16 RETAILER HALL OF FAME 2019 B eing located in College Station, Texas, a town that largely revolves around Texas A&M University, puts David and Julia Gardner in a unique position, as the makeup of their customer base differs from the average U.S. retail jeweler. At David Gardner’s Jewelers & Gemologists, they at- tract the international figures who visit the university and the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, which sits on campus. Being in a college town—particularly one where the undergrad- uate enrollment tops 50,000—also means they have many young consumers to target. And with them a group of alumni who—at- tached as all Aggies are to their alma mater—return to campus again and again, bringing with them another opportunity to sell. “Our marketing opportunity operates on several fronts because of this—we operate with a huge young market as far as engagement rings go. We operate with the professionals in the community. And third would be the former students who become very connected to the community and A&M,” David says. That might seem like a varied group to cater to, but between Da- vid’s talent for design and Julia’s marketing acumen, the Gardners have managed to carve out a niche that is unmatched in the area. “The strength of the business is the duo … each one has extreme strengths in certain areas, and in each of those areas they comple- ment one another,” says friend and Underwood Jewelers President Clayton Bromberg. The way the store is set up—to focus on the design process—“puts them in a uniquely qualified position to compete in College Station,” he adds.The couple’s expertise and knowledge is also backed by David and Julia Gardner have utilized their complementary skill sets to carve out a niche in College Station, Texas. BY BRECKEN BRANSTRATOR David and Julia Gardner have shown the ability to evolve, shifting the focus of their store a few years ago to emphasize David’s original designs, seen in the background here. DAVID AND JULIA GARDNER SINGLE-STORE INDEPENDENT INDUCTEES BETTER TOGETHER 2019 RETAILER HALL OF FAME