James Michelle Jewelry now has separate departments; some, such as her operations department, have a manager. She also has bench jewelers, customer service and shipping. “You can bootstrap-it for a while, but you eventually have to have people to help and support you.”
RioPro has helped her journey, and her RioPro consultant is a valued part of her team. “I love her. She has given me her cell phone number. She’s always checking in with us, which we appreciate because we are so busy and it’s easy to forget we need something. She’ll even check in with me after hours to see if I need anything. She’s just amazing.”
James Michelle Jewelry so far has been working mostly with gold-filled, along with some sterling silver; lately, Jamie’s been working on some pieces in karat gold with precious stones. She says, “We’re branching out. We’re working on some fine jewelry pieces. We’re also coming out with a couple of new lines, expanding our brand into other avenues—something totally different, not to do with jewelry.”
To achieve these goals, she’s added some new skills for working with gold. “It’s very challenging to work with at first but,” she says, “once you learn to use it, it’s easy.” RioPro answered questions along the way. “Rio’s always been really good about helping me with that sort of thing.”
Her favorite story about Rio Grande and her RioPro consultant came because of gold-filled. She says, “One time, Rio was out of the gold we needed—it must have been three or four seasons ago. My consultant said, ‘I’m going to connect you with this other company.’ So I bought from them that time, and could have continued buying from them, but I came back to Rio because that level of service impressed me.”
Although James Michelle Jewelry had an unusual start, Jamie’s past doesn’t rule her life; it has, however, changed her present. “I think that’s what drives me so hard, because it was such a horrible time. I’m not ever going to let that happen to me again.” Her life looks different than it might have without her illness and the resulting hardships. Instead of the large house she could now afford, she lives in a smaller, simpler house. Even today, Jamie takes a nap most days; and then she gets up and goes back to work.
To learn more about James Michelle Jewelry, visit jamesmichelle.com.