Gorgeous Jewelry and Decades of Unparalleled Service
Fine jewelry is often given as a symbol of the love and sentiment people share – something to enjoy and treasure for years to come. And for more than 82 years, people have turned to Kelvin Schroeder Jewelers in Oak Creek for all of their jewelry needs.
This local business, located at 8645 S. Howell, has a stellar reputation for outstanding jewelry and quality service. Now in its third generation of family ownership/management (with a fourth generation coming up the ranks), Kelvin Schroeder Jewelers offers an amazing selection of designer jewelry, spectacular Ideal-Cut GIA-certified loose diamonds in all shapes and sizes, top-quality and rare gems in all colors, professional appraisals, and exceptional repairs. Since its founding, the Schroeder family has applied the values of honesty, integrity and hard work – all of which are reflected in the quality and care consistently offered to its customers.
THE EARLY YEARS
This very special jewelry store’s interesting roots date back to 1937 when it was founded by grandfather Kelvin August Schroeder. He was a self-made entrepreneur who came from humble beginnings in northern Wisconsin. He ultimately worked his way up to an apprenticeship at a fine jewelry store in the heart of downtown Milwaukee and earned his watchmaking license. Because he proved himself to be ambitious and hard working, he was told of an opportunity that would allow him to start his own business in suburban Milwaukee. He jumped at the chance and bought a building located on Milwaukee Avenue in the growing suburb of South Milwaukee. He worked tirelessly 10-15 hours a day, six days a week to build his business, and succeeded, even after the Great Depression in the early ’30s.
His son, Kelvin D. Schroeder and his wife Lyla followed in his footsteps and continued the jewelry tradition. Kelvin D. attended the resident program of the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.) in Santa Monica, Calif., and earned his graduate gemology degree in 1972 after attending watchmaking school in Milwaukee. In 1989, he and his wife opened their store at the corner of Howell and Drexel Avenues in Oak Creek. Today, their children, Kelvin M. and Heather, represent the third generation of Kelvin Schroeder Jewelers.
Kelvin M., like his grandfather and father before him, had many jobs growing up that taught him the appreciation of high-quality jewelry and the value of hard work. Before working full time at the jewelry store, he honed his skills in the industry. He attended the G.I.A. (like his father) to earn his graduate gemology degree, and earned additional certification in advanced diamond grading, detecting synthetic diamonds, pearl grading, and precious metal assaying (determining their purity via testing). Kelvin M.’s sister, Heather, who is the office and accounts manager, graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Marquette University.
Growing up in the jewelry business was fascinating for the Schroeder siblings. Because of the nature of the industry, they learned to appreciate the beauty and value of precious gems and jewelry – from understanding mining operations, pearl culturing, metallurgy, artistic design, casting and fabrication processes. They are committed to implementing environmentally sound practices in all of their work.
In June 2019, the business moved to its current location, just a few blocks south at 8645 S. Howell Ave. (at Puetz Rd.). Customers can now experience a larger, more comfortable and modern showroom that enhances their shopping experience, and there is plenty of parking right out front. According to Kelvin M., “Operating a jewelry store in Oak Creek is both interesting and fun. It’s so enjoyable to meet wonderful people who love jewelry as much as we do. Our valued customers have ultimately become friends over the years.”
OAK CREEK’S PREMIER JEWELRY STORE
Always ready to serve, Kelvin Schroeder Jewelers offers a variety of designer lines
to keep things current and fresh for its customers. Kelvin M. explains how they love to bring in new lines that reflect the desires and attitudes of their fashionable clientele. But the business enjoys specializing in custom work the most. “We always seek to offer our customers the most current and sought-after designs, but our true passion is in custom-creating unique styles. And crowning them with top-quality, vibrantly colored exotic gemstones that ‘WOW!’ our customers is the icing on the cake,” Kelvin M. shares.
All of the staff at Kelvin Schroeder Jewelers are qualified to assist in the design of one-of-a-kind pieces, fabricating a unique piece of jewelry that brings a customer’s dream to fruition.
“In addition, we pride ourselves on selling ‘heirloom quality’ jewelry – well-made (not mass-produced) pieces that, along with top-quality gems, can last a lifetime and be passed down generation to generation,” he says
When asked how jewelry buying habits have changed over the years, Kelvin M. points out that the classics never seem to go out of style. “Jewelry trends may change, but the classics remain. Even the styles that seem to disappear for a time, make a resurgence later. Yellow gold jewelry is a perfect example.”
He recalls that “When our parents got married, plain gold rings were the norm. Now, although we can create nearly anything, we offer wedding bands in a wide array of precious metal combinations and/or cutting-edge materials such as Damascus steel, zirconium, carbon fiber, cobalt chrome, ceramic and tungsten – with custom finishes, patterns and inlays such as hardwoods and even real dinosaur bone or meteorite!” As for engagement rings, designs have changed over the years from simple and classic to more wild and complex styles, and men’s wedding bands have definitely changed.
“But our commitment to Oak Creek has not changed,” says Kelvin M. That’s why giving back to the community is such an important part of Kelvin Schroeder Jewelers. They have donated thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of volunteer service, as well as contributed to organizations such as the MACC Fund, Lion’s Club and the Rotary Club. Faith-based food pantries, Little League and other youth sports programs, local church/school fundraisers, the Police Department and the Oak Creek Community Center have all been beneficiaries of the store’s generosity. In addition, Kelvin Schroeder Jewelers has held educational seminars to provide information to the public regarding jewelry appraisals as they relate to wills and estate settlement.
Simply put, “We are proud to serve the great Oak Creek community – the people are terrific!” exclaims Kelvin M. “Everyone is very community-minded and caring. We also love being a part of the excitement as our community continues to grow and become a renowned city in Wisconsin.” Kelvin Schroeder Jewelers is grateful for the opportunity to continue its tradition as one of the oldest, independent family-owned/operated, full-service jewelry stores in Wisconsin. Honesty, hard work, integrity, educated product knowledge, value and a passion for serving its customers and community are the hallmarks for their success over the past 82 years.
An unusual and interesting story they share is about a phone call the store received from a customer whose preschool son was found playing at lunchtime with what looked like some sort of gem. The son’s teacher collected it and held it for safe keeping until the customer picked up her son and brought the stone into the jewelry store for identification. Immediately recognizing what it was, Kelvin M. asked with surprise, “WHERE did you say he found this again?” It seems the customer had lost her 1.00 carat diamond years ago and since then had Kelvin Schroeder Jewelers replace it. After all that time, the mystery of the missing diamond was finally solved – her son had found it in the bottom of his sock drawer!
Kelvin M. sums it up by saying, “We cherish the trust our customers place in us and will always do everything we can to take care of them and their jewelry needs. We feel it is a privilege to serve Oak Creek and the entire southeastern Wisconsin area.”
Stop in soon and experience first-hand their beautiful new showroom and personalized service. Where Kelvin Schroeder remains true to not just meeting its customers expectation, but exceeding them.