How long have you been with Stones?
Well, Stones Jewelry was my grandpa’s business, and now it’s my uncle’s. I remember when I was little, I’d come in and stamp envelopes. Uncle Dave would pay me, and I’d feel so important. Then, while I was in high school, I’d come down for the gem show and help run the contests and events with my mom, Marsha, who designs jewelry for the store. It’s been kept a true family business for so many years.
I started working here summers in 2005, and I’ve been here full-time since 2008, when I graduated from Olivet Nazarrine University. I’ve always had such a love for the business, and I knew deep-down I’d end up here.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
This would have to be all of the awe-inspiring things I get to see. When it comes to the jewelry industry, so many people think about size and status: “How big is this rock… how big are your earrings?”.
Me? I think its truly amazing that the beautiful gems we see came out of the ground, from thousands of miles below the surface. Just learning how it all forms and how it’s extracted from the ground — especially colored stones – it’s so interesting to me. Learning how different parts of the world yield different stones. That’s part of why our November Gem Show is so cool… it’s amazing to see so many varieties. Diamonds are consistent, but the colored stones always surprise me — no matter how many I’ve seen.
Do you have a favorite customer story?
Well, the time we ended up on MTV certainly is up there. There was this young guy who came in looking for an engagement ring – and it actually turned out that we had a couple mutual friends. We were out together with the big group one night and had to pretend like we didn’t know each other to keep the engagement a secret from his fiancé. At the end of the night he high-fived me because we pulled it off so well.
His goal was to get engaged on The Buried Life – a show about bucket list wishes on MTV. The television crew scheduled a whole day here, and it was just really neat to be a part of that.
I love that we develop relationships in and outside the store, like this. I made several lasting friends just from that couple getting engaged — I go to lunch with customers and get to know the nicest people. It’s a definite perk.
What’s your favorite type of jewelry to wear or sell?
Tourmalines are my favorite stones. They come in every color. We got to see a piece of tourmatline cut from rough and made into a finished stone while we were in Grermany — It was simply amazing to see the different variations and stages of the same stone. All tourmalines are the same mineral, but that mineral can yield such a different stone based on where it’s from and how it’s cut and derived.
Why do you enjoy working at Stones Jewelry?
Something that I think is really cool is that were always celebrating with customers: whether it’s birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, etc. – There’s always a special event. From birthstone rings for new babies to graduation celebrations, it’s really moving to be part of such meaningful things.