Des Harvey comes from a long line of jewellers, watchmakers, and optometrists. Yes, many years ago, jewellers were also optometrists.
Harvey’s Jewellers in Grafton has been established since 1878 and was first established by Mr Fred Harvey.
Throughout Des Harvey’s lifetime he has seen many changes, but COVID-19 proved an interesting experience for this retailer.
“We didn’t have to close as a retailer as long as social distancing was observed,” he said.
Des said his customers were very understanding with the reality of COVID-19, and only too happy to accommodate what was asked of them when visiting his Prince Street, store.
As a trader, Des was concerned how Mother’s Day trade would pan out but with reduced trading and reduced staff it proved to be a remarkably good time for this business house.
“We were unsure of what was going to happen, but the people of the Clarence Valley were exceptional,” he said.
Des saw trade exceed his expectations. People could order on-line and Des provided free home delivery.
“Trade is still holding up rather well today. We didn’t set our expectations too high,’ Des said.
Des also has thoughts on the effect the newly opened bypass may have on the city.
As a past president of the Grafton Chambers of Commerce and currently on the executive board, Des is not fazed by the bypass of Grafton.
“I don’t believe we will be adversely affected and having spoken with other businesses in communities such as Kempsey and Taree, I am not at all concerned it will impact us negatively,” he said.
This fifth-generation jeweller has high hopes for Grafton.