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Georgeous Jewelry
Brings a Gem
to Downtown Jonesboro

By Audrey Hanes, photography by Melissa Donner

Longtime local jeweler George Gotcher has been in the jewelry business for as long as he can remember, and with the recent relocation of Georgeous Custom Jewelry to Main Street in Downtown Jonesboro, he will better be able to share his craft and creative custom designs with the community he loves.

George says he learned the trade from three generations of master craftsmen. His father was a professor who taught at a jewelry school in Texas, and because his parents owned and operated multiple jewelry stores, he spent much of his childhood learning about jewelry.

“I grew up in the jewelry business,” said George. “My father was a master watchmaker and dealt with Rolex and lots of high-end watches. I’ve been in the field all my life. …

“I have always worked there. I did my military service with the U.S Navy, and after that, I went straight back into jewelry. I excelled and kept going, and I traveled all over the country doing shows before deciding to settle down in Arkansas, which is how I came to work for Sissy’s Log Cabin.”

George worked for Sissy’s Log Cabin for 17 years, including a move from Little Rock to Jonesboro as a master jeweler to help open the city’s branch of the jewelry store in 2012. After semi-retiring in 2016, George was still designing and crafting jewelry out of his home, a space that he quickly outgrew as the demand for his business increased. The self-described people person decided that he wanted to be back in the business on his own terms, so with the help of his wife and co-owner, Denise Camp-Gotcher, they opened Georgeous Custom Jewelry on Union Street in Downtown Jonesboro.

“Again, the business took off and we fell in love with the people and atmosphere downtown, so by October 2019, we decided to find a historic building to buy that we could live in and have a large enough business space to grow in the future and hire several jewelers,” said Denise. “We found the perfect building in the middle of the pandemic at the end of May 2020, made an offer, and finally closed September 2020.”

That building is located at 308 S. Main St. in the heart of Downtown Jonesboro. There, the Gotchers could truly immerse themselves in the downtown community by living above the new business, just as they had at their previous location.

“We wanted to get into the downtown community, and I always wanted to be a part of the downtown business community atmosphere,” said George. “Jonesboro was the place to go. We are close to restaurants, we walk to dinner and people have the freedom to come in and stop by while they’re shopping downtown. Our goal is to try to bring more business to downtown and help with the beautification projects that are happening.”

Denise, who works for BXS Insurance as a commercial lines account manager, manages the business operations for Georgeous Custom Jewelry Designs. She also handled much of the renovation process for the Main Street building.

“The most difficult renovation was the 1894 tin ceiling in the showroom area,” she said. “The entire ceiling had peeling paint, and many tins rusted or missing. The peeling paint was removed, tin sections were removed from the back room area and replaced in the showroom and the entire ceiling was primed and painted twice with metallic silver paint. … The showroom floor was concrete, and (we installed) a new acrylic type flooring that looks like marble; we want to thank Arkansas Flooring for our beautiful floor.

“New wiring, lighting and a state-of-the-art security system were installed. The original office sheetrock was removed and replaced because it was water damaged, and new lighting was installed. We still have to finish out the office and a few touch ups in the showroom. We will start on the back shop renovations as soon as the showroom and office are finished.”

“There was a lot to be done, and there still is, but we keep working on it,” added George. “The city was very good to work with us to help us solve some problems in the alley, and we used our friends to help us with the construction. Denise and I worked really hard – a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into our new location.”

When all was said and done, the showroom became the perfect place to display George’s custom jewelry, and it also served as an inviting environment where he could meet with clients to design their own custom pieces. His style can adapt to whatever his clients have in mind, and he loves to repurpose family heirlooms of all types into pieces that will continue to be passed down for generations.

“Even though we are by appointment, we are open to anyone who needs anything and wants to shop; appointment only makes it secure for me and the client – it keeps them from being interrupted when they are working with me to explain what they want,” said George. “It’s a hands-on experience. They get to participate in their builds and in their designs, and if they want, they have the ability to come in and watch part of the process happening. When our back shop is done, they can see their pieces cast and set. I do a lot of my photography, so they get to see what is being done.

“One of the major aspects of this is to help people repurpose something into what they want to wear. They can go into their grandma’s jewelry box and bring in family heirlooms and make something they will actually wear or make multiple pieces to pass on to family members. People come in with a full bag of jewelry, and they’re amazed that the process isn’t that expensive. I want it to be affordable for everybody.”

The Gotchers plan to use the gallery space for more than their jewelry business; they are open to hosting events or estate sales, and they plan to bring in other craftsmen and artists, as well.

“We want to get some of the smaller artists,” said George. “I have a knifemaker coming in, we already have many of Jan Bennett Arant’s plants in our front windows and we are all about doing events. This gallery is for Main Street.”

Denise says that seeing clients’ joy when George’s jewelry artistry makes their dreams come true is her favorite part of what they do.

“I do it for the gratification – the smiles, tears and joy I see in people’s eyes when they see their new piece of jewelry, especially one that has been repurposed,” said George. “I’ve been knocked over and picked up with hugs. It keeps me going.

“Downtown is where the people are, and I want to be where the people are. I love the diverse people down here. It’s been a very open arms reception. They ask what our needs are and what they can do to help, from the restaurants and other business owners. It’s a family, and we love living and working here.”

Georgeous Custom Jewelry Designs, located at 308 S. Main St., is open by appointment only. For more information, find the jewelry gallery on Facebook or call (870) 316-3159.