- A staple of Downtown Rhinelander will close its doors for the last time early next year.
John Stoehr has been the go-to guy for custom jewelry since taking over from his dad, who opened the store 40 years ago. He said closing was a tough decision, but the economy made it necessary.
"The gold prices and silver prices are getting higher and higher consistently. I understand when people have a hard time paying their gas bill they're not going to be buying diamonds," says Stoehr.
Stoehr says material price hikes and the changing nature of jewelry buying has been rough on the industry. He says more than a thousand jewelry stores had to close last year.
But he'll never forget being able to help people in the community make memories.
"That was the best part of my job. Somebody would come in and say I want to make my wife a 50th wedding anniversary ring. And I still run into these same people now and the say, 'I still have that beautiful ring'. That's the best part of it: I helped somebody make something that meant something in their life," says Stoehr.
Right now everything in the store is 50 percent off. Stoehr plans to close sometime after Valentine's Day.
Story By: Lyndsey Stemm