It was 1920 when Richard E. Welling purchased his first jewelry store located in downtown Lockland, Ohio.
A full 100 years later, the jewelry business he built back then includes countless satisfied customers around the world—many in and around the Greater Loveland area, now being served by a brand-new storefront in historic downtown.
“Maintaining the business across multiple generations is a huge accomplishment,” fourth-generation owner Daniel Welling says. “In our industry, trust and security are important to customers.”
That trust and security have resonated with Welling & Co.’s devoted client base for decades. “Each generation (demonstrates) a plan for the future,” he explains. That plan includes the jeweler’s extended family as well—the families and communities Welling & Co. continues to serve, generation after generation.
It’s a family-strong commitment that’s been there from the very beginning.
After serving his country during World War II, Richard Welling acquired his first store on the advice of a friend; his son, William F. Welling, eventually took over the location and was later joined by his younger brother, Thomas. In 1979, Welling & Co. opened a second location in Mason. William F. Welling, Jr., had a hand in making their newest location a success, and eventually purchased that store from his father and uncle.
These days, Welling & Co. is proud to operate in both West Chester and Loveland.
“Our family grew up in the Loveland area,” Daniel says, pointing out that he and his siblings attended St. Columban and St. Margaret of York. “I remember, as a kid, riding a school bus through the historic downtown area of Loveland. Never did I imagine having a store located here. It’s changed so much!”
Offering a diverse array of services is key to Welling & Co.’s success—they offer top-notch jewelry selection and craftsmanship, but that’s not all. With industry-leading technology and techniques, they’re able to provide customers with watch and jewelry repair, engraving, resizing and appraisal services.
Custom jewelry design may be one of the jeweler’s more popular requests. With the help of Computer Aided Design, Welling & Co. team members are able to efficiently, artistically visualize the perfect jewelry piece for any customer, each one unique and handcrafted. During that process, and at each step of the way, 3D computer prototypes help ensure client satisfaction as the design comes to life.
What’s more, it’s always a good time to consider watch maintenance, and Welling & Co.’s watch repair services are also in demand—many don’t realize the importance of proper band adjustment, cleaning and oil.
Daniel is able to reflect on some of the other changes his family’s business has undergone over the past 100 years, some of which involved some pretty creative thinking. “It seems there’s always something that is forcing you to adapt and think ‘outside of the box,’” he says, a sentiment any business owner will surely agree with. Prime example? “During the Great Depression, we sold items like perfume and toasters! Anything that was available and could keep the business moving forward.”
Technology has also changed, and it has impacted many aspects of how Welling & Co. does business. “We’re now competing with companies all over the world,” Daniel notes, referring to online resources and competition. That means customer service and personal relationships become even more important for the organization’s success.
And, with social distancing measures in effect all spring and through today, Welling & Co. has had to adapt how they satisfy customers once again. Daniel is quick to outline a number of precautions they’ve taken, some of which are specific to the jewelry industry. “We’ve followed all the necessary guidelines to keep and maintain a safe work environment for ourselves and customers. We regularly clean our jewelry and provide customers with jewelry cleaning and inspection. We still offer curbside pickup for anyone not comfortable stepping inside the store.” There’s also the option to shop online, with speedy replies for any questions that might arise.
Regardless of trends and shifting work environments, the success Welling & Co. enjoys is still tied to Richard E. Welling’s initial business model, put into place a century ago. “We thrive on customer referrals,” Daniel says. “And customer service.”
He’s not alone in maintaining the family’s commitment to customer satisfaction—three other Welling family members are currently on staff: his father, Bill; Josh, specializing in jewelry and watch repair; and Taylor, in sales.
“I think people are comfortable knowing that we have history,” Daniel says. Customers will find recognizable faces and a name they can trust at Welling & Co. … he’s quick to point out their 100-year celebration is only the beginning.
“We hope to continue to grow in the Loveland area,” Daniel says, with more than a hint of family pride.
WellingAndCo.com | 208 W. Loveland Ave. | 513.683.9355
“Maintaining the business across multiple generations is a huge accomplishment. In our industry, trust and security are important to customers.”