Add Some Sparkle with Lance & Co. Jewelers
Most brides are no strangers to the world of jewelry. In fact, prior to becoming engaged, we suspect most brides tried on (and hinted at) their fair share of rings. Mandy Embry of Lance & Co. Jewelers, knows just how important jewelry pieces, especially engagement and wedding bands, are to a bride. She has a lot more to say about this and other aspects of the jewelry industry in this interview with Kentucky Bride. Read on and enjoy!
Mandy Embry: Lance happened to run across a help wanted ad posted by a watch maker when he was younger. He job shadowed for few weeks, and fell in absolute love with it. After year of doing nothing but polishing, he was allowed to start learning the rest of the jewelry repairing business. He knew then, that was all he wanted to do.
KBM: Have you always shared his passion for jewelry?
ME: I remember coming to work with dad since I was eight. After school, he would take me to get my afternoon snack and then I would go back to the shop with him. He taught me how to engrave on the engraving machine when I was 10.
KBM: Do you have any other family members involved in the business?
ME: Kendra, Lance’s wife, will come into the store when we have special events: Ladies Night and our Anniversary Party. My younger brother has also worked in the store over the past couple of summers. He has learned how to engrave, like I did, and Lance has shown him a few things on the creation side of the business.
ME: When we custom design a piece, we first sit down with our client and listen to what they want out of the piece of jewelry. We ask them about what styles have caught their eye. We then take their ideas and construct a 3-D CAD rendering of what the piece will look like. After that, we invite the customer to come back to discuss any changes they might want. The design process can be as short as a week or as long as a couple of months.The actual creation process usually takes three to four weeks to complete.
KBM: Apart from helping your father create custom pieces, what are some of your other jobs at Lance & Co.?
ME: With Lance & Co. being a small business, we all have to wear multiple hats. Not only do I help with custom creations, but I also do sales, bookkeeping, merchandise buying, advertisin, and scheduling.
KBM: Other services you all offer at Lance & Co., besides customization, are repairs, cleaning and appraisals. This is awesome for customer convenience. Do most customers utilize all of these services?
ME: All of our customers take advantage of the cleaning and repairs. Appraisals don’t really come up that often. However, when you purchase a piece with us, we automatically do an appraisal for insurance purposes.
KBM: The website also says that you’ve taken multiple diamond courses. What is included in these courses and how do you think they've helped in your career as a jeweler?
ME: With the diamond course through GIA (Gemological Institute of America), you learn about so many aspects of diamonds from mining and cutting all the way to grading the color and clarity of the diamonds. Taking these courses help you assess a customer's diamond for appraisals, teach your customers about diamonds and help you buy diamond from vendors yourself.
KBM: Apart from engagement and wedding rings, do you have another favorite type of jewelry, like watches or estate jewelry?
ME: Other then the bridal aspect of the jewelry industry, I would have to choose all fashion. I get to see some many different styles of gemstone, diamond and metal fashion jewelry that it's hard to pick just one other thing.
KBM: When it comes to making an appointment, how far in advance do most people schedule one?
ME: Most of the time we don’t schedule appointments. We want our customers to feel free to stop by at anytime. We’ve had some people who like to schedule a week in advance, but they do not need to set one up. Our entire staff is able to help create beautiful pieces and we want our clients to feel confident with any one of our sales associates.
KBM: What are these appointments typically used for?
ME: When someone sets up an appointment it’s usually to custom design a piece or to look at loose diamonds.
KBM: What is the most rewarding aspect of being a jeweler?
ME: The most rewarding aspect for me is to see the reactions of our customers, whether it’s watching a bride and groom view their rings for the first time, being able to restore jewelry to its original charm or creating the jewelry of our customer’s dreams.
KBM: When it comes to engagement rings and other wedding-related jewelry, what is one piece of advice you would give a bride-to-be?
ME: We highly recommend insuring your jewelry. Most insurance companies will cover your piece for loss or theft all the way up to running over it with your vehicle.
KBM: Why should a bride and/or groom choose Lance & Co. Jewelers for all of their wedding-related jewelry needs?
ME: At Lance & Co. Jewelers, we’re not just selling you a piece of jewelry. We want to sell you an experience and grow a relationship with all of our customers. We hope that every person who walks away from Lance & Co. Jewelers has learned something from us.
KBM: Finally, at Kentucky Bride, we have two main goals: to educate and inspire our brides. Give us a few words of advice that could achieve both of these goals.
ME: We recommend being well educated before purchasing your engagement ring. We’ve seen a lot of people come in and not get what they paid for. That breaks our hearts, because we don’t like for people to get taken advantage of.