The Story of John Christian
In the early 1930's, in the depths of the Great Depression, Anna Mae and Turner Waugh, young, in love, and with 2 small boys, made a pledge to raise their sons, John and Robert, to the best of their ability. Determined to give them a warm home and a great education, the couple lived as many families did in that time, working hard, and thanking God for all their many blessings. The boys grew, and Anna Mae and Turner's dedication to education found fertile ground in the minds of young John and Robert.
Soon after World War II, on Asp St. in Norman, Oklahoma, just steps away from the University of Oklahoma campus, the Waugh Brothers jewelry store was opened. At the encouragement of their mother and father, the Waugh brothers decided to take their passion for creating one-of-a-kind jewelry creations and pursue a lifetime of innovation, style and quality in the world of bespoke jewelry heirlooms.
While her boys were in class at the university in the early 1950's, Anna Mae Waugh would mind the shop, and after school, the brothers would attend to customers. Through long hours in the evening, they would experiment and invent techniques for die-making, casting, and jewelry design that were unknown to the world until their innovations.
The brothers soon found success through their personalized class rings, and their brand John Roberts could be found at campuses across the nation. The brothers went on to own Herff Jones, R. Johns, Artcarved, Keepsake, and Orange Blossom. They moved their sprawling jewelry campus to Austin, Texas in the late 1960's. The company soon found itself the largest private employer in Austin, home of the University of Texas, as well as the state capital.
Their business soon expanded beyond Class Rings into Bridal Jewelry, and eventually they invented the genre now known as "Mother's Jewelry". John's passion for design quickly found its way to the Family Crest Jewelry world, and his deep love of the personalized touch propelled him into the realm of Monogram Jewelry. Although Waugh's passion for jewelry spread across many genres, all his designs had one thing in common...each was a one-of-a kind.
In 1998, John retired from Artcarved, after many years of being its visionary CEO, and settled down in Santa Barbara, California. He loved to play croquet, but bespoke jewelry was his passion. At the age of 72, he founded John Christian. John knew that to build a new company so late in his life, he would need a young, intelligent, creative leader to take the helm, so he tapped Wesley Weaver for the task.
Wes, as he is known now, was John's top business unit head, a crack marketer, and a seasoned designer. In Wes, a young, smart, ambitious graduate of the University of Texas, John saw the leader he would need for his new company.
In 1999, Wes, always a forward-thinking entrepreneur, saw the potential in a little thing called "the internet". Within a few months, John Christian had a website and was doing e-commerce when most people didn't even have email. Through years of old-fashioned brand building, the business has expanded into its present position: the world-leader in bespoke jewelry creations.
In 2003, John Waugh's youngest son, Turner Christian "T.C." Waugh joined the company as New Business Manager. A graduate of Boston University, he brought his knowledge of art to John Christian, touching upon many stylistic elements of the business, such as product design, packaging, quality control and marketing.
Turner Waugh passed away in 1977, Robert Waugh in 1982, Anna Mae Waugh in 1990 and finally, John Waugh in 2008, but their multi-generational dreams of creating one-of-a-kind, bespoke heirloom jewelry creations lives on in John Christian, through the guidance of CEO Wes Weaver and Creative Director T.C. Waugh.
Now, John Christian's bespoke creations in Roman Numerals, Monograms, Family Crests, and Mother's Jewelry are distinguishable by their unique designs and unparalleled quality. When you lay eyes on one of our designs, you just have to say...
"That MUST be a John Christian!"