Jan 17, 2023 5:30 PM
Garrett Peddicord, owner of Sidrony Jewelers

I was born in 1982 in Lindenhurst, Illinois, which is a small suburb north of Chicago. At the age of two, following the death of my mother, my father moved me and my two siblings to Baltimore, Maryland. Following some rocky years while growing up, I left home at the age of 14 in the hopes of striking out on my own.

While working at Chic-Fil-A at the Hunt Valley Mall in 1996, I brought breakfast and coffee every morning to a gentleman named John who ran the jewelry and watch repair store across the hall. He seemed impressed with my focus and attention to detail, and offered me a job as an apprentice.

I spent the next 4 years working alongside John, learning the industry. I practiced the art of goldsmith work, stone setting, custom fabrication, and watch and clock repair. John then sent me to the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad California. I attained the credentials of Master Goldsmith and Graduate Gemologist. Later, I attended an accelerated course at the now-shuttered Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

In the year 2000, the Hunt Valley Mall closed, and John moved north. During this time, I worked part-time as a sales associate at Zales Diamond Store. My extensive technical knowledge in the jewelry industry led to my becoming a strong salesperson. After one year, I was offered the position of General Manager of a Zales store in Burlington, Vermont.

After one year of managing that store, I chose to leave the big corporate world to open my own business-to-business jewelry repair and fabrication trade shop in Vermont. I started the business with zero employees and minimal capital and named it Chronos, Inc.

After three years, I had managed to expand the operation to employ 21 full-time jewelers. Chronos serviced almost every retail chain (mall) store in New England, doing the off-site routine work we are all familiar with. After a couple years, we were performing every ring sizing, jewelry repair, gem setting job, etc. for most retail jewelry consumers in that region of the country.

During the peak of our operations, I was approached by a private venture capitalist who wanted to acquire my business. I accepted his offer and took a break to travel the USA by car. I fell in love with the Midwest, and eventually decided to get back into the retail side of the business, so I applied with Brodkey’s Jewelers in Omaha to work as a member of  management. I was hired in late 2003, moved to Omaha, and worked with them. In 2008, following 12 years spent in virtually every facet of the jewelry business, I was eager to do something different.

I signed up to become an airborne linguist with the Air Force. I enlisted in 2008, then was sent to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. Following almost three years of training, I graduated from that school with two associates degrees, and was fully fluent in Persian Farsi, Afghan Dari and Tajik.

I accepted a few special assignments that deployed me to Afghanistan. During my 10-year career in the Air Force, I ascended in rank quickly and performed well. I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in the service, but at the ten year mark, I had to decide whether to continue to the 20-year finish line or not. I had spent 1,000 days in Afghanistan by this time. I decided at the age of 36 to change gears again and leave the service.

While I was still active duty, I began teaching Nebraska concealed carry classes in my living room. Upon leaving the service, I was once again a civilian in need of an occupation, so I decided to parlay my firearms experience and newfound passion for teaching into a full-time job. I had the opportunity to purchase the Take Aim shooting range building in Bellevue. It was a 10,000 square foot facility with ten indoor shooting lanes and a large retail sales floor.

I named the business Athena Arms, and worked on a shoestring budget to get the operation up and running. About one year into us growing into a stable local business, COVID-19 hit and changed everything. We instantly sold every single firearm we could get our hands on, and concealed carry classes were fully booked for every day of the week. Once I had a staff of 12 full-time professionals to run the show at Athena, I was free to rediscover and resume the pursuit of my true passion; the jewelry business. I opened Sidrony Jewelers in April of 2021 and sold Athena Arms in July 2022.

Sidrony started out small, and we put a heavy focus on providing unparalleled customer service, supported by strong technical and industry knowledge. We also offered a full-service jewelry repair and fabrication shop on-site, which is a rare and valuable thing to find here in Omaha. We have since xpanded our sales floor into two additional retail bays in the shopping center we occupy, now boasting a 4,000 square foot showroom.