To the editor:
In June 2009, my husband and I began working on a special project for a friend and customer of ours. We own a small “mom & pop” jewelry store in the deep south. We do retail, repairs, remounts and the occasional “custom job” with the help of several outside vendors.
This particular custom job was one that stretched our limited skills and abilities. We took a giant step outside our “box” and discovered that learning happens every day and is fun when you relax and enjoy the process.
Our customer also had very specific and clear design ideas as to what his finished ring’s size would be, as well as the ring’s shank designs. The shank would be representative of his parents. He wanted each shank to represent a parent, with their year of birth and some of the activities that the two of them enjoyed in life.
After consulting with our customer for several weeks, together we came up with a design that met his expectations for the finished ring.
Our next task was to find outside sources to help with the design and fabrication of the ring. My husband and I were preparing to attend the Atlanta Jewelry Show in August (2009) and decided to take our customer file with us to search for vendors to help us with the project that we all now referred to as “the family ring.”
We talked with several different vendors at the jewelry show and discovered that Stuller, located in Louisiana, had just opened their custom department and that they would be able to help us with the fabrication end of the ring.
This project would stretch out over a three month period. There were revisions and changes along the way. Our friend, and customer, was very, very patient. In the end, the “family ring” is a beautiful, expressive piece of jewelry.
Even though this is a gentleman’s ring, as a woman, I have put my name on the list for the ring if none of the family is interested. I have been told by our friend that my chances are poor at best.
Our friend, and customer, was very pleased with the “family ring” and wears it with heartfelt pride and joy. Randall and I have developed working relationships with new vendors and truly enjoyed the entire experience. I believe that is called a “win - win” occasion for all.
Debbie & Randall McCombs
McCombs Jewelry& Repair