McCoy Jewelcraft

McCoy Jewelcraft also sells pottery and jewelry from the Hopi-Zuni Navajo tribes.

McCoy Jewelcraft also sells pottery and jewelry from the Hopi-Zuni Navajo tribes.

The McCoys got their start in the jewelry-making business in Hawaii in the 1970s during the heyday of puka shell necklaces.

Kathy McCoy said she remembers picking up puka shells on the beach and hand-screening and scraping them. Strands of puka shells sold for $100 a strand on the mainland.

Jerry McCoy had been stationed in Hawaii when he served in the Air Force and also taught jewelry-making classes. When they moved to Austin in 1977, the McCoys sold jewelry at art shows and eventually opened McCoy Jewelcraft in 1987.

“We decided to do what we love,” Kathy said.

Their love of jewelry making extends to their sons, Joey and Jamey, who grew up helping their parents run the store. Joey attended The University of Texas where he graduated with a fine arts degree. He works on carving wax molds to create custom jewelery and does jewelry restoration and repairs.

Jamey, a licensed massage therapist, said he helps to create jewelry at the store and assists customers, many of whom he recognizes from growing up in Northwest Austin and attending McNeil and Westwood high schools.

“We’ve been an established business for so long and still have a lot of the same customers,” he said. “We’ve gained trust from our customers.”

The store features cases of handcrafted jewelry as well as figurines Jerry made from bronze and jewelry and pottery created by the Hopi-Zuni Navajo tribes.

McCoy Jewelcraft has been located in the same storefront in the Plaza 183 center since opening.

“A lot of people don’t feel comfortable going into a high-priced store, but they feel comfortable here,” Kathy said. “This is more Austin.”

The McCoys have even created movie rings for films shot in Austin, such as “How To Eat Fried Worms” and “Friday Night Lights.”

To create custom rings Jerry said they start by making a wax mold. He keeps these molds in case he can reuse one in the future and said he has a stockpile of more than 2,000.

McCoy Jewelcraft also offers watch battery replacement, appraisals, jewelry cleaning and repairs, and checking jewelry for loose stones. The can also melt a customer’s existing jewelry to craft a new piece.

The business offers gift cards and layaway and will also be open Christmas Eve for last-minute shopping.

“We’re here for people,” Kathy said. “Some of our customers ask us, ‘When are you going to retire?’ but that is not on our horizon.”

“This is our retirement,” Jerry said.

McCoy Jewelcraft
13450 N. US 183, Ste. 116 • 512-258-2299
Hours: Tue.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
By Amy Denney

Managing Editor, Austin metro

Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition as well as covering transportation in the Austin metro. She is now managing editor for the 10 publications in the Central Texas area from Georgetown to New Braunfels. She enjoys spending time with her husband, son and two cats.