Home News End of an Era: Monocle Jewelers Closes Downtown Storefront after 121 Years

End of an Era: Monocle Jewelers Closes Downtown Storefront after 121 Years

by Madonna

Sault Ste. Marie bids farewell to a cherished establishment as Monocle Jewelers, a stalwart in the downtown area for over a century, shuts its doors to the physical store and shifts gears towards an online presence.

Founded in 1902 under the name Jean’s Jewelry, Monocle Jewelers has been a cornerstone in providing fine jewelry to the community for generations. Over the years, the store underwent transformations, initially focusing on fine china before adapting to changing trends in the jewelry market.


Owner Ryan Morley reflects on the store’s rich history, stating, “It’s been different things throughout its history, it started out as a fine jewelry store with a focus on fine china and things like that.” The business evolved to offer a broader range of services, including repair and restoration, along with the introduction of lab-grown gem pieces.


For nearly a century, the business remained within the Jean family, passing through various family members. In 2000, a turning point came when Erika Haapala-Frechette, drawn by opportunity, purchased the store. Renaming it Ryans Jewelers after her son, she worked to establish the store as a household name in Sault Ste. Marie. After 16 years at the helm, she passed the torch to her son, Ryan Morley, in 2016. The store underwent another transformation, becoming Monocle Jewelers under Morley’s ownership.


Now faced with the evolving landscape of the jewelry industry, marked by the rise of lab-grown diamonds and the surge in online shopping, Monocle Jewelers has decided to close its physical location. The transition to an exclusively online format will be marked by a significant sale, offering discounts of up to 70% on the entire inventory until the store’s closure at the end of the year.

As the store embraces this change, Morley emphasizes the positive aspects of the transition. “This is not a negative thing; this is a good transitional time for myself, and I’m still going to be in the jewelry industry,” he notes. The Monocle Jewelers brand will continue its journey in the jewelry business through online platforms, providing its offerings to customers across the country. While the exact brand name for the online venture is yet to be decided, the move reflects a strategic adaptation to the evolving dynamics of the industry.


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