Since our very first customer, service and satisfaction have been our number one priority—and we’re honored to continue that tradition for generations to come. Our history is rich with passion and a love for creating beautiful things for fantastic people.
- 1864David L. Hope opens Kimball’s parent company, Hope Brothers Jewelers.
- 1868Hope Brothers is reorganized after the Civil War by Mr. Hope’s two grandsons, David and John Hope. The store is originally located on the west side of Gay Street in Downtown Knoxville.
- 1908Hope Brothers moves across the street to 428 South Gay Street.
- 1929 – 1933Like the majority of the country, Hope Brothers struggles during the Great Depression.
- 1933 – WWIIWhen the value of Hope Brothers’ inventory becomes equal to the amount of rent due, the owner of 428 South Gay Street, Mr. Hugh Sanford Sr., takes over management of the store. He quickly hires Ms. Ruth Kimball to be the first store manager. The pair decides to name the new store, Kimball’s, after Ruth. Hope Brothers relocates to Market Street.
- 1945 – 1961Mr. Hugh Sanford Jr. hires Mr. Robert G. Chapman who is soon promoted to president of Kimball’s. Mr. Chapman—“Chappy” to all his friends—runs the company until 1961.
- 1961Even though Hope Brothers re-located to Market Street after Hugh Sanford Sr. took over the original business, the store is destined to become a part of Kimball’s. Mr. Chapman purchases the second iteration of Hope Brothers, officially combining it with Kimball’s.
- 1974Mr. James M. Overbey becomes president of Kimball’s. Many of the employees that worked for Hope brothers still work as associates at Kimball’s.
- 1994James’s son, Danny Overbey, is hired.
- 1997Danny is promoted to Vice President
- 2004Management moves the store from 428 South Gay Street to 6464 Kingston Pike, the center of Knoxville’s business district. When building the new store, Jim focuses on sight location and demographics. Danny and his family work together on the building design with Stuart Anderson of George Ewart Architectural firm. Kimball’s focus shifts exclusively to jewelry and watches, which helps the shops neighbors, Glass Bazaar, enhance their business as the premier retailer of fine gifts in Knoxville. Kimball’s new store is rated as one of the top three jewelry stores in the United States by In-Store Magazine.
- 2004 – PresentKimball’s, while one of Knoxville’s oldest companies, has embraced the most advanced computer systems, including 3-D Printers, Computer Automated (CAD/CAM) design, and computerized engraves. Kimball’s has tried to continually grow and develop, putting service above all else.
- 2017 – PresentJim retires at 84 and serves as Chairman of the Board. Following Jim's passing in 2019, Danny becomes both Owner and Chairman of the Board. The Kimball’s team’s greatest pleasure is to work together to serve our patrons, friends, and the community with world-class brands and service, built with hometown Southern hospitality.