From classic rings to Kim Kardashian style bling, Wright’s Showcase Jewellers has seen it all in the last 105 years.
The Pukekohe jewellery business celebrated its 105th anniversary last month, although Rhian Wright said she’s not sure of the store’s exact opening date.
Rhian’s great-grandfather Walter Wright opened the jewellery store in 1912, and his father Jack took control of the business after he returned from World War 2.
Last year, Rhian stepped into the family business to work alongside her father, Gary Wright.
“I don’t think there’s any other businesses any older [in Pukekohe], I think we would be the oldest except maybe for BNZ.” Gary said.
Rhian said she still heard stories from people who bought their wedding rings from Wrights decades ago.
“We had a girl in and she had inherited her great-grandmother’s ring and she was using it for her engagement ring.”
Gary said Pukekohe’s developed from a small country town to being an important part of Auckland city.
“The town’s really changed from that laid-back lifestyle to pretty busy and bustling.”
The store has a manufacturing jeweller on site and completes custom work on items such as rings and watches.
Competing against the larger jewellery chains has meant keeping a more personalised service, Rhian said.
“I think people appreciate it and I think that’s what keeps them coming back is the service and having something a bit different and a more personal touch.”
Technology has allowed for elaborate jewellery design, and customers often wanted to be a part of creating something special, Gary said.
Fashions and trends have also changed throughout the years.
“There was definitely the big blingy Kim Kardashian style rings that everybody wanted, but a lot of people still like the classic styles as well,” Rhian said.
Although, Gary said men’s jewellery sales were still a bit sluggish.
“Around the world you see on TV most guys are wearing chains and rings but it’s taken New Zealand guys a bit longer to catch on to that sort of thing.”
However, Rhian said there’s a good chance Wrights would be in business when the trend caught on.
“I’m not retiring anytime soon so hopefully we just keep it in the family and keep going for another 105 years.”