Robert "Rob" McKinley Richards lost both legs in a sawmill accident. Determined not to just lay down and die, Rob decided to go to school to learn to be a watchmaker. This terrible accident changed his life, and unknowingly set forth a path for his future generations to enter the jewelry industry.
In 1927, Rob opened a small repair shop in a small town 90 miles east of Memphis in McNairy County, TN. He was a graduate of Wisconsin Institute of Horology in 1927 and St. Louis Watchmaking School in 1928. Business growth caused him to move to a larger location becoming a full service jewelry store. His inventory included musical instruments, luggage, gift items, watches and fine jewelry. His goal of good service, hard work, value and dedication to his customers made the store the largest in the county.
Rob was active in the store up until his death in 1964. Like all family businesses, each child was brought into the business to do their part from taking out the garbage to sales. His son Harold, just out of watchmaking school, took the rein and kept the business going.
Forty years after his father graduated, Bob graduated from watchmaking school also. He earned a watchmakers diploma from Gem City College in Quincy, Illinios. He continued to work in the family business (yes, he even started out making bows for gift wrap).
In 1970 Bob moved his family to Memphis and started repairing watches for Sears at Southland Mall.
In 1975 Bob started to work for Brodnax Jewelers in Laurelwood. He attended Rolex school in New York several times to train on the latest changes in their watch movements. He also had a side business of repairing watches for stores that did not have a repairman. He did watch repair for several local area stores as well as stores in other states.
In 1984, Bob and his wife Polly decided the time was perfect to open up their own store. After months of searching for just the right place, they found a quaint French village design shopping center on Hickory Hill at Winchester. Small (750 square feet), but it was a start. Business growth demanded more help. His brother Jerry was repairing jewelry for Service Merchandise and brother Ron was repairing jewelry for Brodnax. It was time for them to come aboard. Once again the family was working together.
Bob and Polly's son, Anthony, graduated from college and joined the store full-time. He later earned a CPA license to help with the financial side of the business. This marked our third generation in the jewelry business.
Due to business growth, the store expanded to 1500 square feet to double the size.
Bob Richards Jewelers relocates to 7730 Wolf River Boulevard in Germantown to expand the store size to 2400 square feet.
Bob Richards Jewelers was welcomed into the Rolex family to represent their fine swiss made timepeices. This distinction is only offered to a limited number of jewelery stores in the United states.
Bob Richards Jewelers located a parcel of land to build a freestanding building. We started a long and detailed process with the city of Germantown to design and get approval for a store we would all be proud of.
Bob Richards Jewelers was able to break ground on the new location at 1696 South Germantown Road.
After a three and a half year process, Bob Richards Jewelers completes the new building and moved in to start the next phase of our business life.