In the summer of 1954, James Avery started his jewelry business in a two-car garage with about $250 in capital. He built a small workbench, then bought a few hand tools and scraps of silver and copper. It was his desire to create jewelry that had meaning for him and his customers as well as having lasting value.
In 1957, he mailed his first Christian jewelry catalog. It was 16 pages and featured 39 items, all handmade. This was the year he also hired his first employee, Fred Garcia. “I had been doing everything myself – designing, sawing, polishing, finishing and selling. I thought ‘what am I going to do? I can’t saw that fast!”
The company was incorporated to James Avery Craftsman, Inc. in 1965, and two years later with the help of a modest loan from the SBA, the company headquarters was constructed on 20 acres in the heart of the Texas Hill Country in Kerrville, Texas, not too far from that original garage. In 1988 James Avery received a San Antonio Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Today we, as a company, offer fine jewelry designs in sterling silver, 14K and 18K yellow and white gold, and gemstones for ladies and men, and maintain some 1100 designs and 14,000 separate jewelry items in the active product line. In order to maintain the quality and responsiveness essential to a successful business, we are vertically-integrated, meaning we design, manufacture, market and sell our own product line. We even maintain in-house graphics and photography as well as internal architecture and furniture-making capabilities to keep the customer’s experience a special one.
The strategic goals of the company include a three-prong effort of reaching and satisfying our customers through retail stores, mail order and on the internet. James Avery has five manufacturing plants – one each in Hondo, Fredericksburg, and Kerrville, Texas and two in Comfort, Texas. Our retail stores are located primarily in the South and Southeast sections of the country.