Featured premier Annieglass retailer, Dell Williams has seen a lot since opening their doors in 1927, two years before the crash that began the Great Depression. Their story of resilience in the face of adversity is one we can all learn from. We applaud the longevity of this 4th generation jewelry and fine gift store as they approach 100 years in business.
“Dell” Williams was an experienced watchmaker who also repaired the town clock at the entrance to downtown Santa Cruz, California. His 2 sons carried on the tradition and expanded the store, moving it twice.
Emily Coonerty, great granddaughter to Dell along with her mother Cindy Williams, granddaughter to Dell, own the business now. Emily registered for Annieglass for her wedding, entered and won a charity fundraiser with her beautifully set table. In 2015, when Annieglass retail moved to Silicon Valley, Emily shrewdly saw an opportunity. She took the remaining Annieglass inventory and with a designer, she created an entire showroom within Dell Williams; it was and still is a great success.
In the 1989, a major 7.1 earthquake destroyed most of the downtown and killed several people. Cindy says the building weathered the quake fine, but “the neighboring building was tilting, so we closed up and moved to the Bank of America building, because they had a safe there.”
Emily was just 10 years old when the quake hit. She was in ballet class a block from the store when it happened. She will never forget watching the buildings tumble down all around her.
The business was shuttered for several weeks but re-opened for the holidays that year. “We had the best Christmas we ever had,” remembered Cindy, “because people came downtown to support the businesses here. It was amazing. Nobody really expected it. We knew then we have to keep going.”
And that is exactly what they did- through many challenges like multiple recessions, theft, earthquakes, vandalism, and the most recent pandemic Dell Williams embodies resilience with style.
For more about this local iconic store, visit Dell Williams when only the finest will do.