With Brian Comstock’s recent announcement that he plans to retire on Dec 1, a multi-generational Edmonds mainstay is poised to enter a new phase.
The profusion of big box stores and online sales means that third-generation brick and mortar businesses are becoming as rare as the once-abundant sea stars on our beaches. But Edmonds is a special kind of place, and there’s something here that nurtures values like family, community and connectedness. That special something is certainly found at Comstock Jewelers, as Brian prepares to pass the business on to the next generation.
It’s been four decades since Robert and Geraldine Comstock opened their home-town jewelry store in the heart of Edmonds in 1978. A family affair from the start, their young son Brian was a familiar face behind the counter, helping customers and learning the jewelry trade, his signature smile making him a bright thread in the fabric of our community.
The shop had only been open a few years when a customer walked in who would change Brian’s life forever.
“I needed to get my watch fixed,” recalled Erin Comstock. “Brian helped me. He was so nice and genuine, a little shy, but a great smile.
“And I couldn’t help noticing some chemistry,” she added with a wink.
The two continued seeing each other, love blossomed, and they married. As she became part of the family, Erin also became part of the business, and she and Brian have been partners in life and work ever since.
The store remained a family operation into the new century. When the business eventually passed to Brian and Erin, they continued the tradition of personal service, bringing warmth and a smile to each transaction.
But just as Brian and Erin took up the business from Brian’s parents, the time has now come to pass the torch again.
“I am very grateful to have been a part of the Edmonds community for all of these years,” reflected Brian. “You are like family to me, and I am forever grateful for every opportunity you have given me to serve you. It’s hard to describe the feeling I get today when I help the grandchildren of my first customers pick out wedding jewelry for each other. It gives me the chance to be part of something bigger.”
And who will the new owner be?
“That would be me,” chimed in Brian and Erin’s son Jacob Comstock, who looks forward to continuing and building on the family legacy. Asked if he plans to pass the business on to future generations, he was cagey: “It’s a little early to think about that,” he laughed.
And heads up all you holiday shoppers: In celebration of what Brian calls “this momentous occasion,” the store is holding a gala retirement sale during the holidays.
“We’ll have special treats and snacks in the store, and savings of up to 65 percent on items in the showroom,” he says. “So drop in, say hello, and let us wish you Happy Holidays!”
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel