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A History of Windsor Jewelers since 1986

Robert Simon moved to Winston-Salem in 1981 after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in music education and conducting. Although his life’s passion and focus was originally music and the thrill of conducting, Rob took a job with a local Winston-Salem jewelry store in order to pay down his student loans and to save up some money while continuing to focus on growing his music career.

What quickly started out as a potential short-term retail position quickly brought out the inner-businessman in Rob, and before he knew it he was on the road nationally as a sales representative at the wholesale jewelry level, traveling state to state and store to store, working shows across the country at various retailers of all shapes and sizes. He then went on to start his own wholesale jewelry company, while continuing to travel nationally, prior to realizing that he wanted to grow his roots and his family by settling down in one place: Winston-Salem.

In September of 1986 Rob took a break from life on the road and founded his own store, Windsor Jewelers, right in the heart of downtown Winston-Salem at the corner of Fourth Street and Cherry Street. He used his many experiences and the knowledge he garnered on the road to bring the very best of the current 1980’s jewelry industry fashion trends to the North Carolina Triad community. His dream was to make Windsor Jewelers the finest independent jewelry store within the Carolinas, a store which would offer unparalleled customer service and experience for each and every client who walked through the door.

And Rob never looked back! Right from the start he brought in major international brands like Roberto Coin, John Hardy, TAG Heuer, Breitling, and many others the likes of which had never before been seen in the Carolinas. Windsor Jewelers began to experience rapid growth, and before Rob knew it the business was quickly outgrowing its original downtown Winston-Salem space.

A few years later in 1991 Windsor Jewelers expanded to a new, larger location just outside of downtown Winston-Salem at 380 Knollwood Avenue, a major office building with retail and restaurant destinations. Windsor continued to grow within the Winston-Salem community while simultaneously drawing in clients from all over the state due to its expansive list of brands and unique, custom jewelry creations that could be found nowhere else but Windsor.

Continued business growth and the need for more case and boutique space led to another expansion of the store in 1995, this time just up the road to a space in 526 S. Stratford Road at the corner of Stratford Road and Knollwood Ave, the same building which Windsor Jewelers now owns today.

In 1999, Windsor Jewelers began a partnership with Patek Philippe, one of the world’s premier Swiss watch brands. Patek Philippe and Windsor Jewelers’ partnership made perfect sense as the companies share many of the same business characteristics: both are familyowned, independent businesses which operate based on their passions for what they do and represent. This partnership elevated Windsor Jewelers to an all-new level as a jewelry and watch store within the southeast, as Patek Philippe had never before been in the Carolinas.

February of 2013 brought major changes to Windsor Jewelers as Ben Simon, Rob’s oldest son, moved back home to North Carolina from New York City, where he had been working for a few major watch brands for four years. Rob and Ben, together with the leadership of General Manager Kevin Slusher, launched a second Windsor Jewelers store in a new North Carolina market: Charlotte.

The summer of 2014 marks yet another important milestone in the history ofWindsor Jewelers as Patek Philippe launched their first new point of sale in nine years within the United States at Windsor Jewelers of Charlotte at Phillips Place. Windsor was honored by a personal visit by Patek Philippe President Thierry Stern himself who performed a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new boutique space.

Now celebrating its 30th year in business, Windsor Jewelers continues to grow within the state of North Carolina in both Winston-Salem and Charlotte, while maintaining the independent, family-business values which make Windsor such a special place to shop. Rob Simon’s vision to create the finest jewelry store in the Carolinas is embodied in the passion and service that each staff member at Windsor Jewelers brings to work every day.