ROARING SPRING - Jim Bulger has been in the jewelry business for a long time.
"I started when I was a teenager working on Saturdays helping my dad with engraving and odds and ends," said Bulger, 63, who has decided it is time to get out of the business.
"I have worked for 40 years and decided the time was right to retire from this and do some other things in life. I am not sure what. I will let the future come to me and see what happens," Bulger said.
Mirror photo by Walt Frank
Jim Bulger shows a champagne diamond to Cathy Rankin of Six Mile Run during the going out of business sale at Bulger’s Jewelry Store in Roaring Spring.
Bulger's Jewelry Store is holding a going out of business sale at its 312 Spring Plaza store, which he opened in 1988.
Bulger consolidated his business into the Roaring Spring location in 2009 when he closed his Bedford store, which had been open for 13 years, after moving from Saxton where his father, Mark, founded the business in 1948.
Closing the Roaring Spring store had been in the planning stages since then.
"I am at peace with it. I am very satisfied with my decision no matter what happens," Bulger said. "When dad was living, I mentioned that I got us to the 50th anniversary and after that I made no promises. I have no other family members to pass it on to. I
didn't want to stay here until I die."
Bulger said the jewelry business has changed over the years.
Bulger has been a key player in the local jewelry industry, said Dan Decker, co-owner of Decker Diamond Jewelers in Ebensburg.
"He has been rock solid. He has just been a good foundation for the jewelry industry as a whole. He epitomizes honesty and integrity. He will be missed in the industry," Decker said.
"The biggest thing is with all of the malls, the Internet and QVC, all of those things take a bite out of the bottom line. We offer a personal service the big places can't do. We've survived for 65 years so apparently we are doing something right," Bulger said.
"I do all of my own repair work here on the premises; that is a big plus. We work on a one-on-one relationship with the customer, 90 percent of the people who walk in the door I know them. I am not a sales person; it is more of a friend and friend relationship," Bulger said.
Bulger said he will miss his customers.
"The personal relationships I've had, the friendly people I will miss on a day-to-day basis. I won't miss the stress that goes along with the business," Bulger said.
Bulger said he hopes to wrap up his sale by the end of the year.
Bulger said he expects to keep busy after his retirement.
"I have a lot of hobbies, and I hope to get into a part-time job to occupy my time, something totally different. I have no clue what that is now. Usually things come to you. I have had a couple of job offers already. I also will do some traveling," Bulger said.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.