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The History Behind One of Boulder's Oldest Businesses: Hurdle's Jewelry

Category: Boulder Blog

Hello all, 

This week I took an in-depth look at the history of one of downtown’s oldest businesses. Hurdle's Jewelry store is a fourth-generation family-run business operating in downtown Boulder since the store was founded in 1947. After Chester L. Hurdle and his wife Bernice visited Boulder from Milan, Missouri, the couple decided to move the Hurdle family to Boulder for a retreat. The family sold their grocery store in Milan and took over a small jewelry business called Mosimian's in 1947. Soon, Chester and Bernice remodeled Mosiman's and opened the first Hurdle's Jewelry location in the spring of 1947, located on Pearl Street. Hurdle's remained in this location until 1953 when Chester decided to move to a bigger location on Pearl Street that allowed the store to sell a larger quantity of watches, china, jewelry, and other home items. Finally, in 1957 Hurdle's moved one last time to a different location on Pearl Street, where the store still stands today - on the corner of 14th and Pearl. 

While Chester was running the store, his son Chester B. Hurdle was off fighting in the Korean War until 1953, when he came back to assist his father in running the store. Once Chester Jr. returned from fighting in the Korean War, he began learning what it took to become an official jeweler. Chester Sr. ran the store until his passing in 1969. Chester Jr. and his wife Judy stepped into his role and continued to provide customers with the level of excellence and dedication that his father established when opening the store. Chester Jr.’s expertise and infectious personality made the store extremely popular amongst Boulder residents. 

Chester Jr.  ran the store until his passing in 2004 and handed it over to his son Keith, who has run Hurdle's ever since. Keith originally took  interest in the family business and began working at the store full time in 1978. Keith followed in his father's footsteps and became certified by the American Gemstone Society, continuing Hurdle's tradition of first-rate products. ( Hurdle's is one of two jewelers in Boulder to have the title of Registered Jeweler by the American Gem Society.) With the help of his daughter Nicole, Keith has kept the tradition of producing top-notch jewelry while broadening the business by becoming involved in social media and online shopping. Hurdle's maintains high caliber jewelry and personnel that made the store an iconic location in downtown Boulder. 

I had a chance to talk to Nicole about the history and interest in the family business. The store's rich history made it easy for Nicole to connect with the businesses early on. “It's an honor to be part of this family business. My great-grandfather opened Hurdle's Jewelry in 1947 just down the street from our current location. We moved to the corner of 14th & Pearl in 1957 and have been here ever since. I feel fortunate to have seen my grandfather work in-store before he passed and now with my dad operating the store, it has given me a wonderful space to grow and learn about the business. One of my favorite things is when one of my grandpa's bowling friends comes into the store and is able to tell me stories. Seeing continuous generations shop at our store is incredibly meaningful.”

As a result of the all the tradition of Hurdle's Jewelry, Nicole has become invested in advancing the business to ensure that Hurdle’s continues to be a staple of downtown Boulder. “ There is so much to learn from my dad [Keith Hurdle] and the generations before about how our business operates and why we have been able to stay around so long. At the end of the day, it boils down to helping our clients. We're a service oriented business and we operate with the intention to help anybody and everybody with their jewelry and watch needs. We do not do a lot of advertising, therefore we rely on our clients and community through word of mouth. One area of the business that I've been able to help expand is our social media and web presence. It's quite the undertaking but I absolutely love doing it. I'm hoping to continue expanding that element of our store as time continues.” Even after pleasing Boulder residents for more than 70 years, Hurdle’s Jewelry is still looking to make changes in order to continue growing and give customers a better experience. 

You can visit Hurdle’s online or at their store located in the Pearl Street Mall and follow them @hurdlesjewelry on Instagram and Facebook. 

Mentioned in this Post: Hurdle's Jewelry

Tagged:   Shopping

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