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Up In Your Business Home PageAbout Kerry McCoy

This week Kerry speaks with guest Laura Stanley from Stanley Jewelers

March 24, 2017

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Kerry’s guest this week is 3rd generation jeweler Laura Stanley. She reinvented herself professionally following last year’s closure of her family’s business, Stanley Jewelers Gemologists.

Stanley Jewelers closed its doors after eight decades in business. Laura now works by appointment only. She has a great selection of estate jewelry for clients to choose from, can search for just the right piece and can create custom pieces. She also handles appraisals.

Stanley Jewelers Gemologist was a central Arkansas legend. From 1936 to 2016, the Stanley family defined trustworthy, quality service and heirloom quality jewelry. Laura is proud of that tradition and will continue to delight her clients with beautiful jewelry.

In 1936, Laura’s father- Loyd Stanley- started the business having borrowed $400 to do so. After 80 years in business, he decided to retire and close the family’s North Little Rock business. According to Loyd, all of his children contributed to the growth and success of Stanley Jewelers. Laura spent over 20 years managing Stanley Jewelers with her father.

Laura is a GIA Graduate Gemologist, a Certified Gemologist Appraiser of the American Gem Society, a member of National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, a national board member of Jewelers for Children, a board member of Arkansas Jewelers Association, and on the board of the BBB of Arkansas. Up In Your Business is a Radio Show by FlagandBanner.com

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Behind The Scenes

 

EPISODE 28

 

[INTRODUCTION]

 

[0:00:03.2] TB: Welcome to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. Be sure to stay tuned till the end of the show to hear how you can get a copy of this program and other helpful documents.

 

Now, it's time for Kerry McCoy to get all up in your business.

 

[INTERVIEW]

 

[0:00:18.6] KM: I’m Kerry McCoy and it’s time for me to get up in your business. By that I mean to say share my business knowledge and wisdom with you, our listener. For the next hour, my guest, a fellow entrepreneur, will be discussing how we maneuvered the path of entrepreneurship in pursuit of our dreams. The hope is that if you own or want to own a small business you will gain some insights today of the risks and the rewards.

 

Now, you may be asking yourself what qualifies this lady to do this. The answer is easy, experience. I started my company, Arkansas Flag & Banner, over 40 years ago with a meager $400. During the last four decades Arkansas Flag & Banner has grown from door-to-door sales, to telemarketing, to mail order and catalog sales and now relies heavily on the internet. Each change in sales strategy required a change in company thinking and procedures. My wisdom, confidence and my company grew.

 

My initial $400 investment now produces nearly four million in annual sales. In this next hour, here is what not to expect. Don’t expect textbook answers or pie in the sky theories. What you will hear is a candid conversation about real-world experiences on topics I hope you’ll find interesting, so be prepared for the truth. It’s not always easy to hear.

 

For example, in business, there are very few overnight successes. I worked part-time jobs from nine years before Arkansas Flag & Banner grew enough to support just me. It’s now grown and expanded so much that to operate efficiently we require — Are you ready for this? A purchasing, manufacturing, graphic, shipping, technology, accounting, marketing, sales and customer service department, plus a retail store. 25 people make their living from working at Arkansas Flag & Banner, but that didn’t happen overnight. Starting and owning a business takes persistence, perseverance and patience.

 

I hope you’ll take advantage of this unique opportunity by calling or emailing me on today’s show. Before we start I want to introduce you to the people at the table, we have Tim Bowen, our technician. Say hello, Tim.

 

[0:02:31.0] TB: Hello, Tim.

 

[0:02:33.1] KM: My guest today is Laura Stanley, a third generation, gemologist and co-owner of her family business, Stanley Jewelry. Laura is a GIA graduate gemologist, a certified gemologist appraiser of the American Gem Society, a member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraiser, a national board member of the Jewelers for Children. A board member of the Arkansas Jewelers Association, and the board of the Better Business Bureau of Arkansas.

 

At the end of 2016, her family business, Stanley Jewelers Gemologist in North Little Rock, Arkansas closed its doors after eight decades in business. Laura Stanley is here today to share with us how that tough decision came to be, how they strategically went out the business of closing the business and what the future holds for this gemology family. Welcome to the table, Laura Stanley.

 

[0:03:32.3] LS: Thank you very much. I’m honored to be here. 

 

[0:03:34.7] KM: Oh, thank you. Thank you for coming so much. I found out before we came on that you have a degree in broadcast.

 

[0:03:41.4] LS: I do. I’m a horned frog from Texas Christian University, and I have a degree in radio TV film which I used for a couple of years before I sort of fell into the family business back in something like 1989.

 

[0:03:54.5] KM: You’ve been in your business 20 years already.

 

[0:03:55.5] LS: I was there 27 years at Stanley Jewelers. I was very young when I started. I was at Stanley’s from 1989, which was two years after I graduated from college in Fort Worth until this past year when we closed.

 

[0:04:10.4] KM: I know that it’s hard sometimes for kids to go into their family business, because I don’t know. It just is.

 

[0:04:16.3] LS: I never intended to. I never intended to. My sister always did intend to, and she did for about a decade after she went to Fayetteville, got a degree in business and marketing and then worked for about 10 years. I always thought, “No. No. No. Not at all.” It’s funny that I ended up being the one that came in accidentally and stayed for a quarter of a century. Yeah.

 

[0:04:37.5] KM: When I saw your ad on TV that said, “Stanley Jewelers was having a going out of business sale,” I almost dropped my teeth. I thought, “Have I heard that wrong?”

 

[0:04:48.1] LS: We got that a whole lot for the first few weeks until it sort of sunk in. We kind of took everyone by surprise. Obviously, we have been planning it for a while because you can’t just plan that overnight. My father wanted to retire, which was fine, more power to him. He had been there for 57 something years and he wanted to retire. He was ready to retire and I had been thinking long and hard for the last several years about do I want to take it over. What will I do? All of that.

 

At the same time, my husband, who hasn’t lived in Little Rock for almost five years is still not living in Little Rock. When I sat down and really thought all of it through and the future and everything, I thought, “I can’t do this. I cannot,” because if I took over the store, I would be even more married to the store, to the business, that I already was, which I was pretty already married to it, but if I had been the only Stanley there I would really not be able to even go out of town or anything. You know, you’re married to it and you are in town and you’re at work every day all day and you don’t go to lunch and all of that, but I just kind of gotten to a point in my personal life where I thought, “I don’t think I can do this for the rest of my life.” It was kind of wearing me out, because I was travelling too much. It’s like I had two lives and I was trying to make them into one and it was just too much.

 

Rather than leave the jewelry industry, which I love and, Little Rock, which I love, what I’ve done is open an office, Laura Stanley Personal Jeweler and I am doing all of the same things, appraisals, fine jewelry, diamonds, anything, projects, custom jobs, all of that sort of thing. I’m doing that, which is terrific. It’s what I did at work every day forever, only I’m doing it in an office setting by appointing setting so I can work and leave and more easily go see my husband every once in a while.

 

[0:06:29.4] KM: Where is your husband?

 

[0:06:30.0] LS: He is now in Memphis, which is fantastic. He was in Pittsburgh for three and a half years before that. Memphis is great, but it’s still a two-hour drive and it’s still picking up and loading dogs up and let’s hit the road and go. It’s still not here.

 

[0:06:43.3] KM: You’re still not living with your husband.

 

[0:06:44.0] LS: I’m still not living with my husband, but it’s a lot better than it used to be.

 

[0:06:46.7] KM: Stanley’s was only open five days a week, I think.

 

[0:06:50.1] LS: That’s right. We were open Monday through Friday. We, about 15 years ago –ish. I’d had to look at the calendar, but something like to 15 years ago we stopped being open on Saturdays because the way our traffic pattern was at Stanley’s as a destination, we didn’t rely too much on people just dropping  in. For the most part, if you came to Stanley’s you were on a mission to get to Stanley’s.

 

Saturdays were pretty quiet. When you’re in the building on Saturday, you can’t call me manufacturers, you can’t call your suppliers, you can’t do a lot of the things you can do during the week. At some point it became obvious that if we’d close on Saturday, everyone would get a weekend and then we would all be there all five days during the week and everyone could work more efficiently during the week as a team rather than, “Oh, well so and so is off today. She’ll be back tomorrow.” Oh, well so and so is —” It became a much better plan and a much more efficient and satisfying work week rather than having an employee staggered off every few days and everybody gets a weekend and everybody is really happy about it.

 

[0:07:44.8] KM: I contemplate this at Arkansas Flag & Banner, because we’re downtown and I contemplate all the time she would be open on Saturdays, and I always stay open on Saturdays. Did it hurt your business? It did not. She’s shaking her head.

 

[0:07:57.1] LS: No. It did not. It didn’t hurt us at all that we could tell. When we first closed on Saturdays we said, “Well, we have to open one night,” right? There are all of these people who won’t be able to get here, right? It’s like that’s sort of the common wisdom, the traditional thinking. We were open on Thursday nights till 8:00.

 

Well, nobody came in after 6 on Thursday nights, so then we said, “Okay. Let’s make it 7:00.” Well, then nobody came in after 5:30. Then, finally, we’re like, “Yeah, let’s just close at 5:30 on Thursday like the rest of the week,” and it’s like I said when you’re a destination, people are going to come see you. If they need you, they’re going to come find you. They’re going to be there when they can get to you. If someone really, really, really, really couldn’t get there, we were accommodating. I would stay late. I would come in early. Work a Saturday morning, whatever. For the most part — 

 

[0:08:39.6] KM: I saw your ad on TV, it said you’re going out of business, bug sale. I drove over there Saturday and the door was locked and I thought, “Only Stanley Jewelry could get away with this with their great reputation.” I’m glad I finally know the answer to why that came about, because I thought, “This is what people are really starting to want a life-work balance again.”

 

[0:09:01.3] LS: I can’t tell you when my jewelry friends from out of state heard that we were not open on the weekends, they just couldn’t believe it. They’re like, “How are you not open on Saturday?” I said, “Well, we don’t need to be. It works out. It’s all fine.” Most people can’t fathom it, but I think a l of jewelers, anyway, are in more of a mall setting or a strip mall or in a place where there’s more foot traffic, because we were our own freestanding building. It change dour dynamic. 

 

[0:09:25.1] KM: You had eight decades of reputation.

 

[0:09:27.5] LS: And we had that. Still, we were somewhat of an anomaly within the industry, because most stores still are open on Saturday and closed on Monday. That’s kind of a — Not most, but if they have a two-day closure, it’s going to be Monday, not Saturday, because Saturday is a popular day.

 

[0:09:42.7] KM: Popular sopping day.

 

[0:09:44.2] LS: Of course, at Christmas, we would open on Saturdays for about six or eight weeks before Christmas so that — Because it’s Christmas and there are more people shopping and you have to maximize.

 

[0:09:52.7] KM: Yeah. I have so many questions for you, but we’re going to take a break and we’re going to come back and find out about how they decided to close and why they decided to close. Well, we heard a little bit about what Laura’s reason for closing was, but I want to hear about why her father decided and why her sister didn’t want to take it. Then how they went about doing it and how many years it took to dissolve the business.

 

We’re going to get to hear about how to cut diamonds and choose diamonds and pick diamonds, but that’s going to be later on on the show. Right now, I want to find out who started Stanley Jewelry. Was it your grandfather or your father?

 

[0:10:37.0] LS: My grandfather, Charles Stanley, and my grandmother, who, of course, gets no credit. 

 

[0:10:41.7] KM: Why does she get no credit?

 

[0:10:42.3] LS: It’s a female thing. The women do all the work. Today it’s a little better, but 80 years ago they didn’t get the credit.

 

[0:10:50.1] KM: She probably couldn’t even sign the loans.

 

[0:10:52.2] LS: Exactly, but she did a lot, a lot of the hard work.

 

[0:10:55.2] KM: They started on $400, just like me. I read that.

 

[0:10:59.2] LS: I know, right? Yup. It was 1936, downtown North Little Rock on Maine Street and it grew from a tiny little part of a drugstore, like in the storefront he had his watch-making bench. He was a watchmaker. It started down there and then he opened a small store and bigger and bigger and ended up on Park. Then by 1960, when my father was involved, the Maine Street store was still open and they opened the Park Hill store and there was an overlap for like five or six years where both stores were open, but then by ’67 or 8, which is roughly when I was born, they had closed Maine Street and it was all Park Hill.

 

Then for a little while in the late 70s, early 80s, there was a Rodney Parham Store, but that was a dad and a partner kind of a thing and it only lasted a few years.

 

[0:11:43.7] KM: That’s to overzealous.

 

[0:11:45.1] LS: Yeah. Apparently, it was quite unwieldy — Too much.

 

[0:11:48.2] KM: yeah. The jewelry — My gosh! What’s dollar amount of inventory for jewelry?

 

[0:11:53.8] LS: Oh, I mean millions. You can’t have any sizeable collection of large diamonds or even medium diamonds without getting into the millions.

 

[0:12:02.9] KM: Would you say diamonds were Stanley’s forte, or would you say some —

 

[0:12:06.8] LS: Yeah.

 

[0:12:06.8] KM: Yeah, diamonds.

 

[0:12:07.4] LS: I would say it was diamonds and diamond jewelry. We were very traditional. We were always very traditional. We were not designer-oriented. We didn’t have art jewelry, fashion jewelry. We were very traditional diamond jewelry, color gem stoned bridal. Bridal was always our focus.

 

[0:12:22.5] KM: If, today, somebody wanted to do bridal, they would call you.

 

[0:12:26.7] LS: Yes, certainly. Yes. Absolutely.

 

[0:12:28.0] KM: They could get a private sitting with you.

 

[0:12:29.6] LS: Yes.

 

[0:12:30.6] KM: And you could custom make them a diamond.

 

[0:12:31.3] LS: That’s right. Yes. Right. I would get the diamond. I would get in diamonds that would appeal to them based on whatever they wanted and we would find the right diamond and then we would make the right setting.

 

[0:12:41.9] KM: I love that. Your grandfather was a gemologist, but first he was a watchmaker.

 

[0:12:46.0] LS: He never was a gemologist. He was watchmaker all the way. Dad came in and was the gemologist angle. He was the first certified gemologist in Central Arkansas, not in the state, but in Central, and then by the time I got involved, I became a gemologist as well.

 

[0:13:02.6] KM: Your sister didn’t want to stay in the business when dad decided to sell it.

 

[0:13:05.7] LS: She has been gone. She was only there for about a decade. She’s been in California and New York back and forth. She’s currently in California.

 

[0:13:11.8] KM: She doesn’t live here.

 

[0:13:12.5] LS: No. She doesn’t.

 

[0:13:13.8] KM: No wonder.

 

[0:13:14.1] LS: Yeah. Right. She had already left a while ago and she went and worked for the Platinum Guild and Jewelers of America.

 

[0:13:20.5] KM: She stayed in the business.

 

[0:13:21.0] LS: She has stayed in the industry just sort of on the other end of it, which is fantastic, because between the three of us; dad, me and Caroline, we’ve got every angle of the jewelry industry. You know what I’m saying? She knows people on an end that we would never have known. Of course, because of her connection to us, she knows people on our end and we know — It’s been a very positive relationship.

 

[0:13:39.4] KM: She’s still going to be doing that.

 

[0:13:40.4] LS: Yes.

 

[0:13:41.7] KM: Then you’re going to be doing it under the new name, Laura Stanley’s Personal Jeweler. Is there a website they can go to?

 

[0:13:48.3] LS: Yes, laura.diamonds.

 

[0:13:50.7] KM: You mean your URL has got .diamonds. Not .com, but .diamonds. Why does everybody not use that?

 

[0:13:58.4] LS: I don’t know. It’s a little confusing to some people. They don’t — People are used to .com or .org, so some people, it kind of takes a beat for it to sync in that it is a real website. They want to add the .com or add the .org, but it’s just laura.diamonds.

 

[0:14:12.1] KM: Laura.diamonds. Tim, when we get back to the office, can I buy kerry.diamonds?

 

[0:14:18.4] TB: Probably. Yeah, we’d have to check. See if it’s available. I bet it is.

 

[0:14:21.7] KM: I bet it is.

 

[0:14:23.0] LS: I’m going to guess that it is.

 

[0:14:25.5] KM: Why does nobody know about that?

 

[0:14:27.4] LS: I don’t know. A friend of mine who’s a diamond cutter told me a couple of years ago. When I was making the transition I thought, “Well, clearly, that’s what my website has to be,” right?

 

[0:14:35.1] KM: Clearly. That’s what every jeweler’s website should be actually.

 

[0:14:38.7] LS: Yup. I agree.

 

[0:14:39.4] KM: I know it’s hard to make a decision to close Stanley Jewelers after almost a century in business.

 

[0:14:44.7] LS: I know.

 

[0:14:46.0] KM: Tell me kind of what led up to it, and I heard what you said.

 

[0:14:52.4] LS: Right. What I said was absolutely accurate. On the other side of it, dad, he’s 77 now and he’s like the most healthy, fit, amazing 77-year-old ever, but still he is allowed to retire. This is his several years of talking and discussing and thinking and strategizing how I could happily take it over. I could have taken it over, but nobody would have been happy because I would have felt — Because my personal life, I guess at some point, I decided I had to take priority, right?

 

[0:15:25.9] KM: Yeah.

 

[0:15:26.2] LS: If you’re lucky enough to have a husband that you enjoy, you should spend some time with him. There are people who don’t have that and that’s a whole different world, but I have a husband that I like a lot and wanted to see more often. It was just really stressful for me for the last — I mean going on five years.

 

[0:15:41.8] KM: Was your father disappointed?

 

[0:15:42.9] LS: No. I don’t think so, because, number one, I think — I don’t have children. Number one, I think parents want their kids to be happy, and he knew that I wasn’t and he knew that this change was really important. Number two, since I’ve opened my own office, it’s not like the Stanley name just evaporated. I’m carrying it on just in a different way. 

 

[0:16:04.7] KM: That’s true.

 

[0:16:05.0] LS: In a more streamlined way and a way that works for me as opposed to being a challenge every day that I cannot overcome.

 

[0:16:11.8] KM: Really, in a more modern way, because there’s not really — Retail is not what it used to be.

 

[0:16:17.3] LS: No. It’s not. It’s funny, my sister who works with a lot of trade shows, and so, like I said, sees the whole other side of the industry, she used to say for the last six months, because of course she know what was happening. She said, “You guys are doing this at exactly the right time.” She said, “The trade is changing so much and it’s so much harder for stores to operate and manufacturers. Everything is changing so rapidly.” She said, “You guys are really going out at exactly the right time, because you’re going out on top with a bang as supposed to under some sort of distress. You know?

 

[0:16:45.7] KM: Right. You know, when I first heard that, I thought, “I can’t believe Laura doesn’t want to continue that business,” but now that I’m having this conversation with you, it seems like the perfect evolution of the way things should go.

 

[0:16:56.1] LS: I really think so. I really think so too. I think it’s perfect.

 

[0:16:59.0] KM: Your dad said — Stanley’s was known for not having sales.

 

[0:17:03.8] LS: Right. Oh! I know. We never had a sale.

 

[0:17:05.6] KM: Never.

 

[0:17:06.6] LS: I mean, like never.

 

[0:17:07.1] KM: Never. Your father, and I read this, a quote, he said, “The largest sale of fine and estate jewelry that Arkansas has ever seen.” Was that true? 

 

[0:17:17.4] LS: I mean I feel like it was based on how much we sold. Obviously, we beefed up the inventory before the sale because we wanted to have — We would have just ran out much too quickly, right? We had brought in a lot more than our normal stock of merchandize, and at the end of it we had a hundred —

 

[0:17:31.7] KM: Really? That seems backwards.

 

[0:17:33.4] LS: I know, it does, but you can still — If you would come in like several times over the course of the sale, you would have probably, if you were really paying attention and really, really a numbers person, you would have been like, “Well, gosh! There was some stuff last week that seemed like a really incredible giveaway bargain, and these things seem like a good deal, better than usual, but they don’t seem like that ridiculous steal of last week.” What happened was like our older inventory which we just slashed, like 70, 80% just because it was like it’s got to go, it’s got to go. That stuff was a proportionately or percentage-wise, it was a much bigger sale.

 

 

Some of the newer inventory started out at like 30 or 40 off and at the end of the day after it was all sold, we didn’t make as much profit on it, but it all went into a very profitable sale.

 

[0:18:28.7] KM: Yeah.

 

[0:18:28.8] LS: I don’t think I said that very well.

 

[0:18:30.5] KM: I think you said it just fine. It ended up being good. Did you have to hire somebody to help you figure out how to close the business?

 

[0:18:37.8] LS: We did. We hired a company who just coincidentally is from Stuttgart. They’re the biggest in the business.

 

[0:18:44.1] KM: Really?

 

[0:18:44.4] LS: Yeah, it’s called Wilerson’s and all they do —

 

[0:18:46.1] KM: Yeah.

 

[0:18:46.8] LS: All they do — Well, not all, but their big thing is helping stores have sales, moving, relocation, consolidation, retirement, whatever kind of sale you need to have. If you don’t know how to do it, you call them. They were extraordinarily helpful and they knew what to do. They knew when to do it. They knew when the billboards should go up, when the billboards should change, when to run an ad, when to do a mailer. They went to from a 60% over here on this case, to a 70% over here — Everyday, they had a plan.

 

[0:19:14.8] KM: The tax ramifications. You had to be careful about not just — Did you use a couple of years to kind of start reducing inventory because of tax burdens?

 

[0:19:24.9] LS: Yes. This was — I would say three years ago we were — That’s too far back. Two years ago we were definitely planning it and working towards it slowly and methodically.

 

[0:19:38.3] KM: What did your employees think? I know that was a heartbreaker, because you had people that were there forever.

 

[0:19:45.3] LS: That was really brutal, because they were as shocked as anyone, obviously, and I really felt — I still do have some guilt, because I kind of upended everybody’s world and it was me. I was the one who caused this tidal wave and it took me a while to not feel bad about it. You know what I mean? Because I was the person who everyone thought would just take over and everything would stay the same, and I was the one who said, “Oh, no. I don’t want to do that. Sorry. Sorry, I didn’t mean to disrupt your life,” but I kind of disrupted a lot of lives.

 

Fortunately, a new store is going in the same location, Park Hill Jewelers. I know, right? We didn’t know this at the time. It just came about about two months ago and they are hiring several of our employees, which is fabulous. The same people and our same jeweler is there who’s the best jeweler in town and honest, everything. It’s just like the comfort you felt with Stanley’s you’ll feel there.

 

[0:20:44.3] KM: Park Hill Jeweler. Where did they come from? Startup?

 

[0:20:49.6] LS: Yeah. He’s a startup. He’s a friend of dad’s. Actually, he’s a pocket watch, or he’s a — Let me back up. He’s a watchmaker by training, never by trade, but he is a watch enthusiast, his coins, all of that. He’s been on the periphery of the jewelry industry for his whole life, I think, and just sort of saw his opportunity and said I want to do this.

 

He’s rebranding the store. I don’t know what their merchandize is going to be like. I think they’re going to open in a couple of weeks, and it should be great especially for the neighborhood, because we were an anchor for that neighborhood, I think. I felt like we were.

 

[0:21:20.1] KM: I think you were too. You own the building, and so you’re leasing it to him.

 

[0:21:24.7] LS: Right. We’re leasing it to him. Yeah.

 

[0:21:27.4] KM: That’s so good. I’m so glad to hear that. I read somewhere that your building was the first sliding door ever. Is that true?

 

[0:21:36.2] LS: I don’t know that. I don’t know.

 

[0:21:37.6] KM: No? I thought I heard someone say something about your father putting one of the first rotating doors in — No.

 

[0:21:43.1] LS: Oh! I wouldn’t put it past him, but I don’t know of that happening.

 

[0:21:46.1] KM: I’m glad to hear about that. I’ve read in the paper that he arrived at his decision to close the store after much deliberation and study. Are you the study?

 

[0:21:59.0] LS: Well, he has his own methods of studying, I’m going to say, but I tried to be helpful in the study process.

 

[0:22:06.6] KM: Let’s take another break, and when we come back we’re going to talk to Laura about her business, the gemologist business, and how she’s still planning to serve the fine jewelry lovers of the world. We’re also going to find out what makes a good diamond, how to cut a good diamond. I think you cut the diamond, the Arkansas —

 

[0:22:26.4] LS: The Esperanza Diamond.

 

[0:22:27.4] KM: Thank you.

 

[0:22:28.5] LS: I’ll give you a complete update on her.

 

[0:22:30.4] KM: Oh! I can’t wait to hear about that.

 

You know, I’m pearl necklace lover. I don’t think there’s ever been a picture of me that I wasn’t wearing some form of a pearl necklace. I have like 20.

 

[0:22:55.7] LS: Good for you.

 

[0:22:56.0] KM: How do you like the one I’m wearing today?

 

[0:22:57.3] LS: I love it. I love the class. I was admiring it.

 

[0:23:00.3] KM: This is a vintage jewelry.

 

[0:23:03.2] LS: Mm-hmm.

 

[0:23:03.7] KM: How do you clean a pearl necklace that has a beautiful gold clasp that you can’t really dunk down into gold jewelry cleaner because you’ll ruin the pearls.

 

[0:23:13.1] LS: You would ruin the pearls. You could dip them quickly and then take an old soft toothbrush and kind of scrub around the gold to clean it. For the rest of the strand, you just would use soapy water and then lay it out flat and let it dry for at least 24 hours because it’s strong on silk, and there’s a little silk knot in between every pearl and you want the silk to dry totally. It’s just like hair, when it gets wet it gets weaker, so you want the silk dry before you put them back on because otherwise the thread will stretch and then it will be more prone to breaking.

 

[0:23:39.8] KM: I have strung this necklace twice already. It seems like they break easy all the time.

 

[0:23:45.9] LS: That’s a heavy necklace. You got a lot going on there. It’s probably much more prone to breaking than a single strand with a little clasp.

 

[0:23:51.6] KM: I wish I’d had you string it, because I had another company string it and they didn’t get it right, because it’s three.

 

[0:23:58.4] LS: Yeah.

 

[0:23:59.3] KM: It doesn’t lay right.

 

[0:24:01.4] LS: Next time it breaks, I’ll fix it for you.

 

[0:24:03.4] KM: Oh, God! That’s good.

 

[0:24:06.2] LS: I kept all of my pearl supplies. I’m ready for you.

 

[0:24:08.3] KM: You said you like pearls.

 

[0:24:09.5] LS: I love pearls. I love them. They’re my favorite thing. They’re like one breath behind diamonds. There’re diamonds and there are pearls and then there’s everything else.

 

[0:24:20.0] KM: But diamonds are so much more expensive.

 

[0:24:23.1] LS: They’re so much more expensive, but they’re pretty fantastic. They’re pretty wonderful.

 

[0:24:28.6] KM: They are. They’re just very feminine. I wear mine with blue jeans, pajamas, or dress. It doesn’t really matter.

 

[0:24:34.0] LS: Yes. That is exactly right.

 

[0:24:36.2] KM: You spent 27 years in the business with your father, Lloyd, and I don’t have to tell you that Stanley Jewelers Gemologist was a Central Arkansas legend from 1936 to 2016, and that your family defined trustworthy and quality service.

 

[0:24:53.5] LS: Thank you.

 

[0:24:53.6] KM: I know you’re proud of that tradition, and I want to hear how you’re going to continue that with your new business, Laura Stanley Personal Jewelry.

 

[0:25:01.4] LS: Well, everything I know I learned from Stanley Jewelers and my father. I’m going to keep all of that in the way I operate and everything in terms of being trustworthy and closed-lip and all of that. I’m just transitioning to where instead of just sort of dropping in on me, you just have to call and make the appointment first. I don’t have the inventory, because that makes it a whole much easier to lock the door and leave town for a week if I want to, which we know is the point. At any given time I’ll have a few pieces of inventory, but I won’t have anything even remotely like a jewelry store.

 

[0:25:40.4] KM: You’re going to continue to live in Little Rock.

 

[0:25:42.0] LS: Well, yes, because we have a house here already. We already have a house in Memphis, so it only makes sense. I sort of, for about five minutes, toyed with the idea of doing this in Memphis, like moving to Memphis, but I don’t know anyone in Memphis. Nobody knows me in Memphis. It would have been just an enormous uphill battle and it just seemed like for the next couple of years anyway, if I work in Little Rock three or four days a week and then hit the road, that’s fine.

 

[0:26:05.8] KM: Maybe that’s why you like your husband so much.

 

[0:26:08.0] LS: You are not the first person —

 

[0:26:13.1] KM: What is he do for a living?

 

[0:26:13.9] LS: He’s a doctor and medical genetics is his field and not only does he do research, he’s clinical. He’s M.D. Ph.D. He works at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and St. Jude, so he’s right there in downtown Memphis and we have a house on the island, so when I hit over there, it’s great, because you cross the river and, boom, you’re there. You don’t have to work your way through all of Memphis traffic.

 

[0:26:33.9] KM: St. Jude’s is great, but why isn’t he at UAMS or Children’s?

 

[0:26:39.1] LS: There was no appropriate place for him when he was looking for a job.

 

[0:26:43.5] KM: He could end up moving here.

 

[0:26:44.5] LS: He could. Certainly, he could at some point, but — 

 

[0:26:47.3] KM: You reinvented yourself professionally. You work by appointment and you find jewelry for people.

 

[0:26:52.1] LS: I do. Yes, I do. Yesterday, I had two ladies come in who both had jewelry they had inherited or collected over the years and they wanted it turned into one thing, like this one woman had her diamond, her deceased husband’s ring and her father’s ring and she wanted all three of those things into one. We sat and talked about what kind of jewelry she likes, what kind of lifestyle she has, what would be the best type of jewelry for her, and we are now working on pedant, taking all of those component.

 

Her mother who came with her had an old ring that had been her wedding set and her husband is also deceased and she wanted to turn it into a more contemporary ring that was a little les bridal looking, more fashion looking. We’re working on a way to take all of those diamonds and reword them into a new design. We’re going to use all her diamonds and her gold and so it will be her same ring, just a little bit repurposed and a little revamped for the modern times. 

 

[0:27:52.1] KM: I think it’s nice when people wear their deceased loved one’s ring around their neck on a chain. Do you see that very often?

 

[0:27:59.2] LS: Sure. Yes.

 

[0:28:00.1] KM: I remember when Katie Couric wore her husband’s on the Today’s Show for a while.

 

[0:28:04.9] LS: Right. A lot of people like to do that.

 

[0:28:06.9] KM: Is that dangerous?

 

[0:28:08.3] LS: No, if you have a good chain and if the chain is appropriately strong for whatever you’re wearing on it. Not any more dangerous than any another sort of pendant you might wear.

 

[0:28:17.2] KM: You’re making custom pieces and you’re an appraiser.

 

[0:28:21.7] LS: Yes, right. Actually, I’m a brand new member of National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, because I’ve been a certified gemologist appraiser for 20 years and that’s sort of a parallel group, I guess. You know, like the American Gem Society has its functions and that’s its training for appraising, and National Association of Jewelry Appraisers is just a little broader. That’s all they do. They’re a little more focused on every single aspect of appraising whereas the CJA title is a little — I guess it’s a little narrower. I don’t know. The training is a little narrower.

 

I just thought that with this change coming that having another title, having another organization, affiliation, a little more credentialed — 

 

[0:29:03.0] KM: How do you advertise for that?

 

[0:29:04.4] LS: How do you advertise?

 

[0:29:06.5] KM: Do you just put a website up and say, “For appraisals,” or is it word of mouth? Do people find you? Most people appraise for insurance companies, I guess.

 

[0:29:14.3] LS: Yeah. Most appraisals are for insurance. I’m doing one right now though that’s an estate appraisal for someone whose father had passed away, but actually both of his parents and he ended up with everything and he and his sister are trying to sort through it, and so we’re doing an appraisal on that. Most appraisals are for insurance. Sometimes it’s an estate.

 

[0:29:31.1] KM: You really do have to be tied up to be in the jewelry business. It’s very personal.

 

[0:29:36.7] LS: Oh, yeah.

 

[0:29:37.6] KM: I never would have thought about that before.

 

[0:29:38.9] LS: You can’t say, “Oh! I saw so and so yesterday, they were in the store,” because then it’s like, “Oh, what were they doing. What was the —” It’s like Vegas. That’s what we always used to joke. We are Las Vegas. Do not worry. Don’t worry. It’s not that anything was particularly nefarious or all that interesting most of the time. Every once in a while we had an interesting case, but usually people don’t want their private business out especially if they’re buying something expensive. They don’t want somebody to know.

 

[0:30:05.4] KM: It could be a surprising wedding.

 

[0:30:06.8] LS: And it could a surprise and it could be that they buy, say, a gift six months in advance. You certainly don’t want to ruin that surprise if the wife just doesn’t know about it yet. You know what I mean? We had one years ago at Stanley’s, we had a man in the store shopping for his wife. It was Christmas. It was November or December, so it was within the Christmas umbrellas. His wife walks in and goes, “I saw your car. What are you doing?” He was like, “Ugh —” It just killed — I don’t know what her gift was, but it wasn’t jewelry, but he just made up some reason and left. You know what I mean? Because she just like completely busted him out and she was not thinking. She was not thinking.

 

[0:30:45.1] KM: Obviously, not.

 

[0:30:47.3] LS: Anyway, but we don’t tell — We tell no one. I tell no one anything.

 

[0:30:51.0] KM: Can you tell what the biggest diamond you’ve ever sold was?

 

[0:30:54.3] LS: 11.5 karats.

 

[0:30:55.7] KM: How big is that?

 

[0:30:56.7] LS: It was pretty big.

 

[0:30:57.3] KM: Half an inch?

 

[0:31:00.3] LS: Yes.

 

[0:31:01.0] KM: Is it as big as a thumbnail?:

 

[0:31:03.2] LS: Thumbnail size, yeah. It was big.

 

[0:31:06.0] KM: How do you wear that?

 

[0:31:07.8] LS: There are people who wear fashion and things that someone else, if they put them on, they would look like a clown and vice versa, and if it suits you, then you can wear it.

 

[0:31:15.8] KM: Yeah.

 

[0:31:17.2] LS: This is not a big person. She’s your size. There was nothing just about her that would say she’s should wear big rings. One of our customers from Stanley’s who was the sweetest little woman, she’s probably 85 years old, tiny little lady, 5 feet, probably 95 pounds, and she wore more jewelry on her person at any given time than I own. I’m not exaggerating. She would have on 15 rings on each hand, 10 or 12 necklaces, bracelets up to her elbow. I’m not kidding, and she looked fantastic. You could not even criticize her, because she just wore it so well.

 

[0:31:52.2] KM: That’s a lot of responsibility to wear that much jewelry.

 

[0:31:53.8] LS: Yes, it is. Yes, it certainly is, and she owned it and she wore it beautifully. She was an inspiration. I couldn’t pull it off, and I’m twice her size. I couldn’t pull off all that jewelry.

 

[0:32:03.6] KM: I went in and bought these two rings from you on your sale.

 

[0:32:07.9] LS: Yes.

 

[0:32:09.5] KM: I wore every piece of jewelry I have. That’s my father’s watch. He’s dead, and so I wear it as a momento. It doesn’t work. Then I don’t know what that is. My husband gave that to me. What is that? 

 

[0:32:19.8] LS: That is quartz that has been treated on top to give it that metallic effect.

 

[0:32:22.9] KM: Sparkly effect? That’s a bracelet. Then I have on four enormous rings that I should’ve had my son take a picture on Facebook so everybody could see. These are not diamonds, they’re just big gems. What are these gems?

 

[0:32:35.7] LS: You have amethyst, citrine, smoky quartz and, I’m going to guess, blue topaz, also there’s a chance that’s aquamarine, but it looks like a blue topaz. We always had a rule, you don’t side ID. You don’t side ID, because you will always — It will be the one time that that purple is not amethyst, but I’m pretty sure that’s what you have there. 

 

When people would walk in and say, “What is this?” I would always take it up front and test it, or dad would, because if you just go, “Oh, well obviously, that’s an amethyst.” It’s going to be the one time out of a million that it’s not. You know what I mean?

 

[0:33:04.9] KM: Yeah.

 

[0:33:05.3] LS: We would always go upfront and do —

 

[0:33:07.7] KM: How do you test it?

 

[0:33:08.1] LS: There are a couple of ways you have. There’s magnification, because certain gems have certain types of inclusions that —

 

[0:33:13.6] KM: Characteristics that you look for.

 

[0:33:14.4] LS: Yeah, characteristics that you look for. You look at how it refracts light. You look at its refractive index, the speed at which it reflects light. If it splits it into two or if it doesn’t split it in two, and with those three things you can narrow it down really well. After that, there are just very few gems that are still in conclusive. Within just a few minutes, if you’re properly trained, you can figure out what something is.

 

[0:33:37.5] KM: I like this big cocktail sized ring.

 

[0:33:40.4] LS: Yeah. No, they’re fantastic. See, they’re big rings and you’re a little person and you wear them beautifully. 

 

[0:33:44.5] KM: I really like them, but you can tell they’re not expensive like a diamond, because if they were, you couldn’t afford them because they’re enormous. What makes a diamond more expensive and makes these less expensive? 

 

[0:33:54.5] LS: Well — 

 

[0:33:57.4] KM: There’s a gem. What are the pressure stones?

 

[0:34:01.1] LS: People call them precious or semi-precious, right? That’s kind of how it’s categorized in most people’s head. Those would all — If you were using that language, you would call all of those semi-precious. You would say that precious would be like diamond, ruby, emerald, sapphire. Those are —

 

[0:34:15.0] KM: Diamond, ruby, emerald, sapphire. Yeah.

 

[0:34:18.0] LS: Diamond of course is its own thing, but then ruby, emerald, sapphire are kind of the big three in color. Then there’s kind of everything else. There are levels of everything else, but that’s sort of the way it’s always broken down in my head.

 

[0:34:30.6] KM: This one is white gold.

 

[0:34:32.2] LS: Right.

 

[0:34:32.8] KM: It’s more expensive.

 

[0:34:34.5] LS: Than silver.

 

[0:34:35.0] KM: Than silver.

 

[0:34:36.1] LS: Correct.

 

[0:34:36.1] KM: But you can’t really tell. Can you tell?

 

[0:34:39.2] LS: I could tell, but maybe not everybody could. I know what to look for. Sterling silver is a much less precious metal, obviously. White gold is gold, so it’s just a more expensive metal.

 

[0:34:51.6] KM: Yeah.

 

[0:34:53.0] LS: It wears differently and it doesn’t tarnish, and so there are benefits to having white gold over —

 

[0:34:56.8] KM: These semi-precious stones, will they fade with the sun?

 

[0:35:00.2] LS: No. They won’t fade with the sun, but what happens to them and you don’t notice it until it’s done is that you get these little teeny-tiny scratches especially on your light blue, and all of a sudden you’re like, “Why is this not sparkling?” When you look at it under magnification, you can see all of these little bitty scratches and it’s just keeping them from sparkling the way they did when they were brand new. They can be re-polished on the top usually almost always.

 

The other thing that happens with very light colored stones is that if they just get a little lotion or hairspray or dead skin or anything up under them, then it also kills their ability to reflect light and sparkle, that’s why it’s important to keep your rings clean, because you want to keep all that dirt and stuff off of them.  

 

[0:35:36.7] KM: Do you like those little trays where you dip your jewelry down into the cleaner.

 

[0:35:40.2] LS: That’s fine. Those are fine. They work well. Basically, if you use those or if you use half ammonia, half water, or Mr. Clean and water, you’re going to get the same effect.

 

[0:35:47.5] KM: Mr. Clean?

 

[0:35:48.1] LS: That’s what I use in my cleaner now. That’s what we use at Stanley’s, Mr. Clean and water, half and half and it will cut the grease, it will cut through the dirt and it also has a soap component. You mix it with water so it’s not too strong. You wouldn’t put pearls in there. 

 

[0:36:05.1] KM: No.

 

[0:36:05.0] LS: You wouldn’t put amber and you wouldn’t put anything organic or coral, anything like that, but you would put rocks, which are all of yours under the category rocks, and diamonds and gold and platinum, no problem.

 

[0:36:17.7] KM: Amber used to be my favorite. Tell people what amber is. I didn’t believe it when I first heard what amber was.

 

[0:36:23.1] LS: It’s fossilized tree sap.

 

[0:36:25.8] KM: With insects in it.

 

[0:36:26.5] LS: Sometimes it has insects. It depends. Sometimes it does sometimes it — The pieces, the nice pieces that have a whole insect are the really expensive ones. Usually, when you see amber beads or a chunk or something, you rarely get an insect or at least not a recognizable insect. When you find one that’s got a real shape of an insect, that’s when they get expensive.

 

[0:36:47.8] KM: Your diamond on your finger is unbelievable.

 

[0:36:51.4] LS: Thank you. I like it.

 

[0:36:52.9] KM: It shines like no diamond I’ve ever seen.

 

[0:36:55.6] LS: I cleaned it this morning, which helps. 

 

[0:36:58.0] KM: You probably do every day.

 

[0:36:59.3] LS: I do. I clean it every day. 

 

[0:37:01.1] KM: You said it has a special cut.

 

[0:37:03.1] LS: It’s a round brilliant cut and it’s a very well — It’s very precision cut. It is what you would call an ideal cut diamond, which means that the facets are aligned in a very particular way. The angles and the alignment all are precision placed to most effectively reflect light and disperse light and to cause scintillation and brilliance, which is what you want in a diamond.

 

You can have a colorless, flawless diamond, and if it doesn’t have the facet arrangement, it doesn’t sparkle because it’s all about reflecting the light.

 

[0:37:37.4] KM: Was that cut at Stanley Jewelers?

 

[0:37:38.8] LS: Not at Stanley Jewelers, but our diamond cutter who cut the Esperanza Diamond, which was found here in Arkansas, is the one who cut this diamond but he did it in his factory in Canada. That’s fine. He did a great job.

 

[0:37:51.4] KM: Tell everybody what the Esperanza Diamond is. 

 

[0:37:54.3] LS: The Esperanza Diamond was found at the Crater of Diamonds Park, I guess close to two years ago now, a lady from Colorado found it. Just like the last week when that kid found the 7.44 brown in half an hour. Did you hear about that?

 

[0:38:05.4] KM: No.

 

[0:38:05.7] LS: I don’t know where he’s from, but they said he’s from Arkansas. I’m not sure. His name is Kalel something and he named it the Superman Diamond which I think is awesome. He said he was going to keep it. It was a brown, like a fancy brown color. If he had it cut and polished to sparkle, you’d call it chocolate. It’s that brown. It’s how it looked in the picture.

 

The Esperanza Diamond is the opposite. It was colorless, completely colorless and this woman, Brooke, found it.

 

[0:38:31.2] KM: How big was it?

 

[0:38:32.1] LS: It was 8-1/2 karats when she found it. It cut to 4.62 karats, which is a pretty good return. Usually, you lose a lot more than that.

 

[0:38:41.7] KM: Really?

 

[0:38:42.3] LS: Yup.

 

[0:38:42.7] KM: That makes me ill.

 

[0:38:44.3] LS: You lose a lot. It was a really funny shape. It was like long. It was like a bean — It looks sort of like a bean that somebody smooched. 

 

[0:38:52.5] KM: Why couldn’t you just take that diamond and put it in a setting and just leave it like it was?

 

[0:38:58.0] LS: She could have. He absolutely could have, but she wanted to sell it, and the way to sell it and get something actually out of it was to have it cut.

 

[0:39:06.3] KM: And make it brilliant like yours.

 

[0:39:06.7] LS: Yeah. It actually had its own special cut because of its weird rough shape. It would have cut into something very small if you’d try to do it to a traditional shape. Both of the cutter designed a shape for it called a triolette, which is you know how a brealette that you see in teardrop shape stones that are faceted all the way around? You see them in like antique jewelry a lot. He called it a triolette because it was sort of three sided, but it had all of that faceting all the way around.

 

If any of your listeners want to look on Facebook, she has her own page called Esperanza Diamond. You can just type that in Facebook and you’ll find her and all kinds of pictures from the rough all the way through the process to the end product.  She turned into this triolette which maintained 4.62 karats which is a really good return on cutting.

 

Everyone says, “Well, what about the little ones?” They were none. What he did was the way this diamond was shaped, they call it a makeable diamond, which means he just made it into the shape. He just, one angle at a time, polished it. Yeah, polished it — It almost looks like a record players, but it’s a diamond wheel. He precisely puts the facets on precision in a very highly precision method.

 

Basically, everyone who came into Stanley Jewelers during the cutting breathed in little teeny-tiny bits of Esperanza, because it just sort of evaporates after it’s — Not evaporates, but molecularly speaking just kind of goes back into the atmosphere, because it wasn’t even enough dust. You couldn’t even pick up the dust. It was just gone.

 

[0:40:35.6] KM: They did it at your store.

 

[0:40:36.7] LS: We did it at the store. It was amazing. This was two — This was September of 15, I think. September 2015.

 

[0:40:44.3] KM: That made national news.

 

[0:40:44.9] LS: It made national news. It made all kinds of news. One of the jewelry magazines said we had the third greatest promotion in the country that year. It was terrific. It was a really uplifting, happy, really informational and fun event. People would bring their kids. Adults would come in and say, “I have never seen anyone any one kind of diamond,” which is totally reasonable, because why would you? All kinds of people come in.

 

[0:41:09.9] KM: How long did it take?

 

[0:41:11.3] LS: He was there for about 10 days. We had only planned on being there for like four or five days.

 

[0:41:16.0] KM: It’s the man from Canada.

 

[0:41:17.8] LS: Yeah, Mike. The thing about the diamond, she was tested after she went to the lab to get all of her paperwork and whatnot. She was tested. She was pure carbon. There was not a trace. Not an impure trace of anything in her, which is highly unusual in a diamond. She’s a particular type 2A diamond. Because she is 100% pure crystalize carbon, she is just super crazy hard, okay? Diamonds are all hard, but if they have nitrogen in them, then you get a little color, like just a little hint of color, not even a yellow diamond, but just a little off-white, which technically the diamond I’m wearing right now is colorless. It has a little nitrogen. That’s the way it formed. No problem. It looks beautiful. There’s not a problem, but it’s not colorless the way she was. Because she didn’t have that nitrogen to even break up the carbon atoms just a little tiny bit, she was like the hardest ever. It took him 30% longer than he thought just because it was so much harder to polish the facets.

 

[0:42:10.4] KM: What’d you appraise it at?

 

[0:42:11.6] LS: That is such a hard question. She is still for sale, technically. She toured the country, went to a bunch of different jewelry stores. We had some people bid on her. We had thought initially she would bring somewhere like $500,000 based on —

 

[0:42:22.8] KM: Dead gum!

 

[0:42:23.5] LS: Based on her quality and her provenance and everything. In the end, she never was actually sold, so we said, “Okay. We’re going to send it to auction.” Literally, three days ago, it’s very timely, she went to auction. Because of technical difficulties, which is just so horrible with people being able to call in and bid on her, nobody could call in. If you were in Boston, you could bid, but the people who had signed up to call in could not get through. They had to just like null the whole thing.

 

[0:42:52.9] KM: So she’s going to be up for bid again.

 

[0:42:53.9] LS: She is currently for sale.

 

[0:42:56.6] KM: Do you own her or does this lady own her?

 

[0:42:57.9] LS: There are several people who own here. The lady still owns an interest and a few people bought in. Anyway —

 

[0:43:03.9] KM: You call diamonds girls. You talk about she, she. She’s a she.

 

[0:43:08.5] LS: If you saw this diamond, you know, she’s a she. Plus, Brooke named her Esperanza, which is a female name. Also, the Hope Diamond, she’s Hope Junior, which maybe is why she’s been so difficult her whole life. I don’t know.

 

[0:43:20.7] KM: Because Esperanza in Spanish means hope.

 

[0:43:21.9] LS: Esperanza in Spanish means hope. Exactly. Anyway, she is still available. If anybody’s interested, call me, and I can hook you up with the person who’s currently taking care of her. She’s on her way to Denver for a while.

 

[0:43:32.1] KM: Then you’re going to put her up for auction again?

 

[0:43:34.2] LS: Probably, unless she sells.

 

[0:43:34.8] KM: Are you going to put that on your website so people can go there and find it?

 

[0:43:38.5] LS: Sure. Yeah, that’s a great idea.

 

[0:43:52.5] KM: You’re listening to Up In Your Business with Kerry McCoy. I’m speaking today with gemologist, Laura Stanley, from Stanley Jewelers who now has her own private business, Laura Stanley Personal Jeweler, and you can reach her at her website, laura.diamonds. Best website ever in the planet.

 

[0:44:13.8] LS: Thank you.

 

[0:44:14.9] KM: You’re so welcome. We’re talking about the Esperanza Diamond that was found in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. That’s worth a half a million dollars. I’m blown away. Is that the most —

 

[0:44:26.6] LS: There is one in the Smithsonian, the Uncle Sam Diamond, which I don’t believe was ever really been appraised. It’s been there for 40 years or something. I suspect, because it’s a lot bigger and because it’s got a little yellow to it, but it’s a much larger diamond, I bet it would be at least as valuable.

 

[0:44:41.1] KM: Was it found in Murfreesboro?

 

[0:44:41.9] LS: Mm-hmm. There’s a great collection at the Smithsonian of cut and rough gems that were found in Murfreesboro, and it’s possible since Esperanza did not sell the other day and she’s still sort of out and about. We may lend her to the Smithsonian for a couple of years and just let her sit there and let people see her because she’s really beautiful.

 

[0:45:00.0] KM: That’s so nice. You’ve sold your business. If anybody is tuning in, Laura Stanley sold the family business after eight decades and she’s going out on her own. You can reach her for appraisals or to get custom jewelry made. In fact, while I was talking to you, I think of something I’m going to have you make for me that I lost, and I want it back. I want one back, so I’ve got a picture of me in it, so I will send it over to you.

 

[0:45:24.4] LS: Okay. Perfect.

 

[0:45:26.7] KM: What was the biggest, hardest thing to let go of about getting rid of your family business?

 

[0:45:33.3] LS: The wonderful thing about being a part of Stanley Jewelers is that you were a part of Stanley Jewelers. Especially to be a Stanley who is part of Stanley Jewelers is really a wonderful thing. If I said my name, people instantly — They just treated me like family instantly as soon as they knew I was part of that group. I hope that people remember, but it was a special thing and we worked really hard. Obviously, we worked really hard to earn that reputation and to earn the love, I guess, of the community. That was very difficult to walk away from. Very difficult to walk away from.

 

[0:46:09.9] KM: We talked about this 30 minutes before about how this is the perfect extension and really a more modern way to do business, because keeping a retail store open today is so hard to do.

 

[0:46:20.8] LS: It’s difficult. There’s just like a million reasons that it’s a hassle and difficult and challenging and all of those things. It’s very rewarding, I think. If circumstances were different, I probably would have taken it over, but it just wasn’t the way for me.

 

[0:46:34.6] KM: But your sister is in California, and you’re here and Park Hill —

 

[0:46:39.8] LS: Park Hill Jewelers is taking along.

 

[0:46:42.6] KM: Taken over your spot.

 

[0:46:43.2] LS: Exactly, which is terrific for Park Hill. Most of the Stanley employees are staying there at Park Hill Jewelers, and so they’re happy and everybody is happy. It’s really been a win-win.

 

[0:46:51.7] KM: It really is. We’ve got five minutes left, and this is really controversy, but what does that mean about the blood diamonds?

 

[0:46:58.9] LS: Oh, okay.

 

[0:47:00.5] KM: What does that even mean?

 

[0:47:01.3] LS: Okay. Long story short, everyone has seen the movie. There was a real problem with rebels in Africa taking diamonds, selling them and using the money for horrible, horrible things. Now, you could say the same thing about like so many commodities coming out of Africa, oil, other minerals, metals. It’s not like diamonds were the only thing, but they got some really bad press, because they’re so valuable and because there was no — There was a disconnect between like, “Oh! Look at your beautiful diamond.” Then when people started to find out what might have happened before that diamond got to them, they felt really — There was a lot of angst and guilt and concern completely justified.

 

This is all 20 years ago when that was happening. The diamond community on a worldwide level got together, formed the Kimberly Process and is doing a pretty good job of curtailing that and tracking the shipments and trying the best it can to make that problem disappear. I don’t know enough to say it’s 100% effective. I’ve heard different things, but it is a — It’s a problem with any precious community, and the diamond industry as a whole is really trying to address it.

 

The Kimberly Process is what it’s called. Anybody who wants to read up more about it, if you just Google that, you can learn oh so much about it. The state department here in the U.S. is involved and every country has as department with their own representatives and they meet every six months and talk about the current state —

 

[0:48:30.9] KM: What’s it called? The Kimberly —

 

[0:48:32.2] LS: Kimberly Process.

 

[0:48:33.4] KM: That’s good to know. Now you can wear a diamond without any guilt.

 

[0:48:37.0] LS: Right. Exactly. That’s exactly right.

 

[0:48:39.7] KM: That’s good.

 

[0:48:40.2] LS: If you buy in estate diamond, you don’t even have to worry about it because it was cut so long ago that —

 

[0:48:44.1] KM: I love the estate diamonds.

 

[0:48:46.3] LS: Yes. Estate is fabulous.

 

[0:48:47.5] KM: You can help people find estate jewelry.

 

[0:48:48.8] LS: Yes, absolutely. In fact, I’ve already have discussed with more people in the last three weeks than I imagined the possibility of me selling their estate jewelry for them. There is an endless supply. 

 

[0:48:59.7] KM: I love estate jewelry. For coming on the show, I used to give away cigars, because you’d birthed a business, but I’ve changed. This is going to crack you up. Look at my new t-shirts.

 

[0:49:09.1] LS: Oh, I love it. Up Yours.

 

[0:49:11.4] KM: Up Yours. Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy.

 

[0:49:13.9] LS: I love it. Very nice.

 

[0:49:15.4] KM: Good.

 

[0:49:15.6] LS: Thank you.

 

[0:49:16.4] KM: You’re welcome. You brought me some of my favorite readers. I’ve been looking for some readers. You and I are syncopatic, because this is exactly what I needed, was these readers. Thank you very much.

 

Hey, Tim, do you know who our guest is next week?

 

[0:49:30.8] TB: yeah, I actually wrote it down. 

 

[0:49:32.8] KM: Oh, I’m getting him trained.

 

[0:49:33.4] TB: Our guest next week is going to Joe Calhoun, the Calhoun Law Firm.

 

[0:49:37.4] KM: Oh, he’s going to talk about patents. He’s a patent lawyer.

 

[0:49:41.6] TB: That’s right.

 

[0:49:41.8] KM: Yeah. He gives seminars on patents. Yes. That will be good information. He owns his own business, so he’s an entrepreneur and he’s going to talk about patents. If people have ideas that they want to patent, what is patentable and what is not.

 

[0:49:53.1] LS: I’m going to listen, because I have a friend who has a brilliant idea that needs to be patented.

 

[0:49:56.8] KM: Oh! Joe’s the man. I’ve known Joe for 30 years.

 

[0:50:00.1] LS: Excellent.

 

[0:50:01.7] KM: To our listeners, if you have a great entrepreneurial story you would like to share, I’d love to hear from you. Send a brief bio or your contact info to questions@upyourbusiness.org and someone will be in touch.


Finally, to our listeners, thank you for spending time with me. If you think this program has been about you, you’re right, but it’s also been about me. Thank you for letting me fulfill my destiny. My hope today is that you’ve heard or learned something that’s been inspiring or enlightening and that it, whatever it is, will help you up your business, your independence, or your life.

 

I’m Kerry McCoy and I’ll see you next Friday at 2 p.m. on KABF Radio in Little Rock, Arkansas. Until then, be brave and keep it up.

 

[END OF INTERVIEW]

 

[0:50:44.5] TB: You’ve been listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. Want to hear today’s program again or want someone else to benefit from it? Jot this down. Next week a podcast will be available flagandbanner.com. Click the tab labeled “Radio Show”, there you’ll find today’s segments with links to resources you heard discussed on this program. Kerry’s goal: to help you live the American Dream.

 

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