Editor’s note: Made in Tarrant is an occasional Q&A series on small businesses started in Tarrant County. Submit your business here.

What: Kubes Jewelers: The four generation family firm includes three GIA Graduate Gemologists and two GIA Diamond Graduates and provides diamonds, gemstones, rings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches, or watches. 

Company founded: 1945 

Where: 2700 W Berry St, Fort Worth 76109

817-926-2626 

www.kubesjewelers.com

The Fort Worth Report interviewed Brittany Parker, great-granddaughter of founders Joseph and Rita Kubes. This is part of our Made in Tarrant series which focuses on local businesses. 

How did the company start? 

Parker: My great grandparents, Joseph and Rita Kubes, started the store in 1945. My grandfather was a Marine, and he learned how to do watch repair while he was stationed in the Philippines. And then just kept learning, taught himself jewelry repair, and how to make jewelry, and taught himself how to restring pearls. He taught himself how to pretty much do everything and then went to school and got his gemology degree. And he was probably one of nine in Texas at the time.

Now we have, let’s see one, two, three, four, five, six. We have six total in our family now that are all gemologists, that all went to school, followed him. And then my dad’s been our bench jeweler for probably 35 years now. 

You’re fourth generation, how did you get involved in the business? 

Parker: And so I just knew in the back of my head, I guess, after all of our different work things, that maybe I’d end up here. I just tried it out and they’re like, “We’ll give you 90 days and see how you like it.” And then now I’ve been there almost nine years.

What are your top-selling items? 

Parker: Mostly bridal. And then we do a lot of custom design as well. So that can entail obviously bridal, too, but then anniversary rings, any type of gift. Like I said, we do guys’ jewelry, too, and pretty much all the above. We can make pretty much anything anyone needs. We have a lot of contacts in New York and different things for different places, for all different types of jewelry. If it’s plain gold stuff or diamonds or high end gemstones, we can pretty much find whatever anyone needs in that regard and then do full jewelry repair. We’ve got the two jewelers on site that are all family and my dad, Paul Marshal, he sets all the engagement ring diamonds. So we’ll have the ring made or manufactured. And then he’ll set the diamonds there in house. And then full watch repair, watch sales. I have a cousin that does all the pearl restringing that she learned from my aunt and grandpa. 

What’s the hot trend right now in jewelry?

Parker: In diamonds, the ovals, oval diamonds are really popular. Pretty much the majority of our rings lately have been that, and they’re hard to keep on site. We usually have loose stones we can show if you walk in off the street and want to look, and that’s the one we can’t keep in the shop, we got to always be getting them. And interestingly, in the last, I don’t know, few weeks, we’ve had a lot of marquee diamonds that are popular, which – that’s the elongated ones that has the points on either end – which is a lot of what my mom had. A lot of ‘80s marriages had those. So it’s interesting that it, like everything, comes back around. So I’m interested to see if that gets to be a bigger trend or not. Then all gold jewelry, all that minimalist, everything, just simple gold chains and gold earrings and a stacking. I tried to do that myself today and wear layering necklaces and that’s real popular, but all the gold, yellow gold has come back totally. It’s pretty much all that now, too.

What sets the trends in the jewelry world? 

Parker: Instagram and TikTok I think is the main driver. 

We have not ventured into the TikTok world yet. It’s intimidating. I have nailed down the Instagram stuff.

You definitely do see a spike as soon as the celebrity gets engaged. With Prince Harry and Megan Markle, for example, we didn’t do a ton, but we did probably two or three that were pretty much just like that. 

And Princess Diana, we still make rings like that even after all this time. And so it’s definitely after a celebrity gets engaged or something, there’s a little spike of popularity with that and we’ll do a couple. It’s so across the board, honestly, we get so many different types of people and what they want. And with the custom, we’ve done a ring that a girl, she was a scientist, I guess. And she had DNA strands going down one side of a ring. I’ll never forget it because we’re like, “Wow, we haven’t done that before.” So there’s always something new and it could be the simplest plainest ring or it could be something very well detailed.

Even though you’ve been in business since 1945, Kubes doesn’t do much advertising or marketing, right? 

Parker: My grandpa said, “If you treat everyone right and honest, you don’t have to advertise.” And it’s definitely worked in our favor for 77 years. But I am definitely trying to get our social media game strong. It’s pretty fun to post pretty pictures of diamonds. 

You’re located near TCU, how much purple jewelry do you sell?

Parker: We have a whole case for it. And it’s a lot, but not a ton. It’s not constant, but a lot of the students will come in for their class rings. Maybe they don’t want the traditional class rings. We do a lot of that actually, too, going back to what’s popular. They’ll want maybe something more lasting. So they’ll get a purple gemstone ring, an amethyst ring or earrings or something like that to commemorate, but just in a different way. So we actually do those quite a bit.

You’ve been doing this for nine years, what’s one big lesson you’ve learned about the business you didn’t know when you started? 

Parker: It’s definitely made me tougher on the family side of having to work out issues and you keep going and all, that’s been a great lesson:  communication.

Bob Francis is business editor for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at bob.francis@fortworthreport.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Bob Francis

Bob Francis is business editor for fortworthreport.org. He has been covering business news locally and nationally for many years. He can be reached at bob.francis@fortworthreport.org