The end of an era

NEW ADVENTURE: John and Peggy Lovell of Silk’s Jewellers are retiring from retail work to start a new chapter of their lives. Times photo Laura Brookes.

It’s the end of a chapter for John and Peggy Lovell, but far from the end of the journey.

The wonderful couple have owned and operated Silk’s Jewellers at 59 Picton Street for more than 25 years and now say farewell to the beloved jewellery store to pursue new opportunities and experiences.

In 1901, Mr Lovell’s grandfather originally started up David Silk Jewellers on Queen Street.

The business continued to operate under the ownership of sons Norman and David, before Mr Lovell joined Norman at the Otahuhu shop in 1959 where he worked for the next eight years.

He first met Peggy at a photoshoot for C.F. McCarthy Jewellers in Auckland in 1965, and after the pair celebrated their engagement in 1967, they opened David Silk Jewellers in Southmall, Manurewa and started working together.

In 1969, they were married, and continued to work together, purchasing the Otahuhu shop in 1974 and selling it in 1992.

April 1992 marked the opening of Silk’s Jewellers in the main village of Howick.

Since then, they’ve watched the store go from strength to strength and have thoroughly enjoyed their time working in the Howick community.

“The past 25 years has been a wonderful experience,” said Mr Lovell.

“Our loyal customers have been so supportive and generous. Peggy and I have formed some solid friendships over the years and the Howick community has become firmly entrenched in our lives.

“The team at Silk’s have all been so positive and happy. We often reflect and smile at some of the great things that have happened over the years.”

Over the years, Mr Lovell has played a key role in the development of Howick Village.

His involvement ranges from introducing Midnight Madness to Howick Village, an annual event that continues to attract big crowds, to taking up the role of chairperson of the Howick Village Business Association.

Since hearing of Silk’s departure from the village, Mr and Mrs Lovell have been inundated with kind comments and gifts from customers.

“Over the years it’s been like a big happy family. I didn’t realise we knew so many people [before this],” said Mrs Lovell.

Despite Silk’s Jewellers now ceasing to trade, many of the gift lines and jewellery brands the store is well-known for will continue to be stocked in Howick.

Looking forward, loyal customers can rest assured the empty space at 59 Picton Street (formally occupied by Silk’s Jewellers) won’t be left alone for long.

“Peggy and I are both committed to ensuring that Howick will be well served in the future by another experienced retailer, and making the transition as smooth as possible.

“[We] are retiring to start a new adventure, a new journey and new experiences outside of the 9-5:30 retail hours.

“The journey is not over. It’s just beginning.”