After 41 years, Ustinov Jewelers closes its doors

By Mary Macedo | Aug 31, 2017
Photo by: Mary Macedo Bill Ustinovich fixes a watch battery.

With 41 years of history and second-generation jewelers behind the display cases, Dartmouth’s Ustinov Jewelers has remained a family-run business since opening in 1976.

But as retired owners Bill and Linda Ustinovich prepare for a move down south, their sons Bill and Randy Ustinovich have made the decision to close up the store on Faunce Corner Road, and marked their last full week of operation on August 31.

"We want to spend more time with our aging parents," Bill said. "We plan to move them to Florida for this winter, and then they will come back to Massachusetts for one more summer before they move to Florida permanently."

Bill worked in the jewelry store with his parents when they first opened the store. Even today, Bill said he still recognizes customers who have been shopping there for decades, even after his parents retired.

"My brother and I took over the business ever since our parents retired in the early 2000's," Bill said.

Despite closing for new sales, Bill isn’t quite done yet. The store will stay open through the month of September only on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"I have a lot of customers who still have items to be picked up," he said. "I have had more work than ever… customers want to get jewelry fixed one last time from us."

Having owned a local business for so many years, Bill really got to know his customers.

"I am going to miss the customers the most, coming in with their stories," Bill said.  "Some of these people have been coming in for 40 years. I've watched people grow up and see their children... it's a lot of fun."

Throughout the years, the brothers have made connections with their customers and made an impact on the community. One of the things Bill is most proud of is when he and Randy began donating money to the Sister Rose House homeless shelter in New Bedford.

"Ten years ago Sister Rose came in to get a new watch battery, and I didn't want to charge the nun $5 for a watch battery," Bill said.

He explained that they decided to collect the $5 they charged customers for new watch batteries to give to Sister Rosellen Gallogly to help the homeless.

"Some customers we had never even came in to buy jewelry, they came to get their watches fixed and to donate," he said. "For the past 40 years we have always been most known for fixing watches."

The desk at the jewelry store is filled with jars and vases full of watch batteries.

"They are nice to look at, but they are worth money," Bill said.

He added that a jewelry store in Boston is planning on purchasing all of the watch batteries for $500.

"That $500 will be the last check we donate to the Sister Rose House," he said. "I am going to miss it."

Once the store closes, he will try to rent or sell the building. His brother Randy, who was the main jeweler at Ustinov Jewelers, is now working at Silva and Co. in the Dartmouth Mall. If previous customers still want their items fixed by the Ustinovich family, they should visit Randy there, Bill said.

Bill’s future, however, is up in the air.

"I have no idea what I will be doing after this. I'll see where the good lord takes me,” he said.

Ustinov Jewelers trying to sell the last of their items. (Photo by: Mary Macedo)
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