With five days until Christmas, Greg Tornes, 41, of Waterford was a man on a mission-a finding-a-Christmas gift for his wife mission, that is.
Leaning over the glass topped counter at Marietta's Kay Jewelers in River's Edge shopping center Thursday, he checked out the diamond wedding bands gleaming inside.
"My wife, Heidi, lost her wedding band and she's wanting a new one," said Tornes.
SHARON BOPP The Marietta Times
Sales associate Rob Florence helps a customer at the new Kay Jewelers’ store in Marietta Thursday. The store had its grand opening Thursday.
And Mrs. Tornes has made sure her hubby knows what's at the top of her Christmas wish list this year.
"She's been leaving very good hints, saying 'You know what I want for Christmas,'" Tornes laughingly said.
Brady Campbell, 19, of Waterford didn't have to worry about his mother's Christmas list, just about picking up her gift at Kay Jewelers Thursday.
Where: River's Edge shopping center, 239 Captain D. Seeley MIA Drive, Suite 14A, Marietta.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Christmas Eve.
For information: 374-8276; kay.com.
"My dad picked it out a week or two ago, and asked me to pick it up when I came down to Marietta," Campbell said of the diamond cross pendant from the jewelry store's Open Hearts by Jane Seymour collection.
Asked if he'd like the present gift wrapped for free, Campbell was quick to accept the offer. Minutes later, his golden gift-wrapped package was slipped in a Kay's bag and his Christmas "shopping errand" was done.
"I'd come here again if I had other jewelry needs," said Campbell. "It's close and convenient."
The Kay Jewelers store opened Oct. 19, and celebrated its grand opening Thursday.
The convenience of a Marietta location for Kay Jewelers was not lost on Andy Coleman, city of Marietta's development director, who was attending the store's grand opening celebration Thursday.
"It's the convenience of having it here locally and not having to go to the mall," said Coleman.
Marietta's location matters to Kay Jewelers, too, according to David Bouffard, vice president of public relations for Kay Jewelers' parent company.
"Marietta is important to us because we try to locate our stores, especially at this time of year, where it is convenient for our customers to access the range of unique and differentiated product assortments they may see advertised on television," he said.
Kay Jewelers is an important addition to the variety of jewelry stores in Marietta, said Charlotte Keim, president/CEO of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce.
"We lost a jewelry store a couple of years ago when Mel's Diamond House shut down," she said. "It's nice to have another jewelry store in town, particularly that side of town."
With a fourth jewelry store now open for business in Marietta, there is much to offer area residents in the way of unique sparklers and other jeweled treasures.
"It offers people more choices," said Keim, referring to Baker & Baker, Goldline Jewelry and Jewelry by Design.
"The stores all will have diamond rings, but they will all have different types of diamonds," she said.
Kay Jewelers' inventory includes Open Hearts by Jane Seymour, Neil Lane Bridal and Neil Lane Designs, LeVian, The Leo Diamond, Tolkowsky and Charmed Memories, Bouffard said.
Keim said she sees the arrival of Kay Jewelers in Marietta as an indicator that Marietta's economy is improving.
"Any national or regional store looks very closely at the markets to try to anticipate whether there is the demand and demographics that would support their business," said Keim.