Walton’s Antique & Estate Jewelry began almost 50 years ago by Melba Walton, an entrepreneur who had a sincere passion for antique jewelry. Before having a storefront of her own, she would sell jewelry on the hood of her car at flea markets, oftentimes set up right next to people selling chickens!
When she decided to open her first brick and mortar location during a time when women were not able to get a loan on their own, she had her husband, Jack, cosign in order to pursue her dreams of becoming a business owner. Melba persevered, opening Walton’s Antique and Estate Jewelry in 1974 in Carter’s Court – the premier Downtown Franklin shopping destination at the time. In 1982, she decided to invest in the future, purchasing their current building at 410 Main Street in Historic Downtown Franklin, Tennessee.
Michael, Melba’s youngest son, joined the family business in 1980. He received his Graduate Gemology degree to become the resident jewelry appraiser. He also took courses and put in hundreds of hours to become our resident jeweler. For many years, Mike handled almost every aspect of day-to-day operations. His passion, knowledge and genuine, honest character helped to grow Walton’s into the jewelry store it is today.
In 2012, Julie, Mike’s oldest daughter and Melba’s granddaughter, joined the family business. She pursued her Graduate Gemology degree and also began making her mark by establishing a strong online presence for Walton’s. “My dad and grandmother never pressured me to join the family business,” says Julie. “It was just always here and felt like home.”
Julie launched Walton’s first website and grew its Facebook and Instagram following, allowing them to connect with our customers in a whole new way. In 2017, she launched Walton’s online store, giving customers the opportunity to shop 24 hours a day, seven days a week from all across the country!
“I might be the face of it, but I would not be where I am without my awesome team,” says Julie. “That might not always be visible, but if you come into Walton’s you’ll meet truly wonderful people, and I couldn’t do what I do without them.”
Specializing in pre-1940’s antique and estate pieces, Walton’s maintains the foundation on which Melba created the store; a place where all are welcome to share in the love and admiration for pieces of one-of-a-kind jewelry.
Serving clients of all ages and backgrounds and relationships, Walton’s maintains its mission, and everyone is welcome. Being a jewelry store that specializes in 1940s antique and estate jewelry, along with being a third-generation family-owned business, Walton’s is a legacy story of Downtown Franklin.
“Having people feel like they’re a part of our family and have that personal connection and genuine care is so important to us,” says Julie. “I love Franklin and the history here. It’s a beautiful, great community of entrepreneurs that I’m lucky and grateful to be a part of.”
Walton’s is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am-5 pm and closed Sunday and Monday. Visit them at waltonsjewelry.com or 410 Main St, Franklin, TN 37064.