If you’ve read anything in the newspapers or online, you’ll know that 2016 was one for the books. 2016 was also a year to remember here at Josephs. The year was full of joyous moments, from new babies to celebrating our 145th anniversary, as well as sad moments, as we mourn the losses of Jim Fiebig, former Sales Manager, and John Joseph, Executive Vice President.  A new year brings new beginnings, and we are looking forward to what 2017 has in store for Josephs Jewelers. We hope you had a wonderful 2016 and wish you the best in 2017 as well!

Here’s a run down of the 145th anniversary happenings that made 2016 one we won’t soon forget:

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145th Anniversary in the business:

Josephs celebrated its 145th birthday in 2016. We were founded in 1871, just 20 years after the city of Des Moines itself was incorporated, so it’s easy to say that we’ve been a big part of the community for a very long time.  A lot has happened between now and then, and we’re looking forward to the big 1-5-0 in five more short years.

145th anniversary: A year for babies:

“There must be something in the water!” We had four pregnancies in 2016. Laurie, at our downtown location, had her son Mason in January and Jayla, one of our West Des Moines sales associates, had her baby girl Liliana in May. Another sales associate, Kelly, had her son Elliot a couple months later in July and then Trisha, Vice President, had her son Rand shortly after in August. We know these kiddos will have so much fun growing up in the jewelry industry together!

Valley West store closure:

In early 2016, we closed our Valley West Mall store location for good, after almost 25 years in the mall. The transition has been a smooth and successful one, and we’re happy to have our Valley West coworkers with us at our West Des Moines (West Glen) store and our downtown store.

Retirements:

 In 2016, four of our coworkers decided it was time to retire (how dare them!). Max, our appraiser, retired after 27 years in January; Jane, in our marking department, retired in February after almost 17 years; Neal, in the diamond department, retired after almost 39 years in July; and Mike, in the watch department, retired after 10 years in December. We miss all of them tremendously and are extremely grateful for the years they had & the contributions they made at Josephs. But, we still can’t seem to get rid of Neal completely…he still visits the store at least a couple times a week!

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145th Anniversary and Website launch: 

2016 brought some technological changes as well – we launched our newly revamped website! We updated the look, feel & functionality of our online presence and it has been an exciting change for us. We continue to add new items to the site and help customers become familiar with our team & the services we offer.

Certifications:

Education is something we really value here at Josephs. That’s why when our employees take the initiative to further their gemological knowledge, we want to recognize their efforts. In 2016, we had four employees finish Gemological Institute of America (GIA) coursework: Mikell Morris and Kelly Boddicker completed their Graduate Diamonds certifications; and Nancy Itani and Kelli True completed their Accredited Jewelry Professional certifications. Thanks to these individuals for their hard work!

In addition, our hearts will forever miss two great individuals that passed away in 2016.

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Jim Fiebig:

Jim was our sales manager here at Josephs for four wonderful years. In those years, he filled our minds, as well as our customers’, full of gemological knowledge. He had an extensive background in the jewelry industry before coming to Josephs, having worked all around the world (even in Madagascar, directly where many stones are mined). He had a passion for music and was a kind-hearted and warm individual who made friends everywhere he went. He passed away this past October, 2016, and we miss his smile around Josephs every day. In his honor, we named the Lemur Exhibit at the Blank Park Zoo after him.

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John Joseph:

 John was a business leader who cared about the well-being of his employees and truly viewed them as extended family.  He was a loving husband, caring father and grandfather, business partner, Uncle, mentor, and friend to many.  He will be greatly missed, especially his unique sense of humor that always made you think and couldn’t help but laugh.  John had many accomplishments both in the community and within the jewelry industry.  His passing leaves a vacant spot in our hearts that will take time for mending.