Spotlight on Walter Nash Jewelry, New Name, New Location, Same Fun and Trustworthy Jewelry Buying Experience at 10148 Fair Oaks Blvd. in Fair Oaks Villagein Profile Articles
We're pleased to introduce Katie Walter and David Nash of Walter Nash Jewelry in our Business Spotlight Series.
We're spotlighting various merchants in the Fair Oaks Village, as well as individuals who support what FOVEC does, all while giving you a little insight into our history and what we do for the Village. We encourage you to share these local stories and visit with merchants to get to know them firsthand.
We connected with Katie and David to learn more about recent changes to their business, Walter Nash Jewelry.
Congratulations on your recent relocation/renaming in the Fair Oaks Village, Walter Nash Jewelry (formerly Village Treasures)!
Katie and David have plans to show off their new space, fully equipped with a gigantic bank vault for safekeeping of your most valued goods.
How would you describe your business to a friend?
Katie: We probably describe it as our attempt to make buying jewelry fun and comfortable—not a scary, expensive proposition. It's a lot harder to find little shops that have a repair person on site. Normally it’ll get shipped off to a shop off site. There’s enough Tiffany's and Kay's and Jared's out there.
We want you to come in and get to know the jewelers, our jewelry, and understand how it all works. It's a mysterious process at a lot of other places.
David: We do repair, custom design, stone setting, as well as retail. It's a different store than you’re used to seeing, jewelry-wise. Repair is dying out. You can see my workbench and see the magic as it happens. I can also see out on the floor and come out and build that personal relationship with our customers. That’s very important in jewelry. We’re happy to share the process. We’re happy to show you how it works. We have access to a lot of unique stuff and can order it on hand.
We offer services for free where other stores will charge. If you get a bug bite or swollen finger, we’ll cut it off for free. You’ve been punished enough. Let’s get it off the finger so you can sleep at night. Then we can talk about getting it fixed. We take care of Fair Oaks and Fair Oaks takes care of us. We also expand out to the Greater Sacramento area.
Why did you move the business?
Katie: The Fine Golds building has been empty for a long time—almost a decade—and it’s just been sitting there on the corner, barred up and dark. When we had the opportunity to move, we found it to be significantly opportune, because it’s been a jewelry store in its past. It was a prime location for a large jewelry store.
The opportunity to be a part of reviving that historical part/iconic store ... we’re just so excited to continue that chapter of Fair Oaks history. There’s a sticker on the bank vault inside for when it was inspected in 1958 and that’s not even as old as the vault, itself! Everyone loves it. We have glass doors leading into it. When people come in, they can look to the right and they just see this huge bank vault door.
The reality is, this is a need in Fair Oaks. People go out to El Dorado Hills to get safe deposit boxes. Now, for us, it’s easy to say, 'Hey Fair Oaks, you need secure storage? At a nominal fee, we have so much space out, you really don’t have to leave town!'
David: This is where we live, where we want to live and want to be. We don’t want two or three more locations. We want one location and for it to be in Fair Oaks. Fine Golds has an 80-year history. We talk about where we work and the people we serve, it has the longevity of Fair Oaks.
We view it as a service to our community to offer safety deposit boxes, locally, and we're renting them out at two-thirds of what the banks do. I went to law school and I'm a firm believer everyone should have a will and keep it outside of the house. It's just a lot easier on the family. Fifteen to twenty dollars a year—not a month—is more than enough to store all the family paperwork.
Between the sales floor and bank vault, we have about 2,000 square feet of public space. We have the office upstairs where our gemologist works. We have 900 feet of workshop and back room space. That's all to say there's plenty of room for people to come in and explore. We also have 860 safe deposit boxes in five different sizes, which is more than most banks. We’re settled in for a good, long time. We want to be the Fair Oaks corner institution for the next 30 or 40 years.
We've already been discussing with local business owners the idea of trying to make Fair Oaks a destination. Consider you have us as a jewelry store, several restaurants, a dance studio, two to three florists, all the salons you could want—17 in fact—and a couple local travel agents. We’re a one-stop community for planning/executing everything you need from a wedding to a honeymoon and even funerals. We have lawyers who can execute estates. Fair Oaks for life. That’s our idea.
Katie: We’re excited to be a part of the revival of Fair Oaks. It’s a small town. It’s been sitting through the changes, but there’s more people our age and people who come to Fair Oaks and don’t want to make it the next Sacramento, don’t want to make it the next cool, hip happening place to be. They love Fair Oaks and want to see it as quirky little Fair Oaks. We’re enjoying that part of it, as well.
David: We opened Sept. 1, two other businesses opened on the same day. Another is opened next door to us in our old space. There are new restaurants. Fair Oaks is working very hard to reinvent itself. That’s a pretty good thing to be a part of right now, especially in a little town. It’s fun, too!
Why did you change the name?
What separates you from the rest?
David: Dmitry, our prior owner, specialized in gemstones. When we took over, we loved it, but changed the color of the gemstones. We brought in more turquoise than he ever thought he could sell. We brought in some vintage Native American goods that have become really popular in Fair Oaks.
We have started developing our own kind of style on a larger, more old-time formation. I'm making my own stamps for the metals out of old files and chisels, hand bending and hand twisting the rope wire for some of the bracelets, doing things in a way that’s very high quality. The Native American style is just very meditative in that regard.
I was lucky enough to spend a lot of my childhood in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. I met a number of them. I got to see some of their setups and workshops. It’s really quite incredible. It makes a lifelong impact to see that kind of craftsmanship with the simplest tools. You don’t need a high tech gem workshop to make beautiful pieces. You need hammers, tools you can make yourself, attention, and you have to care about what you do and your client—whether you’re making a custom piece or a piece to put on the shelf.
We have a term out there called cruel jewelry. I feel like it should be worn and not be cruel, so we focus on comfort. You can’t get this type of stuff off the shelf anywhere. You can only order this type of durability in a place that has a custom jewelry district, like San Francisco or New York. People in Fair Oaks or surrounding areas find us through word of mouth or ads and have an idea for a custom piece and can’t find anything like it. It’s our privilege to say we can make that work for you. I want to make dreams into reality. Jewelry is an investment. We all have that piece that we say, 'I wish I could afford that ring,' or you see something and like most things about it, but rather than a diamond, you want sapphire or turquoise. That’s the type of stuff we love to do. To make it yours. We’re delighted to make your jewelry. It should be unique. It’s an expression of you and it’s often an expression of your family because these pieces get passed down.
My mom is from a family of sharecroppers from Texas way long ago. We really grew up with that kind of heavy silver cowboy boots and spurs. It’s really a part of who I am.
Katie: I am very much more the petite California girl. I like the more slender, elegant looks. That means we have a combination. Things appeal to me and him and we pick up and say maybe it’s not my style, but someone out there is going to love it. A lot of the time, we’re very right about that. We’ve done well with people walking their dogs and coming in and saying wow, you have exactly my piece.
David: We’re pet friendly. We don’t turn anyone away. We even let the roosters in. It’s a family atmosphere. If you’re nervous about making the investment in a piece of jewelry, you shouldn’t be nervous about walking in the store to say hello. We’re casual. We dress down. Some stores, you walk in and you feel underdressed existing in them. We want you to be comfortable. Walk-in, say hi, look at the shiny's, and walk out, never worry about a hard sale. You’ll come back when you’re ready and we’ll be here.
I’ve been in hard sale environments—high-end electronics, etc. It’s nicer when you don’t push people. Better way for me and my customers to win. We don’t nickel and dime people. We don’t push for commission. If we take care of Fair Oaks, Fair Oaks will take care of us.
Are you involved with or do you support any local nonprofits, community organizations or causes?
Katie: David has a long history of being involved in marching band. We're working on trying to support Bella Vista High School by sponsoring them; perhaps scholarships, or snacks each week before the game. It really encourages those younger people to show up. Those small things really make a difference. We all know music programs are some of the earliest budgetary cuts. It means a lot to us to be able to help support those.
At our old location and now, we donate to various fundraisers—rotary, historical society. Anytime the local service clubs are going around fundraising, we try to make sure we find something that’s good for them to put up for auction. Occasionally, we do two to three things, so not only can they have something in the auction, but also a door prize and advertising in their program. We really take community focus quite seriously. We post notices for upcoming events and other businesses, the Veteran’s Day parade, the chicken festival ... We’re going to have rotary camp outside our store to have a safe Halloween—candy and books for the kids. We just really enjoy being a part of that Fair Oaks history.
David: In normal years, Fair Oaks does concerts in the park. We'd be looking to sponsor one directly or be on a list of community sponsors for an event like that. The music connection is an incentive for me, but it's also one of the most popular community events that happens in Fair Oaks. It reminds me of the concerts in the park we had when I was a kid in a small town in Texas.
What challenges have you encountered, especially as a result of COVID-19?
Katie: Coronavirus made everything difficult. We were going to open in March, but finally did a soft open in September. The village has been excellent. We received tons of flowers when we opened, mostly from other business owners happy to see us make it through. Really lovely attitude—we like to both receive and pay forward.
We’ve been very lucky in having the opportunity to open this store. It’s our good fortune and we are happy to be able to share it with our community.
David: In talking to a few retired jewelers when gutting this space, they said this is the result of an independent jeweler: having been open for 30 or 40 years and then being able to have this kind of store. That is the dream. The kind of store we just moved into as 2-year-old, baby, toddler jewelers. It's very intimidating, but at the same time, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to easily identify and just have to grab and run with it. So far, we've been able to do the things we've done because of the kindness of Fair Oaks and the people around us. We are definitely loyal to the Fair Oaks community. It has worked out well so far and we're looking forward to it continuing.
Just because we’re a neighborhood jewelry store, doesn’t mean we don’t accommodate others from outside areas. We have done stuff for family members here on vacation, because we have great reputation. I’ve sent stuff to other states after repairing it. I cherish those jobs, because it tells me we’re really treating people the right way. Customers are willing to drop their stuff off with us while on vacation, because someone said, 'I’ve got the guy.' It’s a good place to be.
Do you have any upcoming events, specials or new products/services that people should know about?
Katie: We always celebrate Small Business Saturday. With coronavirus, we wanted to be very conscious. It changes the traditional "grand opening" event we’d have. We have the space to pack 200 people in the building if we wanted to, but it would be a bad idea.
We're looking at a monthlong welcoming, open house kind of atmosphere. We'll have a couple different small events/auctions that we schedule out and publicize beforehand. We'll have jewelry options, small refreshments, raffles, get some other jewelers in the area to come in and do a trunk show. It's not just about what we do, but some of our friend/associate stores, too.
David: Christmas season for jewelers starts in November. People had vacations/trips canceled and are putting that money toward something special, this year. That’s really good in light of the circumstances. We will be very open for Christmas shopping. We're open the entire week before. Our normal hours don't matter during that time of year. We're always open Christmas Eve for anyone in need of a real, last-minute gift. We’ll get you out of the dog house.
Katie: It's just one of those really fun times in jewelry where we end up working three weeks straight and take half a day off and work another three weeks straight. We run normal specials, but honestly because our pieces are so unique and we really care about our community, we are under market and well priced. We get people who want to haggle, we work with them, but the goal is where you don’t need to. We want you to come in and say, 'Wow, that’s a really good price.'
We want people to enter the jewelry world and bring families into jewelry world. We want them to have gifts they’d be proud of. We'd rather you come to us and work within a budget to get something nice and durable—real and long lasting. It’s going to be higher priced than something plated you get from the mall, but it’s also going to be around for a long time.
David: On a level of personal/professional pride, we’d much rather work with you and take less in our profit to get you the right thing. We aren’t greedy people, we just need to keep the lights on and feed ourselves and our five cats.
Katie: Demystifying and making jewelry accessible are our top priorities.