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Smith’s Jewelers shines more than 70 years later

Writer / Jon Shoulders
Photographer / Jamie Sangar

After more than seven decades, Smith’s Jewelers on North 9th Street in Noblesville has become as timeless as many of the custom and designer jewelry pieces it offers.

In 1946 Claude Shane, co-founder of Shane Company jewelers, purchased several jewelry businesses in Indiana and Illinois, including a store in Bedford called Smith’s Jewelers. Shane eventually changed the name of all his stores to Smith’s, including a location in Noblesville that O’Dell and Esther Lakes, Smith’s current owners, purchased from Shane’s brother in the early 1970s. 

“The Noblesville store was previously located across Logan Street in the KeyBank building,” Esther says. “Our present location was home to Kenley Meat Market. It is amusing to think Smith’s window, which now displays beautiful jewelry, once showcased meat.”

After graduating from high school and serving a two-year stint in the Army, O’Dell worked for Claude Shane as manager and supervisor at Smith’s prior to purchasing the Noblesville business. He and Esther expanded the company to include six Smith’s Jewelers stores through the years, and currently the 9th Street store is their sole location.

In addition to designer rings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, watches and specialty gifts, Smith’s offers jewelry and watch repair services as well as a custom design house that can craft one-of-a-kind pieces. The design staff can build an item completely from scratch or incorporate stones from an older piece into a new item to create a modern look.

“Bridal and engagement rings are definitely our top item of jewelry,” says Emily Silveus, store manager. “We have so many repeat people who come in to buy their engagement ring and then come back for all of their bands. That’s not always common in this day and age. I think that loyalty is something that’s not as big as it used to be.”

Last year, Smith’s staff of 11 celebrated its 70th anniversary with a special anniversary appreciation sale through the month of January. Silveus feels the company’s ongoing commitment to its customers is the most significant reason for its longevity and ability to thrive in a highly competitive industry.

“We go above and beyond,” says Silveus, who has been with Smith’s since landing a part-time position in high school more than 25 years ago. “In this day and age it’s hard to find anyone who gives good customer service. That’s really what we’re known for. We try to take care of everyone who walks through our door. No dollar amount is too little to spend, and we’ll take care of you for life.”

Esther and O’Dell take that sense of caring beyond the walls of Smith’s into the community and have been involved with several local charities through the years, including The Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville, Riverview Health and the Megan S. Ott Foundation. 

“I have served on the Riverview Health Foundation board and have come to understand the importance of a county hospital, the critical role it plays in our community and the challenges it faces as a county hospital,” Esther says. “It definitely deserves our support.”

Esther also serves as a volunteer and board president for Prevail of Hamilton County, an advocacy and educational organization for victims of crime and abuse.

“I have become very passionate about Prevail and the service it provides to the most vulnerable in our society, victims of violence, the majority of whom are women and children who suffer from sexual abuse or domestic violence,” she says.

Several Smith’s staff members, in addition to Silveus, have been with the company since high school and have furthered their post-college education by earning degrees in gemology enabling them to evaluate, grade and appraise diamonds and other precious stones.

“The staff’s genuine concern for our customers has given Smith’s a reputation for treating customers with fairness while providing excellent service,” Esther says. “We have many customers who have moved across the county but still call us for their purchase or will come into the store for a purchase or repair when returning to Noblesville for a visit.”

Smith’s Jewelers is located at 98 North 9th Street in Noblesville. For additional details on Smith’s services and products and custom design info, visit smithsonthesquare.com.

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