Trust and confidence are the keys to lasting success for Gause & Son Jewelers, says CEO and third-generation proprietor Cammie McLeod.
“This is our 71st year – the store was opened in 1950 by my grandfather, Otha Gause – and then my dad, Jerry Gause, came out of college and the military and took over the business from his father,” McLeod says.
“We’re more than a business success. We’re dedicated to the creation of a memorable buying experience and sharing our passion for diamonds.… My father created that ambiance making our client’s buying experience memorable for generations. The sales staff and our manager Sandi Barnett and staff have always been trained to maintain trust and confidence, with the goal of matching our customers with the perfect diamond.
“We have great employees that all share in the success of our business – we couldn’t do it without them. We love our customers, and 10 years ago we remodeled our downtown store to a beautiful 4,500-square-foot shopping experience with an area for relaxing also.”
Seven decades on, the jeweler has become an institution in Ocala, Florida, thanks to a reliance on the key values that started it all.
“We are the mainstay jewelry store here in Ocala,” McLeod says. “Our family takes pride in being in business for 71 years, and we will continue the success of our business for years to come. You create an identity in the community and it’s wonderful to run into customers when you’re out to dinner and they tell you what a wonderful experience it was in our store and how happy they are with their beautiful piece of jewelry.”
The store’s market area stretches across north central Florida, with Ocala situated north of Orlando, south of Jacksonville, and smack between the peninsula’s east and west coasts.
“Ocala is in central Florida, and we have the best of both worlds right in the middle of the state,” McLeod says. “We are considered the horse capital of the world, with Kentucky Derby winners, beautiful springs, hiking, biking, tennis and a lot of golf.”
McLeod says the store made it through the pandemic crisis largely thanks to her father’s planning habit.
“My dad has always been the type of businessman who always planned. He’s my mentor. He also gave me good advice a long time ago. He said you always have to plan for a crisis and be prepared, and always have a progressive but reserved business plan.”
As pandemic protocols begin to relax, McLeod says the whole family is looking forward to normal operations.
“It’ll be great to see people again, starting to venture out. The older people have gotten their shots, and they’ll be coming in.”
Her father Jerry and mother Teddie Gause both love to be in the store where it all happens.
“We love the jewelry industry, making people happy, the staff, the customers. We all have that passion, that drive. My mother, she’s a huge component of the business, she’s the spark and energy of the company. And my father, he loves the people coming in, and hearing that wrapping paper crackle!”