This year’s Design Atelier is full of gems.
PA Jeweler To Be Featured in ‘Amazing’ Netflix Series
Cathy Calhoun lives and works in converted banks, and the world’s most popular streaming service has taken notice.
Royersford, Pa.--She’s been featured on two different HGTV shows, the Travel Channel and CNN Money.
So it’s only fitting that Pennsylvania jeweler Cathy Calhoun’s home and store, Calhoun Jewelers, find their way onto an original series being produced by popular streaming service Netflix.
Calhoun lives in a converted bank building that dates to 1872 in the town of Spring City, Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia.
The building remained a bank the entire time it was a commercial space, from 1872 until 1989, when the bank closed.
The following year, Calhoun bought the building and, over time, converted it into a home, working around the original structures to carve out a space that’s unique but livable.
A decade later, in 2001, Calhoun decided she needed to move her store and could not find a suitable space anywhere nearby. She even went so far as to knock on the doors of local homes with historical charm, thinking she could talk the owners into selling, and convert it into a store.
Then, one day, she drove by a standalone bank in the next town over, Royersford, that she thought would be perfect for a jewelry store.
She set up a meeting with the developer. By the end of it, she had her second bank building and he had his money and the big diamond ring that she threw in to get the deal done.
About six months ago, Calhoun got a call from a documentarian who works for Netflix.
The streaming service is working on a documentary about buildings around the world with unique interiors, “Amazing on the Inside,” he told her. He’d heard about her house; would she be interested in being featured?
Calhoun said yes, and the U.K.-based crew came to town for about two weeks in late August/early September, filming inside her house and store while also interviewing people around town who used to bank at what is now her home.
The main question the filmmakers asked everyone: What did you think when you heard Cathy was buying a bank to live in?
The main answer they got, according to Calhoun: We think she’s nuts.
Calhoun said “Amazing on the Inside” is a 12-part documentary series that is set to air some time in spring 2018.
Prior to Netflix, CNN Money did a show on Calhoun’s house--“And that sucker went viral,” she noted--and she’s also had her repurposed banks featured on HGTV’s “If These Walls Could Talk” and “You Live in What?” plus “Great Escapes” on the Travel Channel.
So, she’s well-versed in the opportunity that this kind of exposure presents. As she told National Jeweler back in 2013 right before her “You Live in What?” episode aired: “You could never pay for this much free publicity.”
Calhoun said plans already are in the works to hold a screening of the Netflix special at the Colonial Theatre.
It’s the same historic theater where the jeweler holds her locally famous Oscar party every year. (Incidentally, the Colonial is also where the famous everybody-get-out scene in the 1958 cult horror classic “The Blob” was filmed; Calhoun said they reenact the scene every year, and people from around the world come to Phoenixville to participate.)
She said she plans to have VIP seating and goodie bags for her customers, while also opening up the 800-seat theater to the general public. People who saw the crew filming around town already have been coming into her store asking when the special will air, and Calhoun’s been taking down names and email addresses.
The Netflix documentary also will give the jeweler another segment to add to the loop of shows about her unique living situation that runs continuously on a flat-screen TV in her store.
“When people bring a repair in, they will sit and continue to watch the TV until it’s over,” she said. “They will not leave until they see it all.”
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