History of John Laughter Jewelry

My story is one about the power of a mentor. When I was ten, I was shining shoes in my father’s barbershop in downtown Hendersonville, NC. Keith Shelley came in often for a haircut and a shoe shine over the next four years. One day Keith asked me if I wanted to come to work at the jewelry store, learning to goldsmith. I was excited and hooked and I knew when I was only 16 that I wanted to own a jewelry store and by age 19 it all the pieces were moved into place. In 1973 Keith and I opened Shelley’s Jewelry in downtown Hendersonville, followed by a new store in downtown Waynesville in 1996 and our flagship store in South Asheville in 2002.
Keith was more than a goldsmith instructor or business partner. Keith taught me the value of people, employees and integrity. For 34 years Keith and I grew Shelley’s into a business with a good name for superb service, the finest jewelry and a friendly staff. Keith Shelley helped me establish a good name in the community for fine jewelry, and I lost a father when I lost him in 2007. Not long after, Keith’s son Stan and I divided the company in 2008. Since Western North Carolina is my home, I changed the name of the store to John Laughter Jewelry in Asheville and Waynesville. The stores carry my name as a statement of my desire to daily represent our core values. “We strive to live by the Christian principles of respect, integrity and diligence to bring dignity to our employees, customers, vendors and community”.
John Laughter Jewelry has flourished and has been an excellent way to give back to my community. The support from the community has been tremendous and today people know when they want the finest jewelry, with the best service and support, they come to see my family at John Laughter Jewelry.
The love of jewelry continues to the next generation with my son, Grant. He grew up in the family business. Starting when he could crawl, searching around the goldsmiths bench for cubic zirconia that they would hide on the floor to keep him distracted while they worked. He began to working part time in high school in the 90’s. In 2006 he came to us as a diamond expert. In 2010, he attended New Approach School for Jewelers to expand his jewelry knowledge. Two generations of Laughters pour into providing the best jewelry experience in the industry.


I invite you to visit my store and let me introduce you to the most amazing jewelry store. A place where our greatest joy is helping you and your family find the perfect piece to “celebrate life’s cherished moments with fine jewelry.”
Come see us