LYNETTE SOWELL
A Copperas Cove hometown business is making the move from Business 190 east and into the newly expanded Five Hills Shopping Center.
Bill French Jewelers has been located in Suite B at 2126 E. Bus. 190 since its doors opened in 2006.
“We’ve been here for 11 years now and six years ago, we remodeled the place and made it twice as big, for growth,” said owner Bill French.
Now, he is planning to grow his store again in a strategic location.
“I’m just looking for more traffic. This is more of a destination store. We know our customers are coming to this place, but we don’t get much traffic from other vendors in the nearby area,” French said.
He owns the building where his present store is located and is looking for a tenant to fill the 1,800 square feet that make up the jewelry store’s showroom and offices on the first floor.
“It’s a nice, open showroom with a lot of light coming in,” French said.
Right now it’s business as usual at the current store, with a moving sale going on while French oversees the finishing of the 2,500 square feet of space at the new store. He has plans to have the new store up and running by the end of the month.
“We’re bringing over pretty much all the cabinets and adding 12-14 more cabinets. We’re also putting nice wood down and marble, and some really cool textures and colors,” French said of the new store’s look. “I can’t say enough about the great job my contractor, Randy White owner of MWR Concepts has done managing this project. His knowledge and expertise along with other local businesses like Owens Electric, Arties Heating & Air and Crawford Plumbing have been invaluable. My dad always told me to support the local businesses and in this case it saved us a lot of money as well.”
He is already looking forward to what he can offer local customers.
“We’ll do more custom design, all kinds of engraving, and have a few more lines of jewelry, more product,” French said.
He is still working to maintain that personal connection with customers in the face of online shopping and social media.
“An online store won’t straighten your prongs or tighten your stone; you don’t get the service when you get that online,” French said.
French is also moving the display cabinets to the new store and aims to continue the same customer service he has provided to the community at his current location.
As far as merchandise, French will still carry the hand-carved pearls with diamonds in them, the Melodies in Motion clocks, along with several lines of bridal jewelry that he can customize.
“If you want it built around your own stone, we can do that,” French said. “Whether you want platinum or rose gold, or white gold, we’ll actually make it in the right size instead of sizing it down.”
French’s employees will be transferring to the new location as well, with French’s wife joining him at the store.
A framed photograph of French’s father, Bill French II, climbing a narrow ladder several stories in the air to change the letters on The Bill Board, will be moving to the new store as well and will be a reminder of his late father’s place in the community.
French continues to lease sign space on the “The Bill Board” beside his Business 190 property.