The Downtown Camas Association will host a ribbon-cutting this week for a business that — while new to Camas — has plenty of name recognition across the river.
William and Son Jewelers, a staple on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge in Gresham for nearly 30 years, is making a fresh start in downtown Camas with its new owners, Stephen and Carol Neciuk.
Stephen’s parents, Bill and Nila Neciuk, opened William and Son Jewelers in downtown Gresham in the 1990s and served the east Multnomah County community for 28 years before Bill decided to retire about six years ago.
Though Stephen had gone his own way in life, running a landscaping company that served the greater Portland-Vancouver metro area, he and his wife, Carol, were no strangers to the jewelry business. Carol had helped Stephen’s parents in their Gresham shop and Stephen grew up in the jewelry industry, with a father and uncles who had been watchmakers and goldsmiths for more than four decades.
In fact, Stephen had recently returned to the jewelry industry, and was helping his family run their Canada-based jewelry shop northeast of Vancouver, British Columbia, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Carol tried to travel between the couple’s Clark County home and Canada, but pandemic restrictions made traveling between the two countries difficult. Eventually, Stephen and Carol decided to leave Canada and open a William and Son Jewelers in Southwest Washington.
Having lived in the Hockinson area of Clark County for many years, Carol and Stephen were familiar with Camas, but said they hadn’t realized how much the city’s historic downtown had changed over the past 15 years, as it transitioned from the center of a sleepy mill town into a destination area filled with boutique shops, salons, art galleries and eateries.
“We didn’t know how great it was until we started coming down here with our daughter,” Carol said. “Now, we love it.”
With three of the couple’s four daughters and a young grandchild living in Camas, the city seemed like a perfect fit for the Neciuks.
The couple, who now live about a mile away from their new jewelry shop, said they’re looking forward to meeting new customers and talking to Camasonians about what they hope to see in their new neighborhood jewelry shop.
Stephen and Carol enjoy helping people restore heirloom jewelry — and create new pieces out of something that might hold sentimental value.
Stephen recalled one jewelry project that stands out in his mind: the three diamond pendants he crafted for a customer — using diamonds from the man’s recently deceased wife’s ring — to give to the couple’s three daughters as a way for the women to share their mother’s ring.
Carol said one of her favorite pieces of jewelry was the pendant a customer asked Stephen to craft for her soon-to-be daughter-in-law that took the shape of a fishing hook because she thought her son “had hooked a good one.”
Hearing customers’ stories is a big part of the fun for Stephen and Carol, but they also specialize in helping people find the perfect piece of jewelry for themselves or to give as a gift to a loved one. Stephen can restore and repair broken jewelry or even change a watch battery while a customer waits inside the modern boutique space, located at 210 N.E. Fourth Ave.
And, for those customers who prefer their jewelry to sparkle and glitter — but don’t like the idea of buying diamonds connected to conflict zones, William and Son Jewelers offers lab-grown diamonds and diamonds mined responsibly in northern Canada.
The DCA will celebrate the opening of William and Son Jewelers at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, during the association’s August First Friday festivities.
William and Son Jewelry is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit williamandsonjewelers.com or call 360-210-5555.
To see a list of the August First Friday events happening in downtown Camas from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, visit downtowncamas.com/event/summer-fun-and-flamingos-august-first-friday.