Ron and Annette Henderson moved to Bend in 1979 and started a small jewelry shop to produce custom designed jewelry and repair for about a dozen local jewelers. At that time the population for Bend was 14,000 people.
Ron says, “ We developed lean operating principals in our business in those early years and in October of 1983 we got together with Bruce and Dana Plummer to open Saxon’s in the Bend River Mall.”
In 2005 Saxon’s had an opportunity to be a real part of Bend’s historic past when they were able to purchase the Power Station located in the heart of the Mill District. In June 2006 they opened the newly restructured three-story building with a new storefront on the ground floor.
This year marks their 30th year anniversary and Ron reflects on those early years, “We started by having a very simple inventory and lived from month to month. Working all day with customers and most of the nights repairing and building the custom jewelry. So those early years were very lean and they taught us the basics about being conservative in our business and making sure that we were always striving to deliver a better product.” Those principals of their business plan are still intact Ron offers, “We strived early to not get any additional loans in the first five years of business. That philosophy has helped us in leaner economic times as well as now.”
From early on Saxon’s strived to also be a strong community partner having been influenced by another Bend business owner Ron says. “At that time we met Dorothy Robberson from Robberson Ford and she gave us tickets to the Meal of the Year for COCC…we were humbled by the kindness from another business person and the stories of struggling students trying to better themselves…so from that time forward Saxon’s has been a part of the COCC Meal of the Year program and other fund raising endeavors throughout the years even in lean times, realizing we really did come here with nothing and have been blessed. We feel a strong commitment to give back to our community…that is a strong part of our culture here at Saxon’s.
“I think that when you have a culture of giving it certainly makes you feel good and I’m not just talking personally but I think Central Oregon is one of the better places I’ve been to as far as community support and people rallying to make things happen. It’s contagious and there is a fever out there when you see the many generous people…it can’t help but make you feel good to be here and be a part of it, when people are giving and things are happening you see it and you feel it and you want to join in. That is the testament for where we live.”
During the reconstruction of the Power House Ron was busy designing the interior and storefront for their new space he explains, “I wanted it my way so I did the drawings and design. At one point I built a foam core model for the contractor so he could understand the ceiling design. Brick is not seismically strong so steel had to be added from the inside to reinforce the structure. It was like building a ship in a bottle. The White Oak floors are nearly 100 years old reclaimed from Utah and I wanted it to look old with the warehouse feel but with the upscale store inside. That’s why we used copper and revealed the piping and inner structural workings like the large wood and steel beams. We tried to recreate the historic style on the exterior wherever possible with the brick styling and exterior details.”
Over the 30 years there have been several significant events that have shaped Saxon’s future, Ron says, “A real event was going to South Africa in 1994 with a third generation premier diamond cutter that was a site holder with DeBeer’s Diamonds allowing us to visit the mines and start a close relationship to becoming a dealer.
“Another milestone would be receiving word that we were being honored to receive the Rolex dealership, which is one of the toughest jewelry lines in the industry to get an account with. This was about eight years ago when we opened our new store so we are very proud to be a part of the very small and unique Rolex family.”
Saxon’s strives to be on the cutting edge of the market Ron explains, “ “Fashion jewelry can be way out there, but I think what is hot for us is and always has been are the classics…they were beautiful 30 years ago and they will be that way 30 years from now. Currently the Halo design is still popular and for diamonds the round gem is still king as it has the brightest cut.”
While the years have seemed to zip by to get to the 30th Anniversary year, Ron says, “I think what is exciting for us is when we opened our store my daughter was six months old and now she is practically running the show. She is our main buyer and merchandiser having completed college with a business degree. She is showing us that her young blood has some great things to say about the future and she really excites me with what she has to bring to the table.”
With the anniversary year now underway Ron concludes, “We have been truly blessed with a strong following from our loyal customers and proud of our strong staff, many of them have been here from 12 to 25 years, making us feel good and confident about our service. We are feeling good about 2014 because 2013 was strong. I think it makes our clients feel good seeing friendly recognizable faces and receiving excellent service into our future years”
Saxon’s Fine Jewelers
360 Powerhouse Dr. #110, Bend, OR 97702
CEO/Owner: Ron & Annette Henderson, Bruce Plummer
No. Employees: 12 Year
Products: Fine jewelry, Rolex Watches, Exclusive Diamond line
Service: provide appraisals of all kinds including, but not limited to, fine jewelry, diamonds, gemstones, sterling flatware, watches and more. Appraisers are both well-educated and experienced and their accredited gemologist can properly identify and grade diamonds and colored stones.
Hot News: Thirty Year Anniversary 2014
Outlook for Growth: anticipate at least 20 percent or more growth for 2014.