What could be more appropriate for a jewellers than to be celebrating their silver anniversary?
David and Cathy Hetherington are doing just that with Goodyear Jewellers’ 25th birthday falling on Tuesday, 1 June.
The couple have now had the business, originally started 47 years ago, longer than the founder, Bob Goodyear.
Working together does offer challenges, but Cathy said that is all part of the job and the benefits far out-weigh any drawbacks.
“It can be a challenge, but we get through it,“ she said.
And not just that, but they have built the business up and have become an institution in Mary Street.
For Cathy, she enjoys working with customers to find them the perfect gift or special occassion jewellery.
“We get to see people who want to celebrate milestones,“ she said.
“And that’s really special.“
“We have people come in for their Christening and baby keepsakes and then for birthdays and 21sts and then they come in for their engagement and wedding rings.
“We get to be a part of all the important events and we get to see entire generations grow up,“ he said.
Bearing witness to people’s lives is one of the most rewarding aspects of their job.
They also get to see some unusual events and one in particular sticks out in David’s mind.
“I remember a bloke came in looking for his wedding rings at 10 o’clock one day.
“He was getting married at 2pm!“
Being in Mary Street, while great for exposure, has also been a double edged sword, with the couple having to move out of the store at least four times over the past 25 years to avoid the devastating floods that inundate the lower end of the street every few years.
“It’s just part of it, really,“ said David.
Over the years, the couple have employed many young people to work with them in the store, and in some cases have launched their work life and have helped to fund university degrees and further career aspirations.
“We often hear from previous employees, and they are studying law or have a career in medicine or have a family of their own, and that’s really nice,“ David said.
While many businesses struggled last year, David said Covid actually boosted business for the couple and 2020 was possibly the busiest year for their career.
“We were flat out. I think because people weren’t going away and because of the Covid payments, people were wanting to spend their money on something they could keep – something special that they could enjoy,“ he said.
David and Cathy have no immediate plans to retire and plan to continue bringing joy to their customers for the foreseeable future.