Flint Hills Gold sees steady sales
Many retail businesses, local and nationwide, reported less than stellar sales to close out 2012, but Beverly Schor and Sandy Loveless at Flint Hills Gold in Marion did not see that trend come to fruition.
“Christmas was our busiest time of the year, like always,” Schor said. “But honestly, there hasn’t been much change from year to year; our business has been rock steady.”
As a business that has thrived on jewelry design and reconstruction for 27 years, Schor said that Flint Hills Gold served people from all 50 states, even Alaska, in the past year and had many projects in progress for local and out-of-state customers.
“People like coming to us here in Marion,” she said. “We’re small; we are trustworthy. We do all our own work here and do not send jewelry out for repairs through the mail. We have years of experience and really enjoy what we do.”
Schor, the owner, and Loveless, bench jeweler, specialize in creating jewelry to meet customer specification.
“I love it when someone comes in and doesn’t know what they want,” Loveless said. “They might have a special stone they want to use or an idea of what the person they are gifting likes. A lot of time I will just start sketching while they talk and together we will come up with an idea that they love.”
Schor said something they were seeing more and more of was the use of generational rings for weddings.
“We’ve always reset rings on request, but it seems like there is more emphasis lately on resetting grandmother’s jewelry and passing it on, particularly for weddings,” she said. “We are doing a lot with the old filigree style. We really enjoy working with that.”
Loveless explained that filigree-style jewelry was essentially lace covered with gold.
Schor said customers brought in many types of precious stones for them to work with, including tourmalines, amethysts, emeralds, and diamonds. Schor said she set several black diamonds in the year just past, in addition to the traditional clear gemstones.
“Red diamonds are very rare and we rarely see those, but the chocolate, black, blue, and yellow, those have been around for a long time,” she said. “We design with all of those.”
Schor and Loveless utilize hundreds of wax patterns to stimulate customer ideas, and then work closely with them through a step-by-step process that involves making a mold, burning out wax filling, polishing, setting stones, and creating a final product.
“The very best part is when you hand them the finished piece,” Schor said. “People are just so appreciative, and it is always exciting to see how it all comes out.”
In addition to making jewelry to specification, Schor said customers come to Flint Hills Gold for jewelry and eyeglasses repairs. Once there, customers, find
enticing displays of silver, gold, and turquoise pieces.
“I have an acquaintance who used to live in Marion and now she lives in Santa Fe, N.M.,” Schor said. “She supplies us with original Navajo Indian turquoise pieces that are just very attractive.”
Included in the southwest-influenced jewelry tray displayed at the store are several charite purple gemstones. Also displayed, among other things in the store cases, are strings of freshwater pearls, birthstone pendants, and silver rhinos — a tribute to hope for the future, prosperity, and strong leadership in Marion.
“There is always something interesting going on here. We love to work with our customers,” Schor said. “I guess it is what keeps us going strong after 27 years.”