John Hayes carries on philanthropic tradition at Goodman’s Jewelers


John Hayes bought the decision at about 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Might 30. A pal was contacting the longtime proprietor of Goodman’s Jewelers on State Road to inform him what she was watching on Fb Stay.

Hayes’ store was being vandalized.

Individuals in downtown Madison have been demonstrating in response to the dying of George Floyd by the hands of police in Minneapolis earlier that week.

Hayes respects the peaceable protesters, however what he noticed when he bought to his store that night was one thing else.

“It was chaos,” he says.

The shop’s home windows have been shattered, and a person was standing inside behind a broken show case holding a tray of sterling silver lockets in his hand.

“Put it down,” Hayes stated. “You’re stealing from me.”

The person set it apart and ran out. A bit later, whereas Hayes was assessing the harm, another person walked in, noticed Hayes and stated, “Is that this your store?”

“Sure, it’s,” Hayes stated. “Get out.”

The lady stooped, picked up a bit of jewellery that had been dropped by another person and ran away.

John Hayes in his office

Picture by John Ficenec

All instructed, the store suffered greater than $100,000 price of injury, and $40,000 in stock was stolen. It was a surprising prevalence for a retailer that was owned for many years by brothers Irwin and Bob Goodman, beloved Madison philanthropists.

Hayes has continued of their footsteps — he and his spouse, Cathy, yearly pay the entry charge for the primary 500 children on the day the Goodman Pool opens — and that possible had one thing to do with the neighborhood’s constructive response to the shop within the wake of the looting.

“Tons of neighborhood assist,” Hayes says. The shop reopened in early August. “Individuals stopping in simply to say they’re glad we’re open.”

Essentially the most extraordinary response got here from Blaine and Tina Neupert, homeowners of Don’s House Furnishings, who, with their contacts within the Amish neighborhood, have been capable of prepare repairs on eight vintage mahogany and glass show circumstances — at no expense to Hayes.

“Goodman’s Jewelers has given a lot to the neighborhood,” Blaine Neupert says. “It’s about time somebody offers again to them.”

Hayes, 65, met Bob and Irwin Goodman in 1983, whereas he was working for Zales within the Milwaukee space. Hayes bought into the jewellery enterprise virtually by happenstance. He was raised on a farm exterior Rochester, Minnesota, and was finding out mechanical engineering till an early first marriage and household tasks led him to take a job managing a fuel station and meals mart in Rochester.

He was supplied a district supervisor place, overseeing 5 shops however for little further pay, earlier than a pal who was a supervisor at Zales in Iowa instructed him a couple of administration trainee place in Rochester.

“I knew nothing about jewellery,” Hayes says, however an interview was organized.

“I didn’t personal a tie or sport jacket,” Hayes says. He borrowed a jacket and acquired a tie at Sears.

“Why would you like this job?” the interviewer requested.

John Hayes looking into a jewelry device

Picture by John Ficenec

“I’ve bought a job,” Hayes replied. “I need a profession.”

He labored for Zales for 5 years in 4 totally different cities, studying about gems and stones and how one can promote them. He was working on the Brookfield Zales retailer in 1983 when an trade pal instructed him Goodman’s in Madison was seeking to rent.

Throughout his interview with Irwin and Bob, Hayes — coming from the company atmosphere at Zales — was struck by how the brothers harassed their connection to the Madison neighborhood. The shop was a hit — Madison had been good to them. They made a degree of being good to Madison in return.

“That was very interesting,” Hayes says. “To be in a single place and put down roots.”

Employed as a salesman, Hayes superior to gross sales supervisor in six months. By 1988, he was basic supervisor, and a decade later, when Irwin and Bob have been able to promote the shop, they seemed to Hayes.

“It was extra of a transition than a transaction,” Hayes says. “Bob and Irwin handled me like household.”

Now Hayes has introduced his circle of relatives into the enterprise. His son Jeremy is a goldsmith at Goodman’s, and his daughter, Jeni Sullivan, is a gemologist and appraiser. Within the Goodman custom, the purchasers, too, can start to really feel like household.

“I’m lucky,” Hayes says, “that I’ve second- and third-generation prospects. It’s actually rewarding to have the ability to inform somebody, ‘I offered your mother and father their ring.’ They arrive to me with lots of belief and it’s necessary to honor that belief and ensure they’re taken care of correctly.”

That deep properly of goodwill helped through the previous tumultuous 12 months, starting with a COVID-19-induced closure in early spring after which — quickly after they have been capable of reopen — the harm and theft.

“It’s been a bumpy street,” Hayes says, however he’s trying ahead to a greater 2021.

“I get pleasure from what I do,” he says. “I’m not in any hurry to retire.”

Doug Moe is a Madison author and a former editor of Madison Journal. Learn his weblog, “Doug Moe’s Madison,” on



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