Warrenton Jewelers & Gifts flashes a diamond

By Posted on Sep 28 2018 | By

Tenth anniversary gemstone perfect symbol of shop’s success

If success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, there’s no doubt a popular jewelry shop in Warrenton defines the meaning of the word. What makes it all the more gratifying, it’s a husband and wife team that made it happen.

And they have no intention of backing off.

“We have no plans on retiring. We love our job. We love our business. We have become friends with many of our customers, even attending weddings and funerals. I couldn’t imagine life without this business,” said Erin Driver, co-owner along with her husband Jim, of Warrenton Jewelers.

Where would you go for jewelry repair, precious gems, fashion jewelry and more if the shop owners had an attitude like that? Of course.

It all started when the couple moved from Virginia Beach in 1984. Jim Driver was a bench jeweler and both newlyweds worked at legendary Bailey, Banks and Biddle, the jewelry shop founded in Philadelphia in 1832.

After moving to Gainesville, they were struck by an entrepreneurial lightning bolt and never looked back. Jim Driver opened a repair shop in the back of a jewelry shop at Fair Oaks Mall. Erin Driver, a mother of three young ones, navigated through every mall in Northern Virginia picking up repair jobs for delivery to her husband’s workbench.

“Jim worked ‘eight’ days a week back then. We had over 21 accounts that we serviced weekly. It was long, hard work but it allowed me to be a stay-at-home mom for my three children,” said Driver.

In 1997, the couple moved to Fauquier County while retaining the Fair Oaks Mall contract. “My kids were growing up and I began wondering what was I going to do when they were out of school,” said Driver. “I started planning for when the kids left.”

A shop is born
In October 2008, a leap of faith was taken when the Drivers opened Warrenton Jewelers during the middle of the Great Recession. They drew strength from a life of hard work and met the challenge of selling jewelry in tough financial times.

“It was the worst recession we’d ever been in. I had hope and faith in our model and believed we’d succeed. There was no option to fail. I never thought we would,” Erin Driver.

Their store was located in the Sears shopping center area until a landlord relocation forced them to consider a new site. Nothing available made sense to the jewelers. In the six years they had operated there, many of the other stores had closed down.

Selling jewelry to a declining customer base did not make sense and Erin Driver began exploring taking the business to the other side of Lee Highway to the Northrock Shopping Center.

“We found two side-by-side stores and enlarged them into one 2,800 square foot shop and moved in July 2014. It was two doors down from Harris Teeter. It was the best thing we ever did. There was a significant increase in business when we opened. We average about 50 customers a day,” said Driver.

It turned out the demographics in the newer shopping center were significantly different than from across the street. Customers drawn to the old store were often focused on repair work. The new location saw a dramatic increase in foot traffic with buyers centered not only on repairs but other products and services the shop offered.

The store is now a one stop jewelry center where repairs are made on any type of jewelry. Additionally, they sell ladies handbags, fashion jewelry, rent tuxedos for proms and weddings and more.

“We also sell custom jewelry. You can come in and design your own ring on our large computer screen,” said Driver.

In discussing how the jewelry business has changed over the years, Driver said gold used to go for $300 an ounce and today trades for as much as $1,300. “People do not dress up and wear expensive jewelry as in years past. My clientele is 75 percent women and they come in and buy fashion jewelry that ranges in price from $20 to $200.”

But if fine quality gems and diamonds are what a buyer is seeking, the shop delivers. It carries unique gifts that others stores don’t. “We stock hundreds of jewelry items and have free gift wrapping. I tell my customers if they were not here last week they missed something because our products change all the time.”

The store is opened Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are opened on Sundays during the month of December.

With such extensive hours, vacations are prized by the owners, right? “We don’t take vacations just a couple of days off here and there because I don’t want to leave my ‘baby’. We get up every morning and love coming into work. Jim and I still feel this way after all these years,” said Driver.

The message is clear. If you’re looking for jewelry and more, feel the love and dedication when you walk through the door of 524 Fletcher Drive or visit online at

Published in the September 26, 2018 edition of the Fauquier Times.

Categories : HAGARTY TALES