Store History

In the Beginning

Charles and Georgiann met and married in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Charles (Chuck) is a second generation jeweler. His father, George J. Beaudet, began Chuck's apprenticeship when Chuck was 12 years old. It was the old style apprenticeship, based on trial and error, polishing rings and filing a single angle of a ring until the surface was curved just so. If a ring or piece of jewelry wasn't done perfectly it was melted and redone until it met his father's exacting standards. Under the tutelage of his father Chuck learned that seemingly impossible design jobs were indeed possible. A technically difficult jewelry repair was to be approached with an understanding of the limits of the metal and the properties of the gemstones.

When, at 19 years old, his apprenticeship was completed, Chuck knew more about design and technique than jewelers twice his age. When he felt ready, he went on to manage a large jewelry trade shop, while planning his move to Oregon. Finally, after several years, Chuck felt he was ready to create the store that would incorporate all that he had learned. It was time to make their next move.

In 1972, armed with a map and the idea that they could move anywhere they wanted to start a store, they headed west. After loading all their processions, along with their two dogs, into a large U-Haul, Charles and Georgiann drove from Milwaukee to Eugene. Georgiann had never been west of the Rockies and felt sure, after numerous, boring, flat miles, that perhaps the move wasn't the best idea. But, as the U-Haul truck passed Bend, then Sisters, and began the slow ascent into the Cascades, her misgivings passed. By the time they descended into the Willamette Valley, both Georgiann and Chuck felt that they'd entered a beautiful, new land. It was a great place to begin their adventure.

After a number of years of doing work for jewelry stores in Eugene, Springfield and the coast, it was time to make the leap and start their own store. By this time their family had grown by one, a nice little addition of Matthew in 1975.

So, in 1976, with a very small nest egg and and one small baby, Beaudet Jewelry Design opened its doors upstairs in Eugene's historic Quakenbush Building. Even with a very small but select inventory people were drawn to the unique designs and knowledge Chuck brought to the area. One of the first big sales they had was to a jogger who stopped in to ask about emeralds. When shown a stunning 1.50ct. gemstone, he pulled $500 out of the tiny pocket in his jogging shorts and made the purchase. That was definitely Eugene!

After a year more space was needed to display the jewelry. Beaudet Jewelry Design (soon to become Beaudet Jewelry) took the next big step and moved to the Southtowne Shoppes. The store prospered, growing from the small, single display case in the Quakenbush building to six beautiful showcases in the new location. In the meantime, the Beaudet family kept growing. 1982 saw the birth of the Beaudet's second son, Andrew. Today, Beaudet Jewelry is a Lane County tradition. Generations of families have made Beaudet Jewelry their trusted source for custom and unique jewelry.