We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelly Grady and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kelly, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
Get a storefront to make more money and see more customers

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started out in 1995 selling jewelry in Iowa on nights and weekends working in a fancy jewelry store to help my hubby get through chiropractic school. We moved to Colorado to open his office a couple years later. I was a morning kindergarten teacher and started Tender Loving Carats by selling fun sterling silver & gemstone pieces in the teacher’s lounges at various schools, much of it they ordered from catalogs from the 2 jewelry lines I carried. It was hard to break into the jewelry world without having a brick & mortar store. Companies won’t let you open accounts, and clients don’t know if they should trust you without a storefront. It took years to build up my name and persuade companies & designers to let me carry their lines, The first 19 years in business I worked 10-12 hours 6 days a week to build it up. I didn’t have the overhead of staff, a storefront, and inventory which helped me to sell at a lower rate, stay in their budget, & save them money. I provide higher quality goods & services with no pressure selling & still order as needed with very little inventory to keep prices as low as I can. I have my own jewelers, carvers, designers, watchmakers, & refiners all over the world and carry over 50 lines now. I can do anything a jewelry store can, but at a fraction of the price. As for the clients, I created a referral only business comprised of friends, neighbors, farmers, Alaskan oil riggers, patients, teachers, police, firefighters, nurses, doctors, newscasters, NFL coaches & wives. It took years to build. People would fly me out for private jewelry trunk shows. Now 80% of my clients are out of state. All thanks to my amazing clients who have sent their friends & families, too! One of the fun & unexpected parts of my business is taking in estates. I help the families divvy up treasured pieces and see what’s real and help them appraise, sell, or revamp what they don’t love. Another awesome aspect of being a jewelry broker is redesigning their wedding set or upgrading it & creating treasured pieces out of their old items. I’m very in tune with each client and strive to make their jewelry dreams a reality. I love to put more meaning into their pieces and make them unique & meaningful. I LOVE what I do. Knowing that I am probably one of the largest purchases people have ever made when they come for an engagement ring is not something I take lightly. I want them to be comfortable with what they spend and get, and know that they got a great deal.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If a dear friend were visiting, I’d take them in my jeep to a gorgeous hiking trail, like Castlewood Canyon and then to lunch as Los Dos Potrillos for steak chili relleno nachos & a skinny margarita. We would hit Red Rocks for a concert or a yoga class then drive up Morrison to Evergreen & shop the cute stores & hit Little Bear for a beer. Then we would go up to Dillon & kayak or paddle board on the lake, stay at the Best Western & go in for yummy food & amazing service at Arapahoe Cafe, then walk Mainstreet in Frisco.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Dedicated to Pinnacle Chiropractic Management Group, because even though it’s for Chiropractors, I’ve learned how to be more efficient, really listen to my clients, and provide them with excellent service.

Website: Tenderlovingcarats.com

Instagram: tenderlovingcarats

Linkedin: Kelly Grady

Facebook: Tender Loving Carats

Image Credits
Ashleigh Burchett with Sonora Photography Aya Rowe

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