John J. Segner opened the doors of his jewelry store as John J. Segner Jewelers in Fredericksburg, Texas in 1937, having already come a long way since contracting polio at the age of two. Though polio was a very serious disease in those days, John survived it needing only leg braces. Always good with his hands, as he got older he narrowed his choice of careers to the two that most interested him, typewriter repair and jewelry repair.
Jewelry seemed to offer more variety, so John was apprenticed to E. W. Walters in Fredericksburg. He soon became not only proficient in jewelry repair and design, but an expert in repairing radios, small appliances and other items in common use in the days both before and after the Depression. People didn't buy say, new radios or toasters back then. Jeweler John Segner soon become known as "the man who could fix anything" and the repair business would become a strong part of John J. Segner Jewelers.
After completing his apprenticeship, he quickly began building his business through hard work, earning the trust and respect of the community. And, while he was becoming known as the man who could fix anything, his wife Vernell was quietly taking on the responsibilities of customer service, sales and accounting. Not a glamorous part of any business, all are critical to its success. Vernell also brought the delicate art of restringing jewelry to the business and still worked in that area until just a few years ago when she turned 82. A talented musician, John played trumpet in a German band and that experience led Segners to become the town music store where John repaired musical instruments for the local high school band and stocked and sold the parts of musical instruments that need replacing fairly often.