A Rare Gem: McCaskill & Company Celebrates 30 Years

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By Lori Leath Smith

What was once a childhood dream for a young boy, William “Bill” Campbell, has grown into three decades of one of the most successful jewelry design businesses in the Southeast. McCaskill & Company owners, Bill & Elizabeth Campbell, have established an exciting jewelry business foundation and impeccable customer service philosophy that continue to propel McCaskill & Company to the forefront of the jewelry industry.

Bill’s passion and love of jewelry stem from he and his grandmother, Gussie McCaskill Campbell, spending hours together marveling over the jewels and gems that his great-grandfather brought home from his travels around the world. Here the seeds of his appreciation for fine jewelry were sown from the McCaskills and Campbells, some of the earliest settlers in Walton county. Never did he imagine that the precious time spent with his grandmother would one day culminate into a coveted business where he could fulfill his dream of one that is loved by McCaskill’s many devoted customers.

Like many jewelers, owners Bill and Elizabeth Campbell started with humble beginnings—first a small kiosk in Seaside (1994) and later a storefront at the Market Shops at Sandestin (1995).

McCaskill Company BuildingAs the business grew exponentially, it was a sign for Elizabeth to join full time after her 25-year-career as a licensed therapist. In 1999, with determination and passion, the Campbell’s opened their current free-standing location.

McCaskill & Company became a true, next-generation family business in 2008, which also included their next milestone, an accessory boutique, Sarah Carolyn, adjacent to McCaskill & Company, opened by their daughter, Carolyn Campbell Brigman. It later became a luxurious bridal design gallery (2015). Now serving as vice president, Carolyn grew up learning the jewelry business, while managing the former boutique served as the perfect training ground for running all aspects of the business.

Carolyn feels the brand’s success through three decades hinges on its unique ability not only to adapt to some trends, but also to maintain the classic, memorable and timeless jewelry designs coveted by customers. “It could largely be attributed to our vigilance in anticipating, recognizing and choosing jewelry that moves us in hopes of moving our customers as well,” Elizabeth continues. “We cherry pick our pieces, favoring one-of-a-kind designs,” she says.

Never stuffy or pretentious, Bill, Elizabeth, Carolyn and the entire McCaskill staff strive to offer the most memorable experience possible, from the time you enter the store. “We realize for some it can be intimidating,” says Elizabeth. “But we are actually very down to earth. It’s important for us to help people feel warm and invited.” For example, each morning, the staff offers chocolate chip cookies and coffee. “We want people to feel at home, welcome and enjoy their time here,” says Carolyn. “They can even shop in their beach attire!” Bill delights in sharing his knowledge and intricacies of jewelry pieces, often relating interesting tidbits about the designers, all of whom he knows personally. Elizabeth considers herself a detail-oriented influence where customers receive the special “touches” she invokes on a day-to-day basis.

At the core of the Campbells’ successful venture is relationship. “This is a relationship business,” says Carolyn. “You don’t stay in business 30 years without building trust and customers knowing you care. We care so much about the craftsmanship and, so we work to give customers the best—in style, color and customer service. And they trust us to do it.”

Having started with only a small case of pearls and other gems, today McCaskill receives recognition from the world’s finest designers. McCaskill & Company is host to some of the world’s most exclusive jewelry designers and watches such as Rolex, David Yurman, Erica Courtney, Kwiat, Oscar Heyman and many others. It’s been recognized by Harper’s Bazaar as one of the “Best Jewelry and Watch Retailers in America” and repeatedly honored as “the Best of the Emerald Coast,” “Best in Destin” and “Finest of the Emerald Coast.” Locals and out-of-towners attend McCaskill & Company events such as trunk shows. “We’re in a unique position because of location to choose designers that appeal to the customers in this area all under one roof—a very broad, distinguished collection,” says Elizabeth. “We have people that come in from all over the world, and say they’ve never seen a better selection of colors or variety of designers across the United States,” says Carolyn.

In its 30 years, McCaskill & Company has had a valuable impact in our communities, donating to more than 50 charities. For example, this past December, McCaskill invited customers to vote for their favorite charity, then donated to the winners.

Moving forward, the Campbells have no plans to just sit back. “You could say part of our 30th Anniversary on April 1 will be an expansion,” says Elizabeth. “Even after 30 years, it’s amazing how many things we keep coming up with to grow and evolve.” Having already expanded to a staff of 18, McCaskill & Company has purchased two lots next door and will be expanding its building by doubling its showroom size. “We plan to create an atmosphere of relaxation and spa-like experience with details such as music, scent and touch,” says Carolyn. There will also be an enlarged Rolex environment where you’ll be able to view watch makers on site. “We just started with wanting more parking,” laughs Elizabeth.

When you walk into McCaskill & Company, you’ll find an array of delightful jewelry pieces from exquisite diamonds, varying colors of pearls and gemstones, gold and silver pieces artistically formed into bracelets, earrings, watches, necklaces, rings and more. And, you’ll make new friends!

McCaskill & Company is located at 13390 Highway 98 W., between Destin and Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, just two miles east of the Mid-Bay Bridge. Hours: 10 a.m.- 5:30 p.m., Monday–Saturday. (850) 650-2262.

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