The closing of a Dunwoody mainstay, Camelot Jewelers, has created a firestorm of finger-pointing and threats as former customers scramble to find the items they had entrusted the establishment to repair or repurpose.
The business, which had been in operation for 46 years and had a devoted following, abruptly shut its doors on June 16, and referred its customers to Artisan Jewelers for future purchases and repairs.
However, a message on the NextDoor website posted by the owner, Mike Pearce, on June 17 said the business was moving to a new location.
Several customers have left notes on the front of the now-shuttered establishment trying to find their jewelry, and dozens of social media posts have excoriated Pearce for his lack of transparency about the store’s demise.
Tracy Notte said she is one of many people left in the dark about the location of her jewelry.
“I left my chain there on June 9 and the guy told me that it would be a week to 10 days before it would be ready,” Notte posted on NextDoor. “I have to believe that they knew when I dropped off my jewelry that they had no intention of returning it.”
After learning of the store’s closure, Notte said she called and texted Pearce and told him that if she didn’t hear from him, she would be filing a police report. She said Pearce did not respond to any of her entreaties. Several other people posted that they had experienced the same lack of communication when they reached out to Pearce.
Notte later found out that two boxes of Camelot’s jewelry were dropped off at Jewelry Artisans at some point after the closure.
“The lady at Artisan said the boxes were a huge mess, no tickets, just jumbled pieces of jewelry and watches, and that there is no way she can find my property for at least a week,” Notte said. “They need time to sift through the unorganized boxes and therefore I’m not confident that my chain is actually there.”
Jewelry Artisans’ owner Jamie Kresl, who confirmed that he has possession of some of Camelot’s jewelry, said he has been the subject of several negative posts calling him a “crook.”
“I understand and sympathize with the myriad of emotions that are going on concerning Camelot’s abrupt closing. For the record, I have been trying to help Camelot to save their business for the last six months and unfortunately my best efforts to help were of no avail,” he said.
Kresl said he was not made aware of Camelot’s closing until after the fact, and that he is working with Pearce to return the jewelry, watches and other pieces to Camelot’s clients. Kresl said he has not received all of the items in Camelot’s inventory.
“It is very sad that this iconic Dunwoody family business has closed, and I ask you to pray for the family,” Kresl said.
The jewelry store has been the topic of conversation regarding its service since its longtime owner, Helen Sher, passed away in 2020 at the age of 93. Her son, Mike Pearce, in an interview with Rough Draft shortly after Sher’s death, pledged to carry on his mother’s work, but shoppers commented on social media that they noticed a lack of inventory in recent months, and others complained about slow response times and poor workmanship when it came to orders and repairs.
Rough Draft reached out to Pearce for comment on the conflicting posts but was unable to leave a message as his mailbox was full. The business’s phone number has been disconnected.