Farr’s Jewelry survived the constant-changing retail tide in the last 61 years and stayed on top of the local jewelry and camera market in Ogden. How did they do it? The know their product. They love it. They give that personal touch that people long for when shopping for high ticket items like fancy jewelry and high-end cameras. The small store front, located on 2466 Washington Boulevard, boasts a large selection of jewelry, clocks, watches and cameras.
Dirk Farr is the vice president of the family jewelry store that opened just over 61 years ago and it’s been in the family since its start. Farr is proud of the fact that his great-great grandfather, Lorin Farr, was the first mayor of Ogden and that Lorin and his son Asael were the founders of the famous Farr’s Ice Cream.
“We are a family of entrepreneurs,” Dirk said. Dirk’s father, Vern Jr., founded Farr’s Jewelry after graduating from Stanford in 1956. He opened the little shop on Washington Boulevard between 24th and 25th Street above the now out of business Wecker Shoes. But Farr’s Jewelry has stood the test of time.
Dirk said they have been able to retain great relationships with jewelry manufacturers. Plus, competition with bigger chain jewelry shops hasn’t been a problem because Farr’s has been around long enough to have relationships with retailers and to understand the pulse of what their customers want.
“We buy direct from the site holders at the same level as a Kay’s Jewelers, but because we are local, we can hand pick what we want. We have been able to use our size to our advantage,” Dirk said. And because of their small size, they can specify a certain quality and be more specific. “Dollar for dollar we get a better value,” he added. They aren’t afraid to give their customers a microscope and really show them the quality of jewelry they are getting. Plus, each of the sales people are trained to do so. “We have great longevity with our employees. And the good part about that is when people walk through the door, they recognize us and they trust us,” he noted.
“We are more interested in finding what you need. If you want something big and not as high quality we can find that, or if you want something small but higher quality we can find that too,” he added.
And as times have changed they have changed too. They used to sell a wider variety of items ranging from toasters to luggage. But as more online sales started happening, the competition of the big box stores came into play. At that point, Farr’s Jewelry expanded its lines of jewelry, clocks and fine cameras.
Farr’s is proud of their camera department and rather than feel frustrated by the decline of point and click cameras with the high use of camera phones, they have stepped up their game in the high-end camera department.
To do this, Farr’s offers classes and lens rentals. They work with different camera vendors to offer specific classes to meet the needs of customers. So not only does their camera sales staff have a great knowledge of their products, some of the vendors can offer unique options too, Dirk said.
Farr’s also offers a program to rent a different lens on a regular rotating basis to see what works best for the different photography work customers are doing.
“We have found that millennials do their homework. They research products on the internet and they like to come in and test us a bit,” Dirk said with a laugh. So, they make sure they are prepared with a thorough knowledge of each product and piece of jewelry in the store. “We want to give the highest quality at the lowest possible price…if you’re looking for the least expensive, low end product we are probably not for them,” Dirk said.