MAGGIE SHELL: “We’re just grateful for the opportunity to be in Green Lake.” staff photo
by Ian Stepleton
A fine piece of jewelry is cherished and handed down through generations.
Gysbers Jewelry understands this well.
The fifth-generation, family-owned-and-run store has been creating those kind of pieces for area families since 1874.
But, until recently, customers had to travel to Waupun to purchase engagement rings and more from the family.
Now, shoppers don’t need to go nearly that far.
In May, Gysbers Jewelry opened a second location at 528 Mill St. in Green Lake.
This Friday and Saturday, June 23 and 24, it will celebrate its grand opening with a jewelry raffle, gift bags, hors d’oeuvres and discounts of from 25 to 50 percent off.
The historic, red-brick building on the east side of the main street formerly was the site of Malcolm Bay Realty & Land Co.
“My great-great-grandpa started the store … and now it’s me,” said Maggie Shell, who manages the Green Lake location. “For us, it’s almost symbolic of a piece of jewelry where it comes down from generation to generation. It’s really neat.
“For us, that’s really exciting, to be able to be in Green Lake. We couldn’t have thought of a better place to have another location. We’re really excited.”
The new location is a full-service jewelry store, offering the same wide selection and strong customer service shoppers have come to expect from Gysbers, the family explained.
“We carry all types of jewelry, watches, sterling silver, 14-carat gold, fashion jewelry. children’s jewelry and gifts,” said mother Kate Bresser, who currently runs the Waupun location.
Being to Green Lake, she explained, warmed a spot in her heart.
“When I was younger, I would come [to the area]. We used to rent a cottage on Green Lake, and I always went to the beach,” Bresser said, adding, “Every summer, we would go up to the Baptist Assembly [now Green Lake Conference Center], so I’m familiar with the Green Lake area.”
That made choosing Green Lake for the business’ expansion an easy choice.
“We were here last fall, and we thought, ‘Oh, this would be a nice [place for a store],’” Bresser said.
“I think it’s a really good opportunity to continue our small business in an atmosphere similar to what we have now,” Shell said. “It’s a very tight-knit town, and we’re excited to bring another small business into Green Lake, because that’s what really this town is about.
“For us, when [this] building opened up, it was kind of a green-light for us. Everyone … has been really open and excited, and that’s something that makes us excited in turn.”
Shell is returning the favor to Green Lake customers by wowing them with Gysbers’ strong service.
“We really bend over backwards to make buying or repairing as comfortable as possible and as low-stress as we can. Whatever is going to make our customer happy, we really strive to [accomplish],” she said. “If someone can’t come in to pick something up, we’ll drop it off for them. If it’s a rush job, we always make sure to get it done when they need it.”
“We [also] have an in-store goldsmith; he’s a master bench jeweler, so we can turn our jobs around quickly if we need to,” Bresser said, adding the bench jeweler works out of the Waupun store, but has pieces at the Green Lake location. “We do all of our own diamond settings, sizing; all of our own repair work [too].”
Shell noted Gysbers Jewelers specializes in diamond engagement rings.
“We hand-pick everyone one,” Bresser said.
“Every diamond, and we back what we sell,” Shell added.
Gysbers, though, isn’t limited to engagement rings.
“We sell all types of jewelry and engagement rings, anniversary rings, remounts, colored stones, bracelets, pendants — anything from 14-carat gold to sterling silver,” Bresser said. “Diamond bracelets, gold bracelets, earrings [and more].”
The pieces all are showcased in a freshly renovated building.
“We gutted the whole inside and we’re redoing it to make it into a jewelry store,” Bresser said. “We’ve kept the tin ceiling; we’ve redone the front of the store.”
“We’re just really friendly,” Shell said. “There’s no pressure. We hope people come in and take a look at what we have, and enjoy shopping for jewelry with us.”
And, Shell — who recalls, as a child, watching her parents provide that service to customers in Waupun — is thrilled to be able to do the same now at her own location.
“I’m really, really excited. I’m excited to be in a town where people are excited to have our business here. I’m excited to help people here select items that are going to last a lifetime for them,” she said. “Jewelry is such a purchase where it’s not something that you use and can’t use again. It’s something that’s passed on. That’s something we see in our store every day…
“We’re just grateful for the opportunity to be in Green Lake; we’re really, really excited for this.”
For more information about Gysbers Jewelry, visit its website at www.gysbersjewelry.com or visit it on Facebook.