It all began back in the 1970’s when Debbie was a teenager visiting her big sister on the Big Island of Hawaii. She loved the beautiful shells unique to Hawaii and collected bags of them to bring back home to Spencer, NC. Debbie made them into beautiful jewelry and from then on, she was hooked on the jewelry business. Starting in the early 1980’s Debbie worked for a variety of small jewelry designers and stores, doing everything from making unique nugget gold jewelry to honing her skills of jewelry repair and design.
In 1990, Debbie decided to start her own jewelry repair business working out of her parent’s large basement, and brought one of her close friends, Sherrie, into the newly created “Debbie Barnhardt Jewelry Repair.” Building the business solely on word of mouth, Debbie began doing custom jewelry design while offering several dozen pieces of jewelry for purchase. After two years of operating in the basement, there was steady stream of customers and the business had outgrown its space. It was time to move to a real storefront in downtown Spencer (where the store is still located today). The new storefront opened in June 1992, with an initial small showroom of three cases and two jewelers.
Since 1990 the store has grown tremendously, undergoing four major remodels, with the most recent in 2015 expanding the showroom to over 1000 sq/ft and doubling the office space and repair/design areas. In 2010, Debbie’s son Josh was completing his MBA at UNC-Chapel Hill and decided to join the family business to assist part-time and grow the company as it was becoming one of the major jewelry stores in the area. The store weathered the economic downturn extremely well and has now become the leading jewelry store in the area offering a large selection of diamonds and diamond jewelry, along with multiple designer lines of fashion jewelry and the continued excellence of jewelry repair and custom design. We have the largest selection of bridal in Rowan County, with over 400 custom and designer rings on display with access to thousands more!
The team at Barnhardt Jewelers has grown to five full and part-time staff to serve you. Don’t forget we have one of the area’s only full time bench jewelers. Please stop by and see us, we are the most fun and laid-back jewelry store you’ll ever shop! We pride ourselves on making your trip memorable and stress free. You may even get to meet the store’s latest additions, Debbie’s grandchildren Emory (baby jewelry model) and her laid-back brother Jensen, along with Debbie’s furbaby Dear Abby.
In 2013, Barnhardt Jewelers was invited to become a member of the exclusive Independent Jewelers Organization, which is a group of 850 independent retail jewelers nationwide that have been selected to join this prestigious organization. We are the only jeweler in the Rowan/Davie/Davidson/Stanley County area that has been allowed into this organization based on our reputation, customer service, and contribution to our community.
As our area’s exclusive Master IJO Jeweler, we maintain a leading role by keeping up with the latest trends in fine jewelry, educating and practicing industry-leading customer service, and ensuring we are using the latest innovative technologies. We are able to purchased diamonds directly from Antwerp Belgium, the diamond capital of the world, at the best value, based on our buying power in this organization.