Columnists Howard Kelrick 24 Karat Corner - News and Views from the 24 Karat Club Southeastern U.S.

24 Karat Corner - News and Views from the 24 Karat Club Southeastern U.S.


Making dreams come true

For years, the number one event on the social scene for jewelers in the southeast is the annual 24 Karat Club Black Tie Dinner Dance held every August in conjunction with the SJTA Atlanta Jewelry Show.  Sure, the food is great, the drinks keep coming, the band is tight, and everyone looks terrific, but the best part (as those who attend know) is being a part of a very special event, an evening that enhances the future of some of our honored attendees.  Of course, I am talking about our scholarship recipients, and that’s what makes this evening so memorable.

Kelrick-JanThis year, the winner of the Robert Foreman Memorial Scholarship was Temesa Cook, a lovely young lady from Springfield, Tennessee.  She got her start in the jewelry business when she was just 17 years old, and the owner of White’s Jewelers asked if she could help out at the store a couple of days a week.  Now, seven years later, she’s working full time, and doing everything in the store from sales, to back office, to working with the vendors.

“What I really love, though,” she explained with great enthusiasm, “is taking the time to explain to the customers how the pieces are made - the time and effort that goes into each piece - so that they can have a greater appreciation of their purchase and the value they are getting.”

She’s taken a number of courses already, and these courses have given her the background and understanding of jewelry and jewelry craftsmanship that she lovingly passes on to her customers.  Her plan is to use her scholarship to attend the GIA’s “Lab in Residence” program.  And, she thanks 24 Karat Club Member John Falotico for bringing the scholarship to her attention.

“My goal is to make my customer’s dreams come true, and getting this scholarship is a dream come true for me!” Temesa said.  Making dreams come true for the rising stars of the retail jewelry industry is the primary focus of The 24 Karat Club.  Watching Temesa and the others accept their scholarship awards, fight back tears, and speak so eloquently about their work and their plans for the future, makes for a magical evening.

“Oh, and be sure to tell everyone thanks again so much, and what a great time I had at the party!  And, that some day, I’d like to be a member of The 24 Karat Club, too!”

Temesa, we all hope so, and that would be a dream come true for the rest of us.

Howard Kelrick is President of Finger Mate and a  board member of The 24 Karat Club, SEUS.  Finger Mate manufactures and installs expandable ring shanks and sells to retail jewelers throughout North America. Contact Howard at 954-458-2700 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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