Tom A. Gould has worked for more than 40 years in the goldsmithing industry. He doesn’t just sell jewelry – he is a craftsman, taking stones and metal, and creating something unique and wonderful with them. Heirloom pieces are given new life; sometimes repaired, sometimes molded into something unique. Jewelry that is beyond saving, is painstakingly salvaged.
Tom Sr. began dabbling in silversmithing when his father Jay became ill. While in Kansas City in 1948, recovering from Malaria, he took up watchmaking and repair to keep his mind and hands busy. Soon he had a workbench at home, and had his hands full with repairs from other retailers. While working on watches, he picked up the basics of sales and jewelry work at Gustufson Jewelers in Minneapolis.
Tom Sr. worked for the J. B. Hudson in a management position at the new Southdale Mall in Edina, MN until 1961. He and his family moved to Moorhead, MN, where Tom Sr. had accepted a position of manager at Martinson’s Jewelers, until its closure in the early 1970’s.
In 1974, Tom A. Gould moved back to Moorhead. A freshly minted college graduate, he had worked for a year in an industrial machine shop, learning the ins and outs of metal fabrication. Then WHAM! Recession hit, and the shop closed. Tom A. began taking basic jewelry repair, and began work for Labelle’s repairing hundreds – nay! – thousands of rings, honing his craft. Tom A. suggested he and his father start up their own jewelry store. They rented out a bay in the brand-new Moorhead Center Mall, and literally built the store from the ground up. They hung suspended ceilings and wired up the bay, poured concrete over the dirt floor, and even built the showcases with help from Nicklay Woodworking (also out of Moorhead, MN). In 1976, Tom Gould Jeweler opened its doors with the father-son team.
Years later, brother John Gould also took part in the business, and the store name changed to Tom Gould Jeweler & Sons. John took over the mall location, Tom Sr. retired, and Tom A. moved to another location. Tom A. had built up a reputation of jewelry repair around the Fargo-Moorhead area, and did contract work for many of the mall stores, and independent jewelers around the cities. Old, worn-out pieces that everyone had given up hope on were the bread-and-butter of his shop, as Tom performed miracles with metal.
Once Tom’s business and equipment could no longer fit in the little rental space, he moved to a condemned house near the Red River which was converted into a cozy little shop with the help of his wife Kathy. It was dubbed the “Quaint House on the Corner.” They would probably still be there to this day, if the city of Moorhead hadn’t decided to implement their own plans for riverfront property. They briefly moved to another shop location on 8th Street in Moorhead, before eventually moving the business to Perham, MN, where they still work today.
T. A. Gould Jeweler sits on the main street of Perham, with a beautiful brick façade and refurbished tin ceiling. After 40+ years of goldsmithing, Tom is slowly starting the process of retiring. The business is still open (with reduced days and hours), so whether you’re in need of repairs, gifts, or engagement rings, Tom is around to assist you. While some businesses can simply retire – as Tom says – “You can’t just magically make 40 years of inventory vanish!”
How long will Tom keep working at the bench? As long as he can, he says. Age and health issues are creeping up – but as long as he can hold his tools steady, he’ll keep working. However – if someone is in the market for an adorable store right on the Main Street – Tom & Kathy said they’d be willing to retire a little faster!
“My jewelry isn’t just metal and stones – it’s memories and family history. I trust Tom to take care of my jewelry.”-Becky Barnes
“A true master craftsman!!”-Carl Mitchell
“For our 40th anniversary, we wanted to add to my original wedding set of one diamond. I wanted a wrap, but my band is pretty wide, so would be almost too much. Tom suggested actually taking the settings from the wrap and putting on my original set. Once he started, he wasn’t quite satisfied how it would look, so took the time to call me to come back in to see a few different ideas he had. His ideas were perfect and I love how it looks now! Great job!”-Deb Potter Shippee
“We have known and done business with Tom and kathy for over 50 years. If you’re looking for quality and a fair price they are definitely the people to see.”-Evelyn Bymoen-Karppinen
“ALWAYS great service with a personal touch”-Stacy Stoner