Bove Jewelers expands to West Chester location
● By J. Chambless
By John Chambless
This has been quite a year for Bob
Strehlau, who reopened the Bove Jewelers business in Kennett Square
last March after the previous owners decided to close. This weekend,
Strehlau will preside over the grand opening of a second Bove store
in West Chester.
Strehlau, a fifth-generation jeweler, bought the Kennett Square store from previous owner George Reinas after being the general manager there for years. Around that time, he heard about the West Chester storefront coming on the market.
“My wife and I were aware that that building was going to be available, and reserved it a whole year before we bought the Kennett store,” Strehlau said, “in hopes that it would be the perfect place for a second store if everything worked out well.”
After a year of being welcomed back to Kennett Square by longtime customers and newcomers alike, Strehlau seems to have had the right hunch in expanding to the former Wright's Jewelers location in West Chester.
“After the first six months of being open at the Kennett store, we knew that our second, smaller store was the right choice,” he said. “It's also one of our other favorite towns. West Chester definitely needed a new jewelry store to fit everyone's needs.
“It needed a ton of work,” Strehlau said of the new store. “We definitely wanted to make it look exactly like our Kennett store location. We have all of the same merchandise in all categories at both stores, but at the West Chester store, it is shown in smaller, boutique-like sizes. ”
Strehlau's family has a long history in the jewelry business, dating back to 1879. His family owned stores in Cape May, N.J., and Aston, Pa. His grandfather, Charles Holland, was a watchmaker and diamond setter who helped introduce his grandson to the business. Strehlau was working primarily as a goldsmith and as a diamond setter before he was recruited by Reinas to work at Bove in 2001.
With a ribbon-cutting on Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. in West Chester, Strehlau will now be splitting his time between the two locations. “The stores are only 15 miles away from each other,” he said. “I am there two or three days a week for the afternoons, but I also have an A team there, and also my wife Jacci, who is the brains and beauty behind the company.”
Strehlau said he finds the jewelry business to be constantly evolving. “Interacting with clients is very rewarding,” he said. “It is one of the few occupations where you can put a smile on every client's face. And every day brings something different. It's also wonderful that the trends change every three to six months, making it fresh and new.”
The new Bove Jewelers store will open with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. Feb. 10 at 113 W. Gay St., West Chester. Call 610-738-GOLD, or visit www.bovejewelers.com.
To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email firstname.lastname@example.org.