“Jewelry is a symbol of love and adornment,” says Amy Hart, owner with her husband Brad, of Hauser’s Jewelers in City Center. Amy is the fifth generation in her family to own and operate the store. For 122 years Hauser’s has been serving its loyal customers, offering beautiful jewelry, product knowledge and integrity.
“Our diamond jewelry is our best seller,” says Amy. Jewelry is a reminder of happy times, celebrating engagements, birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. Hauser’s offers unique “signature” items. “I design them with specific customers in mind,” says Amy with a smile.
Hauser’s also features jewelry from “brand name” companies. Its website has photos of some of its extensive inventory, including stacking rings and tennis bracelets. There are also canine items, such as a velvet dog collar.
Inspired by her artistic daughter, Amy designed a line of “smiley jewelry.” “She drew smiley faces on everything,” says Amy. A string of jewels is shaped like a smile. “It has been very popular,” Amy says. “It appeals to everyone.” This jewelry is available in necklaces, bracelets and other items.
“Jewelry purchases are not always gifts,” Amy says. Many of her customers buy for themselves. “We have many regular customers and we have been fortunate to add new ones through print ads, direct mail and social media.”
Most of Hauser’s clientele is local (Williamsburg to Southside). “However, we do have out-of-town customers,” she says. “One is from Germany. We also sell online.”
In addition to custom design, Hauser’s offers appraisals, repairs, alterations and complimentary cleaning.
Hauser’s is very proud of its 122-year history. In 1898, Alfred Jacob Hauser opened a watch repair shop in Newport News. He was born in France and came to Newport News by way of New York City, where he worked for Tiffany and Co. In 1915, his twin sons, Jake and Page, joined the business, located on 26th Street in Newport News. And in 1957, Jake’s son Alfred opened a store in Hilton Village. This store moved to Hidenwood Shopping Center and the downtown store closed in 1970. Lee, Alfred’s son, joined the business. A store was opened in the Langley Shopping Center in Hampton. In 1986, the Hidenwood store closed and Alfred retired. Lee and his wife Vicki opened a store in Coliseum Crossing Shopping Center in Hampton. In 1998, the 100th anniversary year, Hauser’s moved to City Center in Oyster Point. Daughter Amy, who had been working summers, became full time. She and her husband Brad took over in 2014.
Brad Hart is from upstate New York and went to college there. He majored in sales and management. His first job was in a jewelry store and he decided to make that his career. He has spent 32 years in the jewelry business and is registered with the American Gem Society. He responded to an ad placed by Hauser’s, was hired and has been here ever since. “My real passion is watches,” he says.
“Brad and I worked together for seven years before we dated,” Amy says.
Amy grew up in Newport News. She graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in fine arts. She also has a Master’s degree from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
The Harts have a son and a daughter. They enjoy kayaking on the James River and in lakes in the Adirondacks. Brad’s family has a cabin there. “We are strictly ‘calm water’ kayakers,” says Amy. They also enjoy snow skiing.
Future plans call for more emphasis on unique jewelry designs available only at Hauser’s. Amy hopes to devote more time to designing. And she will encourage her daughter, “a budding designer.”
For Amy, jewelry is “happy.” And whether one is selling it or wearing it, Amy is correct.
TO THE POINT:
Address: 701 Mariners Row, Ste. 108, Newport News VA 23606
Contacts: Brad and Amy Hart, owners