Upper Arlington News

Jeweler will expand at Hamilton Capital building


A multigenerational Upper Arlington jewelry business will enter the retail fray following its planned expansion in the Hamilton Capital office building.

Working with precious metals and jewels is in Jeff Johnson's blood.

Johnson's grandfather was a jeweler. He himself was born and raised in Upper Arlington, and he formerly co-owned the Diamond Cellar with his brother, Andy.

His son now works alongside him at Jeff Johnson & Co. at 5025 Arlington Centre Blvd., Suite 130.

Five years ago, Johnson opened his studio in the Hamilton Capital office building, where it has largely served as a wholesale trade shop, repairing and manufacturing jewelry for other jewelers.

Now, the 50-year goldsmith and diamond-setter wants to expand his space from 1,400 square feet to 3,200 square feet, and plans to diversify.

"We are a custom-design and very service-oriented business," Johnson said. "We're now going to have some showcases to highlight our work and other people's work, and we're going to be servicing the general public."

Johnson said the expansion will cost "into the six figures," and he hopes the venture will yield ongoing success for his family business.

"It's a great thing," he said. "It's multigenerational.

"I'm in it, my grandfather was in it, my son is in it and hopefully, my grandson will be in it. We already have 150 years of experience."

According to an Upper Arlington Planning Division staff report, Jeff Johnson & Co. is expected to have 30 mostly full-time employees sometime following the expansion.

"Jeff Johnson Studio falls in line with 'luxury retail,' as a majority of the individual items offered for sale exceed $150," the report stated.

Upper Arlington Community and Economic Development Manager Bob Lamb called the expansion project "exciting."

Johnson concurred, saying it will allow him to do the type of work he's sought for some time.

"I did the big-jewelry-store thing," he said. "We're going to do the fun stuff.

"We're going to highlight our work and continue to do custom work."

Demolition work for the expansion is underway, and Johnson said he hopes the revamped store will be fully operational before Nov. 1.