High Jewelery Facets is closing in May after 27 years in Lee Heights stores.
The boutique at 4530 Cherry Hill Road is closing due to the retirement of owners Suzanne and Tom Arnold after six decades of making, designing and selling jewelry. The plan, the owners say, is to be open until at least Mother’s Day (May 8) and then run for a week or two after that until most of the goods have been sold.
The store is named after one of Arlington’s finest jewelers several times by Arlington Magazine.
But now it’s time to pack it up, the owners say.
“Age and attrition,” Suzanne tells ARLnow of why the couple, aged 75 and 80, are retiring and closing up shop. “We kept riding it for as long as we could because we really love it.”
In 1995, after working for other local jewelry stores, the couple discovered the mall and decided to go out on their own.
“I remember thinking ‘this looks perfect,'” she says. “’It has a real neighborhood feel.’”
They opened Facets Fine Jewelry in September 1995 and she recalls the store filling up with people buying Christmas presents. Tom says the store has survived nearly three decades in the mall, including the last two difficult years, due to the neighborhood and long-time customers.
“This is our home,” he said. “[When we opened in 1995] everyone welcomed us. It was just wonderful and I can’t say enough about it.
Tom began designing jewelry in the 1960s in Beverly Hills, California. In fact, he hand-designed pieces for some of the biggest stars of the day.
“He remembers John Wayne ordered a small gold charm [from him]… to be given to all the actors and the team of [a film] he worked,” says Suzanne. “He was very generous.”
Tom was also a jeweler for Jane Russellone of Hollywood’s leading ladies in the mid-twentieth century.
Suzanne says one of her favorite parts about selling jewelry is that it’s so personal.
“Customers aren’t just anonymous souls,” she says. “You are part of people’s lives because you really mark special moments in their lives.”
Over the next month, Suzanne will enjoy just saying goodbye and selling as much jewelry as she can, for up to 70% off.
When that last day arrives in May, the couple say they will be sad but will look forward to their big retirement plans – staying local and spending their newfound free time visiting museums, going to the theater and eating refined dishes.
“We’re going to play tourist in DC, Maryland and Virginia,” says Suzanne.