POLAND – When John Aebischer started Aebischer’s Jewelry in 1928, his approach to getting business was simple and effective.
The Swiss immigrant sat at a table behind the bay window in his Struthers shop and took apart his own watch and reassembled it several times a day.
Finally, someone – his very first customer – came in and said, “I see you work on watches. Mine isn’t working correctly. Can you fix it?”
That moment was the beginning of the American dream for John and his wife, Johanna, who had immigrated to the United States the year before.
Today, Aebischer’s Jewelry, 68 S. Main St. in Poland, is operated by the fourth generation of the family.
John and Johanna Aebischer arrived in America in the 1920s, unable to speak a word of English, expecting their first child, and hoping to find work in the then-bustling steel-producing area.
An experienced watchmaker, John’s tools were stolen shortly after coming to America. He worked for another jeweler for about six months before opening his own shop on Bridge Street in Struthers.
The shop would remain in the same location until 1976 when the family moved the business to its current site.
The Aebischer family serviced watches and clocks for years before adding jewelry repair to their capabilities. As time went on, the store began to sell watches and jewelry as well.
John and Johanna turned the business over to their son, Harold, in 1967.
Harold’s son, Doug, eventually joined the company to perform watch and clock repair. Doug attended Youngstown State University and earned his graduate gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America.
When Harold retired in 1996, Doug and his wife, Karen, assumed ownership of the store.
Doug and Karen’s sons, Adam and Alex, joined the business in 2009 and 2016, respectively.
Like his father, Adam earned his graduate gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America. Both he and Alex are certified jewelry repair technicians.
Pictured: Karen and Doug Aebischer, center, are pictured with their sons Alex, left, and Adam. All four are active in the business.