Our history begins nearly 70 years ago with a passion for fixing broken watches and clocks. Even as a young boy, Dale had talent for understanding what made something tick. He spent his High School summers as an apprentice in watch and clock repair for Jewelry stores in Celina and Piqua. After graduation he was accepted for his formal training at Bradley University After serving in the Air Force during the Korean war, he accepted a position at Kays Jewelry, a locally owned business, where his passion began to form his career.
With the courage and support of a believing spouse, Dale decided it was time to begin his own family business. He opened shop in 1963 with a single repair bench and one showcase just inside the front door of Rinks Bargain City. While Dale repaired watches 12 hours a day, his wife Betty kept the books. Together they raised eight children all of whom worked in the business after school from middle school on. From these humble beginnings, Von's became the largest jewelry store in the area when he relocated to the 2000 square foot Cable rd location in 1975. With this move the tradition of reserving Sunday for God and family began.
This move was the beginning of many opportunities. Shortly after this expansion two sons - Dennis and Larry joined the family business. They were the first Graduate Gemologists in the Lima area trained at the world renown Gemological Institute of America then located in Santa Monica California. Von's was also invited to join IJO and RJO two of the largest organizations in the industry.
Dale believed in Lima, supporting the community organizations financially and with his time. Serving on various United Way committees. Accepting an invitation to join Rotary, Dale helped the local River Walk become reality. His appreciation for music lead to serving as a board member for Lima Symphony Orchestra and president of the Symphony Mens Club.
It was about this time Dale introduced the Kneeling Santa statuette to the Lima area. Dale recognized the rich symbolism of this statue subordinating the commercialism of the season to the real reason for the celebration of Christmas.
Traveling to South America to establish resources for color gemstones and to the opal mines in Australia, Dale established important resources and friendships in the world of gemstones and diamonds. When Dale began traveling to Antwerp, Belgium it was very uncommon for an American jeweler. Most did not have the buying power that attracted the attention of the international market in Antwerp. Von's established a lasting relationship with one of the largest family business in the Diamond District.
When Dale retired to tennis courts and golf courses under warm sunny skies in 1996 his sons Dennis and Larry purchased the business. By 2000 it was time for another expansion. Having outgrown the Cable road location they built a new business center on Elida rd and moved Von's to its new 4000 sq ft home. Larry and Dennis continued many of the Von's traditions. Larry as Rotarian and Chamber of Commerce board member and Dennis in volunteer leadership roles with the local Catholic schools and board member of the Ohio Jewelers Association.
In 2007 Dennis sold all of his shares of the Vons Findlay Inc. to Larry and in 2009 Larry and Margot relocated to Findlay to operate the store on a daily basis.
The key to success of any organization is its people. Von's has been blessed with many talented people who have contributed greatly to our reputation for quality of product and service. We are particularly proud of Bob his 42nd year and Jill her 38th year with Von's.
This great group along with the other members of the Von's Team will help Stephanie Vondrell Stolly begins her career as the first of the third generation of Von's Diamonds and Jewelry.