A traditional male rite of passage is the conveying of wisdom from a father to his son. While there are many variations on this theme, one of the most common involves important contacts to know. One that is sure to be on every list is the family’s local jeweler.
Since 1984, David McKenzie has been the preferred jeweler for many Hendersonville-area residents. As the owner of David McKenzie Jewelers, David and his wife, Beverly, have provided fine jewelry items and services for more than a generation.
David began his career working for Carlyle & Company, a one-time national chain of jewelry stores. Eventually, he rose through the corporate ranks until he became a regional manager overseeing several stores. Initially, he enjoyed the additional responsibilities. However, he soon realized he wanted to venture out on his own.
“Although I enjoyed my job, I was intrigued at the prospect of being my own boss,” David says. “In late 1983, Carlyle & Company was getting ready to expand. I decided that rather than go through the expansion, I was finally ready to start my own business.”
David spent several months scouring prospective locations until he discovered an ice cream shop located on a corner in the Maple Row Shopping Center. Located across from what was then Hendersonville High School, David felt it would be an ideal location given its proximity to the center of the town.
“I first spoke with the ice cream shop owner in January 1984 to inquire about the availability of the location. At the time, he wasn’t sure if he was going to stay in business or not,” David says. “However, in July, he closed his shop, and I was able to get the property.”
David’s business took off almost immediately as his reputation for high-quality merchandise and service spread around Hendersonville. Eventually, the demand grew so much that in 2005 he opened a second location in Gallatin, managed by his son, Josh.
“Our motto is ‘It’s never a good sale unless it is a good buy for our customers,’” David says. “Taking care of our customers is the key to our success.”
In 2012, the shopping center’s anchor tenant, K-Mart, closed, leaving a large portion of the building vacant. Although the loss of K-Mart didn’t directly affect David’s store, it did affect the curb appeal of the remaining properties. While the center owners made some attempts to improve the property, it continued to decline.
However, in 2014, the center was sold and divided between Kroger and Anchor Management. This sale resulted in massive construction and renovation of the center that affected existing tenants, including David McKenzie Jewelers.
“At first, we were happy with the planned improvements,” David says. “However, as the remodeling dragged on, it began to have a serious negative impact on our bottom line.”
The remodeling efforts took almost 18 months, during which all of the tenant businesses had to work under difficult conditions. A few of the businesses could not handle the changes and either moved to another location or went out of business altogether. Fortunately, David’s business was able to weather the storm.
In late 2017, the project was finally completed, and the new Maple Row Shopping Center was reborn. As a result of the changes, David McKenzie Jewelers underwent a complete transformation resulting in a beautiful all-new store.
As he nears the 35th anniversary of his business, David wants to thank all of his customers for their loyalty over the years, and especially during the remodeling.
David McKenzie Jewelers
235 E. Main St., Hendersonville