By Brecken Branstrator
Kevin Main Jewelry Design & Studio, which has been located in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo for 20 years, will close when all the inventory from the store has been sold.
San Luis Obispo, Calif.—A well-known California retailer is closing up shop after more than four decades in business.  

San Luis Obispo jewelers Kevin and Kathi Main of Kevin Main Jewelry Design & Studio are set to retire after the 45-year-old business closes by the end of the year.

Kevin Main first opened Kevin Main Jewelry in 1973 as a small, one-man silver shop in Morro Bay, California. It was there that he honed his skills as a designer, craftsman and businessman.

In November 1998, Kevin and his wife moved the business to San Luis Obispo, opening a showroom in the heart of the city’s downtown. They purchased the building from the owner in 2004 and have since expanded and renovated the space.

Kevin Main Jewelry—which offers custom work as well as brands like Hearts On Fire, Benchmark, Marco Bicego and Alex Sepkus—was voted Best Jewelry Store 12 times in the New Times San Luis Obispo “Best of SLO County” reader poll.

The business will remain open until all of its current inventory is sold, which they expect to happen by the end of the year. They will hold an invitation-only event this Wednesday, Nov. 14 night to kick off their closing sale and then will open to the public at 12 p.m. on Thursday.

The Mains are looking to lease the space as a turnkey operation to someone in the jewelry business, along with the furniture, fixtures, equipment, infrastructure and database, so that all they’d have to do is “put their sign on the door and their inventory in the case,” Kathi Main said.

They added that it is the perfect space for a jewelry retailer, located in a bustling downtown area.

When asked why they felt the time was right to retire, Kevin Main told National Jeweler they wanted to “end on a high note.”

20181113 Kevin Main insertAnother shot of the interior of Kevin Main Jewelry
An ultra-distance bicyclist, he wants to tackle more long distances rides, and he and his wife both want to travel and visit friends, especially those in the industry they have made over the years across the country.

“I love this industry,” he said. “It’s been a great, awesome career.”

Other notable independents that have closed in 2018 include Massachusetts’ Monahan & Co. and Boerne, Texas-based The Green Bull Fine Jewellery Couture.

According to the Jewelers Board of Trade, the total number of business listings in North America (Canada and the United States)—including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers—was down almost 5 percent in the third quarter of 2018.

In the United States, 39 new retailers opened in the three-month period, as compared with 34 the year earlier, while 155 retailers ceased operations during the quarter, compared with 146 in the prior-year period.

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Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.