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Retirement, Renovation Sale Mark Big Changes for Family-Run Jewelry Store

Redlands - Emerson & Farrar

Paul Emerson Passing Jeweler Business On To Family

Redlands, Calif. – Paul G. Emerson II, after nearly two decades, is retiring, passing the torch of the family business to his children: Kyle and Kerry Cummings, Paul Emerson III, Ryan Emerson, and Kelly Emerson Prince.

Paul spent 25 years working in healthcare, mainly serving as a perfusionist running the heart-lung machine for open heart surgery. But a fateful sailing trip in the Caribbean 20 years ago set him on a new course in the jewelry business.

He struck up a friendship with a couple who were on their honeymoon in Martinique.

“During our chats, I told them I was planning to get rid of our boat because the stock market had crashed,” said Emerson, owner of Emerson & Farrar Fine Jewelry in Redlands and a newer store in downtown Palm Springs. “He said, ‘oh, don’t do that. Let’s go to Africa and buy diamonds.” And that was the spark. “Within weeks, the two of us were in Africa buying diamonds,” said Emerson.

Emerson has been in the jewelry business ever since.

Big renovation sale underway

As he makes plans to retire, the Redlands store location is also getting a huge makeover. That store is currently hosting the final days of a renovation sale before they start ripping up the carpets and drywall. Expect to find great deals on unique, high-quality jewelry pieces including diamonds and gemstones. Many of the exceptional pieces of jewelry are those that Paul himself designed and are one of a kind.

Both the Redlands and Palm Springs store – which opened in 2016 – are known for continuing the legacy of storied San Francisco jeweler Roger Van Craeynest, creating handmade rings the way they were made in the 1900s. In 2011, the Emerson family bought Van Craeynest San Francisco with the goal of upholding the tradition and legacy of this historical jewelry manufacturer. The historical factory continues to operate and produce die struck jewelry inside of Emerson & Farrar.

Giving the store a more open feel

Renovation plans call for taking off the front of the building, which was built in the 1870s, and making it appear more open. “Right now there’s just a door opening and two small windows on the front, one small window on the side,” he said. “All of that will be glass as part of the redesign.”

Other changes include improved lighting and a comfortable seating area for customers waiting on their spouses.

Although renovation plans are still being finalized, they’re looking at temporarily running the business in a nearby location during the several months the store will be closed. “But, it’s always easier to sell off as much of our inventory as possible before the temporary move. So, that’s the motivation for the huge sale,” said Emerson.

The next phase

When he retires, Emerson is looking forward to spending more time on one of his passions: flying. He may work on his golf game as well. However, Paul said he’ll miss interacting with customers, many of whom have become friends over the years.

“I love talking and connecting with people,” said Emerson, who’s also a partner in Olive & Citrus restaurant in Redlands. “I’ll miss seeing them and talking to them for sure and hearing about their lives and their kids and their grandkids, their pets  – everything that goes on that makes us a community.”

Emerson also wants to continue giving back to the community during retirement. “I like to help a lot of charitable organizations, school fundraisers for kids and local hospital fundraisers,” he said. “We like to be good stewards in our community. ”

Another familiar face at the store has been Pam Emerson. Like her husband, she shifted gears career-wise. About four years ago, Pam Emerson retired as a dentist to join her husband in the jewelry business. Since then, she’s been involved in visual merchandising and decorating the stores for the holidays.

What: Emerson & Farrar Fine Jewelry Closing our Current Showroom Sale
When: Currently – In Its Final Weeks
Where: 27 E State St, Redlands, CA 92373
Store hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
More info.: Visit the store’s website at or call 1-888-534-3960

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