Joe and Violet Sullivan’s story is one of miracles, courage and faith. They first met in 1942 as patients at the Crippled Children’s Hospital in Gastonia, N.C. They reunited at the School of Watch Making in Spencer, N.C. in 1946 and were married a year later.
In 1948, at the age of 23, Joe opened a watch repair shop in his hometown Selma, N.C. with a $750 loan from his uncle and a showcase he won in a game of checkers. They sold their successful business to a friend and moved to Brevard. In 1955, they opened a small watch repair and jewelry store on Highland Avenue in historic downtown Eau Gallie.
All four of Joe and Vi’s children, as well as their daughter in-law, joined the family business. Joey, their oldest son learned the art of hand engraving. Their 2nd son, Doug and 3rd son, Mike went to school to learn jewelry repair and design. All three sons graduated from Bowman Technical School in Lancaster, Penn. Their daughter, Angie graduated from FSU with a degree in Interior Design. Doug’s wife Isabel was the Gemologist.
Sullivan’s S&S Jewelers had various locations in Brevard County and in 1977, they built their current store at 209 N. Babcock St. Joe always said that was one of the best decisions he made. All this time, Joe and Vi were both suffering from their crippling handicaps that miraculously never held them back from their business and family’s success.
In 1981, Joey died tragically at the young age of 32. Joey, so talented and with such charisma, was loved by everyone who knew him.
In 1987, Doug and Isabel decided to open their own business. They opened Sullivan’s Jewelers at The Oaks. Joe and Vi were sad to see them leave, but knew they had to follow their own dreams.
In 1993, Doug died unexpectedly of a severe heat stroke competing in a motocross dirt bike race at the age of 41. Everyone loved “Diamond Doug” and his heart of gold. His wife continued to run the business for many years until she sold the business to her daughter Staci.
Mike has been managing the business for many years, along with the help of his son, Michael, Jr. and his daughter, Amy and the many other longtime, dedicated, loyal employees.
On March 16, 2006 Violet Rose peacefully entered her eternal rest at the age of 83. She was admired in the community for her dedication to the family business and her compassionate and loving heart. Vi made quite an impression on the customers who continued asking for her long after she was unable to work. After Vi’s death, Joe continued to come to the store to work. Up until his last hospitalization, he loved coming to the business to see his loyal customers and employees.
On June 20, 2015, Joe went to be with the Lord, at the age of 90. Joe earned a reputation for quality and integrity through his nearly seven decades serving the community and treating his customers right.
Since 1955, Sullivan’s S&S Jewelers has become one of the most successful, independent jewelry stores in Brevard. The store’s growth has been the result of continued trust over three generations.