Richard Veader became a jeweler’s apprentice in downtown Boston in 1981. Five years later, he opened his first store in the Greenwood section of Wakefield. His full‐service jewelry store has been a mainstay in Wakefield since 1985, and is now occupying a visible storefront in the Alano building at 364 Main Street. He and his wife, Mary Jo, give their loyal customers the kind of special attention that makes a small, locally‐owned store unique. As Richard says, “We try to please everyone.” He enjoys the artistic nature of his business, selecting jewelry that is appealing to the eye, and helping people re-purpose old jewelry.
Richard’s commitment to Wakefield is demonstrated by more than the fact that he has kept his business here from the start. He designs “gazebo” jewelry – earrings, pendants, money clips, rings – that exhibit one of Wakefield’s most prominent landmarks. He sells watches that feature Wakefield Jewelers on the dial. He has created a loyal customer base. His watch battery program is popular, where the sixth battery is free. Generations from the same family come to Wakefield Jewelers because they value and trust Richard’s expertise. People will come in to buy diamonds and wedding bands because their parents before them bought their wedding bands from him. These purchases are often emotional ones, since customers are usually celebrating a milestone in their lives or the lives of their children. In fact, while Richard was being interviewed for this story, someone came in looking for pearl earrings for her daughter’s first communion. The customer found just what she needed and was out the door in a matter of minutes.
Wakefield Jewelers specializes in buying and selling estate jewelry and diamonds. All around the store is evidence of these treasured items. Often, people will bring in a treasured item seeking Richard’s advice on what to do with a piece that can be reset and be used in an entirely different way. Richard does a lot of bench work and always has his jeweler’s visor on his head so that he can see the jewelry magnified and up close. This detail‐oriented work involving the resetting of stones, watch detailing, or repairing of items is done mostly in the back room at his jeweler’s bench. Most of the time people get their jewelry back within a week or less, and sometimes what is needed can be done right on the spot.
Richard likes the activities that are organized to attract people to the downtown, particularly the Holiday Stroll, which often brings new business into his shop. He and his wife love the organized trick‐or‐ treating in the downtown. They give out lots of candy and enjoy seeing families out and about.
It is evident that Richard is doing work that he is passionate about. When asked what he would like to see more of in Wakefield to help his and other businesses, he immediately said more parking would be great. He is a member of the Wakefield‐Lynnfield Chamber of Commerce. He said more flowers out front would also enhance the look of Main Street. His commitment to fast service was evident because, while he enjoyed talking about why he loves his work, he was eager to get back to doing the jewelry repairs at his bench in the back room. Mary Jo would continue to greet the customer traffic, knowing that soon enough, someone would specifically ask for Richard to come give his input. “People love and trust him,” she said.
Wakefield Main Streets, Inc, is a 501 (c)3 organization that was established in 2014 and works to establish and promote downtown Wakefield as a vibrant, inviting destination by fostering historic preservation, economic renewal, and community involvement.”
Wakefield Main Streets: Revitalizing Downtown Together