GLEN ROCK, N.J. — Taylormade Jewelry store shut its doors Dec. 24 on a somber note.
After digging deep roots in the Glen Rock community, shop owner Christopher Taylor was not there say goodbye to the customers he had served for 31-years (SEE: Glen Rock Remembers Respected Merchant Christopher Taylor ).
"Him not being here still does not seem real," said Taylor's son Andrew, who was closing up shop in place of his late father. "People have been coming in to reminisce about him. Some have been shopping here over 20 years."
Christopher Taylor opened Taylormade Jewelry store in 1984 with the desire to sell affordable jewelry and build strong connections in the Glen Rock community.
He died of a heart attack in September, only three months before he was set to retire.
The bonds he built in the community remain unbroken.
"Chris sold me many pieces," said longtime customer Patricia Zengel. "He said I was a great customer and was kind to my entire family."
"I am very sad. A piece of me passed when he did. He will forever be in all of our hearts.”
Andrew brought his father's urn into the shop last month. He said some 300 people came in over a three day period to pay their respects to Taylor.
"I'm surprised to see just how much support my father had in the community," Andrew said. "His goal of making this a personal store was achieved I think beyond even his expectations."
In Taylormade's place will be a new family-owned jewelry shop that aims to continue Christopher's legacy of community involvement.
Zengel says Taylor is irreplaceable: "He was a gem of a man in its true sense."