“It is definitely the end of an era.”
The era of a family jewelry store that spent 69 years in the heart of State College, 43 of them at the Historic Leitzell building at the corner of Allen Street and College Avenue, where Moyer Jewelers stands today, but come the new year, it will be closed.
While many mom and pop shops have said high rent prices downtown drove them out, that isn’t the case with Moyer’s.
Vice President, Lori Moyer, who grew up in the family business, explained why it was time to go.
“It’s not a financial decision, it really is a quality of life decision for me,” said Lori Moyer, Vice President of Moyer’s Jewelers. “I work a lot of hours and it’s time for me to try to change that.”
But the decision to close was not an easy one.
“It’s a lot of fun, we got to make lots of memories, and the tradition is probably one of the hardest things that factored into the decision.”
And it hasn’t been easy for long-time locals and Penn State alums either, Moyer said she’s taken hundreds of phone calls of the past couple days from those reminiscing about their time at Moyer’s.
“For a lot of them it was strolling past our windows and picking out their engagement ring in the window,” she said, “and thinking oh my goodness how can we ever afford that and then ultimately affording it.”
One engagement ring story sticks out among the rest.
“Christmas eve there was a young man from outside this area, and he wanted to buy an engagement ring and he didn’t have enough money with him…he applied for a credit and he didn’t get accepted, there was something in the way it was Christmas eve, and I just felt really good about him and I said you can just take the ring and call me after Christmas and we’ll figure out all the details. He’s like are you sure? Yes yes yes, I know you’ll pay me.”
The man did indeed pay for his ring.
Beyond helping with a couple’s special day, Moyer’s is known as one of the first jewelers in town to offer a Penn State collection, which has grown.
“We just continued to grow and grow the Penn State collection, and pretty much determined that if you can put a Nittany lion on it, people like to wear it”
Just outside the store, we stumbled upon Sandy Bonner, who’s three children all got engagement ring’s at Moyer’s.
“Certainly it is the place to come when you are in Penn State, in love,” said Bonner.
And Bonner’s looking to continue her family’s tradition of shopping at Moyer’s buying necklaces for all four of her grandkids going to Penn State.
“This store has been here so long, through all of the generations of ours who’ve come here to Penn State, and for many others. They’ve provided such lovely things for students and families.”
The Moyer family plans to keep ownership of the building, but come 2019, they’ll be looking for a new tenant. Hopefully one that brings a similar longevity and family feel to the store that came before.