Decades-old Bashinski jewelry store gets face lift

After 30 years of selling jewelry out of his store at 1126 Riverside Drive, Stephen Bashinski said it’s time for a change.

His giving the store, Bashinski Fine Gems & Jewelry, a face-lift.

“It’s long overdue,” he said.

Bashinski had plans to leave the location about a year ago to move into The Shoppes at River Crossing, Bibb County’s newest major retail hub.

He’s glad those plans didn’t pan out.

“It was bad timing ... the economy went south,” Bashinski said.

So he’s staying put in an area where his business has grown during the past three decades.

The renovations will include a new facade, offices for his staff and a private room for customers.

“When you drive by, you won’t know it’s the same place,” Bashinski said.

He said customers can still expect the same level of service, though.

Bashinski and his friendly staff will still offer free beverages and free jewelry cleanings to customers and people just stopping in for a look.

Business is on the mend, Bashinski said, after a challenging period in the economy.

“Anyone who tells you they were not affected (by the economy) is not telling you the truth,” Bashinski said. “We’re getting back to where we were before.”

As consumers get back to spending, Bashinski wants to remind them of something.

“Diamonds are as low as they’ve been in years,” he said. “It’s a great time to buy a diamond.”

Bashinski also recently upgraded the store’s record-keeping, storing all of his customer files electronically. A customer needing appraisal information or a copy of a receipt previously had to wait for him to sort through mountains of paperwork. That type of information is now available within minutes with a few strokes on the keyboard.

Bashinski said he expects the store to close for five days during construction, but he’s not sure yet which days.

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To contact writer Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.