May 5, 2020, Selco Recognizes our 85th Founder’s Day!

by Mark Abels, Owner, Selco

Founder’s Day was established in 2010 for our 75th Anniversary.  May 5 is the birthday of our Founder, and my Grandfather, Jack Seligson.  He would have been 116 today.

Thinking about what Papa Jack did, it was quite an accomplishment.  He started a jewelry store in Oklahoma City in 1935, during the great depression.  He grew the store into a chain that was eventually publicly traded on NASDAQ.  Although I am not sure he was ever really involved in the recognition and promotional businesses that Selco focuses on today, he did run the company and continued to work for the company for several years after Selco branched out into these markets. My parents, Larry and Felice, sold the stores to Zales in 1980 and traded their stock in Selco for the recognition division, becoming primarily a custom watch and clock company.  Papa Jack continued to spend his days at the same Peacocks Jewelry store in Oklahoma City, where he worked when it was part of Selco, until his passing in 1982.

As I sit at home, writing about our history, it gives some perspective of all the different events Selco has survived, starting with the depression.  Only 6 years after the business started came World War II.  It is hard to imagine the impact of a war of that scale on a small, independent jewelry store.  As an Oklahoma Company, the oil bust of the 1980s had to be quite a challenge.  Then, of course, the company endured more recent events like 9/11 and the Great Recession.  At a time when we are adjusting to something new every day, it does help to remember that this is not the first challenge we have ever experienced.  Selco is and has always been a small business trying to navigate these new challenges.  We have always found a way, giving me hope that this time will be no different.

We usually have a lot of fun looking back when we hit these milestones.  Now it’s time to look forward.  I am excited to see what we will do and who we will become headed to 100.  While we will continue to embrace who we are, I truly believe change is coming and we are ready to evolve into whatever is next.  I am setting my sites on our 100th Founder’s Day, which happens to coincides with me hitting the traditional retirement age.  This week we will challenge our team to look at our capabilities and apply them to what we believe is coming.  I am excited to fill our building again with our smart, talented, and hard-working team.  I know they want to get back so we can pick up where we left off and start building for our run to 100!

Larry Abels, Owner of Selco, 1980 - 2018
Mark Abels is the owner of Selco Custom Time Corporation.