Perfect marriage: Farr’s Jewelry, celebrating 65 years in business, shows commitment to Ogden
OGDEN — Farr’s Jewelry will celebrate its 65-year anniversary this October, carrying on a legacy of service to customers and the wider community alike.
Farr’s first opened its doors in 1956 and at the time was a located above Wecker Shoes in the now-demolished Rushmore building.
The keystone of Farr’s, now located at 2466 Washington Blvd., has always been jewelry, explained Vice President Dirk Farr, son of business founder and owner Vern Farr, and the great-great-grandson of Ogden’s first mayor, Lorin Farr.
“We were probably one of the first discounters around,” Dirk Farr said. “We started by carrying wedding gift wares, appliances, toasters, frying pans, luggage and vacuums — and always jewelry.”
Farr attributes the company’s success to longtime customers combined with their loyal employees, many of whom have been with the company for decades.
Farr’s consistently looks for ways to tap into new market trends and stays informed about possible emerging niches, Dirk Farr said.
Michael Ash, assistant manager, has been working for Farr’s Jewelry for 30 years. Ash has been in the camera business for over four decades and was hired by Vern Farr to build up the camera department, which remains under his management.
“We were the first Sony account in all of Utah,” Ash said.
Personalized demonstrations of their products keeps people coming back, according to Ash and Farr.
Whether it’s taking time to showcase camera products, varieties of colored stones and pendants, or make comparisons of diamond cuts and sizes, Dirk Farr said the store’s customized consumer experience sets Farr’s Jewelry apart from competitors.
“100 percent of people will look at jewelry online before they come shopping,” Farr said. “People still want that personalized touch and shopping experience.”
Keeping a locally owned, brick-and-mortar business open for 65 years comes with its challenges, according to Farr, including the permanent loss of storefront parking along Washington Boulevard due to the recent construction of the Ogden bus rapid transit system and some difficulties with product availability associated with COVID-19 supply disruptions.
Farr’s Jewelry shut its doors in April 2020 as COVID-19 hit; however, they were back open one month later.
“The elements to the secret sauce that has made Vern successful are he has hired good employees,” Ash said. “They’re invested not only in the business, but in what they are doing — hiring people with backgrounds in jewelry, cameras and so forth.”
Repavement work is currently happening along Washington Boulevard from 12th Street to 32nd Street and should wrap up by the end of September, according to Utah Transit Authority Public Relations Specialist James Larson.
“We still have some sidewalk and curb work that we will be doing over the next two weeks,” he said.
Dirk Farr emphasized that reaching a 65-year anniversary has been a testament to his father’s original business plan. And he is optimistic that despite the lack of curbside parking, Farr’s Jewelry will continue to serve the community.
“We try to treat the customer how we would want to be treated,” he said. “It’s a pretty simple philosophy, yet it seems to be working.”