PLATTSBURGH — Uniquely Kneucraft.
That is the motto at Kneucraft Fine Jewelry and Design, which moved into its new store at 672 Route 3 in the Town of Plattsburgh on Monday. Owner Shawn Kneussle said the new store, at 3,000 square feet, is twice as large as his previous location.
“I feel since day one of our opening the foot traffic has been incredible,” he said, adding that it is rewarding to hear many of those customers say they were referred by a friend.
Created own design
While the business did well at the previous location, Kneussle didn’t own that property. That limited what he could accomplish, both with the look of the business as well as the work that could be done.
“In designing our new store, we created a design studio,” Kneussle said.
The new location also includes a full casting facility and a separate room for mass finishing. Kneussle said the final finishing continues to be done by hand, but the mass-finishing equipment shaves hours off the process.
Kneucraft features a Revo mill that runs with Rhino computer-assisted-design software. That software can help a customer visualize what the finished piece will look like.
Kneussle said Arnold Williams, a friend of his, did the renovations over about a month-and-a-half. Kneussle said he appreciates touches such as the crown molding above the walls and around the windows.
“His attention to detail is tremendous,” he said.
The interior is bright, with gleaming jewelry displayed in many cabinets and showcases. Cream colored walls and light brown carpet provide a relaxing atmosphere.
Kneussle said the staff at Champlain National Bank has been very supportive in assisting the growth of the business.
He and his wife, Kimberly, do a lot of international traveling to find the gems they use.
“Our goal on these buying trips is to be extremely selective in buying gemstones,” he said. “We find natural stones you don’t find at other stores. We use those to create the special pieces for the store.”
Kneucraft said his focus has always been on custom jewelry, but he does carry a few select brands to help round out what he can offer. In addition to custom creations, Kneucraft offers pieces from the Gabriel and Co. collection, the Chamilia collection, watches by Bulova and Skagen, Sara Blaine sterling silver and Dancing Diamonds.
The staff includes Manager Josh Walker, Head Jeweler Wayne Plumadore, full-time jewelers Tim Ryan and Kelsey Newell and full-time sales associate Susie Williams.
“I’ve intentionally surrounded myself with good people and they have made my business what it is today,” he said.
Kneussle said he started in the business with Glennpeter Jewelers in 1991. He later returned to Plattsburgh and opened the original Kneucraft location in 2005.
They have created more than 1,000 models during that time, Kneussle said.
His family came to Plattsburgh when his father, Bob, was assigned to Plattsburgh Air Force Base in 1983. Kneussle grew up in Morrisonville and is a graduate of Saranac Central School.
That was where he met his wife, Kimberly.
“She is my biggest supporter and has helped me a great deal with the growth of the business and where we are today,” Kneussle said.
Tradition carried on
The couple have four children, all of whom still live in the area. He said one son, Ryan, is going to graduate from Saranac Central School this year and plans to attend the New Approach jewelry school in Tennessee soon after graduation, the same school that two of his employees attended.
It appears he won’t be the only one going into the jewelry business. He said his youngest daughter, Emily Mae, asked to help when he was having trouble finding inspiration and designed what became the Emma Pooh line within about 10 minutes.
“I was elated that this 10-year-old girl was thinking outside the box,” Kneussle said. “At 10 years old, she’s already a big help.”
Kneucraft Fine Jewelry and Design is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, with extended hours during the holiday shopping season. Payment is by cash, check or major credit card, Kneussle said, adding that he works closely with UFirst Federal Credit Union to help customers who need financing assistance.
For more information, visit www.kneucraft.com or call 561-1176.
Email Dan Heath:firstname.lastname@example.org