David Walker raised his three children, Brian, Brad and Olivia, with the mindset that they were free to follow whatever career paths they pleased. Yet today, all three work for their father’s Shreve, Crump & Low, the Federal-era, Boston-based jeweler that has had a home on Greenwich Avenue since 2014.
“Jewelry has been a passion for all of us. When you are a third-generation jeweler, it is in your DNA,” the siblings said in an email interview. “None of us were expected to join the family business. Our parents always encouraged us to do what we love.”
Their close-knit relationship is exemplified by their choice to respond to our recent interview by collaborating on their responses rather than answering individually. They explained that their upbringing taught them to be supportive as well as reliant on each other, which has extended into their young adult lives.
Of working with siblings, they say, “It is not for everyone, but the three of us happen to love working and we love working together.”
The biggest challenge for the Walkers is not working alongside each other, but rather the three-to-four-hour drive between Shreve’s Massachusetts stores and its newer Greenwich emporium.
“Communication over multiple locations can be a challenge for any evolving company. There are always challenges having a family split,” they said.
But working together fills the void. Their Sunday night tradition involves a sit-down dinner with family, friends or both as a way of “being present with each other” and staying close, although this tradition is often strained by the distance among family members.
Having grown up with the jewelry business, the Walker children pride themselves on their efforts to become skilled in as many areas as possible. Middle-child Brad and youngest Olivia went on to become certified gemologists after graduating college. They explained that one of the greatest benefits of working so closely with one another is that they are always able to pick up where a sibling has left off. Rather than defining themselves by their individual titles, they instead focus on their passion for jewelry and watches and assist one another when needed.
“It’s not only creating and appreciating beautiful craftsmanship,” the Walkers said, “but it is also the excitement we receive from being able to help celebrate different milestones in customers’ lives.”
Customers from Westchester, Fairfield and even Manhattan choose Shreve’s for its centuries-long history and reputation as a purveyor of luxury jewelry. Whether selling an engagement ring, handling hardware such as the Davis Cup – see sidebar — or selling a Rolex, the Walkers handle their jobs with the same poise and passion as those who have been in the business for decades longer.
“Every day we are building the Shreve, Crump & Low legacy,” the Walkers said of the business, crediting continuing innovation for the company’s continued success. “Greenwich is a new home base for us that provides us many new opportunities, and we are excited to grow here for many years to come.”
“We simply consider ourselves stewards to a historic brand name. There will be big things to come for Shreve, Crump & Low.”
Spoken like a true class act.
For more, visit shrevecrumpandlow.com.