After a decade of selling hand-crafted fine gold jewelry from their premier Cruz Bay store, Alice and Tom Krall will shutter Coral Bay Jewelers at the end of this year.
Christmas Eve, December 24, will be the last chance to stop by Coral Bay Jewelers’ Frank Powell Park store and see the Kralls.
The two are not packing it in, but have finally had enough of the retail world. Instead of their usual 70-hour work weeks with barely any time off, the Kralls are excited to rededicate themselves to their passions.
“I want to get back to my bench,” said Tom Krall. “We’ve been working 70-hour weeks and haven’t been able to get away for any length of time for 20 years. I’m 59 years old and I want to get back to my hands-on creative work.”
Tom Krall will spend more time at his work bench and easel — and perfecting his winemaking — while Alice Krall will focus on launching a metalsmithing school in Cruz Bay.
Coral Bay Jewelers’ many fans, however, need not fear. The pair’s unparalleled fine gold jewelry will be available exclusively at Verace, Caneel Bay Resort Gift Shop and at the new store which takes over the Krall’s current location.
“We’re going back to wholesale,” said Tom Krall. “The business plan was and still is to provide top quality, hand made, full service fine jewelry to the general public at wholesale pricing. We didn’t raise prices when we went retail.”
While details of who would be taking over Coral Bay Jewelers’ Cruz Bay space were still not definite as of press time, the Kralls expect another jewelery operation to move into the high-profile location.
Before opening in the Frank Powell Park location, the Kralls first opened a jewelery store in Wharfside Village in 1988, Tom Krall explained.
“We were wholesale on St. Croix before we came to St. John,” he said. “We had our first retail store in Wharfside in 1988, with the first choice of spots, center front on the water. Unfortunately, the back of Wharfside by design became the main entrance as DPNR did not allow development of the front-face to function as designed with a boardwalk and yacht docking.”
“It was still a great spot,” said Krall. “After 10 years there we closed for 18 months to have Khaleila and build a house.”
After the birth of their daughter, the Kralls opened shop on the other side of Frank Powell Park above Sparky’s as an “interim part time jewelry, part time daycare playhouse thing,” before settling into their current location.
Going back to wholesale is a happy return for the Kralls. Tom Krall has always been a painter and is looking forward to focusing on his creative work.
“I have always painted and always been a sculptor, working in many mediums, adding gold to that in 1983,” he said. “Retailing is extremely time consuming. I have more ideas about what I will do when we close then anyone could do in a lifetime.”
“First, I am expanding my winemaking,” said Tom Krall. “Everything else should follow neatly.”
With a Bachelor of Arts degree from Arizona State University in metalsmithing and a Master of Fine Arts degree in metalsmithing from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, Alice Krall has the most prestigious training possible in the field, as there is no doctorate.
With her expertise, 20 years of creating exquisite pieces on her bench and dedication to education — Alice is a former president of the Julius E. Sprauve School parent teacher student association and continues to be actively involved with the school — the metalsmith is excited to share her skill.
“Details on the school are not set yet, but we are targeting non-college bound youths out of high school, focusing on metalsmithing and practical jewelry business training,” Tom Krall said about the school his wife envisions kicking off on St. John.
Be sure to stop by Coral Bay Jewelers’ Frank Powell Park store while the Kralls continue to sell retail. For more infomation or to order check out www.stjohnjewelers.com or call the store at 776-6167